Björn & Hilda (nee Holm) Sigurdson

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Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
Sigurdson, Björn & Hilda (nee Holm)

By Irene Thorbjorg (Sigurdson) Chanin

Barney and Hilda were always interested in their Icelandic heritage. Barney could recite poetry in Icelandic by the hour, as could his father before him. Hilda corresponded with an aunt Benedikta in Iceland for fifty years. Education of their children was also very important to them. The five older children attended Minerva school through the eighth grade and then went to Gimli Collegiate. The two youngest, Sylvia and John who were born deaf, attended a school for the deaf in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Hilda and Barney also took an active part in community affairs. Hilda was a member of the Minerva Ladies Aid. Barney served on the Minerva School Board, was a councilor of the Rural Municipality of Gimli and was a founding member of the Gimli Credit Union.

In the way of improvements to the farm, Barney built a new house in 1938. A new barn was built in 1943-44, with a new pump house attached. In 1950, after electricity came in, modern milking machines and equipment were used. The first tractor was bought in 1947.

Barney and his son Raymond began working in partnership in 1951. The size of the farming operation has increased many times since the early days. The dairy herd increased to 63 head before it was sold in 1980. Gilbert had bought out Barney’s share of the farm when Barney retired in 1964. Gilbert and Raymond, along with their wives, Dorothy and Alma, all worked together on the farm. Gilbert’s untimely death in 1979 brought an end to that partnership.

Hilda suffered from severe depression off and on for the last ten years of her life. She died in 1965 at the age of 58.


Sigurdson Family
Back row (L to R) Raymond, Ellen, Irene, Alice;
Front row (L to R) Sylvia, Gilbert; Inset: John

Barney continued living at Bergsstaðir for most of the rest of his life. He obtained a commercial fishing license and fished on Lake Winnipeg until after he was eighty years old. The last two years of his life, he lived in Betel. He died at the age of 85 in November 1981.

Barrie Sigurdson now oversees the farming operations at Bergsstaðir. He and his wife Ardith and sons Steen and Brett, now live in a new house at Bergsstaðir.