Skärgårdarnas Riksförbund – SRF – the National Association for the Swedish Archipelago) was established in 1982 and covers, among other things, matters relating to employment, housing and transportation. During April, Sune Fogelström from Möja island took over as chairman after Bengt Almkvist, who has been the leader of SRF almost from its startup nearly thirty years ago.
Bengt has been of incalculable benefit to SRF and to the 32,000 islanders they represent. A cool diplomat in the Swedish tradition, Bengt is always running on low gear but covering astonishing mileage both mentally and literally as there are 580 small, un-bridged islands along the coasts and in the lakes of Sweden. His four greatest hits may well be the following:
1 When SRF after ten years (1993) managed to get funding from the Rural Development Agency to be used for designing a program for the Swedish archipelagos. This was the the first time SRF actually could to influence the development of the islands.
2 When SRF after fifteen years (1998) managed to get yearly grants from the Swedish government under Prime Minister Göran Persson, and could employ a secretary.
3 When SRF during a meeting at Möja island (2001) took lead in the creation of ESIN and hosted its first presidency.
4 When SRF after twenty years (2003) was able to get EU funds to implement the project Archipelago for the future which resulted in ten White Papers.
Not an easy task for Sune Fogelström to succeed such a guy as Bengt – but Sune is no rookie, having been in the SRF Board of Directors for ten years and a member of its working committee. We wish him the best of luck!
Bengt and Sune, photo by Eva Widlund, Skärgården http://www.skargarden.se/fogelstrom-blir-ny-ordforande-for-srf/