ARTHUR ANTONIUS ANDERSON
Anderson, the son of a miner, emigrated in 1924 from Malmberget, Sweden, Lappland, with his wife and two young sons. He worked with Dahl Printing on Logan Avenue in Winnipeg and connected with fellow Swedes through "Canada Tidningen", the noted Swedish newspaper.
In 1934, he published “Stoft”, a collection of Swedish poems. He continued to write, translating poems of Robert Service, and later became a founding member of the Winnipeg Press Club and member of the Canada Press Club. He was a strong advocate for the establishment of a Swedish Archives.
In the late 1920's and onward into the 1950's, he was Director of the Swedish American Line, a passenger line that helped Swedes emigrate to Canada and return home for visits.
During WWII, two ships from SAL were seconded as Mercy Ships for refugees and regular business came to a halt. At that time, Arthur applied his Swedish Forestry degree to becoming inspector of lumber for Canadian aircraft being used for war.
He was passionate about music and for many years conducted the Swedish Male Voice Choir, which later became the Scandinavian Choir. He was active in the Swedish community, becoming President of Viking Club and instrumental in developing the Scandinavian Centre. He was also a member of the Norden Society and Order of Vasa. In the late 1940's, Arthur edited and broadcast Swedish radio programs for the Canadian Broadcasting Company.
He collected hundreds of stories from settlers in Manitoba, as he visited with them throughout the province. He was seeking to publish the stories in 1967 and had applied to the Centennial Committee for a grant. Unfortunately, the stories have vanished.
For his long service towards Swedes in Canada, especially work done with the Swedish American Line, he was awarded the Royal Patriotic Service Award Gold Medal by the King of Sweden.
Anderson was appointed Honorary Swedish Consul by Lester B. Pearson in 1955 and his tenure was extended to 1962.
His poetry was highly praised by Watson Kirkconnell, a brilliant linguist, translator and supporter of the energy of the immigrant presence to the fabric of Canada. Kirkconnell was repeatedly a Nobel Laureate nominee.
Anderson's poetry reveals a compassionate heart towards all and great reverence for the gifts of ancestors. He poignantly reveals to us a strong spirit, full of humour, longing and hope for a better world.