Daughters of Norway invite Nordic Women to cultural program

At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nordic ladies are invited to attend the organizational meeting for the Daughters of Norway in Minot. The cultural program is a presentation by Jill Beatty entitled, “Who Was Harriet Backer?”

Harriet Backer, who was born Jan. 21, 1845, and died March 25, 1932, was a Norwegian painter who achieved recognition in her own time and was a pioneer among female artists both in the Nordic countries and in Europe in general. She is best known for her detailed interior scenes, communicated with rich colors and exquisite lighting.

The Daughters of Norway would like Nordic ladies to join them in the South Room of the Minot Library as they look at the works of this extraordinary Norwegian artist. Refreshments will be served.

In more exciting news, the Minot ladies are to choose their lodge namesake and would like Nordic ladies to be a part of the history.

Part of the lodge organizing process is choosing a namesake for the lodge. Sue Summers, Marla Berentsen, and Kendra Clementich serve on the naming committee. During the meeting, they will tell about their three choices. Potential members will have the opportunity to vote for Minot’s new Daughters of Norway lodge name.

The woman for whom the lodge is named is a role model for the lodge women. She is a prominent or extraordinary Norwegian woman of importance to Norwegian culture and history, or a Norwegian-born woman who then immigrated to America, or a first generation Norwegian-American woman all of whom made significant contributions to society.

One of these women will be the lodge “namesake” and evoke a sense of pride in the type of work and accomplishments she made in her life, as well as the recognition she received during or after her lifetime. Many women have done extraordinary things, and faced many challenges in their lives, and to have the next lodge named after them will be an honor indeed.

The three choices are Mina Andy Aasen, Aasta Hansteen and Amalie Skram.

Mina Andy Aasen

Mina Andy Aasen who lived from 1890 to 1974. She was born April 19, 1890, in Willmar, Minn., to Norwegian immigrants parents. Mina was 100 percent Norwegian as both her parents came over from Norway. She was a farm girl who did not want to be a farm wife. She did not graduate from high school and only finished 8th grade.

Aasen trained as a nurse at Columbus Hospital, Great Falls, Mont. She entered the U.S. Army Nurse Corps at Great Falls on July 11, 1918, and served as a nurse in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in World War I and in the Philippine Islands as a prisoner-of-war of the Japanese in WWII for three years. She was one of the 66 nurses who were referred to as the “Angels of Bataan.”

Following her release from the Army, she resided in San Francisco to serve and recuperate, where she took up painting. She was a wonderful painter and she loved traveling and touring. She returned to Minot in 1967 to be near family. She died in 1974 and is buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Minot.

There have been several books written about the nurses who lived through this ordeal. The Angels of Bataan and Corregidor are remembered as heroic women who showed loyalty to being a nurse at war. These 66 women labored vigorously to heal wounded soldiers and civilians under duress, surviving jungle conditions, bombings, supply shortages, and a three year POW term on the Bataan Peninsula. Their story is unknown to most, as they are the first women to experience combat.

Aasen never married.

Aasta Hansteen

Aasta Hansteen lived from 1824 to 1908. She was a painter and in high demand for her portraits. She was also a writer and studied with the linguist Iver Aasen. In 1862 she published anonymously a small book written in Nynorsk and had the distinction of being the first woman to publish in this language.

As an early feminist she lived in the U.S. for nine years. Her experiences in the U.S. included the feminists movement, meeting some of the leaders of the time. Upon returning to Norway she joined the Norwegian Association and advocated for women’s rights there.

Amalie Skram

Amalie Skram lived from 1846 to 1905 and was a Norwegian author and feminist who gave voice to a woman’s point of view with her naturalist writing. She moved to Denmark in 1894 where she settled in Copenhagen with her husband, the Danish writer Erik Skram. She is considered one of the most important female writers of the Modern Breakthrough.

She is recognized as an early and strong proponent of what has come to be known as the women’s movement, setting the early European trend. Her works, which had generally been forgotten with her death, were rediscovered and received strong recognition in the 1960s. Several of her works are currently available in recent translations to English.

The Minot Public Library, is located at 516 2nd Avenue SW, Minot. Potential members interested in attending this event should call Sue at 838-5710 or send an email to norskjill@gmail.com.

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