A SECURE MAN FOR INSECURE TIMES: Fred Skancke Hansen, UNIS health and safety leader, wins 47th annual Tyfus statuette for volunteer safety, youth, political and recreation efforts


The following is the speech announcing Fred Skancke Hansen as this year’s Tyfus Statuette winner (presented to a person who has “kept the community out of typhus”) by Ottar Svensen, winner of last year’s award. Above photo of Hansen exchanging a social-distance elbow bump with Longyearbyen Mayor Arild Olsen from live online broadcast of May 17 gala at Kulturhuset.

The Tyfus Statuette recipient came to Svalbard in the previous millennium, more specifically in 1997.

This year’s recipient of the Tyfus Statuette believes that it is natural to contribute when there are conditions for doing so. The volunteer work in Longyearbyen would not have been the same without the award winner. And with his background he has become a central person who has come into contact with many of us who live in Longyearbyen.

The person we pay tribute to today is, like most former recipients of the Tyfus Statuette, a “yes” man. He is also involved in local politics – and has run for election and currently sits as a political committee member.

More than most, this year’s award recipient has taken responsibility for the security of the city. He has done both through work and voluntary efforts so that many of us can experience this wonderful place with greater security and joy, as we have learned to take care of our own safety. But even those who want to reap nature’s resources through hunting have gained from the winner’s experience and joy of sharing. Both as instructor on courses and as leader of the Longyearbyen Hunting and Fishing Association.

And if the youth have questions, he is not difficult to ask. Whether it is courses, Camp Svalbard or other events.

The prize winner is often seen in Svalbardhallen. Rumor has it that no one has seen him in the pool, but very often by the pool or in the strength room with the swimming group. And he goes to great lengths to organize and attend events. He is a clear adult role mode who is passionate about giving young people good experiences. So let’s assume that they have to endure a large dose of AC/DC and the RBK songs along the way.

It is no exaggeration to say that this year’s honorary award winner has in many ways contributed in times of typhus that there has become much less typhus in Longyearbyen.

He is also crucial when many people want to test whether they can go the distance in a ski marathon. At least our man goes the distance. And he hits the target almost every time.

Congratulations on the Tyfus Statuette 2020 winner, Fred Skancke Hansen!