My friend Jon Grinde once told me that he asked one of our senior members the purpose of Torske Klubben. This venerable member, who had been participant for many years, meditated for a moment, looked at Jon, and stated joyously in good Norse-accented English: Torske Klubben serves no purpose whatever!
Bravo. The key words for Torske Klubben appear to be Camaraderie, Friendship, Enjoyment. For me in the nearly twenty years of my membership in this group of fine, interesting, and distinguished men who share a Norwegian-American heritage and a keen interest in the preservation of our heritage, that has been made abundantly clear. And yet underlying this has been a serious purpose for our group as well, our support of Vesterheim, and our current interest in our satellite organization The Torske Klubben Foundation which among its manifold purposes is that of scholarships for Americans studying in Norway, and Norwegian Students studying here.
The club has flourished under the excellent leadership of my predecessor bosses: our founder Eugene Nordby, his successors Trygve Lonnebotn, and Paul Larson. I deem it a high honor to have been asked by them to now become Torske Klubben Boss. Theirs are big shoes to fill. I promise to try to grow feet large enough to do it. My motto and guide:Torske Klubben first! Let it grow and flourish!
It's an honor to be your boss. What a great treasure we have with the Madison Torske Klubben.
Our club was founded in 1978 after a group of our founders traveled to Minneapolis to visit the Minneapolis Torske Klubben. Under the leadership of Boss Nordby and Boss Lonnebotn the club has flourished and been a source of camaraderie, good food, good spirits and good humor (with a few bad jokes).
We have heard many marvelous talks by presenters with an incredible variety of topics. We have heard an incredible number of intelligent and pertinent questions posed by our members who each have their own wealth of experiences. We also have the honor of participating in our relatively new philanthropic organization, the Torske Klubben Foundation. We look forward to what the Foundation can do to further our principles.
In short, it's a pleasure to meet with you on Torske Klubben Saturdays and to celebrate our common Norwegian heritage. We have a wonderful organization and it should be shared.
Time Flies -- and we don't have to take our watch on an airplane ride to know that it is true. Numerous gatherings of eating poached cod fish, nipping a little aquavit and enjoying the camaraderie of our Club!
I want to give thanks to our Boss Emeritus - Gene Nordby - for, along with the other founding members, taking the initiative to start our club and for guiding us through the the years.
I also want to recognize the Minneapolis Torske Klubben, who provided the model for our club, for their support over the years.
And I would be remiss if I didn't thank all of our members for contributing to and maintaining the unique spirit of our club.
As we look to the future we will strive to maintain and improve -- if possible on the spirit of friendship and camaraderie. We will also continue to support Vesterheim, our chosen philanthropy.
The continuing prosperity and growth of the Madison Torske Klubben over 15 years is testimony to the dedication of the members to their ethnic heritage and a camaraderie founded on a common interest in poached codfish and congeniality. Having the same "Boss" over this period is testimony to their tolerance!
Perhaps a major factor in the loyalty of members to the group is the fact that all have sought to be participants, not solicited. The Madison Club keeps us comfortable and well fed, an ideal "home" for the Torske Klubben. We appreciate the model provided by the Minneapolis Torske Klubben, from which we have built.
Our Philanthropy in supporting Vesterheim parallels the growth of the club and is a factor in the acceptance of Honorary Membership by H.M. King Harald V. We welcome His Majesty.
A faithful core of officers and committeemen have guided the club well. If you think things improve with just the passage of time, attend a class reunion!