25.000Perhaps for the first time in the long history of the Guild (which was founded on the 16th of December 1942) the chief-bencher moved away from his high-backed chair at the benchers’ long table in Jens Bangs Stonehouse in Aalborg.

he occasion was the initiation into the Guild of member no 25,000, the Norwegian Anne Linn Salvesen, who was on a prolonged weekend in Aalborg with 35–40 other Norwegians from Tvedestrand in Norway. Anne Linn Salvesen was one of 11 new members, who were initiated during their stay in Aalborg, most of the others in the party – who visits Aalborg every year - having been initiated at earlier occasions. “I’m happy to leave my chair for a moment on such an occasion” said chief-bencher Niels Voss Hansen, when Anne Linn Salvesen was welcomed. Beside a lifelong membership of the Guild she received chocolate and a bottle of “Laugsbitter”.

Many of the visitors to Aalborg, who over the years have been initiated into the Guild of Christian the Fourth, have left us, either because they have died or because they have not kept up their memberships.

“But we are proud, that we today have 8000 active members from nearly 100 different nations” said chief-bencher Niels Voss Hansen”.

Photo: Fini Ryming

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4th julyFor decades the head-speakers of the Rebild celebration has been initiated into the Guild on the morning of the 4th of July - just before they leave for the tent-lunch and the festivities in Rebild Hills.

And of course it went according to the tradition this year too. The two head-speakers, Peter Work – who is a wine grover from California – and TV-journalist and former USA-correspondent for DR (Denmarks Radio), Kim Bilsøe Lassen, had first to sit nicely – but in good spirits – at an empty table, and then stand on either side of the benchers in Duus’ Winecellar, while the benchers – as the ritual bids – several times called out: “Our thirst first.”

The companions of the head-speakers, Rebecca Work and Divya Das, were initiated too, and so were several members of the Rebild Society, as well as the American military attaché to Denmark, James F. Gibson, and his wife Margie.

The American ambassador, Rufus Gifford, was initiated last year, when he for the first time attended the festivities in the Rebild Hills, but there was a very friendly meeting with the benchers at the tent-lunch, where the ambassador also participated.

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Photo: Jens Morten and Fini Ryming

NorwegiansThe Guild has - for many years - had a branch in Oslo, and one of that branch’s great traditions are the Norwegian members’ summer-outing: to go visiting Aalborg. The Norwegians arrive late in the morning, and soon after new members are initiated into the Guild in Duus Vinkjælder in Jens Bangs Stenhus.

This year around 75 Norwegians participated in the ceremony, and 15 of them were initiated.

The Guild has more than 200 members in Norway, and Norwegian benchers with the vice chief bencher, Helge Qvigstad, in front participated in the visit to Aalborg and in the initiation.

Later this year some of our benchers will go to Oslo, where yet another initiation will take place. The Guild of Chr. IV in Aalborg has now more than 8000 members from 124 different countries. The Guild and its Foundation every year donate more than 100,000 DKK to social, cultural and humanitarian purposes.

After the visit to the Guild, the Norwegians spent the rest of the day in Aalborg City, before they – early in the evening – returned to Oslo.

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Photo: Jens Morten 


96 new members

Never since the birth of the Guild (December 1942) have so many persons been initiated on the same day.

When the cruise ship “Viking Star” - ultimo May - visited Aalborg, 96 passengers were initiated at two initiation ceremonies on the same afternoon – and the (slightly breathless) benchers could afterwards look back on no less than two “firsts”: The number of initiated in one day, and the number of initiations (two) in one day.

The 96 new member of the Guild are mostly professional people from the tourist trade. The shipping company, Viking Ocean Cruise, had invited a number of people from travel bureaus to go on this, the first cruise of the summer in the Danish waters. 64 new members were from USA, 17 from Australia, 9 from Canada, 4 from New Zealand, 1 from Mexico – and 1 from Denmark. Soon they will be back in the travel bureaus – and perhaps they will have fond memories of their visit to Duus’ Vinkjælder, and give Aalborg some good PR, when in the future they are selling cruises to northern Jutland and Aalborg. At least they were enthusiastically photographing, while the initiations took place.

“Viking Star” arrived at Honnørkajen in the center of Aalborg, and left again 8-9 hours later. The cruise ship will return several times over the summer.



Princess MarieSaturday the 18th of April was a great day in the Guild. H.R.H. Prince Joachim and H.R.H. Princess Marie was to be initiated into the Guild and become a member of Honor. Prince Joachim has been a member of Honor since he was initiated in 1988, when he was doing his military service, stationed in Aalborg.

The Prince and the Princess were welcomed by the benchers and the chief bencher, Niels Voss Hansen, on the red carpet outside Jens Bangs’ Stenhus. A granddaughter of the chief bencher performed the presentation of the flowers to the Princess.

When the Princess were seated in Duus’ Winecellar, the benchers made their usual entrance; the initiation ceremony had to be shortened a little, but away from that it was an usual initiation – almost; as everybody knows, usually nothing are being served to the applicants, who are being initiated, before the end of the ceremony. But this time – as the people, who were going to be initiated together with the Princess, were already sitting in the audience with the other guests – the chief bencher had to decide, that there would be no serving at all during the ceremony (except of course for the benchers themselves).

After the ceremony in the cellar, the newly initiated all wandered around Jens Bang’s Stenhus, and Princess Marie got an opportunity to try her new key to the secret back entrance to the winecellar. Back in the cellar the traditional glass of mead was served, and at the table the Princess served not only her husband but all sitting at the table with the red sausages. And the “snapses” were enjoyed, as is the custom in the Guild.

About twenty VIPS’s were initiated together with the Princess. The Bishop of Aalborg, Henning Toft Bro, was among them, and so were the chief of Air Station Aalborg, colonel Karsten Fledelius Jensen, major general Jørgen Høll, principal magnificus of the University, Per M. Johansen, and leader of the Music House, Lasse Rich Henningsen.

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Photo: Jens Morten