Born in Svendborg, Denmark |
Lis was fourteen years old in 1957 when her family left Denmark by ship to meet her father in New Brunswick. After WWII ended, steady work was not always easy to get in Denmark so many Danes left for North America. She eventually married and then got divorced, after which she moved around Canada taking many low-paying temporary jobs. Nothing was permanent until she was hired at the Toronto Star’s mailing room – working the presses, handling the finished newspapers coming off the conveyor belts, tying them into bundles and stacking them on skids. She stayed at this job until retirement, a job which she says “sort of saved [her] life”. Lis is enjoying her retirement, spending time with family, and hoping to move to Cuba eventually.
Toronto as Home
Lis wanted to be photographed at her apartment in Burlington where, from her balcony, she sees Lake Ontario with many sail boats that remind her of her childhood growing up on the southern tip of the large island ’Fyn‘. She says it had the best beach ever, with “white sand like powder”. Lis likes her apartment, because it is a short distance to her favourite shops. As a sufferer of colitis, an illness caused by her accidentally ingesting DDT in 1966, Lis prefers to shop at stores that are “European” as the food has less additives and preservatives compared to North American food.
Connection with the Past
Lis keeps three photographs that she treasures on a dresser in her living room. These photos include both sets of her grandparents as well as her own parents. The photo in the centre is of her parents. The one to the left, next to her mother, is of her maternal Grandparents, and the one on the right, next to her father, is of her paternal Grandparents. The two birds in front are the Pessimist, with the tail down and the Optimist, the one with the tail up. They were given to her by her beloved Aunt Mary (her Mother’s younger sister). Lis says the Viking ship in the centre is there because Vikings are a part of her ancestry and they remind her of Denmark.