History & Genealogy

  • A History of Scandinavian Clubs in Manawatu
    The formation of the Scandinavian club of Manawatu traces back to the decision to place a plaque on a monument in Mauriceville West in March 1973.  A key figure in the ceremony was Ted Mattson of Palmerston North.  Around this time also, Wellington man, Malcolm (Mac) Larsen began taking an interest in his family origins.  He visited Norway in 1973 and 1975 (and led a tour there in 1980), as well as helping genealogists trace their Scandinavian heritage. He founded the Wellington based New Zealand-Norway Society in 1978,

    Larsen's interest in things-Scandinavian did not, however, stop there. On 22 June 1979 at a meeting in Palmerston North, the Scandinavian Club of Manawatu was born. Inspired by this success, Larsen went on to form Scandinavian Clubs in Hawkes Bay (1980), Wairarapa (1981), Dannevirke (1982) and Taranaki (1983). It was to these areas, that the New Zealand Government had sent its Scandinavian immigrants, and the vast majority of club members are descendants of those people, rather than expatriates. Scandinavian Clubs were formed in other parts of the country as well. A number of single country clubs also exist around the country.

    Like most new clubs, the Scandinavian Club of Manawatu's earliest years were very active, In addition to holding functions in Palmerston North, the club hosted what became the first Scandinavian Gathering, held at Norsewood, on the weekend of 5-6 March 1983. Over the years the Club has hosted many gatherings, not least the most recent very successful Festival held around the Norsewood - Dannevirke area over the weekend of 25th 26th and 27th February 2011. 

At present,  'Skandia Quarterly', the Club's Newsletter, keeps members up to date with the happenings of the Club not only those residing in New Zealand, but also around the world.


History of Manawatu