Dave's from Montreal, a lawyer with Franklin and Franklin which deals with business and commercial law and debt recovery.  He has chaired several law conferences, lectures all over the place, writes articles and books and is a member of the Quebec, Canadian, and International Bar Associations.  He taught at the Molson school of business at Concordia, is a Rotarian and Charter President of the Old Montreal Club and, since 2001 he's been the Honourary Consul of Iceland in Montreal.

David brought greetings and a banner from District 7040 which includes parts of NY, ON, and PQ and reaches to Iqualuit.  His Club is centred in Montreal's Chinatown.  On a trip to Holland years ago he met people from Iceland and the relationship grew.  He's been there 24 times.

Iceland and Newfoundland have a lot in common - rocky, surrounded by the North Atlantic, dependent on fisheries and both visited and settled by Norse voyagers.  He's the Honourary Consul in Montreal where there might be 20 people actually from the country but in Manitoba there are maybe 250,000 descended from Icelanders. though most of them have never been there.  There are only 320,000 back home.  There are strong links between the two countries, though, including a free trade agreement.

Iceland is volcanic - remember the one that erupted and practically stopped transatlantic flights for a week.  The language is one of the more difficult in the world, basically old Norse going back 1,500 years and they make a real effort to keep invasive words, especially English ones, out.  They make up words for things the Norse never thought of - instead of 'TV' the word for that really means sheep vellum because they used to use that to draw stories.  The word for telephone actually means 'thread'.  The country's a little bigger than New Brunswick and the capital, Reykjavik, has about half the population.  There is a ring road around the island that's 1,800 kms long.

The flag is blue, for water - both ocean and glacial (glacial water is a huge export), white for the ice of glaciers which take up about 11% of the land mass but which are retreating at the moment, and red for the lava.  The cross, which is used on all Scandinavian flags is the one of Lutheranism.  The country uses the heat of the volcanoes in their houses and so there is little dependence on fossil fuels.  Also, though they are close to the Arctic Circle, the climate is moderated by the Gulf Stream and the mean temperature hovers around zero.  Summer highs reach 20.  No pollution means very clear air.

Dave showed us some slides of beautiful but spare countryside - few trees but lots of waterfalls.  In answer to a question he said that the banks did collapse - the government did not subsidize them - but the infrastructure was solid, tourism stayed strong (over 800,000 a year) and fishing and aluminum smelting (because of cheap power)  so the economy is rebounding well and unemployment is at about 4%.