Mother’s Day Story: What do Margrets and Vinarterta have in common?

Mother’s Day Story: What do Margrets and Vinarterta have in common?

Who can deny that Mothers, Margréts, Margarets, Maggas, Icelandic coffee made with a bag, and Vínarterta, have not added significantly to our way of life?

On this Mother’s Day, I’m remembering an experience leading an amazing group of women who came together to support a friend by making and serving food for a reception of 350 people. What struck me was how both individually and together as a team these women simply qualified as particularly stunning in their ability to give effectively and with generosity.

A predominant number of these women were either Margréts, Margarets or Maggas by first or second name, or had mothers, or grandmothers with the name. Of course, most were of Icelandic descent. We decided amongst us that there was particular energy occurring, which could be quantified as ‘Margreting’.

Margreting became an action verb that day.

I have a Mother named Margret, and that day in her eighties she was demonstrating the verb of Margreting in action by doing what it took to serve all those people and wash up after them with no less effort than anyone else. I knew where I learned it from and was continuing to learn more. I looked around me and embraced the respectful care and love that was being generated by those women and decided I would not forget.

I would ask myself each day from that point forward, how have I ‘Margreted’ today? What have I done effectively, with generosity and caring?

On July 2, 1951, my mother Margret Sigvaldason Jackson gave an address as ‘Miss Canada’ (Miss Icelandic Canada) at the Hnuasa Icelandic Celebration in Manitoba. It was published in the Logberg on July 5, 1951. She asked the crowd “What is a Canadian?” She said in her speech “We are citizens of Canada. The Icelandic songs, and dishes, and customs, and qualities of character are all vital ingredients in the recipe for a ‘distinctive Canadian type’. Who can deny that Icelandic coffee, made with a bag, and Vínarterta, has not added to our Canadian way of life?”.

The distinctive Canadian type that I cherish seems to have close knowledge of Vinarterta. Known as synonymous with Icelandic Canadian culture, it connects our hearts and minds in a multilayered way. It’s enduring and yet rebellious. It is pure love and pioneer spirit. It has a unique ability to express who we are, and our connection with our ancestors. And yet it is so much more.

Já, YES! I realized that it was unconditional love that I felt from all those Margréts, and it is also simply expressed in our deliciously different cake.  So on that day, apart from committing to ‘Margreting’, and embracing the many layers of Margrets in my life I also decided to fill my life with more Vínarterta.

For a Picture of Mother Margrét  – June 21, 1951 – Click this link:
For a Copy of Mother Margrét’s Speech – July 5, 1951 Click this link –

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers and Children of Mothers!
Love you!

Sending you lots and lots of love,

Arden Jackson

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Arden Jackson