Iron Lady Efraimsson

When Hulda (née Abrahamsson) and her sweetheart Henrik planned their wedding in 1911, they wanted to start a family. The pair decided to mark their union with a new name and settled on Efraimsson, after Henrik’s father Efraim.

They also built themselves a new home, where their children Hildur, Blenda, Karl-Albert, Evert and Folke were born.
Henrik was a fisherman and spent most of his time at sea, while Hulda took care of their home and children. On New Year’s Day 1924, when their youngest daughter Blenda was just five weeks old, Henrik tragically died from acute appendicitis.

Hulda was forced to find herself a job and ended up at the local workwear manufacturer Didriksons, where she treated the fabrics used to make oilskins. It was backbreaking work for both Hulda and her eldest daughter Hildur, who left school aged 11 to look after her siblings, but at least the family was provided for.

The community did their bit too, as reported by local newspaper LysekilsPosten, which on the 19th of January 1924 published the following notice: ‘Sweet charity for widow and her five young children. 900kr have been collected in honour of skipper Henrik Efraimsson from Grundsund, who recently passed away at the hospital in Uddevalla.’

Hulda never refused a donation, but often cried herself to sleep for shame of being poor. When she finally departed, aged 83, in July 1969, she left her five wonderful children with the reminder that it’s possible to have a good life in hard times, as long as you stick together. Her struggle reminds us to be kind to those around us.