Sigdalslag’s beautiful banner was a gift from the people of Sigdal and Eggedal. Information about this can be found in the Sigdalslag books. During the 100th anniversary celebration in Fargo, North Dakota, Sigdalslag member, Francis Turmo, gave the following remarks.
Olaf Turmo was my grandfather. When I started tracing the ancestors of Olaf Turmo, I had never heard about bygdelags. Eventually I made contact with Sigdalslag. When I contacted Lee Rokke in 1997, she told me that Sigdalslag was in the process of translating the old Sigdalslag books to English. They were originally printed in Norwegian.
One of the books tells about Olaf’s trip to Norway. Our family had always known that Olaf Turmo visited Norway in 1914, but we had no knowledge of his visit to Eggedal. These books are a real treasure, and Olaf’s descendants are very grateful for the work and effort that Sigdalslag has done to preserve these records.
I would like to quote a few words from one of the books.
A visit to Eggedal by Olaf Turmo (Page 141)
“The view from ‘Unghallen’ was unusually pretty. I told Kopseng when I stopped there on July 6 that I wished that I could afford to have Skredsvig paint it for me. But a painting by a real artist was a luxury that I could only dream about. I never expected to be able to afford it. Kopseng said that he thought it would be possible. He took care of it for me. The artist painted it for me for a price that was so low that it was nowhere near the full value of the work.”
The painting was passed to Olaf’s son, U.A. Turmo, and now is in the possession of his son, Allan Turmo.
From Eggedal (pages 153 and 154)
The Celebration for the Norwegian-Americans, 1914.
(in Buskeruds Amtst of July 9, 1914)
“On July 5th there was a celebration for the Norwegian Americans who had come to visit us in their anniversary year.
Sheriff’s officer Kopseng, the president of the celebration committee, welcomed everyone.
He then presented a banner which was purchased by Sigdoler and Eggedoler for the Sigdalslag over in America.
Then Rev. Turmo stepped to the speaker’s platform. Just as he stepped up, an electric light shone out over the hall. Kopseng had arranged for an engineer, motor, generator and other equipment to be there. We were to have a little taste of what the future had in store. Turmo thanked for the reception and the good words which were directed toward them. Then he said, “You think you have much to be thankful for; but we have more. We owe everything to old Norway; our ancestors, our memories, our culture, our faith.”
The Meeting in Fargo, North Dakota in 1915 (pages 157 and 158)
“The silk banner was presented to the lag. The banner was procured through a collection taken up in Sigdal, Eggedal, and Krodsherad. These parishes had their representatives at the presentation. Rev. Turmo spoke on Eggedal’s behalf, Rev. N. H. Lind spoke on Sigdal’s behalf and Krodsherad was represented by Kittil Nohre.”
Because of Olaf Turmo’s role in the history of the Sigdalslag banner, both Eggedal and Fargo, his descendants are donating money to be used toward the refurbishment or replacement of the Sigdalslag banner.
Shortly after the 2011 Sigdalslag Centennial Celebration, action was taken toward preserving our beautiful banner. THIS ARTICLE was included in the October 2011 Saga explaining that action.