Interview with Ellie

Interview with Ellie



Ellie Aagaard-Jensen – raised in Norway and South Africa


Huge celebration in Nørregaard nursing home on Monday

Ellie Aagaard-Jensen, Nørregaard nursing home in Herning (Denmark) is 100 years on Monday August 30 (1993). It was an irony of fate that Ellie came to live her life in Herning over the last 65 years, including 10 years in the nursery home. She was born in Australia and raised in Norway and South Africa.

When she turned 35, she travelled from South Africa to Berlin for a hip surgery. While being n Europe she wanted to use the opportunity to visit a childhood girlfriend in Larvik – Louise Simonsen who lived in Herning at that time. But Ellie never returned to South Africa. In Herning she met N.S. Aagaard –Jensen in 1928, and three years later they married. The settled in Smallegade, and he worked as egg exporter and with product business. She was all the years taking care of the home and helping in his business.

Contrary to her childhood she lived a quiet life in Herning with her husband. After he died in 1964 she continued to live in Smallegade to 1983 when she got a place in the nursing home. Ellie and her husband lived frugally to be able to travel abroad; this was their only extravagance in life. They travelled several time to South Africa to visit her parents, and they had several visits to Norway and Australia, and also to Japan. This was not common those days.

When she became a widower, she travelled several alone to South Africa, and she kept the relation to Norway. She was every years in Norway n the national holiday May 17. Her Norwegian ancestry Ellie cannot neglect. She speaks Danish with Norwegian accent – even today, even if she has lived 1/3 of her life in Denmark and only a few years in Norway.

Her reponse to the question of the journalist about how she lived to being 100, she just answered: I have no idea – I am surprised myself that I am turning 100. But there are many nice people here, both in the personnel and among the elderly. Ellie Aagaard-Jensen, born Jacobsen, was born in 1893 in Brisbane Australia. Her father was Norwegian and her mother Irish.

As very young she travelled with her parents from Australia to Norway, and they settled in Larvik. Some years later her father travelled to South Africa, and when he was established there, his wife and family united with him. Ellie was 7 years (which is wrong; they left Norway in 1906). In South Africa her father worked in the gold mines and later started a factory.

As a young girl Ellie had an accident with a swing, and many years later she was in Berlin for the hip surgery. As earlier mentioned she was a couple of days in Herning to visit a friend before she planned to return to South Africa. The visit in Herning lasted longer than anticipated, so far 65 years.

Monday is the big celebration, and there will be gratulant from the local politicians. The dinner celebration will be in the nursing home, and for personnel and occupants. In the evening Ellie has invited family and friends for celebration. Among the participants are her son (stepson) the artist, filmmaker, film instructor Sigfred Aagaard, five grandkids and some of her relatives from Norway. She has still contact with her cousins in South Africa by letters, men no one from South Africa are taking the long journey for the celebration.