The Early Days of NACC Southwest Chapter
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
A recollection of the founding and early days, by Jean Sissener
The founding of NACC SWC was in 1975 and the first President was Peder Monsen who at the time represented Fred Olsen etc. and was involved with the building of the first supply vessels for Norwegian shipowners. A very supportive member was the President of Bay Houston Towing and Honorary Norwegian Consul Doug Hayden. Terje (Ted) Torjussen was the second President and I was elected 1980 followed by Buzz Gralla and then Peter Motzfeldt. At that time Norway opened its General Consular with Harald Midttun as Consul General. The Consulate was then moved from New Orleans to Houston.
As manager of NACC SWC we had a student who attended University of Houston, his name was Jostein Hauge. When he left another student was hired, Ola Tiedeman Johannesen. We where able to have a small office within the consulate located at Briar Hollow.
When I was elected we had approx. 60 members mostly companies related to shipping operators, agents etc. during my time we where able to increase the numbers to approx. 80.
Our meeting was mostly at the Houstonian while when we had meetings with King Olav V, Crownprince Harald, Prime minister Nordli and Oil and Energy minister Stoltenberg we used River Oak Country Club thank to the Hayden family who was a member.
I do not remember who was NACC SWC’s first female member but they where always welcomed, our third manager was Jane Eimstad who was in charge of our traditional Christmas luncheon at a hotel at the Galleria. The hotel had a Norwegian Chef who produced a very traditional "Julebord". We had ribbe, ham, different type of herring etc. Normally we had somewhere between 150 and up to 300 people attending.
We also had a shipping seminar in co-operation with Norwegian Shipowner Association and INTERTANKO at the Houstonian. Norway was also elected country of the year where we had Anette Boe and Ivar Formo (Very famous cross country skiers) running a race in down town Houston on roller skies. A visit by the sailing ship Christian Radich (full details hereand see picture below) also took place with additional visit to Galveston and a cruise for invited members offshore. A couple of years later we had a visit from the replica Viking ship Saga Siglar.
Our General Consular at the time Harald Midtun had a lot of contacts in the Norwegian world of entertainers. In co-operation with NACC SWC we arranged concerts with Arve Tellefsen and Eva Knardahl, Erik Bye, Lasse Kolstad og Knut Skram.