Rosa Christensen

Taken from the ‘Kroniken’
udgivet af: Den Danske Klub (The Danish Club), Montreal. (Grundlagt 1922.) March, April, May, 2008

Rosa Christensen given ‘The Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award’ Rosa Christensen has just been notified that she has been given the ‘Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award’ -in recognition of her years of social ministry to the sick and elderly in the Danish community, in and around Montreal.

When Rosa learns that someone is sick. and without anyone to care for him or her, she is the first person to visit with food. And to help with washing clothes and dishes and if necessary to arrange for other parishioners to help out. But above all, to convey that the person in question is loved and important.

Also, her home is regularly the scene of elderly peoples’ birthday celebrations; or lunches for lonely parishioners, visiting or brought home after church service; or a place to simply talk things over -over a cup of coffee. -Says her minister at St. Ansgar Church, Pastor King-Kabu: “Rosa is an open minded individual, who receives anyone with open arms.”

Around Chrishnas time Rosa prepares numerous “care boxes” with assortments of her Danish ‘smakager’, maybe some homemade ‘sylte’, or liver pate and ‘rodbeder’ or ‘asier’, to give to seniors who can no longer make these ‘Christmas related essentials’ themselves – to brighten their lives.

On the third Wednesday of each month Rosa prepares and with helpers -serves a three course dinner with wine, coffee and cake for 25-30 seniors at Beck Hall. It is a highly popular event and an opportunity for older members of the parish to get together. (In some cases possibly their only social event on the calendar.) Rosa prepares the food and provides the wine. The charge per person is a mere $ 5.-, and the accumulated funds are subsequently saved -to pay for a summer outing to the Kitzbuhl (Swiss) restaurant on L’ile Perrot -at no charge for the seniors! Another of her personal projects to care for the elderly.

Without fanfare, Rosa is also the heart and soul in organizing a number of fundraising activities for the Church in the course of the year, including, first and foremost, St.Ansgar’s Christmas Bazaar which nets a very substantial amount of money in just one day. It’s an exceedingly popular event and crowded -as people of Nordic background come to stock up of Danish food specialties and shop for Xmas presents and Xmas decorations, etc. -and enjoy Danish Smorrebr0d (open faced sandwiches) with beverages and desserts.

The event is backed by lots of volunteers, who simply come “to help Rosa”. And most of the articles for sale, knitted or sewn by members of the congregation, have been collected by Rosa in the course of the preceding twelve months, or made by herself, including popular food items such as large glasses of ‘Asier’ (Danish pickles) and ‘R0dbeder’ (pickled beet roots), preserved in her backyard during the summer. Or ‘Sylte’ (head cheese) or homemade’Rullep0lse’ (Danish spiced sausage).

Other fundraisers include a “Parcel Auction”, rummage sales, choir performances, card evenings and a ‘Spring Luncheon’ for 60 -70 people. -Rosa prefers to stay in the background. For many years she was treasurer of the ‘Ladies Aid of St. Ansgar Lutheran Church’, but never headed it. Her inspiration and drive permeates it, though.

Rosa keeps tap of people’s anniversaries and round birthdays and when needed arranges celebrations for them. -On Christmas Day, 2006, she drove 700 km back to Montreal to prepare for the 100-year celebration of a parishioner, Mrs. Ellen Brodahl (who would not have been able to make any arrangements on her own. The event was attended by numerous guests -and congratulations were received from the Queen, the Governor General and Quebec’s Lieutenant Governor.

When someone needs friendly advice, Rosa is always available. She will listen to a person’s problems. And, as the peacemaker she is, she will help straighten out differences between parties. But if someone praises her efforts in one context or
other, her standard response is: “Oh, that was nothing special.”

Seemingly always in good spirits, and positive, Rosa is a friend of those in need of attention -and spreads sunshine around her. She unquestionably loves to make other people happy!

The actual presentation of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award will take place at a not yet fixed date this spring.

Congratulations, Rosa !!!!!!!!