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From the President Q13-2


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Syrene Forsman

We bring you greetings from the President of Finland, the Ambassador to Washington DC, the Consul General to New York, and the Ambassador to Canada. Each visited our exhibit at FinnFest 2004 in Lake Worth, Florida and congratulated the Society on our work. We owe our thanks to George and Judy Miller who joined Don and me as we flew the exhibit to Florida, set it up, and staffed the booth. Trips to Scandinavian festival locations are made at the expense of the participants, not SFHS.

The exhibit, "What Did Finland Give to the US?" was answered with the words "Ingenuity," "Hard Work," "Courage," "Vision," and "Drive." Thanks to suggestions by many, in particular the staff at SFHS' office, “Norden” editor Erik Hermans, and June Pelo, more than 50 people descended from Swedish-speaking Finland were featured. Printed information and images covered the twelve 2'x2' panels. Some were historic figures while others are still alive and active, such as retired Colonel Glen Granskog. The Colonel and his friends were pleasantly surprised by the military section. His wife and son had secretly submitted photos and text which I was then able to incorporate into our display.

I derived great pleasure in developing the display, and took pride in the accomplishments of Swedish- Finn immigrants. However, I know that for every person included on the display there are perhaps a thousand who were missed. Their destinies, to be fair, need to be recorded and archived for the benefit of future generations. Names like Dick Enberg (Superbowls), and Gustave Niebaum (Inglenook) aren't automatically linked with their Swedish Finn heritage and should be

No one person can know them all, but with your help with sending brief notes about these people, SFHS can collect a substantial amount of missing information. All it takes is a stamp and a bit of your time to write the material down or, send us a name to contact for information, and we will do the research.

Our Annual Meeting speaker, Hasse Nygård, is also the SFHS webmaster. He has suggested developing an interactive website that could receive your anecdotes on persons or topics. Then, if someone else has additional notes, they can add their information to that topic. All the material could then be archived in a searchable database online. It could be "Instant Oral History" without needing an interview. I think this is a great idea. What do you think? Contact Hasse at http://finlander.genealogia.fi or through

This is my last message as your President. However, I will continue to do educational outreach which is so dear to my heart. Your support and interest in SFHS and your personal pride in the Swedish Finn heritage sustain me as it does the entire archival staff.

My last words are: "Go and multiply the membership."

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