Icelandic Memorial Society of Nova Scotia
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Ambassador's Visit to Nova Scotia
01 April, 2006

His Excellency Markús Örn Antonsson, Ambassador of Iceland to Canada (October 2005) and his wife, Ms. Steinunn Ármannsdóttir, visited Nova Scotia from April 5 to 9, 2006. This is a short summary of their official visit.

Wednesday, April 5:

The Ambassador and his wife are met at Halifax International Airport by Ms. Colleen MacDonald, Chief of Protocol and J. Marshall Burgess, Secretary of the Icelandic Memorial Society of Nova Scotia.

Meeting with The Honourable Rodney MacDonald, Premier of Nova Scotia, in the Veterans Room, Province House.

Meeting with The Honourable Kerry Morash, NS Minister of Economic Development, The Honourable William Dooks, NS Minister of Energy and The Honourable Judy Streatch, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. B) Thursday, April 6, 2006:

Meeting with His Worship, Peter Kelly, Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality.
Lunch at Peggy's Cove. View the deGarthe monument.
Meeting with the editor-in-chief of the Chronicle Herald.

Friday, April 7:

Visited two Icelandic companies in Halifax.

The Ambassador and his wife visit Her Honour, The Honourable Myra Freeman, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, at historic Government House.

Visit to Pier 21 where one million immigrants entered Canada from 1928 to 1971.

Reception held by the Ambassador at the Halifax Club. Many Icelandic companies and Icelanders attended.

Saturday, April 8:

The Ambassador and his wife visit the memorial cairn at Markland erected by the Icelandic Memorial Society of Nova Scotia in 2000. Thirty Icelandic families lived in Markland from 1875-1881. They then left and went to North Dakota and Gimli. A few families (Huskilson family) and individuals (Mrs. Porter Taylor) remained.

Their Excellencies lunched with the Executive of the Society at J. & J.'s Country Grill, Upper Musquodoboit.

The Ambassador was the guest speaker at the Annual General Meeting of the Society held at the Musquodoboit Forestry Complex. He spoke of the links and ties between Iceland and Canada starting with the Vikings in 1000 and continuing to this day. From 1875 - 1914 twenty percent of the population left Iceland for North America, including the two Icelandic settlements at Markland and Lockeport, Nova Scotia. The Ambassador then showed a slide presentation on Iceland. The Ambassador thanked the Society for their work over the past eight years. A lunch followed with Icelandic pancakes, brown bread, ginger cookies and half moon cookies.

Mrs. Belmore thanked the Ambassador and his wife for coming and presented them with gifts.

The Honourable Brooke Taylor, NS Minister of the Department of Natural Resources, bid them goodbye.

Sunday, April 9:

The Executive of the Scandinavian Society had brunch with their Excellencies at Saege, a new Norweigan restaurant in Halifax.

Their Excellencies were given a tour of the city of Halifax, including visits to the Citadel, Titanic burial site, 1917 Halifax Explosion Memorial, Province House Government House, Point Pleasant Park, Historic Properties, and the Halifax waterfront.

J. Marshall Burgess, Q.C.
Tour Director


The Icelandic Memorial Society of Nova Scotia was incorporated on July 29, 1998 to educate the public about Nova Scotia's Icelandic past. By sharing the history of the Icelandic settlers in Nova Scotia during the late 1800s, we hope to assist and encourage their descendents and others to preserve this part of Nova Scotia's heritage.