The Medal for Outstanding Civic Achievement, a Rescuer Is Honored

Torstein Reinholdtsen rescued dozens of people at sea. Learn about the Medal for Outstanding Civic Achievement, a Rescuer Is Honored.

Inside the object storage room at Øksnes Museum in Alsvåg there is a medal. It has a ribbon in red, white and blue, the front is adorned with King Carl Johan XIV’s profile and his name and title as king of Norway and Sweden.
On the back is written “for civic deed” surrounded by laurels.
The medal was given to Torstein Reinholdtsen (1827–1907) during a service in Øksnes church for having saved many people at sea through repeated heroic deeds. There are many stories about Torstein’s achievements at sea. Among other things, it is said that he arrived a full hour late for the handover because on the way to the service he came across a boat in distress at sea and saved another ten men from drowning, including his own son.
The common story is the medal was awarded by king Carl Johan (1763–1844). In that case, Torstein would have just been a young boy when he received the medal. The ribbon with the colors of the flag came into use in 1844, when Torstein was 17 years old. The Medal for Outstanding Civic Achievement was redesigned under King Haakon VII (1872–1957) in 1907.
In the book by Yngvar Reichelt Medaljen for borgerdaad the decision to grant the medal was made on the 22nd of May 1875. During the reign og king Oscar the II.
He was awarded the medal for having rescued seven men from certain death at sea on the 14th of november 1874
Torstein Reinholdtsen’s achievement is also immortalized with a bauta set up at Kråknes in Øksnes. The bauta was unveiled during Fishermen’s Day on 18 August 1973, and can be visited on the way out to Nyksund.

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