Celebrating over a century of a long-standing Brooklyn fixture.
On Saturday, September 9, the Danish Athletic Club, 735 65th Street, held a dinner dance to commemorate its 125th year anniversary where members were joined by several special guests to mark the milestone.
“All in all, the day was a great success,” said Dave Thorsen, president of Danish Athletic Properties. “Cocktail hour was fantastic. We contracted to an outside caterer. It was wonderful to have all of our dignitaries here and reaffirming the club’s relationship with its neighbors and the community so that was solid.”
Guests of honor included State Senator Marty Golden, Councilmember Vincent Gentile and Norwegian Seamans Church Pastor Øystein Kvarstein.
“Aside from elected officials, the guest list had the director from the Danish Home for the Aging that used to be in Brooklyn until the 1940s,” Thorsen said.
Also in attendance were representatives from various Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Fraternal Lodges as well as their neighboring Norwegian – Gjøa Sporting Club and the Swedish Football Club.
Thorsen served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies as he and Erik Bjornson, president of the Danish Athletic Club, warmly welcomed members and guests to the festivities.
“The event was special as there hasn’t been one like it held at the club in 25 years. Every five years they used to hold a dinner dance and have a big event,” Thorsen said. “They haven’t had this event, though. The last big dinner dance that the place held was in 1992. That’s the last we have on record so this is a return to an old tradition.”
Nostalgia also played an integral role during the evening. “Some of the older members recovered some of the old journals going back into the early part of the 20th century,” Thorsen added. “Some of them are all in Danish but it’s really interesting reading the history and stories of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and downtown Brooklyn.”
The night proved that the Danish Athletic Club has come a long way since its re-launching in 2014.
“It was a special event because prior to coming here four years ago, the rumor going around Bay Ridge and south Brooklyn was that the Danish club was closing,” he added, “that it was all over and there was nobody left. We were able to show that we’re not closing and that there are still people that would like to come out and have a nice time in a formal event like this.”
As for the next venture, Thorsen said, they are now sponsoring sports teams, which the clubs haven’t done in years. “We have a new sports programs where a soccer team of Danes and Norwegians is about to launch,” he added. “We were able to announce some of these things on the floor and have those members here for the event. It was special all around.”