Summary of article in Billed Bladet #42, 2014.
Written by Marianne Singer.
As you know Mary attended the yearly school's sports day in the town of Greve outside Copenhagen.
Here 270 pupils from the local school welcomed her by chanting her name.
Being received like a popstar, Mary was soon surrounded by pupils, who wanted to say hi and pose with her.
With the preliminaries over with it was time to start a three kilometre race. Mary started the race and cheered the children enthusiastically from the sideline, blowing kisses for those of the pupiles who must have enough breath to appreciate that. While the kids were running Mary looked at an exhibition made by the very same kids. That lasted about half an hour (the kids must have been walking, not running) when the kids arrived at the finishing line. Here she handed out refreshments and also munched down an apple.
Then Mary took part in communal callestenics, called Captain Jespersen Cellestenics. - Back when Rodolph Valentino was the big name in the cinema, there was a show on the wireless with an captain Jespersen, who litterally drilled his listeners shouting commands through the ether: Arms Strech! Knees down and bend! No doubt many of you had similar shows in your countries.
Anyway that kind of drill-callestenics in naturally hillarious for modern children, and though it wasn't planned, Mary took part standing among the children, laughing, goofing and giggling.
Then the Minister for Education handed out an award, yeah, yeah, whatever, before one of the older pupils, Summer Babai, gave a speech.
Mary said at some point in her speech: "At my school we were very fortunate. We had many different lanes/venues for among other things hockey, tennis, football (Australian presumably). We didn't have a swimming pool however but on the other hand our school was located only 300 meters from the sea. And you could be fortunate to spot a dolphin out the window, when you sat and were supposed to concentrate about a mathematics formula.
But in the very same sea were supposed to take our swimming tests abd that wasn't that much fun once it became late autumn, where the water was just as cold as it can be in Denmark. (*)
And on top of that it was a long distance to the dressing room, but I was really, really pleased that we had the opportunity to try a lot of different forms of sports and try which one of them we liked or had a little talent for".
(*) Older relatives of mine, who lived in Aarhus, told how they walked from their schools in the early 1930's, to the beach. Undressed and went out into the water and got their swimming lessons that way. After which the now more or less blue children, dressed and walked back to school.
At the same time the children also got washed. Very practical because for most families a bathtub was a distant dream.
- And that was very progressive! For practical reasons though most schools didn't offer swimming lessons back then.
Interestingly the main sewer line of the city had it's, shall we say, "end" out in the water - only a few hundred meters from where the children bathed...! My relatives have told how they could sometimes see the water "burp" brown a little bit further out... And for safety reasons the children only bathed when the wind blew towards the coast.
Here is the legenday captain Jespersen in action: