Saturday, September 27, 2008

Getting to Know...International Secretary Audun Guthfeldt

We've got another great installment of the Getting to Know... series from Nichole Neuman. This time she interviewed our International Secretary Audun Gythfeldt. We hope you enjoy it and have a great weekend!

Audun Gythfeldt joined Sons of Norway in 1981 and has never looked back. With an unparalleled enthusiasm, Audun has undertaken all aspects of lodge, district and international membership and leadership. Most recently, at the International Convention in San Diego, he was elected to International Secretary. Want to know more about Herr Gythfeldt? Read on!

Q: What was the impetus for you to join Sons of Norway?

A: When I finally settled [I] knew about Sons of Norway because my sister had been over here since the 60s and had joined for the travel program. So, I knew about Sons of Norway and thought it might be good to have a group of Norwegians.

Furthermore, Audun said, it was about connecting with other Norwegians in the area; “to get roots in the community.”

Q: What do you think is a distinguishing feature of the 3rd District?

A: Land of the Vikings – what we have that is different than anywhere else. It is important because there are a lot of gatherings and a youth camp up there.
So, it’s a place for a the district to come together?
Yes, it’s still supported by the entire district, the Floridians, even though not everyone can easily get up there.

One other thing we have that none other has and that’s our Viking boat. Three regattas a year.

Q: What’s one thing you’d like to see changed or added to Sons of Norway?

A: Something that we need to do. I belong to two own is a large lodge and I’m looking at the participation of membership and such. Only a small portion are active in coming to meetings and that. We need to do something to increase membership. My other lodge gets a ton of people to their meetings.

It is a general factor that it’s a small percentage of members that are really active. We’re trying to work on programs more than anything.

More important than that, I think, is to get the young people involved -- that gap from 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 to 40s…

Q: What do you receive from taking part in SoN international leadership?

A: I’ve been involved in organizational life right back to high school days. Once I get into things, I really get into things. I joined in December 1981 and come elections the following September, I was approached for office and it just went on from there.

I believe very strongly in Sons of Norway and feel very gratified that I can take part in leadership.

Q: When did you emigrate from Norway? From where / why?

A: I came over here in 1972 for a job in the United Nations. That was to be a temporary thing and I went back to Norway a few yers later. Then I came back in 1980 and knew then we’d stay here.

Prior to that, Audun lived in Oslo working for the government.

Q: What is your favorite Norwegian food?

A: får i kål (mutton in cabbage)

Q: Favorite Norwegian drink?

A: What’s truly Norwegian? Aquavit, yeah, it’s ok… aquavit is nice, but I’m not aquavit crazy, either…

Q: Favorite Norwegian folk song?

A: I have 2 favorite songwriters. Erik Bye, he’s written some really great songs, and Alf Prøysen. If you want to include Sweden, we could include Everert Thaube. He has some fantastic waltzes!

Look forward to a profile from our treasurer in two weeks!


vikinglady said...

Nicole, What lodges did Audun Guthfeldt belong to? Mariann Leversen-Erlenbach
Leif Erikson Lodge 5-097, Chicago, Illinois.

Sons of Norway said...

Thanks for your comment, Mariann. We'll try to get you that info next week, once we are back in the office.

Anonymous said...

Hei Mariann!
Audun says: "I became a member of Nor-Bu Lodge 3-427 in 1981 and that is still my lodge. When I moved to the Poconos in Pennsylvania last year, I joined Bernt Balchen 3-566 as an affiliate member. And those are the only two lodges I have belonged to."

Ha det!