The day proved to be a snowy prelude to an
oncoming winter Nor'easter, but to all assembled; this was a mere
distraction to the revelry of the moment. Our meeting place was at the
Scandinavia House, which was the first time in recent memory that we
have met away from our traditional location. The setting proved to be
open and airy due to the large glass windows on either side of the room.
After singing our traditional “The
Star-Spangled Banner,” we were treated by a quartet of Swedish guests
singing the Swedish National Anthem. Bill Currie gave a wonderful
invocation, which he had just written on the train down from Westchester
- Bill is truly talented and has a quick wit.
To get things rolling, Matts Ingemanson,
invited up the quartet again to lead in singing "Helan Går",
a popular Swedish Drinking Song, that features a pause while drinking
bottoms up. Conveniently there were bottles of Absolut Vodka and Aquavit
on each table, along with a shot glass by each plate. This was repeated
several more times during the course of the luncheon.
We had two, speakers, Henry Goosis Chairman
of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, and our own Erik Enroth, Executive
Director of Invest in Sweden Agency, US. Henry spent time introducing
himself to us, spoke about the Wallenberg family with whom he is
connected through his business, and finally about the Chamber of
Erik Enroth, spent time dispelling or
confirming several myths about Sweden (e.g. it is not colder than New
York, the cost of living is not as bad as many places, the corporate tax
rate is lower than New York, and yes, it is true the Swedish women are
beautiful). Erik reported that Rotary is indeed alive and well in
Sweden, with 550 clubs for a population of 9 million.
The raffle prize for the day was 1 round
trip ticket to Sweden, won by Greg Lynch. We were all joking that it
could also be exchanged for 2 one-way tickets to Sweden as well.
Text: Taylor Gray
Photos: Matts Ingemanson
Swedish Flags: Tord Elfwendahl
Comments about Sweden Day:
Matts, Erik, Greg,
for the great party. I had to take a nap in the afternoon! Guess why. The
event really helped to improve the image of Sweden, as a funny,
friendly, smart business people with a sense for good food and liquor. I
also really like the Swedish anthem, it's one of the most beautiful
melodies I know. I hope I get a chance to visit Sweden one day. Well I
guess I first need to become Rotary president and win the raffle all the
Volker Detering, President
Event Me Inc., New York
We thought the phonetic rendering of the
drinking song was hilarious.
Rotary Club of Metro New York
Invest in Sweden Agency
885 Second Ave., 45th Fl
New York, N.Y. 10017
Dear Eric and Matts:
Thank you for hosting last week’s fun and informative “Swedish Day”.
With some assistance from the wine and Absolute, the donated airline
helped our Club’s raffle raise $501. This will help to fund our service
It was a delicious lunch and a fun filled afternoon!
LIKE TO PRAISE ROTARIAN ERIK ENROTH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
INVEST IN SWEDEN AGENCY, FOR PUTTING TOGETHER SWEDEN DAY. IT
WAS A SUCCESSFUL AND VERY WELL