Memorial words, Bjarne Rieber | “He was active right up to the last moment”

Memorial words, Bjarne Rieber | “He was active right up to the last moment”
Memorial words, Bjarne Rieber | “He was active right up to the last moment”

MEMORIAL WORDS: Bjarne Rieber, Nestor in Rieber & Søn AS, left us suddenly on 7 May, shortly before he would have turned 88. He was active until the last moment.

Bjarne was born in Denmark on 10 June 1936 and came to Bergen at the age of 6 as the adopted son and only child of Tordis and Fritz C. Rieber. He grew up and had large parts of his adult life at Calvary.

For 40 years he lived at his beloved Hordnes, while in the last years of his life he returned to the residence at Kalfaret where he also died.

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After completing economic education in the USA and Switzerland, Bjarne was employed in the family’s main company Rieber & Søn on 22 June 1962. The company has roots going back to 1839.

In the decades following his appointment, Bjarne held a number of offices and positions in the family’s many companies within a number of different sectors. Over the years, the group had strong growth in various areas, but the food business Toro was probably best known to most people.

Orkla took over the group in 2013, and Bjarne continued and further developed his business based in the “Hansa building” in Kalfaret. Eventually also with the main company under the same name as before, Rieber & Søn.

Bjarne was until the end an active board member of Rieber & Søn with underlying companies, which he owned together with his children, Marianne and Fritz. He was very pleased that Fritz’s children have now become co-owners.

His other son, Ulf Johan, runs his own business, where Bjarne’s grandchildren have also become co-owners. Marianne has run a publishing business and also extensive social work in Uganda.

Bjarne has held a number of external positions in other Norwegian and foreign companies. It could be about shellfish farming, fish farming, shipping, oil and gas, companies within various industrial sectors, insurance etc. He acquired considerable knowledge of and experience from almost all business areas.

His long-standing board position in the Heart Fund at Haukeland University Hospital has in turn been taken over by Ulf Johan and Marianne.

From 1973 until 2020, Bjarne was respectively honorary consul and honorary consul general in Bergen for the Kingdom of Denmark.

Fritz C. Rieber was a pioneer in several areas. He was the initiator of the Arboretum at Milde and was very keen for the site’s development. It was an interest Bjarne inherited and he has contributed with board positions and financial grants to the creation of a unique place on a national scale, and he established the Arboretum’s Rhododendron Fund.

Bjarne’s great interest in nature led to him also developing Hordnes into an arboretum with 4,600 cataloged plants and trees of different varieties.

Bjarne had an active outdoor life where salmon fishing in Olden and grouse hunting in Skurdalen were regular annual features.

Bjarne was very interested in all art and culture in the broadest sense. Together with his wife Yvonne, he was an active supporter of and contributor to a number of institutions both in Norway and abroad. Over many decades, he has donated significant sums in this regard, e.g. to the Festivals in Bergen, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Paul Taylor Dance Group (New York) and the London Opera House.

He was also personally a passionate collector of art, which his various properties and office bear a clear stamp of.

Despite busy days and multiple commitments, Bjarne was very social. He greatly appreciated spending time with his many friends, often being the last to bed and the first to get up. He was until recently active in the Flintstone skittles club and in his Boston card club.

We, who are employees of the Rieber group with associated companies, are proud of our workplaces and we are incredibly happy that we were able to have our nestor with us for as long as we did. He was highly valued by all of us.

For me, it was 45 unforgettable and wonderful years with Bjarne in collaboration and friendship. The latter also applies to my family. We did not exchange a single unkind word with each other in all this long time. It will be hard to accept that he is no longer here.

Our thoughts go out to Bjarne’s family and we pray for his memory.

For Bjarne’s many colleagues, Øystein Elgan

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Memorial words Bjarne Rieber active moment


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