• 17.mai 2019 - Edinburgh & Glasgow...

    17.mai Parade

    What a wonderful day! With two pipers leading the way, the large procession of Norwegians and friends of Norway made its way to Princes Street Gardens, with flags, banners and ribbons making it a colourful and happy gathering.

    Garry’s photograph sets the scene far better than I can! Also, check out our Facebook page for more pictures and videos!

    David Windmill, Honorary Consul General of Norway, gave a speech highlighting the very special relationship between Norway and Scotland and then laid a wreath at the Norwegian Memorial Stone. After a rousing rendition of The Norwegian National Anthem - “Ja vi elsker” we had a reading from Mari Olsen ( Defence Counsellor, Norwegian Embassy, London).

    This was followed by a sermon from Annette Tronsen Spilling (Norwegian Church Abroad). Hans-Håkon Lamprecht (President of NORSA) then spoke about his happy experience in Scotland as a student from Norway. The increasing number of children then enjoyed some games including a potato and spoon race (indeed - not an egg and spoon race ;) After ice cream and hot dogs, a few of us made the short walk to the Norwegian Consulate for a very enjoyable reception hosted by David Windmill and Consul Mona Rhøne.

    17.mai middag (dinner)...

    the day finished off on a high with a festive dinner at the Western Club in Glasgow. This year they did us proud by allowing the Society to use the dining area normally used by club members.

    We were also honoured by many of the ladies wearing their national dresses.

    See Facebook for pictures...

    Copy and paste this link to the search box in Facebook...

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/2yfKGANxXTX5XPzF

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  • 2019 CoScan AGM report by Mark Elliott - CoScan Chairman

    For this year's CoScan Annual General Meeting (26-28 April) we returned to Scotland, at the kind invitation of the Scottish Norwegian Society. Their home is Glasgow, but their choice of Stirling for our venue was inspired – an easily-accessible and beautiful town, and a key strategic and historical centre. 36 individuals representing 12 member societies took part, most of us staying in a fine historic hotel from which we could walk to the main sites and to our dinner restaurant.

    The group dynamics worked from the start, with a welcome reception on the Friday evening followed by a collective but informal meal in the hotel. Saturday was a triumph for the organisers, unexpected sunshine adding charm to our tour of Stirling Castle in the morning, and a remarkably versatile actor/guide excelling himself at the Old Town Jail in the afternoon. The jail was fascinating in a flesh-creeping way, and some of us were bullied most effectively as inmates-for-the-day.

    But the castle was spectacular. Our guide there was brilliant – clear and audible, hugely informative without being repetitive, with total mastery of a mass of historical detail. The site had been the focus of action at many of the key moments of Scottish history, and we were given a much clearer understanding of the roles played by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and of the conflicts and inter-relationships between the Scottish and English royal families. James IV, to whose time much of the castle's structure and renown can be dated, emerged as a truly remarkable and multi-talented individual.

    The formal dinner that evening, and the AGM itself on Sunday morning, were again superbly arranged by Ragne Hopkins and her team from the SNS. They have earned the sincere thanks of us all. But the last word should go to CoScan itself. There is a lot going on. Eva Robards's decision to step down as Chairman at this meeting is a major event. But there were other issues to discuss; the International Award for this year, and a decision on the next recipient; the trust fund and its financing; our overseas trip for our 2020 AGM; our new Secretary. It all went very smoothly, and happily. We shall remember Stirling with great pleasure.

    pp Mark Elliot - CoScan

    PS For pictures of the event please see Facebook... (copy and post th efollowing link and paste it in the Facebook search box...

    https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=CoScan%202019

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  • CoScan AGM & SNS Ventures Forth... Stirling

    Weekend 26th to 28th April: CoScan AGM

    & our ‘SNS Ventures Forth’

    Our annual Ventures Forth event this year take place in conjunction with CoScan’s AGM. The Scottish Norwegian Society (Glasgow) is delighted to be hosting this. This is a good opportunity for our members to also get involved during the weekend… as well as participating in our ever-popular activity - SNS Ventures Forth.

    The itinerary for the weekend is as follows:

    Friday 26th April: Early evening…

    A reception at The Stirling Highland Hotel, Spittal Street, Stirling FK8 1DU. The SNS welcoming committee will be present to meet and greet the other UK and Scandinavian CoScan members. So far, we have around 30 CoScan delegates and we would welcome other SNS members to join us during the weekend to meet our visitors.

    Saturday 27th April: Day time…

    Venture Forth: An 11 am a tour of Stirling Castle.

    CoScan arranged a visit to the historic Stirling Old Town Jail at 3 pm.

    Saturday 27th April: CoScan Dinner 7pm

    The CoScan dinner was at Hermanns Restaurant, 58 Broad Street,Stirling FK81EF.

    Sunday 28th April: CoScan AGM, 10 am

    CoScan held its Annual General Meeting at The Stirling Highland Hotel.

    A more comprehensive writeup from this enjoyable weekend will be added soon.

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  • A day in the life of the Norwegian Seaman's Mission by Astrid Stenholt

    Our March meeting on 13th March had Astrid Stenholt who delighted us with her personal tales from Aberdeen and throughout Scotland.. She manages the Norwegian Seaman’s Church and visits Norwegian ships that dock in Scotland… where-ever! they are docked

    Last year the Seaman’s Church hosted over 1000 ships that docked in Scotland - mostly in Aberdeen, Peterhead and Montrose. Fortunately, they’ve also had ships docking on the west coast as well.

    These ships mainly do supply, mainly in the oil and fish industries. Most ships hold many Norwegians with a few foreign nationals to a few Norwegians to many foreign nationals usually European or Philippines. Of course, there is also an “on-shore” Norwegian/Scottish community made up of all ages from small kids, students, families, adults and elderly, who also enjoy the Norwegian Seaman's Church.

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  • Oddveig Røsegg Memorial Lecture...

    Oddveig Røsegg Memorial Lecture

    by Dr Ian Giles, Edinburgh University.

    Britain’s Forgotten Norwegian Bestseller: The Rise and Immediate Fall of Agnar Mykle

    This was a wide ranging, interesting and obviously very well researched talk by Ian and the report below can only give a flavour of its content.

    Agnar Mykle was a bit of an eccentric, receiving extensive psychiatric care and treatment BUT there was a time when he seemed destined for lasting literary greatness and commercial success. He is now largely forgotten by his English language readership, his works are out of print and he has become a footnote in studies on pornography and censorship.

    Mykle was born in Trondheim in 1915 and during his childhood his severe asthma meant that he was housebound for much of that time. He was a star pupil at commercial college, graduating and taking up teaching at the age of just twenty. At twenty one, he became the youngest school principal in Norway (in Kirkenes). In 1939 he moved to Bergen to study at the Norwegian School of Economics. He then wrote copy for the Norwegian Labour Party and also experimented with his own literary forms, publishing his first short story in 1944. His personal life during these years was also rather interesting!

    His first full novel Tyven, tyven skal du hete (The Hotel Room) was published in 1951 Mykle produced his first novel for publishers Gyldendal in 1954, Lasso rundt fru Luna( translated as Lasso Round the Moon)), which was Mykle’s breakthrough and was drawn heavily from his own life. The novel sold well and was selected in 1969 as book of the month by Den Norske Bokklubben. Reviews were mixed. The sequel to Luna, Sangen om den røde rubin( translated as The Song of the Red Ruby) was published in 1956.

    The (relatively) racy content together with the characters being easily identifiable as real people including prominent figures in the Norwegian Labour movement, meant that copies flew off the shelves in the run up to Christmas 1956!

    In February 1957, Mykle and his publishers were prosecuted for obscenity in relation to Rubin - this was followed by a sales bonanza with 25,000 copies selling in just three months! While Mykle was acquitted at the trial, the book itself was banned and all copies confiscated, but that ban was overturned on appeal in May 1958. His first English translation was published in 1960 and Mykle was evidently considered significant from a commercial and publishing perspective. There was a lack of UK figures, but Mykle’s US publishers paid in advance for the right to publish Ruby in paperback the equivalent today of US$ 250,000.

    Lasso received most coverage, while Ruby caused little or no scandal. Critics were very divided on the matter of content - ranging from the “ frank sexual detail” to be “of a piece with the intensity and honesty of the rest of the book” to “everything in it is as dull and wholesome as a fjord“! There are conflicting claims as to the sales of Mykle’s books in Britain as British publishing records relating to him are missing. But the figures available (if accurate) would indicate that Mykle was the bestselling Norwegian author in Britain in the 20th century. In retrospect, Jo Nesbø would have taken over that mantle in the 21st century.

    After 1960, Mykle’s influence began to wane from his position as one of the earliest pioneers of obscene literature in Britain and his final two books were released in the 1960’s without fanfare. Reprints and reissues of his translations have more or less died out in Britain.

    Mykle began to withdraw from public, and literary life, with the obscenity trial and subsequent appeal leaving him exhausted but very wealthy. Much of this wealth was spent on international travels and he went bankrupt. In combination with his declining mental health and all round eccentricity, he became a recluse. He died in 1994, perhaps a sad and forgotten man.

    Ken K.

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