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Greetings from rhe Prime Minister
of Canada
Ottawa, August 30, 1961.
Dear Mrs. Jonsson,
It is indeed a pleasure for me to write to you on
the occasion of the visit to Canada by the President
of Iceland, His Excellency Asgeir Asgeirsson, and Mrs.
Geography and the course of history have in the
past caused our countries to follow a number of sep-
arate paths. At the same time, we both have a com-
mon heritage as offspring of the expansion of European
civilization and as Atlantic nations who are being
brought ever closer together by the events of the
Iceland has developed a rich and varied tradition
in art, through its sagas and because of the daring of
its explorers. If Leif Ericksson was indeed the first
man of European descent to set foot in the New World,
he accomplished a feat that was not duplicated for
many centuries and, only then by nations with much
greater material resources.
Canadians will welcome President Asgeirsson to
Canada, not only for himself, but because he is the
Head fo State of a friendly neighbour—a nation which
has done much to enrich the life of Canada in the
past and with which I know Canada will have in-
creasingly close relations in the future.
I am,
Yours sincerely,

Message from rhe
Premier of Maniroba
Over a thousand years ago
a group of Norsemen set sail
in their dragon ships across
the dark north Atlantic and
founded a new nation on one
of the large northern isles.
Six hundred years before
Cartier established his first
settlement on the site of an
Indian village below the
heights of Quebec, years be-
fore Cabot sighted Newfound-
land and even before Colum-
bus established his first new
world colony—the Icelanders
were living in their island
home and establishing a tradi-
tion that was later to benefit
and enrich a country and a
province that had yet to be
One of the reasons they left
their own land of Norway
and Sweden, Denmark and
the colonies in the coastal
areas of Britain and France,
was their refusal to acknowl-
edge the authority of local
chieftains who were proclaim-
ing themselves Kings.
In their island sanctuary
they lived 10 centuries with-
out militia, without sea power
and without dreams of con-
quest. Throughout the years
they evolved their own type
of democracy and an educa-
tional system that made them
one of the most literate peo-
ples in the world.
The Icelanders have never,
in a material sense been
wealthy. Nothing comes easy
to  the  descendents  of  those
who chose a rocky wind-
swept volcano-studded island
in the grim north Atlantic as
their home. But those bleak
shores imparted to her people
a rugged and individualistic
character that is still the hall-
mark of Icelandic people
In the late years of the last
century hard times came to
the island and the heads of
many families were forced to
consider another migration.
Western Canada, and Mani-
toba in particular, were the
beneficiaries of this move-
ment of peoples.
Once again the Norsemen
said their goodbyes and
"sailed" to the shores of the
prairie inland seas named
Manitoba and Winnipeg. And
here they established their
Since that day, many have
marvelled at their rapid in-
tegration. Those pioneer Ice-
landers brought with them
their capacity for hard work,
their own carefully preserved
language and customs, their
tradition of learning, their
literary scholarship and a
deeply-held love of liberty.
And while keeping their own
traditions, they readily adopt-
ed the best of the traditions
of a new land.
Every mother's knee was a
desk and every lonely home-
stead an elementary school in
those early days. With the
result that when the Icelandic
children were ready to attend
Canadian schools, they al-
ready had learned to read and
spell in Icelandic.
Icelanders of Canadian
birth, and many of those born
in their island home —¦ have
made their mark on Canada.
They have distinguished
themselves in many fields —
particularly in the academic
sphere, in medicine, and law,
in literature, and as builders,
architects, fishermen and
The first formal teaching of
Icelandic as a course of study
in Manitoba, outside of schools
in Icelandic settlements, was
offered in old Wesley College
60 years ago. In 1950 a cam-
paign was launched among
people of Icelandic extraction
to promote a chair of Icelandic
studies at the University of
Manitoba. Its nucleus was a
$50,000 donation from a
wealthy contractor. This was
raised to $220,000 and in 1951
a chair of Icelandic studies
was established.
It is interesting to note that
the first incumbent of the
chair was Dr. Finnbogi Gud-
mundsson, whom we will wel-
come back in the presidential
While Manitoba's modern
association with Icelanders
goes back 86 years, our his-
torical association might well
be almost 1,000 years old, go-
ing back to the time of Leif
The contribution that Ice-
landers have made to Mani-
toba and to Canada is impossi-
ble to assess. The names of
those who have distinguished
themselves in the service of
their country are legion. I
would like to mention two
who have left their marks on
the Manitoba scene. One is
the late Professor Skuli John-
son, distinguished scholar,
student, professor. We in
Manitoba, too, look upon the
famous Arctic explorer and
writer Vilhjalmur Stefanson
as one of our great native
Yes, Manitoba and Canada
owes much to its citizens of
Icelandic extraction and de-
It gives me a great pleasure
to extend in the name of the
people of Manitoba a warm
welcome to His Excellency
the President of Iceland and
Mrs. Asgeirsson and members
of their party.
I hope that this, the first
state visit to Canada of the
President of a country with
which we have such cordial
relations, will lead to still
closer ties with the republic
of Iceland, which has con-
tributed so much, through
her citizens, to the develop-
ment of Manitoba.
Premier of Manitoba
Undirritaðir bjóða forseta íslands, herra Ásgeir Ásgei
son, og frú Dóru Þórhallsdóttur hjartanlega velkomin
slóðir Vestur-Islendinga og vænta þess, að dvöl þeirra
Kanada megi verða þeim sem ánægjuríkust:
Mr. og Mrs. S. V. Sigurdson
Riverton, Manitoba
Mr. og Mrs. Óli Johnson
Box 83, Eriksdale, Manitoba
Mr. og Mrs. J. Walter Johannson
Pine Falls, Manitoba
Consul og Mrs. Grettir Leo Johannson
76 Middlegate, Winnipeg, Man.
Mr. og Mrs. Kári W. Johannson
910 Palmerston Ave., Winnipeg
Dr. og Mrs. Kjartan I. Johnson
Pine Falls, Manitoba
Mrs. A. P. (Guðrún) Johannson
Ste. 9, 755 Ellice Ave., Winnipeg, Man-
Mrs. Ólafur Stephensen
94 Brock St., Winnipeg, Man.
Mr. og Mrs. Hannes J. Pétursson
89 Betty Ann Drive, Willowdale, Ont-
Mr. og Mrs. T. A. Árnason,
4325 Minnetonka Blvd.,
Minneapolis, Minn.
Rev. og Mrs. P. M. Pétursson
681 Banning St., Winnipeg, Man.
Mr. Thorleifur Hallgrimson
805 Garfield St., Winnipeg, Man.
Dr. og Mrs. Robert H. Thorlakson
103 Queenston St., Winnipeg,  Man-
Judge og Mrs. W. J. Lindal
788 Wolseley Ave., Winnipeg, Man-
Dr. og Mrs. Gestur Kristjánsson
308 Laidlaw Blvd., Winnipeg, Man-
Dr. og Mrs. D. Medd
736 Oak Street, Winnipeg, Man.
Mr. og Mrs. Erlingur K. Eggertson
256 Waterloo St., Winnipeg, Man.
Mr. og Mrs. Jóhann T. Beck
975 Ingersoll St, Winnipeg, Man.
Mr. og Mrs. Stefán E. Johnson
2740 Assiniboine Ave., Winnipeg
Mr. og Mrs. Jockum Ásgeirson
126 Lodge, Ave., Winnipeg, Man.
Mr. og Mrs. Edward Benjaminson
484 South Drive, Winnipeg, Man.
Mr. og Mrs. Karl L. Bardal
567 Waverley St., Winnipeg, Man.
Mr. og Mrs. N. O. Bardal
122 Hearne Ave., Winnipeg, Man.
Mr. og Mrs. Guðmundur M. Bjarnason
167 Sinawik Bay, Winnipeg, Man-
Mr. og Mrs. Halldór S. Bjarnason
1010 Garfield St., Winnipeg, Man.
Fela smįmyndir
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