With song, dinner and drink, the Norden Club of Jamestown marked the traditional Swedish last celebration of Christmas at the Elks Club on Wednesday night - though there was talk of the holiday lasting until Easter.
Making the evening event all the more special was its featured guest, H. E. Jonas Hafstrom, the Swedish ambassador to the United States. Hafstrom was introduced at the event by Norden Club President Chip Johnson, who listed the diplomat's service record - which from Stockholm has taken him from Iran and Thailand to his current position as Swedish ambassador to the United States.
"The club is legendary and I have long wanted to visit Jamestown in general and the Norden Club in particular," Hafstrom said, starting his remarks. "Now it happened with the help of an invitation for Tjugondedag Knut and a lot of e-mails from my old friend."
Acknowledging that a one-day visit was not enough, Hafstrom pledged to return to the city - specifically for a midsummer celebration soon, which members of the audience called for.
"We have certainly had a most stimulating and impressive day of orientation about Swedish heritage here in Jamestown in different forms," Hafstrom said of him and his wife. "Industry, culture, civic life and a visit to the Swedish consulate, of course, Jamestown Community College and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute among other things. I am, as you all can understand, tremendously glad and impressed to see that it is so alive up here still today."
A video of the ambassador's full remarks can be found online with this story at www.post-journal.com, as can videos of Johnson's introduction and other happenings from the Tjugondedag Knut celebration. As the featured guest, Hafstrom was presented with an honorary life membership to the Norden Club of Jamestown.
The Swedish ambassador to the United States, H. E. Jonas Hafstrom, was the special guest Wednesday at the Norden Club of Jamestown’s Tjugondedag Knut celebration — the traditional Swedish last celebration of Christmas.
P-J photo by Nicholas L. Dean
"I think tonight was a great night," Johnson said following the event's conclusion. "A very festive atmosphere here, with everybody in attendance. The members were really looking forward to it and what a great way to end the Swedish Christmas season, to have the ambassador of Sweden here. It was a great night and we're just privileged to have him here."