Sunday, 28 July 2013

Lars H Lende 1882 - 1971

This could be my very last post from Norway now that my eldest son and his family are moving to Paris after living in Stavanger for five years. However, as the song reminds us 'never say never'. Lots of happy memories of times spent with them in such a beautiful country.
What better way to finish than to show you a very special Norwegian man who selflessly gave his whole life to helping children and young people.
In a little park in Stavanager, which bears his name, is this bronze statue to Lars H Lende. "Alt for barna!" - "Anything for the Children!" - a remarkable little man.
Lars dedicated his extensive life to working for less advantaged children and young people to make their life better. He spread happiness amongst children by taking them on pony cart rides. He was trained in mechanics by his stepfather, Torkel Lende, and started his own workshop where he took in unemployed youths for apprenticeships under the slogan "save the youth". He always believed in the goodness of mankind, and was an exceptionally generous person. He had many original ideas to make the world a better place for children and young adults. He purchased a motor boat for the teenagers in the community so that they could learn to care for and know engines. They could also use the boat to take tours to the fjords to help them become familiar with the islands and mountains around their city of Stavanger, and also to make them feel good; have an interest in their country, and get away from the streets to learn a love of nature. 
In the last year of his life at the age of 89 years, he regularly spent time in Cathedral Square, Stavanger, urging people who past by to help the starving children in Africa.
A little man with a huge heart, and an example to us all.
A painting of Lars in the Norwegian Children's Museum, Stavanger. 
Farvel Norge - Goodbye Norway
Bonjour Paris - Hello Paris

64 comments:

  1. What a good man was this Mr. Hende.
    The statue is verry nice.
    That is a verry nice place PARIS, but Norway is also verry beautiful, a few years ago i was in Finland, the nature is there so beautiful and clean. I think all Scandinavian country's are similar.

    Have a nice Sunday,
    Greetings,
    Inge, my choice

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    1. My husband has been to Finland and says how lovely it is. Norway is a very beautiful country with its mountains and fjords and as you mention very clean.
      Lars was a special man, I wonder what makes some people so much more generous and open hearted than others?

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  2. A very uplifting post about this kind man and so good he has been remembered by the community with the charming statue and painting. They both reflect his generous actions and his personality. I also like the photograph of him with his horse. He looks a gentle and unassuming man.
    I hope you go back to Norway sometime and I'm sure you're looking forward to visiting Paris when your son and family get settled in.

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    1. I believe that he hardly spent anything on himself although he did have a wife and two daughters to support too. I think that his generosity to others was exceptional.

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  3. What a super portrait of a lovely and generous man, one of those special people who make the world a better place. The statues are just so sweet, they make me smile, and I'll bet children are absolutely drawn to them too. Thank you for sharing this little part of Norway with us, Rosemary.

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    1. It wasn't has if he was a rich man who spread his wealth around - he was just generous with what he had. His pleasures in life stemmed from seeing the children happy, learning and fulfilled - a special person.

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  4. Such an interesting post about a good, generous man. Norwegians are kind and glad people. Once, I've been to Oslo with my husband. Happy Sunday, Rosemary!

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    1. Dear Satu - when I discovered his statue in the little park I did not realise the full implications of his life. It was only when I looked into it that I realised what an extraordinary and very generous little man he was.

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  5. Dear Rosemary
    I have tears of joy as I read this account of a man's life well spent. Lars H Lende has done the ultimate in this life and deserves to be known more around the world. His courage, kindness, insight, goodness and perseverance has paid off in ways we shall never know. Thank you for sharing this splendid story on this Sunday.
    Have a wonderful week Rosemary and I like your attitude too.

    Helenxx

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    1. Dear Helen - If only there were more Lars H Lendes in the world. I am especially touched when I think of him as a very old man nearing his death, but still thinking about disadvantaged children around the world.

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  6. How absolutely beautiful........to me the sculpture definitely shows love emanating from this 'gentle'man with his hand on the pony. If only there were more people like this - sharing what little they have - to help so many children who have nothing. Traveling the world has made me so aware of the plight of young children in many countries - and somewhat ashamed of those in our own - who are so indulged and spoilt, and don't have a clue!
    Life is not always fair sadly.
    Thanks for sharing this though Rosemary, a lovely start to my Sunday morning.
    Mary

    P.S. Paris won't be at all bad! Lucky for you. I wish them a safe transition.

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    1. Dear Mary - I do hope that the transition will go well for the little family - they have lived in Paris before so hopefully they will still have some friends there. It is the girls that it will be most difficult for - new school and new friends. Hopefully when the new term starts everything will fall rapidly into place for them.
      I am sure that you have seen many distressing sights during your travels. I remember seeing young children from the age of 3 years living in a park in Rio de Janeiro, but I am ashamed to say I did nothing about it. I bet that Lars would have gone to help them if he could.

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  7. Hello, Rosemary ! You are so lucky to be in Norway, I have never been there and it is one of my dreams to visit it ! Thank you so much for your comment on my last post, which was sent out I don't know because it was not finished at all and I wonder what you saw ! You were absolutely right about the church, I had actually included pictures of it. I must finish it now, please check it out again when it is completed !xx

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    1. I am not in Norway at the moment that was earlier in the year, but I would recommend it for a visit if you like wonderful mountains and fjords.
      I will pop back over and see the final of your post. Sometimes I press publish when I mean to press save.

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  8. A very touching story about a kind gentle man..mr Lendes.
    I have always called people like him.. "angels on earth" ..walking amongst us. I do believe they exist..and he was one of them.
    So ..its farewell for your son and family from Norway. And a big Hello to Paris.
    I can imagine you already planning a trip to see them there Rosemary. So much closer.
    a lovely post.
    Val xx

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    1. Yes Val they are off to Paris - there house contents were packed up on Friday and they have now gone off for a holiday on a Norwegian island. Will give them time before visiting and let the children get settled into their new schools in September. It is actually almost the same time on the plane to Paris and Stavanger, Paris is perhaps 20 mins less, but there will be more choice of airports and planes for Paris.
      What a fantastic man Lars was, he never asked anything in return for himself - just a very good hearted lovely man.

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  9. Hi Rosemary, just read your comment on my latest post and I wrote a reply explaining the situation a bit ;) Also I've been having trouble to upload pictures in blogger. I have to upload every picture twice before I can actually add it to my post, very time consuming.

    What a remarkable little man Lars H Lende was. The world could do with more people like him, quietly helping others. Love the statue of him and the painting. Also loved your previous post about Kitty Kielland.

    It must be a huge change for your son to be moving from Norway to France, still it is an adventure to get to know another country again and I'm secretly a bit jealous of him because that was always my dream, to live and work abroad but sometimes life decides otherwise and we make the best of what life has in store for us. It's something your 16 year old granddaughter experiences now as well not being able to attend the saturday singing tuition at Stavanger University. I'm sure she was looking forward to it. Moving to France will be a big change for her as well. I hope they will all feel at home soon in France and I bet we'll be seeing more posts from France now from you.

    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - hope that you soon get your photo situation with blogger sorted out - I have heard of others having the same kind of problem.
      It is a big upheaval for the family, and rather sad that my granddaughter has to relinquish her Saturday tuition at Stavanger university - it was a big honour for her to win the scholarship. However, hopefully another tutor will be found for her in Paris.
      Lars was a special person and his ideas to help children and young people were very innovative. He quietly went about helping them all of his life.

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  10. Isn't it interesting to stumble upon stories behind places and statues - and lovely that there is a statue to remind people of Lars and his generous spirit.
    I've not visited Norway but it won't be long before I do, I'm sure - because I've had such lovely adventures in Finland, Sweden and Denmark and feel very much at home in Scandinavia (I must have some Saxon genes I think!).

    And now you must be looking forward to exploring Paris!

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    1. Dear Celia - if you like mountains, fjords and feel at home in Scandinavia I am sure you would love Norway. Like the other Scandinavian countries it is very expensive, but it is possible to take a log cabin and cater for yourself. That is what my son and his family are doing at the moment on a little island before they finally leave.
      It is interesting to reflect that it is over 40 years ago since Lars died, and yet his ideas for helping children and young people were so innovative. It must have had an impact in a fairly small community such as Stavanger.

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  11. What a remarkable man Lars was! Wishing your son and his family a good move and happy stay in France.

    Madelief x

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    1. I was very happy to introduce Lars to my blog friends, a very special man.
      Thank you for your good wishes, we are all hoping that the family settle down happily in Paris.

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  12. Dear Rosemary,
    what a interesting post!
    And how many things i'm learning visiting your posts!
    He realy was a great and generous man!!
    And in our days we can't find!
    Thank you for sharing!!!
    Have a lovely week!
    Dimi...

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    1. Dear Dimi - I am delighted that you enjoyed learning about Lars an extraordinary and special person - thank you for your lovely comment.

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  13. What a gift to Stavanger that man was! Everything he did was so practical and worthy. We could wish for a world full of people with that sort of passion and initiative.

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    1. I am sure that the things he did for children and young people must have had a big impact on such a tightly knit community as Stavanger. I think that his ideas were forward looking and could still be used today to benefit many communities.

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  14. I wish all the people in the world had the same in mind as this man had. What a change for your son and his family. I hope they will have a wonderfull time in France.
    Have a great sunday Rosemary.

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    1. It is very humbling to learn about a man such as Lars, someone that many of us could emulate even in small ways.
      Yes, we are hoping that they will all settle down happily in France - thank you.

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  15. Really is an example for all of us !! He was a great and generous man ,who tried for the children to have another better life !!! I think that always are people like him in every era and they are commendable !They give something from their life to make the world better ! Thank you for this post Rosemary !

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    1. Dear Olympia - I am very pleased that you enjoyed learning about this wonderful man from Norway. A inspirational person - if only there were more like him around, the world would be a much better place.

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  16. Mr Lende sounds such a caring man, I glad they created that beautiful statute so that his story could be remembered. I hope your son and is family will have a fantastic time in their new home and country.
    Sarah x

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    1. Thank you Sarah - I expect it will take time for them to settle, but hopefully when the girls have started their new school and made some friends things will turn out well for them all.

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  17. Hello dear Rosemary

    funny all these years in Norway and I've never heard of this exceptional man!
    I have never visited Stavanger (nor the west coast of Norway) and I would love too very much.

    I hope your next trip here will be soon : )

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    1. Hello Demie - when your children are a little older then perhaps you will be able to travel further in Norway with them. The west coast is very beautiful covered in mountains, fjords and islands - an outdoor paradise. The good thing is that you can take ferries across all the stretches of water to cut down the mileage and travel far into the north. Tromsø is the furthest north that I have been which as you will know is beyond the arctic circle. We visited mid-summer when it stays daylight for the whole 24 hours.

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  18. Hello Rosemary, thank you for such a lovely welcome back with this positive, uplifting and inspiring post.
    I like to think we all have a little Lars within us, what a wonderful man.
    I am will try to catch up over the next few weeks on all that I have missed.
    Hope you are having a smashing summer.
    Paul :)

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    1. Hello Paul - it is over 40 years ago that Lars died and for him his generosity of spirit was not just an overnight conscience pricking event - example Live Aid in 1985 - but a commitment that he pursued throughout his whole life. That is what makes him a truly remarkable man - no fame, glory or knighthoods for him, which of course he would not have wanted anyway.

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  19. Lovely man he must have been. I like that people realized this and made a tribute to him.

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    1. In a small community like Stavanger, I am sure that his impact was great and also lasting.

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  20. What an inspiring man. I am so glad there are people like him. Thank you for introducing me to him and how he lived his life.

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    1. He had a wife and two daughters, so I think that they must have been supportive of him. I am sure there are many others in communities around the world, but what is unusual about Lars is that it spent his whole life even up until his death thinking about others.

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  21. Dear Rosemary,

    It's good to be reminded that one does not have to be wealthy to make a big difference in other people's lives, and in the world. What a nice way to end a look at Norway.

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    1. Dear Mark - it is moving to reflect that an old man, months before he died, should still be using all his energy in appealing to people to help the starving children in Africa. He has been dead for over 40 years now and the problem has still not been resolved.

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  22. I’m happy to know that many disadvantaged children could stand at the fair start line thanks to Lars H Lende. I believe he sowed his seed in the heart of those children. It would be easy for us to do a little of charity from time to time but act like Lars lifelong would be difficult for most of us. He is philanthropic by nature. If everyone has the soul like him, the world will be surely better off. He deserves being known to more people in the world and you made it possible, rosemary.

    Your son’s family is so fortunate that they can live in such different type of lovely cities like Stavanger and Paris, Wish their move goes smooth.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko we are really hoping that their move is a happy one for them all.
      Lars was indeed a special person who put his own needs to one side and gave himself to others in a selfless way.

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  23. Hello! Yes... still alive, but busy sorting through things, at thias new house, in Italy.

    I actually wanted to comment on the previous post... Kity Kielland (?) Wow! The Paris interorior is fantastic and really satisfies my need to be nosey! So much to look at inside the room, then the curtains, half open and the world, living and vibrating outside... so beautiful! I must observe it again later.

    Well, Rosemary... as much as you like Norway, I don't think Paris is that bad a place! A European capital city... yes, please! But I can understand why you'll miss Norway. It must be beautiful, there. Such a different reality to what we are used to. So nice!

    Oh, yes! I also liked the story about the man who helped all those children. So sweet!Though I think it takes a lot more than that to solve certain problems. I think the big powers quite like to see Africa full of starving children. Things will never change. Actually, I've heard that lots of Chinese people are moving to Africa, as there are resources in that continent. Maybe they might help create work, grow food and clean water, without having to send troops!

    Ciao, ciao! I must go back to paris, soon!

    ANNA
    xx

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    1. Hello Anna - lovely to hear from you and to know that all is well with you. Are you permanently in Italy now?
      You are right, it takes more than a few people like Lars to change things especially in places like Africa, but I do believe that he had a big impact in his own small community of Stavanger. Hopefully the kindness that so many young people and children received at his hands will have been passed on through them.
      As soon as the family are settled and have sorted themselves out, probably in the Autumn, it will be Paris here we come.

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  24. Gdyby takich wspaniałych ludzi było dużo, to dzieci na świecie byłyby szczęśliwsze. Norwegia jest piękna i z pewnością żal ją będzie opuszczać. Pozdrawiam.
    If such was a lot of great people, the children of the world would be happier. Norway is beautiful and certainly regret it will leave. Yours.

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    1. Szanowny Giga - świat byłby lepszym miejscem, gdyby było więcej ludzi takich jak Lars.
      Jestem pewien, że mój syn i jego rodzina nie zagra piękną Norwegię.

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  25. I believe there are many young people who would need a man like him making them see a future, a way to make their lifes! Congratulations on the moving of your son's family to Paris! I hope to see more via your blog! I still owe you an answer about Kreidolf. Of course - go ahead with writing about him. At the moment there is an exhibition in the Kunstmuseum in Berne and I hope to visit it soon! http://www.kunstmuseumbern.ch/de/sehen/heute/226-faltertanz-und-hundefest--120.html
    Christa

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    1. Thanks Christa - I was intrigued by Kreidolf's illustrations, and at the same time I seemed to recognise them. Perhaps I came across them at some stage when I was younger.
      I know that there are many people who try to help young people both in their jobs and through charities, but Lars appears to have been committed throughout his life to do as much as he could for children and young people. Many of his ideas were not expensive and could still work today.
      Hoping all goes well for our son and his family in their move to Paris. Lovely to hear from you.

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  26. What a remarkable man. It's truly the good and generous people that are never forgotten.

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    1. I wonder what makes a person so generous of spirit as Lars? sadly the opposite is true of many people today.

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  27. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind. I wonder how many lives he changed for the better :)

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    1. I am sure that in a tight knit community like Stavanger his impact must have been felt. It must surely continue today through those that were at the receiving end of his goodness.

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  28. What a lovely man and how lovely it must have been to spend time in Norway. Many great memories I imagine x

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    1. Lots of happy memories of times spent in beautiful Norway but now Paris here we come - once they are settled of course.
      I am pleased that I found out about Lars, I was intrigued by the bronze statue and that is how I learnt about his goodness.

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  29. Dear Rosemary,
    Thank you for introducing us to Lars Lende. He sounds like an extraordinary man-- and now, we're so lucky to know a bit about this wonderful person who'd most likely remained unknown beyond his community--thank you!
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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    1. Dear Erika - I was attracted to the little statue and wondered what it represented - that is how I came to discover all about his good ideas, his generosity and his kindness to children and his desire to enrich their lives.

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  30. How wonderful that this special man is still remembered. Looking at the years he lived, he lived through some great changes in the world but he obviously remained kind and selfless throughout.

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    1. It is now over 40 years since he died. I find it extremely touching to think of him as a very old man, near to death, but still wanting to help the children in Africa. That was nearly 15 years before Live Aid happen and yet he was concerned then.

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  31. The statues look good. Like the pony.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. It was the appeal of the statue Filip that led me to discover the kindness and generosity of Lars and his great concern for disadvantaged children and young people.

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  32. What a great and inspiring man, Rosemary! As a linguist I'm also intrigued by his motto in Norwegian, which would be instantly understood by anyone from the northeast or Scotland. "Alt for barna" - all for the bairns. :-)

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    1. I was really touched by his story and his very imaginative ways of trying to help children and young people.
      The language must be one of the legacies left by the Vikings.

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