Archive for October, 2009

At last nights NACC – Chicago chapter 50th anniversary dinner, the Honorary Consul General of Norway, Paul S. Anderson, announced that our good friend Don Hoganson was to receive the appointment of “Officer in the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit” by King Harald of Norway.

The Royal Norwegian Order of Merit was founded by King Olav V in 1985. It is conferred on foreign and Norwegian nationals as a reward for their outstanding service in the interest of Norway. Additional information about the Order of Merit can be found at the Norwegian Royal Family website.

A visit from the Norway Ambassador to the United States

(l-r) Don Hoganson, Norway Ambassador Wegger Chr. Strommen, Honorary Consul General Paul S. Anderson (photo: KJ Nordan)

For those of you who know Don, we can honestly say that we know of no-one that deserves this honor more. Don continues to work tirelessly on projects including his board membership on the “Norwegian-American Geneological Center & Naeseth Library”, Assistant Boss of the Chicago Torske Klub, co-chair of fundraising efforts and the Foundation Committee Chair for the Norwood Park Home, Grand Marshal for the Chicago 2008 Syttende Mai parade, and past president of several Chicago area groups, clubs and organizations including NACC.

Don has friends everywhere. In my years as an Information and Knowledge Management (KM) professional I can say Don is a giant in “Social Networking”. An important aspect of KM is the bringing of people with knowledge of a specific topic together with people looking for knowledge of that topic. Modern KM uses applications such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to join people together, Don is known to use his skill on the golf course to perform the same function. For those of you not familiar with golf, it is an activity that brings together 4 individuals on a outdoor course (called “the links”) to exchange thoughts and make plans. If Don wrote his autobiography today one possible working title for the book could be, “The Links I’ve Played, and Made”. Don truly loves to get people together and make things happen.


Royal Order of Merit, Officer gentlemen

I, along with many other people that know Don, would like to congratulate him on his appointment as Officer in the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, honors are to be bestowed at a date and place to be determined, but most likely in New York or Washington by a representative of the King of Norway. The honoree receives a medal (order) with the cross of the Order, as well as a “diploma” or certificate signed by the King which formally indicates his appointment.

Ken Nordan
Contributing Editor


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Football, Fish and Beer

When I was a young man my father and I would get together over a beer and a jar of herring (sild). Dad would open up the new jar with a little bit of ceremony declaring “to the fishermen of Norway we thank you.” It always seamed to me that a good beer with some fish and Wasa crackers (flatbrød) was a great combination. As a child, I had also gained an appreciation of smoked fish, mostly salmon, chub, trout and later mackerel. It has become a Sunday football tradition for me to pour myself a good beer (usually German or Irish) and bring out the herring or smoked fish. In recent years my appreciation for mackerel has increased due in part to the fun I had in Norway and the memories of my visits, many of those trips include stories about mackerel.

Mackerel, beer and salad

Mackerel, beer and salad

One of those memories include a day with my cousin Marit and her husband Arne. My cousin has a few rental cabins on their island near Trondheim, each cabin includes access to a small boat for fishing. A family of Germans had rented one cabin and been fishing most of the day. They invited us over for an evening meal with a small keg of beer, mackerel (cooked over an open fire) and potato salad. As the late night summer sun finally set (probably 1 o’clock in the morning) we were all laughing and enjoying each others company.

My second memory occurred a few years later when myself and a group of my friends rented a small boat to take us on a tour of the fjords near Ålesund. As part of the tour the owner gave us fishing poles and allowed us to catch a few fish. We had a great time wetting our lines, enjoying the competition and excitement, even though we only caught a few small mackerel. Later, a member of the crew gladly took the fish off our hands and I’m sure he enjoyed the fish at his evening meal. For me, it is important knowing where my food comes from and the work involved in bringing that food to my table.

MackerelYesterday was another Football Sunday and once again I enjoyed a nice beer (this time a Chicago brew) and some smoked mackerel on Swedish knåckebrød. The food and the memories helped me get through another humiliating loss by my favorite team. “To the fishermen of the world, thank you.”

Ken Nordan
Contributing Editor

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