Cardiff and Norway linked in grief following massacre

July 25, 2011 No Comments »
Cardiff and Norway linked in grief following massacre

Well-wishers flocked to Cardiff’s Norwegian Church over the  weekend to pay tribute  to the victims of Norway’s bomb attack and  mass shooting.

More than 100 messages of sympathy were  left in a condolence book  in the Norwegian Church,  including from members  of the Welsh-Norwegian  Society and relatives and  descendants of Norwegian settlers in Wales.

One tribute, from  Moira Mendecci, read: “I  and my family have a  great affinity with Norway because, without the  bravery of one Norwegian in April 1940, my father would not have survived in the snow after  his Sunderland crashed.  As a result I and all my  family owe our lives to  the Norwegian people.

“They are such a caring  race and I’m sure they  will, in time, come to  terms with this terrible  event.”

A Norwegian family  who were on holiday in  Wales at the time of the  tragedy left a message  which praised the reactions of people in Wales.

It read: “I have no words  to express how I feel, but  I’m very proud that the  people of Wales have  shown such sympathy  for the people of Norway.

May they rest in peace.”Robert Llewellyn, of  Cardiff, was visiting the  church with his wife and  mother.

“When we sat  inside the church everyone was talking about  it,” he said. “You think,  ‘if it happened here how  would we feel?’

“In that respect one  has a great deal of sympathy and compassion  for the people who are  directly suffering as a  result of this tragedy.”

The church, which first  opened in 1868, and  again in 1992, is a symbol  of the capital’s links with  the country during the  growth of mining in the  19th century.

Norwegian seamen  were unable to return to  Norway during World  War II, and up to 70,000  Scandinavians are  thought to have worshipped there every year.

Wales’ notable links  with Norway also extend  to one of Cardiff’s most  famous sons – children’s  author Roald Dahl was  born of Norwegian parents after his father Harald settled in the city to  found a ship-brokering  business.

Tony Burnell, the Norwegian Church officer,  said: “People have been  signing the book and  bringing in flowers. They  have also been donating  money and leaving condolences on Facebook.”

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