The past Labour Day week-end marked a special occasion for Lakewood Estonians, the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Lakewood Estonian Association.
To commemorate this event, Estonian Life will bring its readers a two-part series on Lakewood, New Jersey, the first a brief overview of the events held over two days, with Friday, Sept. 2 billed as a “Homecoming” and Sat., Sept. 3 as the main celebration. Next week’s article will briefly delve into Lakewood’s past and its significance from a Canadian-Estonian perspective.
The “Homecoming” was highlighted by visual reminders of Lakewood’s Estonian background. Explaining the projectuals was William (Bill) Karjane, son of one of the current community’s founders. Eda Treumuth, a past president of the Association, completed the sentimental journey with references to the community’s past.
Performing the same evening was an old friend of Lakewood. Andres Raudsepp, a veteran bass-baritone with experience in folk, pop and serious music, drove down from Canada with the the choral director, composer and pianist Charles Kipper, who accompanied the performer and enhanced his guitar work.
The main evening on Saturday provided a number of highlights. The Republic of Estonia was represented by Sten Schwede, the consul-general from New York. Other Estonians who were present to bring congratulatory greetings were Marju Rink-Abel, president of the Estonian American National Council, Dr. Toomas Sõrra, head of The New York Estonian Education Society and leader of the neighbouring community in the Big Apple and Andrus Ers, vice-director of the Estonian-American Athletic League. Rasa Miliute represented the local Lithuanian community which has been invited to use the Lakewood Estonian House facilities for its heritage school for children, illustrating the spirit of co-operation embodied by the Lakewood Estonians.
A special presentation was made by Priit Parming, president of the Lakewood Estonian Association. All the past president were called before the public for a moment of honour and a gift of historic prints designed by an Estonian artist during the refugee days in Germany.
Saturday’s attraction was musical comedy performer Kristi Roosmaa from New York who is originally from Pärnu, Estonia. She is a graduate of law (master’s) from the University of Tartu and has completed studies at the American Academy of Music and Drama and the Broadway School of Dance. Kristi has also performed at Carnegie Hall.
Kristi Roosmaa’s first cycle included a show stopping piece from ,,My Fair Lady”, in the Estonian language yet, in which her admonition of ‘Enry ‘Iggins was pure delight. In her second show she teamed with Andres Raudsepp. The duo brought the members of the public to their feet with the primary song from the Estonian Singing Revolution. It was only two weeks since the 20th anniversary of Estonia’s regained independence on August 20, 1991.
This week-end, Saturday, Sept. 24, the Lakewood Estonian Association will launch its new season, featuring the New York Estonian Male Choir. Canadian-Estonians congratulate the Association and the community on their past activity and cheer them on to new achievements.
Lakewood Estonian Association 65