Lögberg-Heimskringla - 01.08.1981, Blaðsíða 4

Lögberg-Heimskringla - 01.08.1981, Blaðsíða 4
4-WINNIPEG, HÁTÍÐARBLAÐ 1981 Rit stj órnargr ein The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba Islendingadagurinn The 92nd Icelandic Festival of Manitoba will be celebrated at Gimli August 1-3. In last year's Festival issue of L.H. the history of this annual event was documented in considerable detail. Originally, the Festival was designed to com- memorate Iceland's constitutional reform in 1874 when the King of Denmark granted the Icelanders legislative autonomy and control over their own financial affairs. With the passage of time, however, this Festival came to be devoted to the heritage which the Icelandic pioneers brought with them to theii two North American countries of adoption. Finally, the Manitoba location of the festivities brought about a redefinition in regional terms resulting in the present designation The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba — fslendingadagur- inn. This reference to provincial boundaries does, however, not reflect any restrictions in attendance. As is well-known, the basis of the Festival has been broadened con- siderably in recent years, chiefly through participation by visitors from Iceland. As can be expected, the content of the Festival program has changed considerably over the years. A number of new features have been introduced, many of which can be found at any other North American Fair. These items should not be downgraded in any way. Most of us are duly impressed with the dazzl- ing splendour of the annual Parade which has grown from year to year in length and complexity. Who would want to miss the Shriners whose peculiar attire adds colour to the celebration? Furthermore, many of us take particular.interest in the great variety of souvenirs made available to visitors. The parachute jumps — a fairly regular item of ex- citement — should also be mention- ed. One could list a number of other related diversions all of which testify to the ingenuity of the Festival Committee. Without recommending ány changes in the program features referred to above, one may wonder how they relate to the main theme of the Festival and its avowed pur- pose of making known the ethnic heritage of North American- Icelanders to their fellow citizens. It would of course be unfair to include jn this Festival issue of L.H. any critical remarks on the very event to which it is dedicated. Yet it seems appropriate to express the hope that the Festival committee will soon review the entire format of its pro- gram and make special efforts to in- crease its Icelandic content in both volume and quality. There seem to be many ways of achieving the end suggested here, and increased participation in the Festival program by qualified peo- ple from Iceland is certainly one of these. AU of us remember when one of Iceland's Grandmasters in Chess and President of the World Chess Federation Friðrik Ólafsson, was in- vited to participate in the 1978 Festival. His performance attracted people's attention to the Festival Second of Jtwo parts right across the North American continent. At the 1975 Festival the performanpes by a group of actors from the National Theatre in Reyk- javík transcended any ethnic boun- daries. Let us now turn to another resource available to the Festival committee. In the North American- Icelandic society we find a number of individuals highly qualified for participation in virtually any such field as is worthy of consideration for those concerned with the disemination of culture. These peo- ple should play a role of increasing importance at our future festivals. Paradoxical though it may appear, the Icelandic Festival must strive to maintain its ethnic boundaries and, at the same time, transcend them. Its primary role is that of serving as a catalyst between the two resources noted earlier and the wider North American community. While the entire Festival program should have strong ethnic or Icelan- dic overtones, every item must be adapted to the prevailing cir- cumstances. Accordingly, films from Iceland — and there are many of these — must have subtitles in English. By the same token a North American artist of Icelandic descent would be expected to include some Icelandic features in his perfor- mance or presentation. During most of its history the Festival may be said to have adhered quite closely to the above guidelines. One can only hope that they will be clearly reflected in every phase of our future Festivals. An ethnic culture, with its roots in North America and Iceland, is dif- ficult to define because not only is culture both varied and abstract in nature but subject to constant evolu- tion and change. What was perti- nent a few years ago may now have lost its validity. Because of this the task of the Icelandic Festival com- mittee is a difficult one. While its broader terms of reference remain clear, the fulfilment of these terms depends entirely on the enlighten- ment of its members. , H.B. Growing up on Lake Winnipeg A continuation of Danger on the Lake A. Did you ever run into any danger out fishing on this lake? It's supposed to be a dangerous lake. H. Oh, yeah. All kinds of times. I was on a boat one time it caught fire. There was nobody around. There was me and Toti Johnson fishing at Granite Quarry, and we go out in this old boat with an old car motor with a 20 or 30 gallon gas tank right by the motor, and here it backfired and it caught fire. So Toti didn't know what the heck to do and we started bailing water — and that's the worst thing you cán do is put water on a gas fire — and we started bailing with a pail and a 50 lb. box. We had the boat about half full of water. (I was only about six- teen or seventeen years old at that time and was fishing with Toti). So Lögberg - Heimskringla Published every Friday by LÖGBERG-HEIMSKRINGLA INCORPORATED 1400 Union Tower Building, 191 Lombard Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0X1 - Telephone 943-9945 EDITOR: Haraldur Bessason ASSISTANT EDITOR: Margrét Björgvinsdóttir ADVERTISING AND SUBSCRIPTIONS: jónas Þór REPRESENTATIVE IN ICELAND: Magnús Sigurjónsson Umboðsmaður blaðsins á íslandi Skólagerði 69 Kópavogi, Sími 40455 Pðsthólf 135 Reykjavík Typesetting, Proofreading and Printing — Typart Ltd. Subscription $15.00 per year - PAYABLE IN ADVANCE $20.00 in Iceland — Second class mailing rej»istration number 1667 — All donations to Lögberg-Heimskringla Inc. are tax deductible under Canadian laws. David Arnason's interview with Humph all of a sudden my parka — I had a parka on — all of a sudden I said to myself, geez — I took my parka off and I jumped on the motor and I shut the gas tank off and jumped on the motor with my parka and smothered the fire. Chris Arnason and Steve, they were way past, just about out of sight. We could see them, and they didn't even know that our boat caught fire. We had no life belts, no life boat, no fire ex- tinguisher or nothing on our boat. Not a thing. We couldn't even swim. That's nothing. Then I started the motor up again. I was the engineer. I started the motor up again and it caught fire again, but then I knew what to do and it didn't take me long to put the fire out. And then we started the motor up again and it worked good all day — never caught fire again. A. Did you get caught in bad storms from time to time? H. Oh, yeah. Hurricanes, 70 mile an hour wind. Inga can tell you that since she was in one. Well, I wasn't there, but I've been on a boat, out in the lake in a hurricane. My most ter- rible — well we were just out here — I just went out to lift my nets and my boat was empty and I had a 5 HP Johnson, and that was many, many years ago. In an old boat that Palmi Johanson used to build, those little skiffs you know. And I went out to lift — I think it was in the afternoon rey and Inga Olson — my boat was empty, just couple of empty boxes in it, and all of a sud- den she came from the southeast. Boy, just . . . and the waves were just like mountains in about two minutes and my boat just started go- ing in circles. I couldn't even steer it. The wind just took it and turned it around and I thought I would drown. I was close to shore, not that far out — I went straight out from the dock towards the north point — so I thought to myself, well I'll just jump out of the boat when I hit the shore — the southeast wind it was going on to shore, like1 — and these waves, Holy Christ, they were big- ger than a house. So I just — I was going to jump out — I was going to jump out of the boat when it hit the shore. You know it would smash the boat all to pieces, and the motor and everything. Them were big waves. But then all of a sudden it cleared up and lulled a little bit and I got into the wind and I was right out here, about ^rom this line here, and it took me an hour and a half to get to the dock. An hour and a half. It was, oh, about three blocks. I went backwards sometimes. Sometimes I'd go backwards and then I'd go a little bit ahead, then I'd go backwards . . . Oh, Agnes, Mable and Becky. You got to watch when they come, boy. Sometimes Becky, she's the last one, and boy when she Continued on page 18



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