Alfortska öden / D3c: Ahlfort i Jokkmokk / Rekommenderat

Pastor David Ahlfort och hans fru i Jokkmokk

Bertha Charlotta Doering skildrar i “The romance of a heavenly princess: As told by herself” David Ahlforts godhed gentemot samerna på följande sätt:

Jokkmokk 1910. Bilden måste vara tagen från nya kyrkans torn. Längst bak till vänster den gamla kyrkan; närmast doktorsvillan; vita huset var gästgiveri men blev senare ålderdomshem. Man ser även gamla apoteket och Hotel Engelmark som numera är turistbyrå. Källa: Dittenochdattenochenblickibackspegeln.blogspot.dk.

Jokkmokk 1910. Bilden måste vara tagen från nya kyrkans torn. Längst bak till vänster den gamla kyrkan; närmast doktorsvillan; vita huset var gästgiveri men blev senare ålderdomshem. Man ser även gamla apoteket och Hotel Engelmark som numera är turistbyrå. Källa: Dittenochdattenochenblickibackspegeln.blogspot.dk.

Beside the pastoral charge, which included the clerical and communal work, the Reverend Ahlfort was also the manager and superintendent of “The Home-School for young Lapps” and “The home for aged Lapps”. If the writer’s memory does not err, he was also the founder of these two benevolent institutions; and it was touching to see the gratitude, obedience and love with which he was met by his happy proteges. It was hard for the old Lapps to carry on their strenous nomadic life, and it was indeed a blessed thing for them to finally reach such a comfortable haven as the Home for the aged in Jockmock; but an ever greater influence and blessing was the school for the young Lapps. Of course, during the summer time, the Government sent teachers to the mountains, these teachers being obliged to live in the tents with the Lapps, and to follow the families on their wanderings; but only a few could be reached in this way. Pastor Ahlfort’s plan was to collect the children in schools like the one he had already started, where they could be taught to read and write. In the Jockmock school they were given not only the usual subjects but also industrial practical teaching which would be a help and pleasure to them during the long winter days.

Man uppmärksammade ända hem till Östergötland att pastor Ahlfort talade de hårt pressade samernas ärende. Han skrev många artiklar och böcker om emnet, och hans hustru gav likaledes ut flera böcker om samerna under namnet Lina Ahlfort. Hon var lärare på övningsskolan vid Mattisuddens lappska seminarium.
David tycks ha varit en man med en stark vilja att utföra goda gärningar. Han gav inte så lätt upp:

Svenska Dagbladet 25/6 1953.

Svenska Dagbladet 25/6 1953.

The field of the state-appointed Lutheran ministers in Lapland is waste in as much as there usually are several miles between each member of the great parish. The Reverend Ahlfort was in possession, however, of a strong will and great endurance. More than once he had made his round among the people along untrodden paths, across mountains and rivers and through blinding snow-storms. At times he had taken on the long snow-skids, but mostly he had been compelled to travel in a reindeer sleigh. The most important thing was “to get there” and he did not mind a few trials for the joy of bringing the glad tidings to the lonely tents. You understand, this particular Lutheran minister was really a good and great man of God and was not only a state-appointed servant but also a true missionary. Yet, now in his older years he felt a little tired and worn-out, and had some severe twinges of rheumatism and such-like ailments as a result of his long service among the Laplanders.

David og Lina Ahlfort tycks på det hela taget ha varit ett mycket omtyckt par.

Sister Bertha had never met a more amiable couple than pastor Ahlfort and his warm-hearted wife, “Auntie Lina”. Never had she viewed a home more charming than the white-painted parsonage. Never had the homemade bread, fresh-churned butter and the rich, warm cow milk tasted better than here in the clean, high mountain air.

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