July 4 - 6, 2014 - XXVI Song Festival in Tallinn - Laulupidu
August 2, 2014 - 10:00 a.m. - Mäeotsa Talgud
September 14, 2014 - 12:45 p.m. - Departing the homeland/EKÜK Kodust lahkumine
October 10, 2014 - 1:00 p.m. - Talgud at Mäeotsa 32113 Olson Avenue, Mission
November 8, 2013 - Mardipäevapidu
Photographs by Thomas Pajur
Photo: Thomas Pajur
Jaanipäev 2014 - Photo: Thomas Pajur
St. John was an apostle, called the apostle of charity. "Saint Jean Baptiste Day, held annually on June 24, is the feast day of St John the Baptist, a Jewish preacher who baptized Jesus in the River Jordan." Order of St. John originated approx. 11th century in Jerusalem moving on to Cyprus, and Rhodes (Knights of St. John) in Greece, eventually spreading their medical work to Britain. Endorsed by Elizabeth I and close to 3 centuries later by Queen Victoria, the British Order set up St. John's Ambulance in 1877. Translation of Jaanipäev is John's Day.
Those Winter Sundays - Robert Hayden, 1913-1980
Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he'd call, and slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house, Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. What did I know, what did I know of love's austere and lonely offices?
Thinking of my father today who loved a slice of dark rye bread with lots of cold butter on it at every meal.
Remembering Jüri Pajur
Jüri Pajur was born May 19, 1942 in Estonia and died in Vancouver, B.C. May 20, 2014. He and his wife Ann lived in Toronto before moving to Surrey to be near his mother Juta and son Thomas.
Estonian Church Foundation is a non-profit organization that owns the church and community centre housing many of the Estonian community's functions. The building is old and in constant need of repair and finding willing volunteer to fix an electrical or plumbing problem is very difficult in an aging community. Back in 2009 funds had been donated to renovate the washrooms which involved removing old toilets and existing stalls, ripping out the old floor and putting in new floorboards with a new vinyl surface, installing new toilets, seals and fixtures, painting the old wooden stalls, doors and walls. This project was given to Jüri who completed it on time, within budget and with a few extra upgrades donated by him and Ann.
Thereafter Jüri and Ann who worked as a team were called upon when anything needed attention. They were on call 24/7 and in their own efficient quiet way took care of mishaps. Jüri added a threshold in the library expanding it into two rooms. When the hall's windows needed replacement Jüri attended at the premises to make sure that the new windows were installed properly by the workmen. The service provided was invaluable both to the Estonian Church Foundation and to Mäeotsa..
Jüri will be dearly missed as a son, husband, father, brother and friend. A coffee cup toast to you Jüri!
AINO UUS - A lovely gracious woman who will be long remembered.
September 22, 1941 - February 12, 2014
Photos by Tarmo Amer:
On the frozen Gulf of Finland
Farmhouse with satellite dish - vana Vabasalu talu, Kasispea
West Coast Estonians Days' Photos held in San Francisco June 28 to July 1, 2013
Photo: Kiino Villand
Thirsty Bear Pub is a certified organic brewery ensuring that hops and grains are free from any pesticides, chemicals or petroleum-based fertilizers. Thirsty Bear is located at 661 Howard Street in the Financial District of San Francisco, CA 94105. Telephone number is (415) 974-0905. Photo: Thomas Pajur
LAINE VIITRE, AN EXTRADORDINARY WOMAN
Laine Viitre (nee Kvell), born in Pärnu, Estonia on Thursday, May 30th, 1918 celebrated her 95th birthday on Thursday May 30, 2013.
Laine's parents lived in Finland for a year before moving to Pärnu a few months after the Estonian Independence Manifesto was declared on February 24th. The family moved to Tartu where she attended E.N.K. Seltsi Tütarlaste Gümnasium. She studied finance and economics at the University of Tartu and during the time of the Soviet occupation worked at the Eesti Bank in Tartu.
During the summer of 1944, by now married with a young baby, there was much unrest in Estonia inducing Laine's mother to keep packed suitcases of clothes at the front door so they would be ready to leave on a moment's notice. It was an uncertain time and no one knew what was going to happen next, yet said Laine the uncertainty heightened the senses magnifying all aspects of her life and looking back it was both a very difficult time but nevertheless an interesting one.
Discovering that the Russian army was nearing, the family excluding Laine's husband who was in Narva, began making their way by foot toward Tallinn. On September 14, at the port of Tallinn, Laine with her family was standing in front of a small ship when before she knew it, her son baby carriage was gone. The carriage with the infant in it had been loaded onto the ship. Laine quickly rushed on board and this hand of fate's intervention led to their sailing to Germany. They were taken to bomb-infested Berlin and after being jostled about they wound up in Völkershausen for a time and then in Eisenach. In total they spent five years in Germany living in refugee camps where Laine, conversant in German, worked as a barrack's inspector. They arrived in Quebec City on July 25, 1949 aboard the RMS Scythia and five days later they boarded a train for Vancouver arriving August 5, 1949. Laine worked for a dry-cleaning plant specializing in stain removal taking night courses in chemistry at the University of British Columbia as her job entailed a precise knowledge of chemical removal agents and its effect on a variety of fabrics.
Laine has had a life-long interest in writing, music, playing the piano and singing. She was a founding member of St. Peter's Church in Vancouver and served as its secretary for many years. Together with Aki Umelas they prepared coffee, cakes and sandwiches for the church socials. Laine was also an actress for many years with the Estonian Theatre group and an avid reader of biographies and historical books. She is actively involved in the Seniors' Club and holds the position of secretary.
What is extraordinary about Laine is her intelligence, outgoing personality, positive attitude, big smiles and her generosity, rarely entering the community centre without a cake or a bouquet of flowers.
June 1, 2013
Margit Amer chosen Estonia's Mother of the Year 2012
(photographed second from left)
Margit Amer, of Loksa, Estonia was chosen Mother of the Year. She is wearing a red dress in the photo above. Her husband Tarmo is standing to the left and to the right is Estonia's President Toomas Ilves and his wife Evelin along with the rest of Margit's extended family. Third from the right is Eha Amer who is Raul Vabasalu's half-sister.
Cornflower is the national flower of Estonia. Native to Europe it is now an endangered species due to overuse of pesticides.
Kilplased at European Festival May 2011
by Hilary Bird, Lembit Öpik and Ulvi Mustmaa
Xenophobe's guide to the Estonians was first published in the spring of 2010 by Oval books (of London, UK) and was snapped up by the Estonians, quickly translated (a great job by Mati Soomre) and brought out as Sellised nad on … eestlased. The book has three authors – Hilary Bird, Ulvi Mustmaa and Lembit Öpik. As is typical of so many situations involving Estonians, the trio is a good representation of our recent fate. Hilary’s name was originally Anneliis Meikar - her mother was a refugee from Käsmu, Lääne Virumaa, but Anneliis was adopted (in 1948) as a baby in the UK after her mother was decanted from the DP camps in Germany. Anneliis-Hilary has tracked down the Meikars (still living in Käsmu) and she now lives in Tartu. Lembit’s grandfather, a famous astronomer, was also a refugee but Lembit enjoys a whacky reputation in the UK (as a one time MP and for his saucy love life) in his own right. Ulvi, meanwhile, was stuck in the USSR but now works for the travel industry – her book on the Latvians, refuting the popular belief that they have six toes, was popular.
Hilary Bird, Estonian writer on culture and humour - my fourth cousin -
Eestis/Estonia - Sellised nad on...Eestlased ISBN: 978994944885 is selling like hot cakes and available at: http://pood.rahvaraamat.ee/raamatud/sellised_nad_on_eestlased/364805
Hilary Bird, writer extraordinaire, lives in Tartu, Estonia. For an interview of Hilary in Estonian please click on the following link.
The following is the English interview by Mati Soomre of Hilary:
MS: Are you English, British or Estonian?
HB: My birth mother was Estonian, my birth father was Lithuanian. I was adopted and grew up with by a Welsh mother and an English father. I am a citizen of the world.
MS: When and how did you find out that you might have Estonian family?
HB: I was born in the UK in 1948 as Anneliise Meikar but became Hilary Bird soon after. After my British parents died in 1983 I searched for my birth parents. In 1993 a geneologist found that my mother was Estonian and my father Lithuanian. Alice Meikar, my mother, had died in 1991. With information from Rahvusarkiiv I found my Estonian family in 1998. I do not know the name of my father.
MS: Some Estonians want to emigrate, among other places, to the UK, but you have come the other way. Why?
HB: I enjoy the peace and quiet of Tartu. I was stressed in a frantic, overcrowded UK. I did not enjoy my work although I had good friends and these are a joy anywhere! Some young Estonians see no hope of improving their quality of life here. This is a political issue. Others believe "the west" is simply more exciting. This is a personal issue. "All that glisters is not gold" (says Shakespeare) but I never listened to old folks when I was young so why should they?
MS: What sort of Maaleht reader do you write for?
HB: I write for readers who like serendipity - finding something good or useful while not looking for it.
MS: This year Maaleht published your translation of Lydia Koidula's "A mother's heart" for Mother's Day. What else have you translated?
HB: I have translated over 75 writers.
MS: Where does your amazing knowledge of Estonian literature come from?
HB: I am financially independent and have time to research. My reading skills are good and I am a mole who finds much information about Estonia in English histories of our colonial rulers. My friend had the idea to write an anthology of Estonian literature in English in 2003 but she has moved on and I like Siurulind (the Blue Bird), I fly on alone. I was once afraid of this project (Estonians critics can be fire breathing dragons). Then I adopted the approach of Edward FitzGerald who translated the Persian poet Omar Khayyam - "above all, a thing must live. Better a live sparrow than a stuffed eagle." It worked.
MS: What stage is the anthology of Estonian literature at?
HB: About 90% is written - a history, biographies and works from the oral tradition to 1990. Someone else can do post modernism! I am looking for a publisher – is anyone interested?
Maaleht is a weekly newspaper with the largest circulation (44, 000) in Estonia. More than 122 000 Estonians read Maaleht every week. It is the only national newspaper whose circulation has risen for the past three years and, in addition, the number of subscribers (27 500) has grown steadily for the last three years. Weekly newspapers are mostly read at home and more than 50% of the readers pick Maaleht up more than once.
Maaleht is read all over Estonia and is characterised by a calm, mature style and user- friendly wording. The paper follows in a long tradition of an Estonian weekly aimed at country folks - The Tartu Peasants Weekly Paper (Tarto maa rahwa Näddali-Leht) was first published in 1806. Major issues addressed include central government, municipal and rural economics, social problems and education.
An Estonian beauty.
Martin Kuuskmann, bassoonist
Kuldse Klubi Pensioners' Picnic photos - June 2, 2010 at Kembi talu in Surrey, B.C.
Jaak & Kärtu
Keerutajad - Rahvatantsiad
Over 20,000 candles were lit to commemorate the innocent people who were deported to Siberia by the Communist Soviet Union in 1949. More than 20,000 people were deported on March 25, mostly women and children. The youngest person taken away was 3 days old and the oldest was 96 years old. Earlier in 1941 not less than 25,000 people were deported to Siberia, in 1944 approximately 60,000 were taken and in 1949 another 21,000 sent to forced-labour camps in Siberia. Some 70,000 Estonians managed to escape to primarily Sweden and Germany. During the second world war Estonia lost approximately 200,000 people. On August 23, 1989, the 50th anniversary of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, 2 million people (Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians) formed a human chain from Tallinn to Vilnius protesting Soviet rule. Freedom was won in August 1991.
Habitation in Estonia goes back to 9,000 BC in the southern part of the country and 7,500 BC in the northern part so the country has a very old history and Estonians have much to reflect on.
Meie KoduEstonian Church Foundation
6520 Oak St. Vancouver, BC V6P 3Z2
Thomas Pajur, Chair
Eesti Selts www.vesbc.com
Estonian Society Chair: Olev Rumm
Vello Püss, Editor
Kuldne Klubi Pensioners' Club meets Meie Kodu every second Wednesday at noon. Membership annual fee is $5.00
Eesti Ühendatud Baptisti Kogudus
Eesti Kultuuri Ühing Kanadas - EKÜK, Society for the Advancement of Estonian Studies - SAESC, Juta Kitching, Chair Telephone 604-874-1696
Estonian Honourary Consulate, aukonsul
570 - 1285 West Pender Street Vancouver, B.C.
Tel. 604-683-3000 #105Fax 604-662-3457
Link contains the following:
A Miracle for Leah
Amazing Grace and Beyond the Sunset
Darkness Before Dawn
Downside of Advantage
Estonian Folk-dancers: A Rare Breed
Ernst Julius Öpik - the man
Estonia Ferry (1 of 2)
Fathoms down in the Baltic Sea
Gutenberg's Genius Paved the Way for Luther & Estonian Literacy
Hemingway and Two Estonians
Independence Day in Vancouver - Behind the Scenes
Letters of Emilie & Jaan 1914 - 1920
Lutheran Issues: a timely discourse
Moon not to blame for Titanic sinking
Moon not to blame for Titanic sinking - Part II
Mother's Day in Vancouver
Our Country Within
Portrait of a 20th Century Estonian
Remembering the Estonian Ferry (2 of 2)
Tango - Argentine and Finnish
Toronto Churches and Roads
Tribute to Valdeko Weemees
Viru Bard & Vändra Nightingale
Waltergate - A Brief History of Lutheran Church Troubles
Lyrics to 97 Estonian Songs
EUROPEAN FESTIVAL 2008 PHOTOS:
Photo Viktor Remmelg
from way back
General inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org