Champion Power Andersson

Regina was a tough cookie

She married young, to the skipper Karl-Johan Andersson, and the pair built a house on the east side of Fiskebäckskil in 1878.

The following year, when their son was just nine months old, Karl-Johan lost his life at sea.

As she couldn’t afford to keep the house they’d built, Regina was forced to sell up and borrow money for a new home, offering Karl-Johan’s pension as security. She moved into a new home with her son and elderly mother, who lived to be 96 years old. Another widow and her four children also moved in for a time.

Regina and Karl-Johan’s son, Karl, did odd jobs at Lyckes cannery and was eventually rewarded with a rowing boat for his efforts. He made himself a successful summer business ferrying tourists across the bay, but an innate handicap made him weaker and weaker with every season. Karl eventually passed away at just 23.

The now 50-year-old, and no doubt heart-broken, Regina had to step up once again. She carried on rowing her late son’s boat for 28 years, right up to her death in 1934, charging just 5 öre (a couple of pennies) per crossing.

Rowing boats were used to ferry passengers across the bay at Fiskebäckskil until the 1960s – and they weren’t just for tourists on their way to restaurants. Schoolchildren, housewives and employees at Lyckes cannery all jumped on board too. E B Lycke, who ran the cannery, was so pleased with Regina’s service that he named one of his products – The Regina Herring – after her.