March/Mars 2014 Volume 1, Issue 5
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The online newsletter for  
The Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle

Message from our President:
Thank you for the honor to serve as your President this year 2014. The Icelandic Board has met twice since the elections in January. We have a remarkable group of trustees and officers. We have events ahead where we are hoping you will join us. The April event will be a tea where former Princesses and Fjallkonaʼs will encourage young ladies to groom themselves to be a princess for the Icelandic Club as they grow.

In May, we will have the Norwegian 17th of May parade. Our princess and alternate will ride in a convertible and others can walk behind. If you would like to walk behind the car and hand out candy to the children along the way, we invite you to join us. It IS a long walk so wear good shoes!!!

June 17th will be our Independence Day celebration at the Nordic Museum. More particulars will follow so watch for that. We will award our scholarships, announce our new princess and introduce the alternate, as well as introduce our new Fjallkona. At last years celebration, I am told someone took the headdress, veil and jewelry for the Fjallkona costume home for safe keeping. Will the person who was responsible please let me know where that is? We will need it for the June 17th this year. Thank you.

We will keep you informed when the next few months events happen so check the web-site, the Facebook account and your e-mail. If you have any information to pass on, have any comments, or want to volunteer, please let us know. You can reach me by phone 

(206) 713-0716 or e-mail -

Emily Kristjanson

Seattle Þorrablót features Icelandic band Ylja
By: Julie Summers, Vancouver, WA
The club hosted a lively Þorrablót celebration on Saturday, February 22. With plenty of food, music, and conversation, this midwinter feast in rainy Seattle was a warm, joyful evening for all who attended.
Held at the Nordic Heritage Museum, the event drew a diverse crowd of over 150 people, including long-time club members, local Iceland enthusiasts, Icelandic college students studying at nearby universities, and even a few members of the Vancouver, B.C. Icelandic club.
Chef Kristín Ósk Gestsdóttir, who has worked at famed Icelandic restaurants Lækjarbrekka and 3 Frakkar, prepared a feast of traditional foods. Guests piled their plates high with everything from hrútspungar to harðfiskur, rúgbrauð to mashed rutabagas, and washed it all down with libations from the bar, which featured Reyka vodka and a signature Blue Lagoon cocktail.  While guests enjoyed the feast, they were treated to a performance by up-and-coming Icelandic band Ylja. After playing a set of tunes from their self-titled debut album (released in November 2012), 
Ylja led the crowd in a singalong of traditional Icelandic songs. Later, a DJ took over, and a small but energetic crowd danced until closing time.
Longtime Seattleite Greg Higgins, an Icelandic music enthusiast who enjoys studying the Icelandic language, has attended several Þorrablót events in Seattle and said he always enjoys trying the food, meeting new people, and hearing guests speak Icelandic. "The club did such a great job in arranging for [Ylja] to appear," he said of this year's event.
Formed by guitarist-singers Gígja Skjaldardóttir and Bjartey Sveinsdóttir in 2008, Ylja has recently garnered attention for their lush acoustic folk harmonies. This was the band's first gig in the United States. While they were in town, they also stopped by Seattle radio station KEXP, widely known to be supportive of Icelandic music, to record an in-studio set.
ICGS trustee and former president Sonna Somerville-Ghilarducci said the club's goal for this year's event was to welcome a younger audience by inviting Ylja and keeping ticket costs down. The strategy seems to have worked; at last year's Þorrablót, there were about ten people under the age of 30, and this year, there were 40. Somerville-Ghilarducci said organizers received very positive feedback from attendees.

Photos by Amanda Allen

Bjartey Sveinsdóttir, Gígja Skjaldardóttir and Valgarð Hrafnsson of Ylja

Jon Palmasson, Linda Russo, and Icelandic Princesses, Jenny Bjarnason and Hannah Hopkins announce raffle winners. Two lucky folks went home with roundtrip tickets to Iceland donated by Icelandair.

Ylja leading the audience in the singing of Traditional Icelandic folks songs.

A small but lively crowd enjoyed dancing until the end of the night. 

Russell Crowe films Noah epic on location in Iceland with Darren Aronofsky
click on photo to read full article


In Memoriam:

Dr. John Fredrik Johanson

6/16/1924 – 3/2/2014

John passed away peacefully on March 2, 2014 in Bellevue, WA, with family by his side. He was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, the son of Fred and Margaret Johanson.
Prior to attending college, John served in the Canadian Army Medic division. John graduated from the University of Manitoba Medical School in Family Medicine. After interning in Winnipeg, John then did a surgical residency in Regina. Thereafter, John and Shirley went to Cavalier, North Dakota where he practiced medicine for 12 years. In 1963, John moved his family to Bellevue, WA where he practiced at the Overlake Medical Clinic, Overlake Hospital and Interlake Medical Center until his retirement after 50 years. John also served as the Medical Director for PACCAR for 9 years and was a member of King County Medical Society. John had a passion for medicine and love of people.
In so many ways, John lived life to the fullest. He enjoyed traveling all over the world and felt privileged to have served on two medical missions in Central America. John was a pilot, a Mason, and an accomplished athlete playing both baseball and hockey, and was a scuba diver, runner, and skier. True to his Viking heritage, John loved being outdoors (especially when it was sunny!) and taking trips with family. Throughout the years and especially after retiring, John especially enjoyed golfing and boating

Rósa Sigurðardóttir Jóhannesson 

Rósa Sigurðardóttir Jóhannesson, 78, of Lynnwood, WA, died Monday, February 24.
Rosa was born to Sigurður Gíslason and Jósefína Gudný Björgvinsdóttir, February 19, 1936, in Reykjavik, Iceland.  After high school graduation Rósa earned a Bachelor´s degree from The National Theatre School of Iceland in 1957. She married Gunnar Johannesson June 16, 1956, and they lived together in Reykjavik, Iceland, before relocating to Seattle in 1978.

Rósa was an actress with The Icelandic National Theatre for many years.  She went on to  work in the retail industry in Iceland as a department manager and the proprietor of her own store.  In Seattle she was an event manager for a law firm until her retirement in 1997. Rosa was also the ICGS´s Fjallkona in 1982.

Upcoming events to keep in mind:

April 26th ~ President's Tea
Time & Location TBD

May 15th-18th ~ 95th annual INLNA Convention
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

May 17th ~ Syttende Mai
 Norwegian Parade
Ballard, WA

June 17th ~ Icelandic Idependence Day
Nordic Heritage Museum, Ballard, WA

Stay up to date with news and current events in Iceland!


Your monthly Geysir online newsletter is designed and produced by ICGS board member Amanda Allen. Please contact her with any questions, comments, obituaries or content suggestions at

Amanda at the top of Mt. Esja outside Reykjavik June 2012