Ilmar Tammelo February 25, 1917 Narva - February 7, 1982 Sydney............. (1)
Inimesed 09 Feb 2013  EWR
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Küünlad küüditatute mälestuseks - pics/2013/02/38651_002.jpg
Küünlad küüditatute mälestuseks

Ahead of Estonia's 95th Independence Day on February 24, the Heritage Society has proposed starting a new tradition of lighting candles on the graves of great figures of Estonian culture and society in the month of February, ERR News reported.

Author: D.M. Helmeste, PhD,

Ilmar Tammelo
February 25, 1917 Narva - February 7, 1982 Sydney was a world-renowned professor of law philosophy. Impressed with his work, the British philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote him a letter of recommendation. His research included work on heritage law, philosophy, theory, and international law which brought him worldwide
fame. Justice problems were among Tammelo’s interests for nearly 30
years. “Õiglus ja hool” (photo 1) is one of over twenty books written
by or about Tammelo.
 - pics/2013/02/38651_003_t.jpg
Unfortunately, his early childhood was marred by tragedy. His father,
school teacher and mayor of Narva, was one of the many casualties
during the Estonian War of Independence. The story continues with
mother Johanna and her two small boys (Richard and Ilmar) travelling
during wartime by foot from Narva to Puhja (near Tartu) where
Johanna’s sister (my grandmother Minna) lived with her pharmacist
husband and children. My grandfather (Richard Helmeste) treated Ilmar
like a second son and Ilmar spent his elementary school years in Puhja
with my father’s family ( His
later career in law was no doubt influenced in part by his mother’s
brother (Jaan Treufeldt), industrialist/politician, newspaper
publisher and lawyer. However, as was too common in that era,
Treufeldt’s successful career made him a target for deportation to
Siberia in the early 1940s. As recorded by the Estonian writer Jaan
Kross, it was during this period that the two Estonians (JK and JT)
became friends.
But ill health would cut Ilmar Tammelo’s career cruelly short.
Thirty-one years have passed but I remember Ilmar’s Toronto visit in
the autumn of 1981 very well. In Toronto to lecture at the University
of Toronto (Tartu College), Ilmar had been able to meet me for coffee
since I was a university graduate student there at the time. My
parents still lived in Montreal but Ilmar had been diligent and met my
father (his closest cousin) there as well (photo 2: Early visit by
Ilmar Tammelo to Helmeste family in Montreal, 1957: author is the tiny
girl sitting on bench). I remember the sad quietness about him at the
time but he had kept people in the dark about his cancer diagnosis and
its progression. Coffee in Toronto....then several weeks passed by and
he was dead. Luckily, Ilmar's brother (Richard) and nephew (Risto
Tammelo from Tartu, Estonia and future Physics Professor there) had
prearranged to visit Ilmar in Salzburg, Austria one last time after
his Toronto visit. As the cancer progressed and death seemed imminent,
Ilmar was flown back to Sydney, Australia where his second wife Lyn
lived and he could see his best friend Dr. Felix Ruut. Then on
February 7, 1982 he disappeared from the face of this Earth and his
burial place was shrouded in secrecy for more than a quarter of a

Careful inquiries by relatives as recently as five years ago had led
to no results about where Ilmar’s grave may be located. Being
interested in this problem, I recently took up this investigation and
after several inquiries to England and Australia came to the
conclusion that Ilmar Tammelo’s ashes are likely to be located in
section MG15197, Northern Suburbs Crematorium, 199 Delhi Road, North
Ryde, NSW 2113, which is a suburban area of Sydney (Australia).
However, I have not been able to obtain photographic proof. It would
be sad to leave this problem unresolved due to the negligence or
unsound mind of now-deceased individuals. My hope is that sometime
during this month of February, someone in the Sydney area can visit
the site and send photographic proof that section MG15197 is indeed
the final resting place for Ilmar Tammelo’s ashes. A posting to online newspaper would be helpful. Ilmar Tammelo’s grave site
deserves to be remembered with candles just like the other Estonian
notables whom we celebrate this fine month of February in the year 2013.
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Jan 31 2018 - Toronto Eesti Maja
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