Culture

Sun Shines on Kirkwall for Norwegian Independence Day

The strong links between Orkney and Norway were demonstrated on May 17th as Kirkwall came to a standstill for Norwegian Constitution Day.

Norwegian Const Day 1

St Magnus Cathedral donned the flags of Norway and Scotland: the building a testimony in stone to those ancient ties between the two nations.

Kirkwall City Pipe Band led the Tog to the ceremony and speeches outside the cathedral.

Speaking on behalf of the People of Orkney, Harvey Johnston, Convener of Orkney Islands Council welcomed those attending and especially those who had travelled from Norway to be there.

In his speech Harvey Johnston spoke of the centuries of Norse rule in Orkney and of the speaking of the Norn language. He  referenced the current political situation which Orkney is now placed in. (Orkney, like the rest of Scotland, voted to remain in the EU). He suggested that Orkney  would now turn away from the South and look  towards the North and the East as it did of old

Beate Husa of Hordaland fylkeskommune  spoke on behalf of the Norwegians present.

After the speeches councillors, visitors and Orkney folk moved into the Cathedral where they were treated to a fabulous concert by the students of St Andrews Primary School and Kirkwall Grammar School. Their skill and confidence in playing a true testament if ever there was one to the importance of musical instrument tuition in schools being available to all.

Norwegian Constitution Day

A video of the Tog and the speeches will be available soon on Youtube but in the meantime here is Kirkwall City Pipe Band closing the outside event.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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