Did you know that at the 108 it took a village … a Viking Village … to raise a community?
You might have to be an old timer to have heard of the Viking Village at the 108. Chances are excellent that you have seen one of the early Hansen homes or perhaps driven into Hansen Court.
The Hansen Clan’s arrival to Canada began with Svend, who immigrated from Denmark in 1957. Then came the brothers Olaf, the eldest, Willi, and Borge, followed by Svend’s nephew, Mogens, two brothers-in-law, Ivan Peterssen and Frank Christensen, and Svend’s father-in-law, Frants Nielsen. They were all skilled carpenters by trade.
The family had built real estate offices for Block Bros. in Vancouver and through that connection became aware of the business opportunities at the 108 development.
The Hansens and many of their friends came to the 108 in the spring of 1969 when it was all still vacant land. Initially they slept in their trucks, tents, or in a small cluster of cabins located behind the 108 Mall. Nearby they built their manufacturing plant where they assembled many styles of attractive pre-manufactured recreational homes. The Hansen Clan were from Denmark, so naturally the settlement behind the 108 Mall became known as the Viking Village.
There were many more Danes who came and started up businesses and some are still here. Fondly referred to as the “Danish Mafia” they were all extremely hard working and honest individuals who got involved in every aspect of the 108 community.
The Danes had a hand in the construction of most of the 108’s major buildings, starting with the Clubhouse in 1969. The Hansens were also responsible for the construction of the 108 Building Supply mall complex, which officially opened 47 years ago on April 1, 1972 with more than 600 people in attendance for the event.
So, thank you to our mighty Vikings who played such a key role in raising our 108 Community. Here’s a photo of just a few of them in 1972.