Noble Trygve "Trig" Olund of Abu Bekr Shriners in Sioux City, Iowa, is the recipient of the Shriner Spotlight Award for summer 2017. The award program honors outstanding nobles who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to both Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children®.
Committed to his temple, the children of Shriners Hospitals and his country
Twenty years ago, nine years into his retirement, Olund signed on as a member of the Abu Bekr Shriners Hospital Dads Unit. Ten days later, he transported a child to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities for the first time. That was nearly 300 trips ago.
Olund, according to Noble Roger Merrill, Membership Chairman of Abu Bekr Shriners, rates as "one of the 'most unforgettable nobles' ever encountered at the Abu Bekr Shrine Center." And for good reason.
Born in Northwest Iowa, Olund graduated from Merrill High School in 1947, and worked for several area farmers while he also trucked for numerous companies. He enlisted in the Iowa Air National Guard in 1950, and was called to active duty during the Korean Conflict, which ended in 1953. He returned home to assist his father with farming and trucking. During that time, he continued aviation training with the Air National Guard. In 1968, Olund was called back to active duty during the Pueblo Crisis. After again being released from active duty in 1969, he became a DCOIC of the Avionics Age Section and was appointed Superintendent in 1982, and held that position until his retirement in 1987. He served in the Air Guard and Air Force for more than 36 years, and traveled all around the United States, Panama and England. Olund has also been an American Legion member for more than 40 years.
Olund and his wife, Mary, are celebrating their 60-year wedding anniversary this year. They have two children: a son, Brian (and his wife, Pam); and a daughter, Lesly (and her husband, Craig). Olund and his wife have four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
An exemplary man, Mason and Noble
Olund is a 54-year member of Landmark Masonic Lodge #103. He served as Worshipful Master in 1970, and for a number of years on the Masonic Speakers Committee. Last year, Olund’s oldest grandson followed in his footsteps, and was also was installed as the Worshipful Master of Landmark Masonic Lodge, which was one of Olund’s proudest moments. In 2015, Olund became a 50-year member of the Scottish Rite.
In 1996, Olund joined Abu Bekr Shriners and became a member of the Hospital Dads Unit. Today, he continues as an active driver for the “kids,” and is a mentor for new trainee drivers. For his trips to the Twin Cities hospital, Olund will often meet the child and his or her parents in Sioux City for the long drive north, and return with the traveling party the following day. Olund bonds with the children and families during each five-hour trip to the hospital, and puts them at complete ease. He even brings his Norwegian entertainment “bag of goodies” along with him, and takes the time to try to amuse the children in the waiting room by showing magic tricks and telling jokes. Knowing how long a trip to the hospital must feel to a child, Olund does whatever he can to make them feel more comfortable and enjoy the experience, and has a wonderful way of making them feel special.
Olund also serves as a guide for his fellow patient transportation drivers, and shows them the easiest routes to use, especially for rush hour, where to fuel up, and the best eateries and motels. Once at the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital, the drivers-in-training not only get the full hospital tour, but Olund also introduces them to everyone there – from management, doctors, and secretaries to the maintenance staff.
Olund says that being active with the patients, parents, and fellow drivers has become the most rewarding experience for him. Never wanting any kind of special attention, in an article written about him in the Sioux City Journal, Olund said, "I'm not special, please don't make it sound that way. I'm much more humbled by the kids we take. Really, I consider it a privilege."
Olund also serves as a speaker and educator, spreading awareness about Shriners International and serving children.
“Noble ‘Trig’ Olund has quietly labored at his love for helping the ‘kids’ in excess of 50 years, while gently nudging fellow brothers to do the same through his diligent examples,” said Noble Merrill.
“We can think of no other brother more worthy that has labored for so many years, for such a noble cause, to earn the Shriner Spotlight Award as Trig Olund.”
We thank Noble Olund for his contributions to Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children, and congratulate him on receiving the Shriner Spotlight Award.
How to nominate
To submit a nomination for the quarterly award, please send the name of the person you are nominating and why, along with a photo of the noble (wearing a fez), to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Recipients may not be a member of their temple’s Divan, and must be actively involved in promoting membership.