Art Arthur Anderson art-fart artnscience-(at)-yahoo.com
I found this blurb on "Siddis" a web page for Stavanger Norway and the Sons of Norway. I left Stavanger on the 28th at 11 am and just missed her!!!!
July 28, 2000
It took two airplanes to get her to the Island of Karmoy in the North Sea, off the western coast of Norway, recounted Kay Lande Selmer of Grymes Hill, longtime professional singer and former radio performer.
That's where she recently presented the first of three concerts she was invited to give by the Kobberverket's Venner (Friends of the Copperworks) in the garden of Charles DeFrance, the engineer and head of the mining company that purchased the land where the copper used in the Statue of Liberty was found in 1865 on property previously owned by her great-grandfather.
The concert took place on "Bergmann's Dag" (Miner's Day) in remembrance of all the miners who worked and died in the mine, she explained.
"In those days, all the copper was taken out of the mine by hand with hammer and chisel," Mrs. Selmer said, adding that she felt touched and honored when she was asked to place a memorial wreath at the foot of the statue of a copper miner which stands outside the Visnes Museum and which was once used as the copper mine's office, circa 1865.
Her program consisted of songs which she sang in both Norwegian and English, including two she wrote herself, "They Came With Dreams" and "Our Statue of Liberty."
Following the program, she presented the Friends of the Copperworks with a flag imprinted with the image of the Statue of Liberty in red, white and blue, the colors of the American, Norwegian and French flags, to be flown on the tall flagpole at the mine where the American and Norwegian flags already waved in the cold North Sea winds.
Later, on Midsummer Day (St. Hans' Day), she traveled by bus and ferry in and out of the fjords to the city of Stavanger.
"All of Norway was celebrating the June 23 holiday by building huge bonfires at the edge of the fjords to celebrate the longest day of the year," she recounted, adding, "After a sudden rainstorm, the midnight sun came out and shone brightly all night. It was breathtaking."
The third concert was in the auditorium of the International School in Stavanger.
"I felt very proud to tell my audience that my parents sailed from Stavanger to America in 1923 and came through Ellis Island."
This time, she noted, her program included songs her father, the late Baard Visnes Lande, sang to her and her sister, Annie, about his loneliness for his family in Norway and the treacherous trip across the Atlantic. Another was an old Norwegian hymn, the title of which translates as "I Am a Sailor on the Sea of Life."
Mrs. Selmer has also been invited by the Norwegian Immigration Association (N.I.A.) to repeat the performance she presented in April on Ellis Island, when she sang for the king and queen of Norway for the opening of the exhibit on "Norwegians in New York 1825-2000, Builders of City, Community and Culture," which will run through October.
Her repeat performance will be Aug. 5 on Ellis island, when the N.I.A. will celebrate "Churches and Charitable Organizations Day," representing all the institutions begun by Norwegians, she said.
Also attending will be the Rev. William E. Bogholtz, pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church, West Brighton, which Mrs. Selmer tells us is the oldest Norwegian Lutheran church on Staten Island.
Visit the StatNislander's Photo Album and my Osmund Osmundsen Panama Canal Builder from Stavanger
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