Thursday, January 15, 2009

Getting to Know…District 8 International Director Ernst Granly

Q: How did you hear about the Norwegian arm of Sons of Norway? It was still relatively new when you joined…

A: I knew Sons of Norway from my younger years because my father’s brother was a founding member of a lodge in Flint. He immigrated to the US in 1927, first living in Minnesota, and then later in Flint.

Q: Why did you join?

A: In 1984 I saw an ad in the local newspaper that Sons of Norway was going to have a meeting to see if there were enough members to start a new lodge. I joined at that meeting and became a member of what would become Eidsvold lodge 8-009, which will celebrate its 25 year anniversary this year.

Q: What leadership positions have you held within the organization?

A: I went from being a board member in Eidsvold lodge to president and stayed there for several years. Then I became District 8 President for a few years before I became an International Director.

Q: Which ones did you like the most?

A: All of the positions I have had and have now have been very interesting.

Q: How do you think the Norwegian and North American lodges differ?

A: We live in the Old Country but we’re influenced by the Norway of today as far as lodge activities are concerned. We don’t have the insurance component of Sons of Norway in this country, so culture and heritage are the most important parts of lodge work. It would be nice to see a little more interest from our Sons of Norway friends in Canada in the US in modern Norway.

Q: What do you like best about Sons of Norway?

A: Vennskap og kunnskap – friendship and knowledge.

Q: What is your favorite traditional Norwegian dish?

A: Norwegian pancakes and fried meat.

Q: What is your favorite American traditional dish?

A: Turkey dinner.

Q: What do you like to do when not working for Sons of Norway?

A: Local politics for many years, the fight against drunk driving and we run a small family business that demands more than the usual amount of work. Besides that I was a communications officer (lieutenant) in the Norwegian Home Guard for 34 years, but I’ve retired from that now. I was also chairman of the local church council here in Råholt for 12 years.

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