Swedish king honors Moratzka

Gammelgarden director Lynne Blomstrand Moratzka.

Gammelgården director Lynne Blomstrand Moratzka was awarded membership in the Royal Order of the Polar Star by King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden in a ceremony Oct. 6 in Minneapolis.

As the king presented the medal, Gammelgården Museum was recognized for 40 years of preserving, presenting and promoting Swedish immigrant heritage.

The membership honors Moratzka for her service to the museum and her dedication in teaching others about Swedish immigrants. She has been involved with Gammelgården for most of its 40 years, 26 as director.

Scandia native David Monson, nephew of Scandia historian Anna Monson Engquist, also received the award for his contributions to the American Swedish Institute, the Swedish Council of America and Gammelgården, where he is a board member.  Monson lives in North Oaks.

The Nordstjärneorden (Order of the Polar Star) is a Swedish order of chivalry created by King Frederick I of Sweden in 1748. Its motto, Nescit Occasum, is Latin for “It knows no decline,” referring to Sweden as a never-setting star. Since 1975 the order has ben awarded to foreigners in recognition of personal service to Sweden or for the promotion of Swedish interests. About 200 people are awarded annually.

To celebrate the museum’s 40th anniversary, the king and his wife Silvia, with the Mayor of Uppsala, visited the museum. On Sunday, Oct. 7 Scandia mayor and Gammelgården tour guide Randall Simonson exchanged gifts with the Uppsala mayor after a museum tour.  On Monday, Oct. 8 Swedish Radio toured the historic buildings for a future broadcast — the same day as the museum hosted a bus tour of 40 guests.