It is with sadness and loving memories the family of Sven Ell announces his passing on September 12, 2006. Sven was born December 24, 1909 in Bracke, Sweden the second child in a family of 10.
He arrived in Canada after an eight day voyage on the Gripsholm on September 24, 1928. He often commented that it took him eight days to come to Canada and each of his seven trips back to Sweden where he renewed his family ties only took eight hours. Upon arrival to Canada Sven traveled to Alberta and a year later came to British Columbia where he spent many years working in the mining and forestry industries. He worked in many logging camps and forestry towns throughout the depression years of the 1930s and came to Ladysmith in 1942 to settle down and raise his family.
Sven worked for Comox Logging company for most of his career as a saw filer, a scaler, a faller and with his beloved fox terrier Penny, as the shop watchman until his retirement in 1974. Sven was one of the founding members of the Ladysmith Credit Union proudly displaying his number 7 membership. He also had an over 50 year membership with the Ladysmith Eagle’s club. In his retirement he spent many years curling and enjoyed numerous tournaments including one where he and his team attained a perfect 8 ender. He also, in retirement, renewed his love for carving and woodworking with burls which he learned from his grandfather as a small child. He was a self taught musician who played violin, accordion and harmonica by ear and his love for gardening was evident in his rose gardens. In the last few years Sven replaced his driver’s license with a motorized scooter and was able to enjoy his independence much longer with the freedom of his new wheels.
Until recently, Sven had a wonderful memory of times gone by and was happiest when he could relate stories of people and events for others to appreciate. He very much enjoyed being interviewed at various times for books and articles about the area and logging practices of the early days. He often left his interviewers awed by how sharp his memory continued to be. He was a man of principle and opinion fueled by his love of reading, debate and politics. He was a member of the CCF and NDP and, true to his background, a socialist his whole life.
Sven leaves behind his daughter Frida Ell of Duncan and his son Arvid (Carol) of Ladysmith. Sven was especially proud of his grandchildren Leonard Schmidt (Sheila) of Pitt Meadows and their children Katrina and Erik; Carrie Bell of Duncan and her children Rebecca Pollack (Chris), Daryck and Mackenzie; Arnold Ell (Vivian) of Ladysmith and his son Kyle and Denise Mansueti (Ernesto) of Duncan and their children Anne and Eric.
Sven’s family would like to thank Dr. Emmanuel Fritsch and the staff of Ladysmith Hospital for the compassion and tenderness he received during his last weeks under their care. Cremation with no service was Sven’s request.