|Landingslaget Norway 2000 Tour|
HILSEN FRA LANDS MUSEUM
av Alastair Brown
A year's planning finally culminated in five hectic days. As "D-Day" approached the museum's telephone and fax machine began to show distinct signs of melt down. From Dokka Vidergående school we borrowed a minibus that held a distinct resemblance to a first world war tank. Geir bravely climbed into it, and rolled off in the direction of Oslo. With our one mobile telephone (which Aud Sigrid had managed to confiscate from either a work colleague or a family member) we kept in contact with our advance guard in Oslo.
Confusion reigned on the evening before the Landingslaget's advance on Land. The weather forecast was dreadful, and there were long discussions about whether we should abandon the next day's programme at the museum and retreat to safety in Dokka cinema. It is at times like this that the true Landingen spirit reveals itself. Aud Sigrid checked our supplies of food and music, and encouraged Geir and myself to stand firm. Embattled but determined the decision was made: "The show must go on."
Tension was maintained right up to the decisive rendezvous at a picnic place beside Randsfjorden in Søndre Land. Confused repots indicated that the Landingslaget had split up, some would be arriving in their own vehicles, others, for some peculiar reason were waiting to be rescued from Gardermoen Airport, and the main body, to the driver's embarrasment, was way behind schedule because some of the passengers had managed to escape at a filling station and were busy looting postcards, chocolate and other movable items. Back at the museum the growing crowd was growing restless. Even more serious, the long awaited storm clouds were threatening to arrive before the Americans. This cased panic amongst those of us who had forgotten why one doesn't usually find people wearing Scottish kilts in cold and windy Norway.
Then a bus appeared, containing faces that looked just as nervous and confused as our own. The emigration jubilee had begun, and the rest is history
Perhaps we showed you too many churches. And I can't deny that many of you went home with the wrong impression that Norwegians eat a lot. Perhaps we exhausted by trying to get too much into so few days. But it was fun. I still haven't tried the museum's peace-pipe that is exhibited in our administration building, but every day I see Ann Edwards' beautiful emigration relief, and talk to people who are admiring it. It won't be possible to drive up to Dæhli and go past the old school without looking at the flag pole and remember the Lund family's very moving ceremony there. We've all seen new places and made new friends. Together we have not only participated in the joint American-Norwegian 175th emigration jubilee, we have also been a part of the year 2000 celebrations in Land
I seem to recall that it was decided that the lag's constitution should be changed to include a clause stating that the lag should visit Land every 10 years. I cannot guarantee that we won't make the same mistakes, but I can promise that you will be heartily welcome. You were wonderful guests, and thank you for coming.
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