History of the Bergen Irish Society
Although Bergen Irish Society was officially formed in 1999, its origins go back to the early 90s, when get-togethers were arranged on an ad-hoc basis by the Irish in Bergen at that time, many of whom are still here and are founding members of BIS. This was still in the very early days of the Internet, even before Google, when looking for Irish in Bergen still involved scanning the telephone directory for Irish names, a task taken on by our friend Alan McIntyre, RIP. The need for an easy way to contact members and the desire for a more organised cultural network spurred people to consider forming a society.
Some of our milestones are:
First committee election, on 27th Oct 1998; Liam Lawlor elected as first chairman of BIS. The Irish Embassy in Copenhagen was notified and the Irish ambassador James Sharkey sent us a letter of congratulations on the formal establishment of the BIS.
Jan 2001 Eamonn Doyle being elected as chairman. In Oct 2008, BIS was represented by Eamonn, Ruben Moi and Sister Mary at the State visit of President Mary McAleese to Norway. In June 2009, BIS celebrated our 10th anniversary with a barbecue attended by Garry Ansbro the then Irish Ambassador to Norway.
On the 19. Mar 2011, Eamonn represented BIS as Grand Marshall of the Oslo St Patricks Day Parade. From Oct 2012 to June 2015, Gavin Collins was chairman. From June 2015 to September 2016, Eileen Bergesen led the way in a Seachtain na Gaelige week as part of Centenary for 1916. Also during this week Ulriken Tower went Green along with many other important structures over the whole world.
September 2016: Marianne has now taken over the role as Chairperson.