|Photo courtesy of the INL of NA
website / INLofna.org
|Author: Dr. Ken Thorlakson, Winnipeg, MB|
I first met Walter Sopher in Hecla, Manitoba. It was April 2004 and the occasion was his installation as president of the Icelandic National League of North America. At the time, I was chairman of Lögberg-Heimskringla's recently formed Future Fund Capital Campaign, and was seeking co-operative relationships with other Icelandic cultural organizations, especially the INL of NA. As it came to pass, Walter’s enthusiastic personal commitment to INL of NA and L-H, during and after his presidency, made for constructive and valuable relationships between these two venerable cultural institutions.
During the Future Fund Campaign, Walter played a key role in Lögberg-Heimskringla’s search for office facilities to replace its cramped, out-of-the-way quarters. He brought his friend and fellow Edmontonian Gordon Reykdal into the picture. Gordon had just established a Winnipeg location for his company Cash Store, and offered part of its ample space at 283 Portage Avenue rent-free to the newspaper, thereby greatly increasing L-H’s capacity to produce a quality publication.