28 March 2012

King George Tupou V of Tonga laid to rest

The funeral of King George Tupou V of Tonga, who died at Hong Kong on Sunday 18 March 2012, took place yesterday, Tuesday 27 March 2012, at the Royal Tombs, Mala'e Kula, in the capital Nuku'alofa. Photos from the ceremony can be viewed at the website of Matangi Tonga Online.

According to the Tonga Government Portal and Matangi Tonga, several high-level dignitaries attended the funeral. Among them were the Governor-General of New Zealand, Rt. Hon. Sir Jeffrey Mateparae, Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Hon. Bill English, New Zealand minister of foreign affairs, Murray McCully, minister of Pacific Island affairs, Hekia Parata, Minister of Maori Affairs Dr. Pita Sharples as well as Labour party leader David Shearer, Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce and parliamentary seretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles, HH Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi and HH Masiofo Filifilia of Samoa, the Maori King, HM King Tuihetia and Makau Ariki Atawhai, the Duke of Gloucester (Prince Richard of the United Kingdom), TIH Prince and Princess Hitachi of Japan, the Governor General of Papua New Guinea HE Sir Michael Ogio and his wife Esme Ogio as well as the President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and his wife Adi Koila.


23 March 2012

Ilford War Memorial Gardens, Redbridge, Greater London, United Kingdom





(5) "To the glory of God and in honoured memory of the ex cadets of then Ilford Wing, Air Training Corps, who gave their lives for their country during the World War, 1939-1948."

(6) Ilford War Memorial Hall, erected 1927.

(7) See the website of the historian John Barnes for more details about Sir Fredric Wise, MP (1871-1928) and his wife Lucy Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Thomas Wrightson Bart., MP of Neasham Hall, Darlington.



In October 2011 I travelled with a group from Supporterunionen for Britisk Fotball (SBF) in connection with the association's 25th anniversary. Normally I am staying at the Tavistock Hotel near Russels Square on the Piccadilly Line when I am in London, but the SBF committee had settled for the Holiday Inn Express Hotel near Newbury Park tube station in Ilford (London Borough of Redbridge). A nice hotel in a nice area, although a bit too far from downtown London. But it was a good starting point for our excursion to Birmingham. The stay at Ilford also proved my view that you can find something interesting to see (and write a blog about) almost wherever you are in the world.

If you leave the hotel and walk down the road to the Newbury Park tube station, you will have to pass the Ilford War Memorial Gardens, and I decided to make a stop there on my last day of the visit. According to the information plaque, the land for the Memorial Gardens was purchased in the early 1920s from the proceeds of a public appeal launched at the end of WW1 to provide a memorial for the Ilford men killed during "the great war". It was decided that most of the money collected should be used to build a Children's Ward for the Ilford Emergency Hospital together with a Memorial Gardens, a monument and a Memorial Hall, which should record the names of the war dead and serve as the entrance to the Children's Ward.

The war memorial monument, which features a soldier bronze figure designed by the sculptor Newbury Abbott Trent (1885-1963), was unveiled on 11 November 1922, while the Memorial Hall situated in the north-east corner of the gardens, and the Children's Ward, were finished in 1927. The gardens also serve as a memorial to the 538 local servicemen and women and 552 civilians killed during WW2.

The Ilford War Memorial Hall, which records the names of 1.159 Ilford men killed during WW1, was opened by Lady Patricia Ramsay, formerly HRH Princess Patricia of Connaught (1886-1974), on 25 June 1927. According to the information board outside the hall, it was intended to serve both as a memorial and as the entrance hall to the new Children's Ward, known as the Walter Stevens Wing, of what was then the Ilford Emergency Hospital, later the King George V Hospital.

The Children's Ward was later demolished. The Memorial hall was never used as an entrance to the Childrens Hospital as originally intended, and when the hospital was closed in 1993, the Memorial Hall could easily have passed into history and become totally forgotten. Fortunately the historic significance of the building was recognized, and in 1995 both the hall and the monument were added to the statutory list of buildings of architectural or historic interest. The building was restored and the Council of the London Borough of Redbridge is today responsible for its unkeep. The Memorial Hall is open on Remembrance Day and at other times during the year (check out the website for more information).


20 March 2012

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Norway

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arriving at the Nobel Peace Center together with the King and Queen of Norway. The Queen is shaking hands with Eskil Pedersen, chairperson of the Workers' Youth Leage.

The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles of the United Kingdom) and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrived in Oslo today for a three-day visit. The princely couple is touring Norway, Sweden and Denmark as part of the commemorative activities marking the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The main celebration will take place in June 2012.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived at Oslo Airport Gardermoen at 1.40 p.m. and were received by Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Later the princely couple were accompanied by King Harald and Queen Sonja at the traditional wreath laying ceremony at Akershus Fortress. The Prince of Wales then met Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in the official PM residence, before the princely couple and the king and queen of Norway arrived at the Nobel Peace Center just before 4 p.m. The purpose of this visit was to meet survivors from the attack at Utøya on 22 July last year and other Norwegian youth leaders. I was present outside the centre when the royals arrived (I was not close enough to get any decent photos, though). The number of spectators was not that impressive - it might be because the details of the program was released only at 10.30 today - but the spring weather was lovely, and the Duchess of Cornwall received most cheers.

In the evening King Harald and Queen Sonja hosted an official banquet in honour of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Royal Palace in the presence of 74 guests. Among them were Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Märtha Louise and Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner.

The visit continues at Bergen tomorrow. More details of the visit can be viewed at Kongehuset.no. The website includes links to a photo album, which is being updated continously, and the speech King Harald V held at the banquet tonight. The complete press program can be viewed here (pdf, in Norwegian). See also VG.no, Dagbladet.no, Aftenposten.no and NRK.no for articles and more photos.

On Thursday 22 March the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will continue their roundtrip in Sweden, before moving on to Denmark on 24 March. Details of these visits can be viewed here, here and here (Sweden; the last link goes to the British Embassy's website) and here and here (Denmark; the last link goes to the English version).

Postscript 3 April 2012: One of the photos I took outside the Nobel Peace Center turned out to be not that bad after all, so I added it tonight.

Updated on Tuesday 3 April 2012 at 23:30 (photo and postscript added, typo corrected).


Royal christenings - Sweden and Denmark

The Royal Court in Stockholm, Sweden released a press statement earlier today, 20 March 2012, informing that the christening of Princess Estelle, the firstborn child of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, will take place at the Palace Church on 22 May 2012. Archbishop Anders Wejryd will officiate the ceremony. Princess Estelle was born on 23 February 2012.

The christening of Princess Estelle will, by the way, take place only 2 days after another royal christening - that of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark's daughter, who was born on 24 January 2012. The Danish royal christening will take place at Møgeltønder Church near the Schackenborg estate at 5 p.m. In other words, as I write these lines, in 60 days and 18 hours we will finally know the name of the new princess of Denmark!


Death of King George Tupou V of Tonga (1948-2012)

The Tongan Ministry of Information & Communications issued a press release on 19 March 2012 informing that HM King George Tupou V, had died the day before at Hong Kong, 63 years old. The king, who succeeded his father, King Taufa'auah Tupou IV, on 11 September 2006,* will surely be remembered first of all for introducing democracy to the Pacific monarchy.

According to The Guardian, Tongan media reports say the king underwent a liver transplant last year and had also been diagnosed with cancer. He died at the Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, with his younger brother and heir at his bedside. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

King George Tupou V, who was unmarried, has been succeeded by his younger brother H.M. 'Aho'eitu 'Unuaki-'o-Tonga Tuku'aho Tupou VI, b. 12 July 1959. He is married to Heuifanga Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho, b. 1954, and has 3 children by her - Princess Angelika, b. 1983, Prince Siaosi, b. 1985, and Prince Viliami, b. 1988. Prince Siaosi, the new king's oldest son, is expected to receive the title of Crown Prince of Tonga during the next few weeks. For more details of the Tongan royal family's genealogy and all their titles, see The Royal Ark. The new king's reign name has yet to be announced, so for now I have used his full name, H.M. ‘Aho’eitu ‘Unuaki-’o-Tonga Tuku’aho Tupou VI. The new king has served Tonga in many positions, including the post of Prime Minister from 2000 to 2006. From 2012 he served as his brother's personal ADC.

Some obituaries and news articles concerning King George Tupou V:
  • His Majesty King George Tupou V of Tonga (Telegraph.co.uk 18 March 2012)
  • King who steered Tonga towards democracy dies aged 63 (Guardian.co.uk 18 March 2012)
  • Tonga's colourful king dead at 63 (Abc.net.au 19 March 2012)
Condolences has poured in from all over the world, and I have decided to include two examples. Buckingham Palace has released the following statement:
It is with great sadness that I learnt of the death of your brother, His Majesty King George Tupou V. King George was a true statesman who served his country with distinction.

On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, Prince Philip and I wish to convey to your family and to the people of the Kingdom of Tonga our deepest sympathy at this sad time.

The Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway has released the text of the condolence telegram HM King Harald V has sent to the new king of Tonga:
His Majesty Tupou VI,
King of Tonga

Your Majesty,
I was deeply saddened to hear the news that His Majesty King George Tupou V of Tonga has passed away. Please receive my deepest condolences and my sympathy for Yourself, Your family and the people of Tonga.

Harald R

In connection with the death of King George Tupou V, I have earlier today updated my Longest reigns page.

* The statement by the then Prime Minister of Tonga, Dr. Feleti Sevele, issued 11 September 2006, said that HM King Taufa'auah Tupou IV died in Auckland, New Zealand at 11:34 p.m. on 10 September 2006 (New Zealand time), 12:34 a.m. on 11 September 2006 (Tongan Time), cf. Pacific Magazine 11 September 2006.


15 March 2012

Siselinna Cemetery, Tallinn, Estonia

(2) Graves of an Russian Orthodox archbishop named Pavel and a bishop named Issidor.
(7) Grave of Olga (1903-1916), Oskar (1908-1916) and Juhannes Johanson (1918-1926). Such short lives...
(9) Family grave of Taru, Pontak and Luisk.
(11) Promani and Ilja family grave.
(12) Grave of the musician Rolf Uusväli (1930-2005). Not easy to find information about him, though, but the monument certainly gives you the idea that he played the organ. If anyone has more details, please tell!
(14) Hans Mittenpaul (1835-1905).
(15) Grave of Johannes Heinrich Bunabart (1880-1912) and Marti Bunabart (b. 1845, death year missing - it is not even registered at the cemetery's official website).
(16) Grave of Daniel Reeps (1868-1960) and Helene-Wilhelmine Reeps, née Pukk (1888-1970).
(17) Eduard Ferdinand Beckmann (1871-1908).
(19) Another Johanson grave - Alide (1888-1936) and Julius (1880-1942).
(20) Grave of Peeter (1833-1910) and Leena Kulberg (1835-1908).
(27) Map of to of the three cemeteries. In the following a list of graves of prominent people.
Before my trip to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, in November 2011, I had prepared myself among others by checking out the official website of Tallinn Tourism, which to my great surprise contained a subpage surveying the cemeteries in the capital. I decided that if I got some additional time, I would try to visit one of them. 

Metsakalmistu (the Forest Cemetery) or Pärnamäe semed to be most interesting - the former included among others the graves of the first Estonian president, Konstantin Päts, and the writer Anton-Hansen Tammsaare (didn't I pass his house on my way to Kadriorg Park?) - but the said cemeteries were both situated several kilometres from the old city of Tallinn. As I preferred to walk, I decided for the forest cemetery of Siselinna. 

Siselinna, measured to about 18 hectares, is actually not one cemetery, but three - the former Russian Orthodox Cemetery established in 1775 and known as Aleksander Nevski Cemetery, the Estonian Vana-Kaarli Cemetery opened in 1864 and the Military Cemetery (the Defence Forces Cemetery). I didn't visit the latter, though. I can't say that Siselinna is situated in the nicest part of the city, I would certainly not have visited the place at night (but the cemetery would have been closed anyway!), but it was a nice walk from the old city. The cemetery - or cemeteries - were interesting enough, even though I didn't know any names of the people buried there. As a forest cemetery it was rather dark at times, and I was not satisfied with the quality of all the photos I took. The enscribed names were rather representative of Estonian history, as one could find Swedish, German, Estonian and Russian family names. 

Go to the cemetery's official website to read more and to search for details about the graves. 
This article is the third and last from my November 2011 visit. I hope to get back to Tallinn and Estonia again in the not too distant future! 

11 March 2012

The Galtung Family past and present

Lars Ove Wangensteen continues to make genealogical works available at his website Wangensteen.net. Last month I mentioned the book Den dansk-norske adelsslægt Huitfeldt (Hogenskild) ("The Danish-Norwegian noble family Huitfeldt (Hogenskild)").

Wangensteen has recently added a publication about Galtung, yet another family listed in Danmarks Adels Aarbog (Yearbook of the Danish Nobility). Galtungernes ældste historie indtil 1660 ("The Galtungs' oldest history until 1660") by O. Olafsen was published in 1910 and can be viewed here. 123 genealogical titles can now be found at Wangensteen.net, and more will be added, so check it out from time to time. For your information The Norwegian Nobility - survey of 1886 can be viewed here. H.J. Huiteldt-Kaas' article from 1886, De nulevende adelsslægter i Norge, which the survey is for the most part based on, is also included at Wangensteen.net.

Returning to the Galtung family again, as far as I know the most recent major work about this family is Galtungslekten i fortid og nutid ("The Galtung Family past and present") published by Lars F. Galtung in 1974. The work includes Johan Ellertsen Galtung's manuscript on the family from 1948, besides contributions by Henning Sollied, Lars Hamre, Olav Kolltveit, Eyvin Dahl, J.J. Jåthun, K.S. Kleppe, Asgaut Steinnes and Lars F. Galtung.

Galtungslekten i fortid og nutid was with a few changes reprinted in 1997 by Johan Ellertsen Galtung's granddaughter Elin Galtung Lihaug. The book includes 17 genealogical charts of the older and the younger Galtung families.


7 March 2012

Hoelseth.com - some progress

I have written about my work to move all the contents from my old Geocities website to my current domain Hoelseth.com on several occasions, for instance here. Obviously the work is taking more time than I expected when the new website was launched in the fall of 2009, but that is the way it is. My family and my work have to come first. In addition I spend a lot of time on this blog as well as on several genealogical projects, committee work for the Norwegian Genealogical Society and other hobbies.

I am happy, however, to tell that I have made some progress on my website lately. All the documents and other subpages which could be found at my Geocities page have now been moved to my Constitution of Norway website Grunnloven.net. In addition several new documents have been added, including the Act of Union of 1815 as well as the Norwegian version of the Act of Succession, which Norway had in common with Sweden from 1814 to 1905. As I have written at my website, my aim with Grunnloven.net is to give a survey of consolidated (updated) and historical versions of the Norwegian Constitution and of all the modifications or amendments to the Constitution passed in the period between 1814 and today. It is a huge project, so the readers have to accept that it will take some time to finish it. Hopefully I will manage to get all the modifications/amendments added before the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution in 2014. I will not make any promises, though!

Most of the texts will be in Norwegian, but I am planning to add more consolidated versions in English - and some also in French - in the future. I have plenty of documents waiting to be scanned and coded, it is just a question of when I get the time. Obviously it takes more time to work on the oldest documents. Until 1906 Norsk Lovtidend (the Norwegian Legal Gazette), one of the most important sources, was published in Gothic, so I hope there will be more progress when the union dissolution year is done. As you can see, I haven't done everything in the cronological order, as some periods have been more interesting than others, but I am pretty sure that the 1860s will be included in my next update.

My next project, besides adding more documents to my Constitution page, will be to get all the royal resolutions and other documents concerning the Norwegian Royal Family back to my Documents page. My survey of new or updated pages will usually not include all the old subpages, but please check out http://www.hoelseth.com/res/ and http://www.hoelseth.com/doc/ from time to time, as those indexes will show the status at any time. You can among others view the resolution of 7 March 1888 by which Prince Oscar (Bernadotte) is released from his Relation as a subject to Norway. Or what about King Christian Frederik's abdication declaration from 10 October 1814 or the Storting declaration of 4 November 1814 acknowledging his decision?

The indexes concerning other past and present monarchies will also return in due time. Some pages are already in place: Sweden, Denmark, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. I guess most people google in order to find the information they are looking for instead of using such links pages as a starting point. But many of my index pages will include links to constitutional documents etc. stored at Hoelseth.com, so when people first have stumbled over information at my website, they might find the index pages useful to see other documents I have provided.