On October 3rd, on the third rehearsal of the new singing season, the TEM choir members came in their choir uniform to mark the 56th anniversary of the founding of the choir. On this day in 1950 sixteen men gathered to set the foundation of the Toronto Estonian Male Choir. The choir quickly grew to over a hundred strong. On the occasion of this anniversary the TEM chairman, Heikki Paara, remarked that only one of the original 16 is alive, Meinhard Põldma, who is in a nursing home.
The chairman went on to say that over the years the membership has diminished to about 40, and thus TEM would be glad to welcome new members. But even in these diminished numbers TEM is still the largest men’s choir outside Estonia. The choir is in a talking stage of several performances beyond the traditional annual Christmas and Spring concerts. These include some possibly in Estonia, where TEM has already carried out several successful concert tours.
Next the choir's director Charles Kipper remarked that he has now directed this choir for 25 years, for almost half of the years of his life. He finished the formal part of the gathering by reading a poem in which the plight of an aging choir director was noted. The poem's gist was that when you are a young director the ladies look at you with admiration, and after performances you are heaped with flowers. But if you are old, it is an honour when people still show up to listen.
TEM marks anniversary