HISTORY

The original concept of a Torske Klubb started in the 1933 in Minnesotta as a place for Norwegians to gather and converse in their native language.  It was initially a members-only, men’s club promoting and preserving Norwegian cultural heritage.  Soon after, Torskeklubben's goal was to lend aid to Norway after World War II. 

The first Torskeklubben (Codfish Club) meeting in Edmonton was held at the Scandinavian Centre on Tuesday, February 3, 1970.  Sig Sorenson brought back the idea from a trip to Minneapolis.  Dr. Chester Ronning, a world-famous diplomat, was the first guest speaker; and Harvey Haugen-Boss was elected as the first Bas (or President) of the club.

From the beginning, the club was an excellent channel for socialization and networking.  It formed a strong and supportive group, looking out for its members, whilst sharing unique talents, assets and resources with one another.  The club afforded a sense of belonging and inclusion, while celebrating a culture that brings richness to the fabric of our Country.  This all still stands true today.

Membership was initially set at 50 in 1970; but because of the long waiting list, it was later raised to 75.  Members were also formerly required to be members of the Sons of Norway and help support their projects.

Torskeklubben meetings have always been held on the first Tuesday of the month (except July and August).  They started as lunch meetings with suit and tie; but were later moved to the evening and now a more casual atmosphere.

Meetings always began with a social hour, a welcome speech by the Bas, then followed by a traditional meal, and a guest speaker.  The menu has stayed the same over the years—flatbread, rye bread, pickled herring, codfish, boiled potatoes and carrots, melted butter, mustard sauce, and Linie aquavit.  During the early years, the Sons of Norway Ladies Sewing Club prepared the meal.

An interesting guest speaker of the membership’s choice, has always been a highlight of every meeting since the club’s inception, be it “Blacksmithing in the Viking Age”, “Beekeeping”, or “The Story of ABBA”.

The Scandinavian Centre in Edmonton was home to Torskeklubben of Edmonton for many years.  Unfortunately in 1981, the Centre was sold and Torskeklubben was forced to find a new home.  Over the years, meetings have been held in various place across the City:  the Ottewell Community Centre, Banquet House, Club 386, Edmonton Inn, Jasper Place Legion, Old Timer’s Cabin, Saxony Hotel, The Mill (Gasthaus), and The Petroleum Club.  When the Petroleum Club closed in 2014, the club moved to the Chateau Nova on Yellowhead. 

It has always been the longstanding mission of Torskeklubben to support, assist and promote education in Scandinavian languages and culture.  In 1979, it was a unanimous decision of the Club to incorporate under the Societies Act of the Province of Alberta.  Among the advantages of incorporation, is the fact that cultural grants for the continuation of the Language Arts and Culture Camps would be easier to secure.  The club’s community involvement continued to grow, as charitable gaming proceeds from managing biennial casino events recurrent investment back into valuable Edmonton organizations.

In 2018, the Edmonton Torskeklubben evolved with the times to include MEN AND WOMEN of ALL BACKGROUNDS, who enjoy fellowship and learning about Scandinavian culture. 

 

BAS HONOUR ROLL

1970 - Harv Haugen

1971 - Inge Anderson

1972 - Sig Sorenson

1973-74 - Anders Anderson

1975 - Doug Peterson

1976 - Ross Fowler (w/Kris Nyhus, Wally Broen and Victor Lillo)

1977 - Wally Broen

1978 - Ellsworth Halberg

1979-80 - Ken Domier 

1981 - Sev Berge

1982-83 - Kaare Askildt 

1984 - Gary Johnson

1985-86 - Kåre Hellum 

1987-88 - Roald Enokson

1989-90 - Gene Bolstad

1991-92 - Kris Nyhus 

1993-94 - Al Berg

1995-96 - Dale Johnson

1997-98 - John Evjen 

1999-2000 - Glen Finstad

2001-02 - Lee Bjorgum

2003-04 - Harald Westberg 

2005-06 - Peter Juliebø

2007-08 - Roger Bruce

2009-10 - Arnie Lund

2011-12 - Chad Gjertsen

2013-15 - Colin Anderson

2016-17 - Stephen Schless

2018-19– John Kristensen   

2020 - Kaare Boraas

ROY SUNDBY
SPIRIT OF TORSKEKLUBBEN AWARD

1995 - Gary Johnson

1996 - Ken Domier

1997 - Al Letendre 

1998 - Sev Berge

1999 - Al Berg

2000 - Bernie Olafson

2001 - Glen Finstad

2002 - John Evjen

2003 - Bob Ardiel

2004 - Dale Johnson

2005 - Lee Bjorgum

2006 - Ellsworth Halberg

2007 - Verner Steinbru

2008 - Lou Broten

2009 - Roger Bruce

2010 - Peter Juliebo

2010 -  Peter Julibø

2011 – Harald Westberg

2012 – Christopher Hale

2013 – Kris Nyhus

2014 – Arnie Lund

2015 – Chad Gjertsen

2016 – Doug Peterson

2017 – Colin Anderson

2018 – Roald Enokson

2019 – John Kristensen