Danish Club History

The Forming of The Danish Club in San Francisco

The Danish Club was founded in San Francisco on May 31, 1945 by Emil Messerschmidt and a group of men he had asked to meet for lunch at the Pearl Oyster House on 422 Pine Street for the purpose of supporting various Relief Works for Denmark and South Slesvig.

The group consisted of Hans V. Andersen, Consul Mogens Bildsøe, V. Bøgvad-Christensen, Martin Cramer, Consul Wallace Hansen, Svend Hildebrandt, Emil Messerschmidt, Johannes Skytte, and Sven Stribolt.

At the meeting, Mr. Messerschmidt suggested the forming of a Danish Club in San Francisco. Consul Wallace Hansen of Hong Kong encouraged the idea, emphasizing the valuable work Danish clubs in other parts of the world were doing.  The group voted unanimously to found The Danish Club; Emil Messerschmidt was elected provisional Chairman and Sven Stribolt was elected provisional Secretary until a meeting for the purpose of electing officers was called.

At that time, the United Nations Conference on International Organization was in session in San Francisco.  On June 5, 1945, Denmark was invited to be a participant in this conference and The Danish Club arranged its first function by honoring the Danish Delegation to the United Nations Conference at a luncheon at Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

The honored guests were the three delegates:  Minister Henrik Kauffmann, Professor Erik Husfeldt and Professor Hartvig Frisch as well as Consul General Axel Sporon-Fiedler and his son, Frans Sporon-Fiedler who was the Danish Delegation Secretary.  Consul General Sporon-Fiedler was at the time dean of the Consular Corps in San Francisco in addition to working with the Danish Delegation.

A large group of Danish-American men participated in this gathering and it has since then become a custom of The Danish Club to honor prominent Danes visiting San Francisco.

On June 28, 1945, The Danish Club met in “Bien’s” building to support a luncheon for the benefit of American-Denmark Relief, Inc.  After the luncheon, the members elected the following officers:

Mogens G. Bildsøe, President
Sven Stribolt, Vice President
Emil A. Hagstrom, Treasurer
Sven Hildebrandt, Financial Secretary

Other members of the Board of Directors:

Walter E. Hansen, John Jorgensen, C. J. Klitgaard, and Emil Messerschmidt.

No recording secretary was elected at that meeting.  However, the President appointed John Jorgensen as the Club’s Secretary on August 1, 1945.

Footnote: At the forming of the United Nations in 1945, it was at one time suggested to locate the world headquarters of the UN at the site where the Baptist Seminary in Strawberry, Mill Valley is now.  We all know now of course that New York won out.

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