Memorable Manitobans: Arthur Antonius Anderson (1894-1969)
Born at Malmberget, Norbotten, Sweden on 17 January 1894, one of ten children of Gustav and Augusta Andersson, he was born without a left arm so wore a steel prosthesis to which a gloved wooden hand was attached. He was educated at Luleå University, earning a forestry degree and managing a sawmill at Sundsvall. In 1924, he came to Canada with his wife Maria Elisabet “Maj-Lis” Roos (1901-1968) and their two sons, Kaj Artur Lennart “Len” Anderson (1920-1998) and Jan Ole Anderson (1923-2016). They settled at Winnipeg where he was manager of the Swedish American Passenger Lines from 1925 until retirement. During the Second World War, he was an inspector for lumber to be used in manufacturing aircraft, and delivered broadcasts in Swedish for CBC’s “The Voice of the Nation.”
In 1934, he published Stoft (Dust), a collection of poems that was republished in 2013 under the title Stoft Dust of our Being. He was an editor for the Swedish weekly newspaper Canada Tidningen (1964-1969) and he visited the homes of Swedish immigrants in rural Manitoba to interview them and record their stories. In 1965, he applied for a grant to publish this material but it was not awarded. It is believed the stories were subsequently destroyed in a fire.
In the 1950s, he co-developed the Scandinavian Centre and he served as the Swedish Consul for Manitoba (1955-1962). He was leader and conductor of the Swedish Male Choir for over 40 years and a member of the Order of Vasa, Canada Press Club, Winnipeg Press Club, Viking Club (President), and Norden Society. In recognition of his community service, he received the Gold Medal for Long Service from the King of Sweden.
He died at the St. Boniface Hospital on 19 November 1969 and his cremains were scattered over Brereton Lake in the Whiteshell.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 21 November 1969, page 15.
Obituary [Leonard Arthur Anderson], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 October 1998, page 57.
Obituary [Jan Ole Anderson], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 July 2016, page 26.
This page was prepared by Laurel Anderson-McCallum and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 13 August 2020