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Swan White Lily” A tribute to Svanhvit Lilja Sigrun Holm Mann

Photo courtesy of Pamela Mann

Author: Pamela Mann, Lundar, MB

It was 1922 and the world was slowly recovering from the devastation of World War I and the scourge of the Spanish flu pandemic. International borders were being redrawn: the Ottoman Empire was overthrown, the USSR was formed, and the peaceful attempt to bring India under Indian rule landed Gandhi in jail for sedition. North America had recently emerged from two crippling back-to-back recessions. In the US, President Harding had just won the election the previous year on the campaign slogan, “Return to Normalcy.” The sultry voice of Fanny Brice singing “My Man” topped the charts as new radio stations popped up all over America. In Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie King was prime minister and British Columbia changed driving on the left to driving on the right. Manitoba had a population of just under half of what it has today and, in the small town of Lundar, nestled in the woods near Lake Manitoba, my mother, Svanhvit Lilja Sigrun Holm, was born. She was the seventh and youngest child of hard-working Icelandic Canadians, Sigridur and Sigurdur Danielsson Holm. She had 5 older brothers: Adolf (b. 1906), Gustaf Bernard (b.1907), Arnold (b. 1910), Oswald (b. 1913) and Daniel (b. 1915), and one sister, Helga (b.1920). Helga was most excited at Lilja’s birth and exclaimed, “I have a new dolly with blue eyes.”  . . .

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