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About The Bridal Gown by Carl D. Kolset When Nordfjordlaget i America at its stevne in Fargo in 1933 received such a grand gift in the form of a complete bridal dress from the Firda Youth Society, it can in all truth be said that this came to us as a total surprise, that it took time for us to actually believe that this was reality and not just a dream. I had actually some idea that this could be a possibility, but the reality of such a gift seemed incomprehensible. It was difficult to think that the thought should actually become reality. I really wanted to tell everyone about it, but was under a promise of secrecy and naturally had to keep quiet. To get a clear idea of the circumstances which led up to the receipt of this beautiful bridal dress, it's necessary to go back a couple years in time. Often from time to time at the stevnes it was discussed how fine it would be if we could procure a Nordfjord bridal dress, but this remained basically blissful thinking on our part. However in 1931, at the stevne in Glenwood, Minnesota, the thought was officially put in the form of a motion by Anders Hole of Beaver Bay, Minnesota, and after a short but lively discussion, the motion was approved in favor of the idea. A committee was chosen to work further with the idea and report at the next stevne. The committee's members were Anders Holde and Ole I. Steen. These men carried out the direction of the members and reported back at the next stevne in Bricelyn in 1932, what they had done and the results of the same. Mr. Ola Sande, Sandane, Nordfjord, had been a faithful help to them with the information they needed. They were informed that the price of a complete bridal dress was 750 kroner for one design and 1,100 for another. Unfortunately, the circumstances dictated that the purchase of the dress would have to wait for another time; but the committee stood and worked further with the idea. The Lag sent it's thanks to Ola Sande for the great interest he had shown in helping the committee with its work. Most of us thought that it would take a long time before we could move ahead to drum up enough interest to raise the money required to buy the bridal crown and make it a reality. That the committee and Ole I. Steen in particular, had done a fine job in corresponding with the Firda Youth Society chairman, Ola Sande, was apparent on the 6th of June, 1933 when the bridal dress arrived at the stevne meeting place in Fargo. I know that both men possess and abundance of diplomatic capabilities and their tact and discretion achieved this goal without misleading, but to repeat what my friend Steen wrote in his correspondence with Ola Sande would be futile at this point. One thing I do know though, and that is that the gift was received not only with happiness, but with an enthusiasm which is seldom seen in the calm and restrained Norwegian character. To speculate what occurred in the homes of the youth in Nordfjord during the summer of 1932 and the winter of 1933 would be interesting. What I do know with certainty is that a true spirit of love was shown to us Nordfjording emigrants. The generosity which was shown was so much larger and worthy of admiration when one considers that there were hard times then in Norway, too. It would be interesting to know each and every giver and be able to shake his hand and personally thank them for the gift, but that would be impossible. One thing I do know for sure, however, namely that Ola Sande could not make himself a more honorable memorial after 26 years' service as chairman in the Fridal Youth Society than just this gift to us emigrants. To describe the bridal crown or the individual parts of the bridal dress would better be the job of an artist. I will state, however, that goldsmith M. J. Hestenes, Bergen, is the man who created the crown and the other ornaments including a belt, all of silver and gold gilded. The crown weighs two pounds. The rest of the costume was made by women in Nordfjord and exemplified the high degree of art one finds among people of so high a skill as one finds among the farm homes in Norway. It was altogether natural that the bridal costume should be exhibited in Nordfjord before being sent to us. Ola Sande in his beautiful Nynorsk wrote that it was exhibited at the 17th of May festivities both in Sandane and Vereide in Gloppen. Photographer Lyslo photographed the bride, and a more beautiful bride has never been seen in Nordfjord. The photographs were sent as a gift to the Lag from Mr. Lyslo and the Lag sends him hearty thanks for these beautiful pictures. The enthusiastic celebration which was exhibited in Fargo is described in other parts of the book; but that the gift reached us in so short a time was the responsibility of others. Not one of the least of these is Minnesota Congressman John Paul Kvale and Pastor L. M. Gimmestad. Following is a copy of the invoice which was sent to the Firda Youth Society and the official document of receipt which accompanied the gift. In conclusion, I must say that as long as any of us live, we will always remember with gladness and thanks to our young friends in Nordfjord for their kindness and generosity which was shown us in this prized gift. Copy of original invoice of bridal costume sent from Bergen Original Merchandise not purchased Invoice 754 issued in triplicate, certified May 24, 1933. American Consular Service at Bergen : Dated May 25, 1933. Consignor : Firda Ungdomslag, Sandane, Nordfjord. Consignee Nordfjordlaget in America, Fargo, N. Dakota. Carrier: S/S Bergensfjord. Destination of goods: Fargo, N. Dak. Port of arrival: New York. Port of entry: Fargo, N. Dak. Amount of invoice kr. 60.00. Kind of goods: A Norwegian Bridal Costume made of 850/000 silver and dress hand made. Form 139 (Amended May, 1924). Declaration of shipper or his agent when the merchandise was shipped otherwise than in pursuance of a purchase or an agreement to purchase. I, M. J. Hestenes, Bergen, acting in the capacity described below, truly declare that Firda Ungdomslag (Sandane) of Sandane, Nordfjord, is the shipper of the merchandise in the within described invoice; that the merchandise is shipped otherwise than in pursuance of a purchase, or an agreement to purchase; that there is no other invoice differing from the within or attached invoice and that all statements contained herein and in such invoice are true and correct. I further declare that ……. and that it is intended to make entry of said merchandise at the port of Fargo, N. Dak., in the United States of America. Dated at Bergen this 25th day of May, 1933. (Shipper) Firda Ungdomslag. (Agent) M. J. Hestenes. (Seal : American Consulate, Bergen, Norway.) Consular Certificate. Form 140. Date May 24, 1933. Fee $2.50 U. S. Gold. B. A. Perkins, Vice Consul, U. S. A. Invoice of merchandise (not purchased) Bergen 25 of May 1933. Invoice of a Norwegian Bridal Costume shipped by Firda Ungdomslag, of Sandane, Nordfjord, to Nordfjordlaget in America of Fargo, N. Dak., U. S. A. -- or account of Firda Ungdomslag of Sandane, Nordfjord, to be shipped per S/S Bergensfjord. ......Full description of goods . . . . Value per unit Norwegian paper Currency. A Norwegian Brides Costume, made of 850/000 silver and dress handmade. Value kr. 6oo. Fargo, N. Dak., kr. 673. In the above value are included the following expenses: Freight to Fargo kr. 40. Insurance kr. 5 Packing kr. 15. Consular fee kr. 13. (Total) kr. 673. Weight: (net) Kilos: clothes 2.300 lbs.; cloths 5 lbs. 13., Silver 0.915, silver 0.915. 2 lbs. Kilos 16.8. Lbs. 36...... Signature of Shipper for Firda Ungdomslag, Sandane. By (authorized agent) M. J. Hestenes
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