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						6 • Lögberg-Heimskringla • Friday 8 April 2005
The mainly Icelandic community of Mozart, SK is the only place in the world named after the famous composer. Postmistress Jean Halldorson has her own
frank, and people from all over the world mail their envelopes to have them postmarked from Mozart. The town of 20 holds an annual First Day of Summer.
Vatnabyggð Club keeps busy
Joan Eyolfson Cadham
Foam Lake, SK
The Vatnabyggð Icelandic
Club of Saskatchewan Inc. was
foundedonMay31, 1981.
The name, meaning "Lakes
Settlement," was chosen to rep-
resent the Quill Lakes, Foam
Lake and Fishing Lake.
Club members organized
an annual þorrablót in the hall
in Elfros, celebrated Indepen-
dence Day with a picnic and
held Icelandic food sales in
December. The money raised
was saved for one purpose,
to erect a memorial honour-
ing Icelandic pioneers. There
was no such marker anywhere
in Saskatchewan. The dream
came true on July 11, 1998,
when the statue and history
board were officially unveiled.
Þorrablót outgrew the Elf-
ros hall and moved to the Wyn-
yard Civic Centre. In 2002,
at the Club's 21st þorrablót,
Vatnabyggð initiated a new
policy of alternating þorrablót
between Foam Lake and Wyri-
yard, with the June picnic held
in Elfros, near the statue.
In 1999, the club played
host to President Ólafur Rag-
nar Grímsson, his daughter,
Dalla Ólafsdóttir and an Ice-
landic delegation. In 2000, the
club celebrated the millennium
with a tour by puppeteer Hall-
veig Thorlacius who came from
Iceland with her story apron,
and the Gudridur.Saga, Brynja
Benediktsdóttir's one-woman
show performed in English by
Tristan Gribbin. Svavar Gests-
son was the special þorrablót
guest, bringing with him 30
sets of presentation Sagas for
the club to distribute to schools
and libraries.
Over the next five years,
club members hosted Icelan-
dic fashion designer Friður
Ólafsdottir, Guitar Islancio
accompanied by Richard Gil-
lis, whose background is from-
Vatnabyggð, mezzo soprano
Ingveldur Ýr Jónsdóttir accom-
panied by pianist Guðríður St.
Sigurðardóttir, and the choir
Skagfirska söngsveitin í Reyk-
javflc. By now, the non-lcelan-
dic community in Vatnabyggð
realized that the Icelandic.
events were worth attending.
Club members spread
the word that "you don't have
to be Icelandic to have fun
with us." This is most notice-
able at the soon-to-be-famous
Vatnabyggð Annual Golf
Tournament, held first in 1998
on the weekend of the statue
unveiling. The tournament has
become one of the most popu-
lar golfing events in the area.
Meanwhile, the club pro-
file was raised by providing a
winning float in Foam Lake's
75th anniversary parade and,
in 2003, by winning the first
ever Quill Plains Regional
Recreation Association heri-
tage award, for the pioneer
Club members distribute
Saga sets to communities with
Icelandic links, careful to en-
sure press coverage. They
supply artifacts, food samples
and personnel for displays in
schools and libraries across
Vatnabyggð and as far away as
The   Vatnabyggð   Icelan-

Foam Lake
dic choir, under the direction
of Gunni Goodman, who also
translates songs for the group,
performs aíþorrablót and oth-
er events. The Vatnabyggð Ice-
landic dancers have regrouped
and are performing again. The
local teller of Icelandic leg-
ends and fables performs in
schools and libraries. Shirley-
Ann Laxdal and Yolanda Gis-
lason provided the Icelandic
square for "Invitation — the
Quilt of Belonging," a project
that includes a square repre-
senting every ethnic group in
Canada. The quilt is hanging
in the Museum of Man in Ot-
Now that the club has the
pioneer memorial completed,
with a set of three murals by lo-
cal artist Kevin Meers, graphi-
cally depicting the move from
Iceland to Vatnabyggð, the
Club does not have an immedi-
ate major project. However, as
members of the Multicultural
Council of Saskatchewan,
Club members are dedicated to
working to promote the impor-
tance and advantages of a tol-
erant and understanding multi-
racial society.
Visit us on the web at http://www.lh-inc.ca
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