This past year has been very interesting in many ways. Early in the New Year our pastor had come back from her New Years Holiday in Denmark, claiming that she and David had gotten married while in Denmark, of course we knew about that before they left. The strange thing was that David was a no show. Enough said about that already.
Among the highlights of the year was the visit by Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark. We had the rare opportunity to meet the Princess two times. First at a reception in the Scandinavian Center. A couple of days after that our Church was filled to capacity on that midweek day around noon on April 25, 2008. Beforehand we had been notified that the visit would be very brief, due to the heavy workload the Princess had during her Girl Scout visit here in Vancouver. After being welcomed at the entrance to the Church, the Princess was then introduced to some of the board members, who had shown up for that rather important occasion. At the ceremony in the Church the Princess was first bid welcome by the Church board president, followed by a longer welcome speech by our Pastor Bodil Toftdahl. Afterwards downstairs the Princess was introduced to some of the fancy delicacies the auxiliaries ladies had made for the royal visit. Everybody also had a chance to visit with the Princess, and some had stories to tell, like old memories of meeting the Princess earlier in life. On leaving the Princess was shown our Memorial Walk, but what had her startled the most was our anemones. She said that she had never seen any that large in her life. I let her know that we have warmer temperatures here than in Denmark
A visit was planned to see the Dania Home, but was canceled because of an influenza outbreak; instead the Dania Manor was visited. It so happened that the residents were having their midday meal at that time. Here the Princess was presented with a bouquet of flowers by one of the residents. The Princess then took time out to go around and give everyone a handshake.
In the month of June we were visited by a group of Folkdancers from the island of Fyn in Denmark, thank you David for getting them to visit us.
In July it was time to welcome the Camarata Choir from Copenhagen Denmark.
It was also David who caught a group of gymnasts from Ollerup Gymnastic Highschool on Fyn in Denmark. This group had been performing somewhere else, and David managed to get them here for a mini show. They were at that time on their way to Hawaii and did not have any of their equipment available. They jumbled and tumbled around for us for about one hour. When it was time for them to go back to the parsonage, where they were staying for the few days they were here; most of them refused a lift and instead took off running home to their sleeping bags. Yes, I must say that they all were in very good condition. Again the Thank You goes out to David.
It seems to me that there most likely has been more entertainment from visitors during the year, perhaps my old brain is playing tricks with me, it’s about time anyway. If I have forgotten anything please search your own brain.
Our two yearly work parties were as usual well represented by many volunteers, and afterwards everything was spic and span again. After Poul Erik came home from his around world tour in the summer, he managed to get the last part of the Church outside walls painted. That should do it for a while for repairs to the building. Thank you Poul Erik.
During the year we were also happy to have a volunteer from Denmark, for a number of weeks, never can get enough help. Thank you Johnny for showing up when you did. Another volunteer is expected this fall, he has promised to stay for 6 months. He has obtained a work visa, so perhaps he will get a paying job, I myself hope not.
Plans for a renovation of our kitchen began sometime after our last AGM. Several suggestions have come forward, among them also a proposal for an elevator (a size like this is named a lift), something that would be greatly used by our aging population. Final cost has not been determined jet. You will all have a say in that later on this evening.
Then came the Christmas season, and the weather changed for the worst we have seen in many years. The snow kept coming down, hardly anybody were able to attend Church services during the Christmas and New Year holiday. Our Christmas trees were decorated as usual, but hardly anybody saw them this time around. A big Thank You goes out to those of you who showed up. On the first Sunday in the New Year it was so bad we decided to cancel that day’s service. Pastor Morten Larsen from Granly Church was one who was happy with that cancellation. He would have had a hard time to manage to serve both Churches in those weather conditions.
Our pastor’s energy spilled over at one time during the year, when she decided that we should have a youth choir. It’s happening with the help og our organist Janet Mowatt. The youth choir members do get paid whenever they sing in the Church; not much, but enough to get them interested. I am of the understanding that if we can gather up 10 in total, that that would be a goal. Perhaps our pastor will also talk about that when that time comes.
Our former Church Choir now calls themselves The Tivoli Singers. They have taken a step forward after they got a new choirmaster. Can’t wait to see what you are going to do when Elisabeth goes back to Denmark in a year’s time? Is there someone who can take over that responsibility? Don’t really want to see you fall apart.
Another add on this year was The New Danish Film Club. Our pastor wanted us to see some of the new Danish films. Until now we have been satisfied with viewing the older Danish films from the time we remember. I am talking about us oldies, who arrived here half a century ago.
And then I must not forget the Valentine’s Dinner and Dance at the Scandinavian Center on Valentines Day in February. On that occasion we also had a mini auction, which turned out to be valuable addition to that evening.
With that I will say thank you, and my hope is that I have served you well for the last two years as president for our Church Board. Age and other problems are the reason for not continuing for another two years.
Thank you for listening.
Flemming Christiansen, President.