Statistics for Moss, Norway
|Prime Minister:||Kjell Magne Bondevik|
|Population of Moss:||29,073|
|National Flower:||Purple Heather|
|Independence Day:||May 17th|
|Languages:||Bokmal (Standard Norwegian)
Nynorsk (New Norwegian)
Virginia Beach and Moss, Norway have a very unique history dating back to March 27, 1891 when the Norwegian Bark, “Dictator”, bound from Pensacola, Florida, to England, was shipwrecked off the coast of Cape Henry, north of the Seatack Lifesaving Station. The Dictator’s Captain, Jordan Jorgesen, had his wife and son aboard ship. Four crewmen were the first to reach shore in a small boat with little capacity. Several other crewmen were hauled ashore before the ship broke apart taking Captain Jorgesen’s wife and four year old son, Morcels. Captain Jorgesen made it to shore by hanging onto a piece of the wreckage. After both his wife’s and son’s bodies were recovered, they were buried in 1892 in Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia. The wooden figurehead washed ashore near the Princess Anne Hotel and was erected at Sixteenth Street until 1953 when it was in disrepair and removed.
In 1961 the decision was made in Moss, Norway, to raise the funds for a statue to be erected in Virginia Beach with an identical one in Moss. One of Norway’s leading Sculptors, Ornulf Bast, was commissioned to sculpture the “Norwegian Lady”. The citizens of Moss were so generous, they raised more than 50,000 Norwegian Kroner for the two statues. Sculptor Bast enlisted his fourteen-year old daughter, Dyvette, to be the model.
A “Norwegian Lady” statue was dedicated in Virginia Beach and in Moss, Norway in 1962, thus forging a bond between the two cities that has resulted in mutual visits by delegations from both cities.
The Sons of Norway and the Norwegian Sister City representatives annually celebrate the Norwegian Lady in a ceremony on the Fourth Saturday of March. Among guests who have honored this celebration are: the Queen of Norway, the model for the statue, Dyveke Bast and her family. The King’s Honor Guard was featured at the celebration in 2008. In September 2013, Mrs. Bast, the Mayor of Moss, Tage Pettersen and other dignatarieswere guests of SCAVB and participated in the ceremony at the Norwegian Lady as well as the dedication of the Peace Poles at the Oceanfront [near the Statue and one at Town Center] for the City’s 50th Anniversary Celebration [September 18-22, 2013].
The Moss, Norway / Virginia Beach, Virginia partnership was chartered on May 11, 1974.