Lennart Borgstrom (Len) Mr ABU
How does one profile this amazing Man among Fishermen?
Pictures are reputedly worth a thousand words, so enjoy these and do try to read
Throughout this website, the references are numerous to his direct and
indirect actions affecting A.B.Urfabriken (ABU)'s progress as a
world-leading provider of quality fishing tackle. His actions were remarkable,
from learning the lure assembly business as a youth, to a young man following in
his Father's footsteps when taking on the US market in 1954 with the
Ambassadeur, to the time when he relinquished control of ABU management some 25
years later in 1981.
Father and son, Gote at his beloved Morrum!
While his grandfather Carl Borgstom had the foresight to take over the original
watch-making business initially, and Len's father Gote made so many formative
decisions with regard to A.B.Urfabriken, Len was very definitely nurtured in
fertile grounds, allowing his innate engineering and management capabilities as
well as his monumental personal efforts to come to the fore, making ABU the
company that it was from 1954 to 1981.
Len’s friend Kalle Erik Svensson pays tribute here at Gote’s grave on the 100th
anniversary of his birth with a beautiful flower Ambassadeur.
Kalle Erik Svensson at Gote Borgstom's grave.
Here is a man
many of us ABUphiles would care to emulate
in their lives,
his roles in regard to creative leadership , engineering, education ,
sharing, sponsorship and friendship
or simply variety in
travels are a source of both inspiration and envy for many with his
fishing experiences seen below.
Len fly fishing for Salmon, Laxa Island , Iceland.
Johnny Morris of Bass Pro and Len Heli-fishing the Pacific North
Len and Ray Scott (of BASS) in Mexico.
Fly and release only fishing Ponoi
Some of the finest things in life
His life at ABU encompassed
so much variety,
from the pursuit of technical tackle excellence, to his before-their-time staff
management plans, his vision of seeing women and children involved in the future
of fishing, the introduction of rewards and encouragement,
interest in environmental fishing issues, the education of all stakeholders, or
invited guests trialing equipment on the banks of the Morrum, as well as
role model exuding
his generous sociability, but still willing and capable of standing up for his
(ABU's) rights, not to mention his wicked sense of humor.
Japanese TV copyrite interview and a funny (but true) yarn!
Today, he is still at the
leading edge of innovation in many areas quite unrelated to fishing, through his
company Lenco International, some that I have heard whispers of and are not yet
public knowledge. He has not lost his true
of fishing, still getting as much enjoyment , from catching a few Bluegills or
Bass in his home lake,
doing battle with huge Salmon or the Marlin of yesteryear.
Lauded with honours, a recent commendation was his induction in the US
Freshwater Fishing Hall Of Fame.
Gary Dollahon, Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame
Inducting Len in Florida
I am just one example of
how Len has assisted many with further ABU education and continuing
documentation of the History of ABU in a variety of media.
There have been nameless others as well as the high Profile names like Skupien
and Shimomura which have been greatly helped.
I started my
with ABU more than
years ago and
received responses from his staff and senior management like Ralph Lafferty
and Tony Perrin.
More recently, courtesy
of Len, doors opened
and I was
on a regular basis
colleagues. Friends Len mentions often in
and I feel I know are Johnny Morris, Lee Perkins, Bengt
and of course Jan Sjoblom,
CO Ericsson, Goran Enocson have been such a great help to me largely due
to the introductions. Len’s open and friendly nature is greatly admired
by many and as he says, ' ...my
questions may prompt him to remember and re-live
experiences that he may not have documented in his book, ABU and Garcia , What
Iceland fishing with friends Ralph Lafferty, CO Ericson, Johnny Morris
Many may not realize the
efforts made to promote Art appreciation within and outside ABU. Some art
careers have been started at Svangsta, the legacy of which we see in ABU design
excellence, be it the beautiful magazine covers or sculptures.
Here the bronze
reliefs tell the history of sport fishing. These are mounted in the entrance to
the factory in Svängsta and were made by Hjalmar Ekberg – at that time a worker
at the factory. Two copies were made for Garcia and mounted on their wall at
facility in New Jersey
and at the Conolon factory. The original plaster models were mounted in
party room in the basement of
Len has long
recognized the value in supporting the education of others. He supports the
higher education of a Swedish student each year at the William and Mary College
VA. Len has
just selected student # 12 from Svängsta who will study at William & Mary
University here in Williamsburg. He set up this foundation to give something
back to his old home town. W&M is the second oldest university in the US and
several presidents and other VIPs have studied here.
The William and Mary students at 10th anniversary get-together
Len sponsors one student every year for one semester. He pays for tuition and
board and as Len lives in Williamsburg they have all become like additional
grandchildren. Len encloses a picture taken in Sweden 2005 when they all
met to celebrate the 10th anniversary. At that time most of the students were
girls. The last since then has only been guys. Two of his scholars are
already practicing physicians, one has bachelor's degree in engineering another
is a successful journalist a.s.o. To qualify they must have good degrees in the
combination of math, science and languages and they must live in Svängsta or
have parents working at ABU. It has been one of the most rewarding things he has
Blessed with long term friends from all walks of life, Len is admired by
business leaders, royalty as well as the common man. Here he teaches the future
Queen of Sweden to cast and later presents
His Royal Highness King
Carl Gustaf, King of Sweden
with the limited edition 50th Anniversary box set of Record 5000 and Morrum
Future (and current) Queen of Sweden and present King of Sweden
Like many, I
myself fortunate to have
Len as a personal friend,
am yet to
face to face.
available from the other side of the world on a regular basis to answer
ABU questions and share something of each of our lives. Glancing around my room
amongst the myriad of items of
ABU related paraphanalia , it is a joy to
some of Len’s
personal treasures from the Golden days of Swedish ABU, such as
Books, lures , knives, Record Fisken Gold with Laurel ties and tie pins.
Some of my ABU gems courtesy of Len
you are a person that has significantly interacted with Len, please contact me
if you wish your contribution documented for posterity and the immediate
interest of the ABU fans worldwide!