Being honored by the Swedish Americans

Charlene Hanson Jordan at the presentation of Merit Awards by the Swedish Council of America at a banquet at the Driskill Hotel in Austin on April 4, 2014.

Charlene Hanson Jordan

“Charlene is a member of SWEA-Austin, Vasa Order of America, and the Elgin Historical Association.
“Charlene is also an author. Her latest, and fourth book, “WHISPERS IN THE CHURCH, Swedish Witch Hunt, 1672″ was published in 2012. Her third book, “Stuck in the Mud at Post Oak Island” is on Texas and Swedish immigrant hisory. The preceding books were “Crossroads Elgin” and “Twelve Texas Swedish Quarterlies.”
“Past recognitions include a 2005 commendation from the American Associatin of State and Local History, Uddevalla’s Order of the Raven (Swedish: Korpagillet), and Post Oak Island Masonic Lodge’s Community Builder of the Year (1997).”

[It was a Jordan family event in that Minnie and Ella Jordan performed on the violin and guitar and Andre and
Travis Jordan stayed for the dinner. Travis took the photograph on his iPhone.]

Elisabeth Engquist Kihlberg
“Elisabeth came to the United States with her husband, Dr. Björn Engquist. In California, she worked as a freelance writer for the Swedish press and as a volunteer for different Swedish-American organizations until she started working at the Consulate General of Sweden in 1985. As part of New Sweden 88, she helped plan seminars for the Scandinavian teachers at American universities and organized numerous cultural events.
“Here in Austin, Elisabeth has worked as a coordinator for college students wanting to study abroad. In 2005 she was instrumental in starting SWEA – Austin Chapter and was President for three years. She has also helped rescue the old Moline Swedish Lutheran Cemetery [Elroy] that was founded in 1897.

Barbara Gustafson Pate:
“Barbara has secured over $40,000 from the city of Austin for restoration and protection work for the Swedish Log Cabin in Austin Zilker Park.
“The work on the cabin starts next week after the end of the Zilker Garden Festival this weekend. She also serves as a docent to provide information to the thousands of visitors to the festival about the Swedes who settled Texas.
“She has for several years served as Chair of the Evangelical Free Church Cemeteries Association which has created an endowment to maintain two Swedish Evangelical Free Church Cemeteries.”

Carrin Mauritz Patman:
“Mrs. Patman has during her active part of her life been a dedicated promoter of Sweden and Swedish culture in the Austin Texas region. She has always been involved in all different Swedish organizations as well as established a unique relationship with Texas University where we today, thanks to Carrin, have a chair dedicated to learning Swedish.
“Thanks to Carrin’s dedication a Foundation for Swedish Studies Excellence Endowment has been established and today a monetary platform including over 1 Million US$ is securing that a Swedish profile will continue to bepresent at the University of Texas.”
[Carrin’s husband, Bill Patman, a Democrat, served in the Texas State Senate, District 18, and in the United States House of Representatives, District 14. He died in 2008. Carrin received the highest honor from the Swedish Council of America, the SCA Great Achievement Award, that includes the Swedish Order of the Polar Star.]

LeLand Lundgren
“Leland has devoted a lifetime to honor his Swedish heritage. He has worked tirelessly for many, encouraging others to appreciate the strong character and resilience of the Swedish people, who immigrated to America.
“Leland has been a leader of the Austin Scandinavian Club of Austin and the Elgin Texas Swedish Interest Group. He promotes the respect and honor due our ancestors for their courage in coming to this country to secure freedom of faith and to procure the hopes and dreams of a better life for their families.”
The Swedish Council of America is a national umbrella organization uniting nearly 350 organizations and thousands of individuals interested in the Swedish heritage. The Swedish Council of America maintains headquarters and staff in Minneapolis, MN and is governed by a Board of Directors representing many geographic, cultural, professional and organizational interests throughout Swedish America. It is the mission of the Swedish Council of America to “support and to foster cooperative relationships between all groups and individuals whose purpose is to promote knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Swedish heritage in American life, and to strengthen contemporary cultural and educational ties between North America and Sweden.”

Bertil Fredstrom, who often does his magic shows around Elgin, was the Swedish Council of America’s board member in charge of the Austin event.