Ronneberg Family Website

In Memory of the 100th Year Birthday of Tørres Rønneberg, 31 Mar 1945

Speech Prepared by Phillip Rønneberg and translated by Jens Rønneberg

It is a scattered family who today can celebrate the memorial of our grandfather, Tørres Rønneberg. His material inheritance is no longer in the family as he had meant it to be. But his important work in the Norwegian labor force is a living legend honoring his name. And to all of us related to his name, he has left us values in our minds and hearts. How important these values are can easier be realized looking at grandfather’s lifelong work based on his pre-conditions.

No complete report has ever existed about grandfather’s life, and I would have loved to have such a report for his 100th year memorial. But illness has prevented me from collecting and working on the available material. Furthermore, it is also evident that some of my sources have been destroyed as a result of the war. What I am going to disclose, I have partly taken from memory, and partly from other people’s recollection of a grandfather who died when I was only two years old. One thing I miss very much is that I have not been able to return to the valley of Jæren and to the farm where grandfather saw daylight on 31 March 1845.

Jæren has long kept its good prospects. Most people remained where they were born, and they have made this geographically deserted piece of Norway into one of the most fruitful in the country. Yet, there are a few famous names originating from this place. As far as authors, perhaps the best known is Arne Garborg. Also, within the history of the labor force, we find Ole Gabriel Kvernelands.

Nobody can predict the future of Jæren. There are many branches leading up to Jæren of today. I do not necessarily think of the constant flow of thrifty tradesmen, craftsmen and writers who have profited and “made it big”, but I think of the people of Jæren with deep roots in Norwegian research, science, art and practical work.

The Rønneberg family twice has given their share to the history of the Norwegian labor force.

24 February 1737, Kristoffer Rønneberg, the origional head of the well known tradesmen family, Rønneberg in Ålesund, was christened in the same church as Erling Skjalgason (famous Norwegian Viking king), which was built at Sola, and which ruins were completely destroyed by the Germans two years ago.

31 March 1845 Tørres Rønneberg was born. He, also, was christened on the old church at Sola. Tørres Rønneberg, your father, aunt Anna, and our grandfather, became one of the pioneers in the Norwegian canning industry. He made a remarkable achievement during the foundation of the modern Norwegian canning industry.

Later, when people forgot his name, this was a result of his won unwillingness to create publicity. Therefore, upon his death, memory published in the Norwegian press was one of brief recognition. However, in British newspapers and magazines we can find detailed articles about him. This press perhaps had a better understanding on how to evaluate the importance of his efforts.

The Rønneberg family belongs to the family of Vatne, occupying large parts of Northern Jæren. They also can retrace their family to the Norwegian aristocratic family Smor, which direct line died with John Svaleson Smor in 1843. However, the family continued on the female side in the name of Romer (Reymare).

Grandfather received the name of his own grandfather. His father’s name was Andreas Tørressen, and his mother was Anna Pedersdotter. She came from Folkvår in Høyland. Anna Pedersdotter was born in 1820 and died 17 October 1873. Great grandfather was born in 1814 and died on 19 September 1870, 56 years old, probably from cancer in his stomach. When great grandfather died, grandfather already owned his own business in Stavanger. Great grandmother, who lived 23 more years, took care of the children and she farm by herself. Later, she received help from some of her children. Grandfather was the oldest son among ten children. They are listed here in the order of descending age:

  • Karen Jorine: born Christmas Eve 1843. She married Andreas Endressen Joa, and she died on 8 February 1903. Their family still lives at Joa in Sola.
  • Tørres Andersen: born 31 March 1845, died 11 December 1913.
  • Olena Andersdattor: born 7 May 1847; she married Christian Nygaard in Sandnes. They both are dead.
  • Maren Kristiana: born 27 March 1847–not married. She lived almost all her life with her brother, Andreas, who early became a widower.
  • Peder: (called Per) born 10 March 1851; As a young boy he became a sailor and settled in America. There, he died 18 February 1910.
  • John: (who wrote his name as Jon) born 17 November 1853, died in 1946. Jon married Karen J. Skjæveland. He received with her the farm in Soma in Høyand. Therefore, he was often called Soma, but neither he nor his children have adopted that name. He was an excellent farmer, and among his children one can find many of the most noted farmers in the country. One of them, Kristian Rønneberg, became the first principal of the new farm school at Øksnead in Klepp, which is in the county of Rogaland.
  • Andreas: born 25 December 1855 and married to Serina Hetland who died early in life. He took over the Rønneberg farm. He died on 8 October 1933. His son, Anders, is still taking care of the farm, but he is very restricted by the military activities near by. These activities once forced him to move out.
  • Martin Kristian: born 22 August 1858 and married 8 November 1881 to Grethe Ivarsdtr. Sviland (Høyland). He took over the second half of the Rønneberg farm, and he is especially known for the draining of Stokka Lake. He surpassed his wife and died on 11 June 1929. His sons became excellent farmers of Jæren. Due to the war, he and the oldest son, Kristian, and his brothers Arne and Einar had to shut down the farms at Rønneberg. Then they moved to Botne near Holmestrand, where they have new farms.
  • Anne Marie: born 17 August 1860 and married Ivar Ivarsen Sviland who was the brother of Martin’s wife Grethe. They owned a good farm at Sviland in Høyland. She was buried on 12 September 1935.
  • Bertel Teodor: born 30 May 1863; immigrated to America. He married and he owned a paint store in Escanaba Michigan where he died 14 January 1913.

Jon Rønneberg (at the time of this speech) is the only one living of the large group of children with great grandfather. 17 November 1943 he was 90 years old, and with many of his own family, I had the pleasure to personally congratulate him at one of his sons’ home at Soma, where he once lived himself. They, also, had to evacuate, and Jon now lives with Kristian at Øksnevad. He is still quick and he has a clear mind. But his memory is not as good as it use to be. When he heard about the family memorial to take place at aunt Anna’s home, he asked that a message be sent from him “wishing all well to this branch of my family”.

Dear aunt Anna, it is my honor to bring to you this greeting today.

Rønneberg was already a large farm when grandfather was born according to local conditions. The farm was situated high and with a wide open view of the ocean and the Hafrsfjord. Remnants from the Stone Age and an old burial site indicate that this is a very old home site indeed.

During grandfather’s youth, there were 8 to 10 cows on the farm and the milk was used for the household. Besides, there were about 20 sheep. They sold potatoes to Stavanger and corn to the mills. Also, during the fall season, they sailed to Bergen with their farming products. It was on such a trip that Kristoffer Rønneberg sailed into a storm, and he drifted into the open sea. When he finally reached land, he found himself close to the city of Ålesund, there he settled. How long these trips lasted, no one knows.

Some fishing was done in Hafrafjord, and they have also taken part in the organized fishing for herring.

Besides the regular house trades with weaving and the spinning wheel, carpentry was also done at Rønneberg. The art of carpentry has been handed down in the family. Martin and his sons were especially clever in this trade, and the beautiful, solid houses on the farm are a silent witness about this fact. Great grandfather helped construct the school house, which still remains south of the road leading to Joa, and people in Sola came to Rønneberg to pick up caskets for the dead people.

Old Andreas Rønneberg kept his children working, and he was very strict raising his children. But he was not narrow-minded. His family has always been religious. Great grandfather was honored in Sola, and he was a member of both the school board and the city council.

We do not know what made the oldest son leave the arm and move to the city. The relationship between him and his parents and the other children was always good. When grandfather was confirmed at the age of 14, his father was 39 years old. Therefore, it seemed a long time before he could take over the farm. Perhaps in the meantime he wanted to make money necessary to buy out the farm. Perhaps he thought of becoming a tradesman at home—the nearest tradesman was located far away. We really do not know.

Grandfather was just confirmed when he arrived in the store of his uncle, Enoch Rønneberg, who owned a good drapery and food store at Skagen in Stavanger and had become wealthy. The young Tørres had to take part in all kinds of work in the store and the warehouse. Beyond that, he had to prove himself as a carpenter, because he participated when Enoch built Fredheim—a beautiful property with a farm situated by the lake of Mos. Later, this property became the official residence for the bishop of Stavanger.

This practice lasted 12 years with Enoch Rønneberg. In 1871, grandfather in a partnership with Jens Johsen, a farmer boy from Sola, started a shop at Torvet (the market place) in the same branch as the uncle. They remained partners for 9 years and made out very well. But for grandfather the work behind the counter was too quiet. He sold his share and Johnsen continued on until his own death. The two partners remained friends all of their lives.

Grandfather was not satisfied with the safe and steady income he earned measuring and weighing behind the counter an in the warehouse. Something new had arrived which called upon his ability. Therefore, he purchased the farm, Kampen, near the missionary farm in Stavanger. He rebuilt the farmhouse into a canning factory. This was the second canning factory in Stavanger and the third in the country. Gandfather realized this fact, and he acted right away.

The company Schreiner Nilsen & Thiis, which was founded in 1870 with Christian Houge Thiis as a passive partner, had industrially utilized the bristling, to a small extent, as anchovies. In 1882, Thiis took over the factory in his own name. At that time, he started the production of sardines.

Tørres Rønneberg was 23 years old when he started the drapery store with Jens Johnsen. When he founded the canning factory, he was a mature 35-year-old man. He had earned his own starting capital, and he had the courage to disengage himself from a secure way of living, and put his mind and money into something entirely new.

. Stavanger, also, was short of jobs. While the rest of the country still prospered, Stavanger in 1880 had undergone a crisis, which pacified the entire traditional labor force. The herring, which had been the city’s main source of income for ages, suddenly, totally vanished. The export, which had reached 270,000 barrels during the best years, had shrunk to 100,000 in 1880. The Stavanger merchandisers’ search for herring in Nordland (North Norway) and even in Iceland it became so costly that they were unable to compete with other merchandisers in different parts of Norway. The merchant marine, consisting of sailing ships, the city’s second largest employer and source of income, was out competed y the introduction of steamships. Since the Stavanger fleet had not been renewed in time, the city could not maintain its leading position under these circumstances.

The Stavanger ship owners already in 1860 received their first warning. At that time, the Black Sea trade forced the sailing ships out, where most of the Stavanger ship owners were engaged. When this happened, the ship owners were able to move their ships to different waters, where the sailing ships could still compete. But it did not last long until these ships were completely outdistanced by the steamships everywhere. The large, old trading houses, from which many other activities depended, had to close down. Two of the city’s four banks had to shut down, and the same thing happened to two of the city’s four insurance companies. These incidents point out what Stavanger lost materially. Perhaps more tragic is the fact several homes, which had maintained their culture for generations, we torn apart when they went under the hammer during an auction in the stockyards. Thank God, new blood again streamed into the old veins of this city.

More than a 100 years prior to this crisis, Valentinsen, Godtzen and Smith were important names in Stavanger. Around the turn of the century, Kielland, Rosenkilde, Ploug and Sundt had taken the lead, and later came Fredrik Petersen, John Haugvaldstad, Johan Henrik Dahl, Middelthon, Knud Somme, Jens Berg, Helmich Gabrielsen, Berentzen, Jonassen, Soren Cortzen, Erik Svensen. After 1890, new names sprung up. At that time, we heard about farmers who had started with empty hands, who now appeared with carefully earned capital. And the employees at the old companies—people who had been strictly raised were now able to withdraw and rebuild whatever was left of the old trades and crafts.

Previously, Stavanger had recuperated from disasters. The city burned down and was rebuilt. King Christian IV relocated the bishop, the university in the county administration to Kristiansand in 1682, and fours years later, he reluctantly lifted the city’s purchasing privileges. But in spite of fire and disease and the narrow-minded dictatorship, the city survived and grew. As Alexander L. Kielland expresses in on of his books: it was always “an old town full of new life”.

Thus, Stavanger experienced the resurrection after the crisis in 1880. Stavanger Preserving had a trump card: the founders had an academic education. Grandfather had only learned how to read and write from a visiting teacher, and ever since, he had spent his time at the counter. But he was economically inclined. And with no help, he daringly solved technical and business problems, which gave him the key to an entirely new Norwegian industry.

It was grandfather’s personal, human traits, which carried his tasks forth. He was able to find the right people and put them in the right jobs. Firstly, single-handedly, he had to find out how everything should be done, and secondly, he had to train his employees. He had to perform a large number of tests, and they all had to be successful and self-financed, because the business had to be successful from the very first day on. He probably did not record any of his tests. We can only imagine what his work demanded of consistency, and that grandmother probably helped make and sample the conserved food. We can also only imagine the excitement and expectation they experienced—the new producer and his young wife, whose oldest child was only six or seven years old. It is possible that grandfather was somewhat relieved that the factory was located at a distance from his house, so he could feel more at ease away from his family, if something wrong should happen. There were many people who had told him that he was going of the deep end, when he chuckled at the flourishing business he owned at Torvet. (These people are still alive!!!).

The first Norwegian canning producers had a most difficult task.

Grandfather had to supply the raw material himself. Also, he had to supervision the production at all levels. Finally, he had to sell the finished product. All this gave him a certain steadiness.

The canning production was successful, and grandfather increased the capacity and improved his production method as he gained experience. The various alternatives were quickly utilized in this struggle. To make room and to overcome the disadvantage of being located inland, in 1888 grandfather bought the property of P.W.Rosenkilde & Sons in Strandgaten. Rosenkilde had to shut down during the crisis in 1880, and the old building had been vacant until grandfather gave it new life. Machines and workers who made noise with tin cans and rapid talk moved into the dust storerooms, where previously, the merchandise had rested peacefully for a long period, and where the trade finally died. From the same office, where the previous owner made the decision to go out of business, grandfather now gave the order to start spinning the wheels. “An old house full of new life”.

And into the staterooms of the Rosenkilde, where once Ole Bull had given his first concert, which resonated in a new cultural life in Stavanger, moved the new factory owner with his whole family.

The picture changes. The family life in the respected rooms became simpler than it had been with the Rosenkildes. The Rosenkildes came to Stavanger in 1684 when Henrik Rosenkilde was ordained priest in the main church. He became the family head of a Stavanger trading group who possessed power for a long time. This group culminated with his great grandson, Peder Walentin Rosenkilde, who represented Stavanger when our Constitution was written at Eidsvell in 1814. Now, a farmer stomped around in his rooms. However, he had determined footsteps. He had not ousted the previous owner. Behind this farmer, there was also an old culture.

The reconstruction of the old buildings to create an efficient canning factory was never completed. Expansions and improvements followed grandfather as a constant problem until he retired in 1907 and left his company in the hands of uncle Einar and my father.

It is impossible to evaluate grandfather as a person and as a canning producer. I can only mention a few traits, which perhaps were typical for the farmer who created one of the leading canning companies in Norway.

However far sighted grandfather was concerning the technical possibilities in the industry, he never budged an inch in other areas. For instance, he would never use any kind of advertising. As a farmer, he knew no other way to recommend a product than by the quality of the product itself. Obviously, he possessed the farmer’s built in resistance and modesty towards anything, which might look like bragging. Grandfather experienced the great competitors of the Norwegian canning industry, Christian Bielland, who was 13 years younger, and Endre Gronnestad, who built larger companies than his own. But this fact never bothered him.

Grandfather gave conservative estimates in all fields, and h was totally an honest man. He was also against any kind of canning deals. Once, when he refused to go along with a deal concerning maximum prices on raw material, a boycott was applied against his company. The dairy companies dare not deliver milk, the printers refused to make labels, and the banks refused to give credit. The last thing amused grandfather. He had always been his own bank, and he never asked anyone for credit. He received milk from Høyland and labels from abroad. Thus, he carried on his business undisturbed. The boycott finally ended, because the people who instituted the deal broke their own terms. Grandfather always kept his own word. Therefore, he could only agree to things he knew he could fulfill.

In his views, grandfather relied on self-taught experiences. And he relied on these, even if the arguments were all against him from every direction. Therefore, he sometimes ended his discussions with the words, “…well, I still hold that…”. Grandfather was no debater. He was more successful working with his projects than merely talking about them. Uncle Nathal once a young engineer calculated and constructed a pass way between two buildings at the factory. When he was finished, grandfather came for an inspection, and he was very pleased. However, he ordered a carpenter to tear down some supporting pillars, which uncle Nathal had erected to support the whole construction. And all of uncle Nathal’s protests met only deaf ears. An order from Tørres Rønneberg had to be executed, and the carpenter put his axe to work. And the passage way never moved. In fact, it still remains today just as when the pillars fell, resting on a strange arched supporting beam, which grandfather knew, having learned the art of construction from his father at home.

Grandfather liked to develop in his sons the good practical estimate and the technical sense—something that had helped him often in solving the technical problems at the factory. Therefore, uncle Trygve and uncle Nathal both received their education as construction engineers (structural or civil engineers) at universities abroad. Father only received a mercantile education, but apparently he inherited the practical sense of his family, since he was very clever in both theoretical and applied electro techniques. A capacity as a professor, Fredrik Jacobsen, once in a speech said about the utilization of the electricity in practical life: “Arne Rønneberg probably has a better understanding of these things than many of us here in town”.

Rønneberg Preserving Company became a prime example of a company. It was the first company in Stavanger to use steam for cooking and for energy. They had their own acetylene gas plant which was replaced by the city’s first hydroelectric power plant. The production of fish balls, which once was the canning industry’s main source of income, was completely reorganized to machinery, which was partly grandfather’s own invention.

Alex Krefting in 1897 wrote about the company’s achievements in “Norsk Industri”: “A revolution, of course, took place in this area. The advantages were immediately apparent, and one hardly exaggerates when one makes the assertion that this change has lifted the city’s export of fish balls to the level where it no remains”.

Some of these achievements were the off spring of the sons, but grandfather realized these impulses. This is also the case with the automobile grandfather bought to Stavanger in 1898—the first automobile in town, and also one of the first cars in the country. After long and serious discussions grandfather purchased this automobile. Most people at that time looked at the car as a toy. And the Stavanger press stated after an introductory trip that this was probably another luxury, which only the rich people could afford. But grandfather could forsee the importance of the automobile for the average person. Later he opened the first commercial automobile transportation in Norway between Stavanger and Malde. Another twenty years passed before the automobiles took over most of the transportation on streets and roads in Norway. This was largely due to the fact that the very first automobiles were not constructed to suit the bad Norwegian road conditions. (They are still not!)

The founding of Damkjokkenet (the steam kitchen) in 1897 is grandfather’s second great achievement. Father had brought the idea home from abroad, and he acted on this idea. As usual, he was very cautious in he beginning, but later on Damkjekkenet became a large outfit.

At that time, there were no suitable eating-places in Stavanger for farmers and the ordinary people. They were left the option to eat at some suspicious basement kitchens—all located in a street with the appropriate nickname “subakanalen” (the sub canal) –some dirty, spooky eating facilities. These eating-places were all out competed and changed in a short time. Certain days at Damkjekkenet alone 800 dinner portions were served. Damkjekkenet had to expand, and after a few years, they also owned a food store and a cafeteria. The new additions were responsible to stabilize the company’s seasonal operation, and also to secure the company steady and good income.

Dampkjekkenet was to fill a great social demand. When the rationing during World War I, created financial problems in the company, and the general price increased forced Dampkjekkenet to increase their prices, the city of Stavanger in 1916 bought the property, the cafeteria, the food store and the steam kitchen. Besides, the city needed a kitchen to serve to the school children. I do not know what these sub companies financially meant for the Rønneberg company. However, I have some figures from the first years after the city took over the management. These figures show that in 1917 sales were $370,000, 1918: $700,000, 1919: $500,000. The figures include the serving of meals to school children, which the Rønneberg company did not have.

Another word about the company’s sound financial position can be found in the records for property transactions. The said property paid by the city for a total price of $55,000. The Rønneberg company had 95% ownership at the time of the sale.

Grandfather had rested in his grave for 3 years when the property in Strangaten was sold. In 1909, he retired from the company, which was left in the hands of uncle Einar and father (Arne Rønneberg). In 1917, they continued with two new canning factories—one at Randabergveien in Stavanger, not far from the first original factory, and the other one at Ostrraadt near Sandnes. And a new era begun.

When grandfather died on 11 December 1913, the Stavanger wrote about him that: “…the city has lost one of the pioneers in the canning industry and a truly self made man. The deceased was an amiable and quiet man. He helped many people with the right hand not knowing what was given by his left hand.”

The words are not particularly original. But they are true. Grandfather was a pioneer of the industry, and his accomplishments shall not be forgotten. Step by step he built his company on his experiences, and the knowledge gained on the way.

Grandfather had a temper, which could be seen, in both love and in anger. Especially strong was his temper when he discovered any attempts at “smartness” as in (smart alec) were an abomination for him. “Rascally tricks” he called it and demanded people be true and honest in business and in behavior. One morning, after he had retired from the company, he was sitting in the front office admiring the busy atmosphere. Suddenly, he discovered some representative from a company, which earlier had delivered some bad oil, in a conference with uncle Einar or father. Grandfather then rushed in and threw, single handedly, the man out of the office.

This was also the situation at the company. But everyone loved grandfather. They respected him for the company he had created, and because he was a good example for them. Many times he has bent over the smokers, his fist raised high to show them his thick wedding band bearing an old tint of copper. “This is the color” he said. The herrings were much deeper smoked than today.

Not only did he know the workers’ duties himself, but he also knew their duties to themselves. He understood them. People grew old serving his company.

Outside the company, people hardly noticed grandfather. He participated in a few activities with his money, but he would never seek recognition. Neither did he seek the party life in which according to his wealth and position he could partake. But when grandfather and grandmother gave parties their own parties, they went first class. The guests usually were close relatives, successful businessmen from Stranden, and grandfather’s two good friends Jens Johnsen from Bliednsel and Richard Johnsen.

The daily life was simple, somewhat country style. You must tell about it yourself, aunt Anna, about the life at home. You also get to experience grandfather’s temper. Apparently, grandfather often had to play the part of lightning conductor. However strict and simple it was, there was heart room in your home aunt Anna. Grandfather was known for his constant worries about the children’s well being. When uncle Einar’s new motor boat was tied in Hafrsfjord, grandfather spent two hours with his binoculars, and he was not very pleased for a few hours afterward. Grandfather was happy when the whole family was together.

Grandfather was conservative, and he raised his flag when his reputable name was used in issues. But he probably never directly took part in politics or any other public work. Through the newspapers he subscribed to and read from the first syllable to the last dot, he kept a good watch on what was going on around him. Once, he opened himself up for an interview—a rather unusual indecent in those days. When grandfather returned from England, where he was one of the main witnesses in the big proceedings about the herring name. The author, Theodor Dahl, who was the publisher of the Stavanger Morgenblad, interviewed him. But grandfather only spoke about the traffic in London. He was completely fascinated by this traffic, and he thought of the automobile in which he had believed ten to 12 years previously.

Most people thought that grandfather never read books, but that statement is not correct. He bought and read Alexander L. Kilelland’s books as soon as they appeared at the bookstores.

Grandfather did not make his big decision when he chose between the store and the factory, but when he stayed at Kampen in the spring when he took over the farm. He loved farming. Now, he could rest his hands on the plow and plow the factory plans down into the soil and again appear as a farmer.

When the factory became a big success, grandfather had to have some farming ground. Around 1890 he bought a far in Madelien. He did not actually labor himself, but he would say, “like this…like that” and supervise the whole operation. He carefully inspected all the work, and he did not tolerate any disorder. As a top priority, he would send my brother, Sigurd, right into the center of the field to pull a single weed, which dared to push out the plants.

The labor in the factory and in the steam kitchen did not satisfy grandfather. Often, he drove out to visit his bothers. He had to find out about and see the farm and the cattle.

Farming was held in high esteem, and grandfather kept his love of the soil. During his life in the city, he never lost this value. It gave him the balance he needed under the prevailing conditions. The progress, which he willingly followed, never blindfolded his mind, and money never impressed him. Therefore, the road he chose never carried him away from the soil from which he originally emerged, and he never became arrogant to the city life, where he maintained a good place. He served his life’s duty in accordance with the inherited min from and old farming family.

Grandfather’s total accomplishments can be seen as a curve in financial progress, but it would be impossible to do it. The material inheritance he left behind is no longer in existence, and the memory of him is the reason for us to get together on his 100th year birthday. Also, he handed down to his relatives, intact, the living gold, which he carried to town, as a fourteen year old, with strong, clean hands.

As grandfather once planted his inheritance from country to city, each and every one of us can carry forth this inheritance in our duties. In clean hands, it will grow and make life comfortable for those who take good care of it.

Today, where you, aunt Anna, are the closest living relative to your father’s family, I will, as a member of the family, thank you because we here in this home that uncle Harold and you have created, have been able to meet the good spirit, which is also part of the inheritance. Wealth and riches can split a family, but a good family spirit makes it strong.

We raise our glasses to the memory of grandfather, and direct this salute to you, aunt Anna, but we all feel part of it. And then we seal the memory of grandfather in the belief that his spirit may long live in the family.

——————– Phillip Rønneberg ——————–

Oslo, 21 November 1972

Having completed the translation of this speech prepared by Phillip Rønneberg, currently the publisher of the newspaper in Moss, Norway, I am certain that you will find many examples of weird looking sentence construction and misspelled words. But that is really irrelevant. I as another member of the family, feel great that I am allowed to give you people over there these documents with all this invaluable information about our great family. I certainly hope that the future methods of transportation will allow all of us to get together for the next important gathering in the Rønneberg family

Fondly, Jens Rønneberg