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						2 • Lögberg-Heimskringla • Friday 8 April 2005
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the call of'duty
Recently the Prime Minister's office in lceland in-
vited Neil Bardal to lceland in appreciation for his
service ás honorary Consul General in Manitoba
that went above and beyond the call of duty.
David Gislason of Arborg, Manitoba was with
Neil in lceland.
To be invited into the for-
eign service of the land of
your ancestors is a singu-
lar honour. Thus it was for Neil
Bardal, who served as Honorary
Consul General for Iceland in
Manitoba from 1995 until here-
tired from his post in 2003.
Along with the distinction
and honour, though, inevitably
comes a significant commit-
ment of time and money. Na-
tionals iiving abroad Iook to the
nearest consular official for help
when problems arise, such as
lost passports or other essential
documents. Visiting nationals
look to their country's consul
for advice and help in any num-
ber of situations which travellers
frequently encounter on foreign
Neil Bardal is no stranger
to the challenges inherent in
the life of an Honorary Consul
General. Along with the pride
of serviee, he has welcomed
the challenges, and risen to ev-
ery occasion, even to the extent
of rescuing a client from the
clutches of the law.
An enthusiastic, though
perhaps somewhat nai've, Ice-
lander became immersed in
what began as a friendly poker
game. Game to the end, this
young man played on through
the night until his money was
gone. Gone too were his hopes
of an enjoyable visit to "friendly
Manitoba." In the light of so-
ber second thought, he realized
that the cards had been stacked
against him, and that he had been
cheated out of his holiday fund.
His berserker blood hit boiling
point, and he bashed a couple of
heads. together, at which point
the police were called.
It was at this point that
Neil was called upon to resolve
what had become a rather seri-
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• Includes registration fees for four golf-
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' Dinner tickets for four
1 Your companyjogo on Tournament
fleece garment
' Signage at supper, at the kiosk at first
hole, and in Lögberg-Heimskringla
Dan Johnson, Chair, husavik@shaw.ca
or Don Lindal, Co-Chair, lindal@gatewest.net
Prime Minister of Iceland Halldór Ásgrímsson (left) with Neil Bardal in Iceland.
ous problem. It has often been
a short trip from the Leland Ho-
tel to a Salvation Army Shelter.
That was where Neil took this
young unfortunate into his care
and custody. Given his faith in
Iceland and its people, he did
not hesitate to put his own repu-
tation at stake in taking respon-
sibility for an individual he had
never seen before.
For Neil, though, as those
who know him will agree, the
job went far beyond respond-
ing to the situations and calls as
they arose. He saw his position
as a unique opportunity to pro-
mote the homeland of his ances-
tors, to lift to new heights the
culture, history, art and indeed
the people of Iceland which he
loves so well. Many fine meals
have been enjoyed, and many
miles travelled at the personal
expense of the Canadian, Neil
Bardal, Consul General for Ice-
land. All this was freely and
gladly given, with no thought of
Neil's commitment and suc-
cessful execution of the duties
of office did not go unnoticed
by the Icelandic government.
In February, 2005 in a fine ges-
ture of appreciation, the Prime
Minister's office invited Neil
to Iceland and showed him the
hospitality for which Iceland is
a m 1 a   pósthúsið
LoöJúng fcí
m Seyicjávik?   ¦
e-mail: gisting@zarnik.is
phone: +3548686745
Visit otir website www.zarnik.is
Located on Brúnavegur 8 in the Laugardalur area of Reykjavík
Situated on one of the largest private properties in Reykjavík,
renowned. This was their way
of saying thank you for service
that went far above and beyond
the call of duty. During a week's
stay, he would receive the per-
sonal thanks of Prime Minister
Halldór Ásgrímsson and For-
eign MinisterDavíð Oddsson, as
well as the Minister of Finance,
Geir Haarde and Industry and
Commerce Minister, Valgerður
Sverrisdóttir. Neil also received
the accolades of countless other
people whose lives he had en-
riched during his time of office.
Ever the goodwill ambassa-
dor, Neil found many opportuni-
ties to expound on his ideas and
dreams for further interchange
and cooperation between Ice-
land and North America. This
did not end with his release
from the formalities of his con-
sullar position. It is an ongoing
The position has been
evolving, and has been greatly
strengthened in recent years
with the establishment of a
formal, career diplomat's posi-
tion in Winnipeg. This was a
most welcome development,
and welcomed by Neil Bardal
more than anyone. The future of
relationships between Iceland
and its family of descendants
in Western Canada has never
looked brighter.
Vísít us on the web at http://wwwJh-inc.ca
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