Saturday July 30...

Photo: Rainer Ulonska

...we had the third reunion within our family, at Skeda gård, Rydaholm, Sweden. We were 39 people (including spouses) and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The most touching moment was the meeting between Dick and his new found niece Marita.

In the cottage, where I had made an exhibition, we talked about the family. The themes were Kerstin Lindman, the foremother of Dick, Marita and her niece Eva-Karin, and Ellen Lindman, my great grandmother's favourite sister. (On the website, under "What's new" and "Photos and films", you can now see all the pictures, most of them taken by our master photographer Rainer Ulonska, who is also making a documentary about the reunion and Dickie's visit to Sweden.) We also talked about the future, about what will happen to the website and the family society; I suggested the following:

  • We will continue to have a society, but it won't have a membership fee; instead each member is expected to give a volontary contribution once in a while. As long as members contribute, we will afford to keep having the website.
  • You become a member when you participate in a family reunion. If you did not have the chance to participate in this reunion, but still want to be a member, you just have to tell me and it won't be a problem.
  • The blog will continue to be updated but only on special occasions (for example when a new reunion is being planned on).
  • The next family reunion will, hopefully, take place in either Canada or US, for us to really have the chance to meet our relatives overseas.


...start focus on Skeda!

Another important person...

...this Saturday: Kerstin Lindman Ring, here with daughter Louise.

Ellen Lindman (1890-1903)

Ellen was my great grandmother Anna's favourite sister. In Anna's room at Skeda, above all the other portraits (and much larger than them) she had this portrait of Ellen. She was a sociable, gifted, inquisitive girl who died of TB when she she was only 12. In the family archive we have notes and some drawings left from her; we also have the letters that her mother Lydia recieved after her death. Ellen is one of the persons that I will make speeches about during the family reunion, an event which is getting more and more close!

In one and a half week...

...we will have the third (formal) reunion of the descendants of Salomon and Lydia Lindman. The two previous have taken place in Sweden, 2008, and Canada, 2009. It now looks as we will be more than 40 people, which is the largest gathering of people at Skeda (at the same time) that I know of. During the reunion, I will make a few speeches. Among other things, I will talk about the importance of active work and engagement from my relatives (not the least the ones overseas) for this project to go on and to have a future. If there is enough interest for it, it will be possible for us to have a reunion every third year (or so), either in Sweden, Canada, or US. I am the prime mover, but I now need a lot of help to make it keep moving.

1973: From Anna to Anna

Signe Wennberg (1888-1977)

My great grandfather's sister Signe Wennberg (who was also my great grandmother's cousin) was a most interesting woman. As one of 10 siblings she grew up in Skara and Jönköping, and had her training as a teacher in Lund. In 1913 she was employed at Wintzellska skolan (a school for girls in Helsingborg) and five years later, at age 30, she became its principal. As far as I know she had that position until her retirement. As was very usual for female teachers, she never married.

For her 50th birthday, one of her collegues wrote a beautiful portrait of her in the Helsingborg daily newspaper (I make the quote in Swedish):

Genom sin psykologiska blick, sin fina intuition, klara intelligens och framför allt genom sitt moderliga hjärta har hon blivit en pedagog som få. Sällsynt väl förstår hon barnasjälen men också de ungas än mer komplicerade psyke. Harmonisk och lugn kan hon gjuta olja på upprörda vågor. Och när härvor vilja trassla till sig reder hon upp dem med beundransvärt tålamod utan att som många andra med ett brutalt hugg lösa knuten. [...]

Säkerligen skola generationer av lärjungar med tacksamhet erkänna, att hennes fasta och ändå mjuka hand lett dem rätt. Många av dem söka sig tillbaka till sin "Fröken" när de behöva råd, eller anförtro henne sina glädjeämnen och sorger.

This was 1938. Two years ago, I found three cassette tapes at Skeda, where Signe tells us about her family. I listened to them with great interest, and noticed that her way of speaking was extremely well articulated; I definetely would like to have met her. But not as a child or a teenager: as an adult with life experience. In the voicebank (linked below) you can listen to Signe's insightful thoughts about her siblings and about understanding a person's life.

A new way of teaching ethics... high school will hopefully be the result of this, seemingly endless, work of mine. Philosophical profoundness must, in this case, be combined with pedagogical usefulness.

My great aunt Stina...

...with her two boys in a photo from the 50s.

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