Christian Den Fjerdes Laug


Good spirit

A little before Christmas time in the middle of December two young students got a surprise when they received the Guilds Prize of Good Spirit. A modest check followed the prize.

“Aalborg is a merry city and we all have to look at the bright side of life – and in that respect the check may help” said the Guild´s chief bencher Niels Voss Hansen when he presented the diplomas and the checks – first to Mikkel Siesgaard Hansen, Aalborg Studenterkursus, and later to Lisa Helene Skov, Agri College Aalborg.

Mikkel Siesgaard Hansen got the diploma and the check in a pause in the assembly hall at Aalborg Studenterkursus, and Lisa Helene Skov received her diploma and check in the canteen in Aalborg Zoo where she is a trainee, and where she hopes to become a keeper.

The annual Prizes of Good Spirit from the Guild are given to students who “with their good humor, cheerfulness and a positive disposition has added to the good spirit at their places and thereby been an inspiration for comrades and teachers to function in a positive and cheerful way.

. “ It is not necessarily because of diligence or efficiency – but of course these qualities are no obstacles” said the Niels Voss Hansen at the two presentations. It is the 25th time the Guild presents the prizes which are given to a student on each of Aalborg´s high schools and similar educational places. Every year some of the benchers show up at one or two of the institutions with the guild troubadour and all the trimmings. At the other places the prizes are presented by the head of the institution, usually during the Christmas celebration.

The prizes cannot be applied for but are given to a student selected by the institution´s management. “And it is because the prizes cannot be applied for, that they are special” said the chief bencher, and advised the students to use the check as it was meant – maybe something more funny than text books.

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Photo: Fini Ryming

Reward priceThey didn´t know each other until in the early morning on Saturday the first of November, but since then they have been in contact by phone or text message at least once every day.

Their first meeting was under rather unusual circumstances. 19-year old Anders Neve Enggaard rescued 39-year old Henrik Thomsen from drowning in Aalborg Harbor.

Henrik Thomsen was accidentally driving his car into the harbor basin close to the harbor stairs and the “Honnørkaj”, where there are no traffic signs and no barriers. At the same time Anders Neve Enggaard was driving along on the near-by coast road. He heard the splash and saw a glimpse of Henrik Thomsens car as it went into the harbor basin. Anders Neve Enggaard resolutely jumped into the water and got Henrik Thomsen out of his sinking car.

Since then they have been close and it seemed only natural to Anders Neve Enggaard to bring Henrik Thomsen when he was summoned to the Guild to receive its prize for his heroic deed.

- We are not in a position to donate a substantial sum but when we are able to give a pat on the shoulder and a little money for maybe a good dinner then life will be a little funnier and more cozy, said chief bencher Niels Voss Hansen.

Anders Neve Enggaard and Henrik Thomsen will both be invited to participate in the next Guild meeting where they will be initiated into the Guild.

Chief bencher Niels Voss Hansen presents a modest check to Anders Neve Enggaard while Henrik Thomsen and some of the benchers look on.

Photo: Jens Morten


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