Christian Den Fjerdes Laug


4 july 2014The American ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, just had time for a cup of coffee in a café before the initiation into Christian the Fourth´s Guild started in Duus´ Vinkjælder in Aalborg. And he was happy for that cup of coffee because he – like the other Guild members-to-be – had to sit with an empty glass until the end of the ceremony, while the benchers often raised their glasses and called out: “Our Thirst First”.

The ambassador was initiated along with other prominent persons at the Rebild festivities: the two head-speakers, Maersk CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen and photo-model Malene Belafonte together with their spouses. The American military attaché to Denmark, Michael Wise, and the host of the Rebild festivities, Mayor of Rebild, Leon Sebbelin, also became members of the Guild.

One of the persons to be initiated was not present in the Vinkjælder, but this was according to plan: 97 years old Esben Christensen, who is living in Portland, Maine USA, was initiated “in absentia” represented by his son, Thomas Christensen. Esben Christensens parents emigrated to USA in 1914 – a couple of years before Esben was born. Esben is as a former soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division and is a veteran from D-day in 1944, and he served the rest of the war in Europe.

His nephew is Egon Hygum Thomsen who from 1995 to 1997 was technical chief at Airstation Aalborg. He was at that time made a member of the Guild, and he has now facilitated the initiation of the old veteran – even if he could not be there in person. His son, Thomas Christensen, who now is also initiated into the Guild, considers himself a genuine Danish-American. He proudly says: “My grandparents were Danish, all four of them”.

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Photo: Jens Morten og Fini Ryming


80 norwegians“Good Danish company, sunshine, beer & “snaps” in sufficient quantities – and at fantastic prices!” That was the comments from around 80 contented Norwegians, all members of C4’s Norwegian branch, who were in town to attend the initiation into the C4 of the 15 of them who were not already members of the Guild here.

The Norwegian board of benchers accompanied them, led by the vice-chief-bencher Helge Qvigstad. It is a tradition that the very active Norwegian branch every summer visits us here in Aalborg, where also new members are initiated into the Guild in the traditional way in Duus’s Winecellar.

Until the initiation starts, and the members to-be have had their little walk around the tree, they will have only their empty glasses to stare at, while the benchers several times will cry out the toast: “Our Thirst First”.

Such is the tradition, which the Guild still follows, as the Guild still observes, what was written down in big letters when it was founded in 1942: “The Guild should always create a friendly meeting-place for optimistic citizens”. It all seems to agree with the Norwegians, since 80 to 100 of them every year come to visit the Guild in Aalborg.

Later in the year our benchers will travel to Oslo, where there also will be an initiation of Norwegians into the Guild.

P.t. the Guild has about 7700 members worldwide from 124 different nations.

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Photo: Fini Ryming

Honuer and moneyTwo new citizens of Aalborg, who just recently moved into the 4th of May College, got a little extra money to spend on worthy and less worthy purposes. True to tradition the students in the Churchill room and the Toldstrup room in this college received a small check at the Guild meeting in Christian The Fourth´s Guild. The two rooms are sponsored by the Guild, and their inhabitants, Laura Kristoffersen and Rune W. Larsen, were at the same time initiated into the Guild.

At the Guild meeting, which in fact is Christian The Fourth´s general assembly, other prizes were handed out: pfc Niclas Kirkedal got with the praise “professionally capable, diligent, always ready to help and always cheerful” a check and the honour as “the Soldier of the Year”. “The Cannon Guild of Aalborg”, represented by the Guild´s master, Bernt Jensen, got the the year´s Aalborg Prize for the Cannon Guild´s “visible and audible efforts to celebrate special persons and special events in Aalborg – and for keeping the old Danish tradition of salutation alive”.

This year´s Initiative Prize was given to Dorte Christensen for her initiative and commitment in making a narrative of the Churchill-club and arranging conducted tours 70 years after the club´s creation during the German occupation. Dorte Christensen was out of town and will receive her prize later.

Retired director of the AaB football club, Lynge Jakobsen, still a very busy man, got the Prize of Honour for his lifelong commitment to AaB and for being an outstanding ambassador for Aalborg both home and abroad. Lynge Jakobsen had another obligation on the night of the Guild´s assembly, but turned up later in the evening and received honour and check.

During the assembly a new member of the Guild´s board was initiated. It is Jens–Chr. Schmidt – former managing director for Rambøll and present chairman for Aalborg Tourist board. In the future he will have an extra role to play in connection with the many Norwegian members of the Guild as he is also Norwegian consul.

The Guild had 22 initiations in 2013, and chief bencher Niels Voss Hansen said at the assembly that these many initiations help to make Aalborg known – and that the initiations also help to finance the Guild´s Foundation so that it every year can donate about 100,000 DKK to different worthy social, humanitarian and cultural initiatives and institutions.

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Photo: Fini Ryming

Laugs newsletter 2014Read the Laugs-Newsletter here

Good spirit price caepenterThe Good-Spirit-Prizes are each year given out to one student in each of Aalborg´s colleges. But this year the Guild´s board had decided that also an apprentice craftsman should receive one of the Guild´s Good-Spirit-Prizes.

It is a rather modest check which necessarily should not be given to the most hard-working and diligent student, but to a student who is a good mate with a positive attitude and a cheerful disposition.

“But if a student can be found who combines all these things, then it is great” as chief bencher Niels Voss Hansen said when he – escorted by three benchers gave the prize to apprentice carpenter Rasmus Lyngbak Søgaard.

Besides the diploma and the check Rasmus also received a fanfare from the Guild´s troubadour Per Iversen.

The ceremony took place in front of Rasmus´ classmates, when the Guild representatives surprised them all in the carpentry hall at the Construction College in Aalborg (former the Technical School). As usual it was the teachers of the college who had chosen the right student for the prize. Even though the prize is given for good spirit and may be spent on any kind of festivities, Rasmus seemed inclined to use it to buy a good piece of a carpenters tool.
Rasmus is an apprentice at the carpenter firm Bjarne Brath in Hadsund.

Photo: Arne Mathiesen