Toronto’s Estonian House - 50 enthusiastic years! (1)
Just like the honeybee, we have been flung out into the wide world. But we all carry in our hearts a home, a land and a people, as well as an aspiration for oneness. Over the course of time, Toronto’s Estonian House (Eesti Maja) has been a gathering place for the widely scattered Estonian community. Like a beehive, it buzzes with activity and bears witness to the enduring strength of our community. We have but one Estonian House, where our precious language is taught, our songs are sung, where scouts and guides acquire wisdom for the future, where the floor reverberates with the footsteps of folkdancers, where our hard-earned wealth is kept safe, and where we are offered security and a feeling of unity.
This year spring, long awaited, will arrive differently! April will mark the 50th anniversary of the Estonian House! It seems as if just yesterday, Toronto’s Saarlaste Association decreed, in St. Peter’s Lutheran church, that by St. George’s Day (Jüripäev), we would have our own home. And so the historical Chester Hill public school on Broadview Avenue became the home of the Estonian House, and a testimonial to our values and powers of endurance.
Dear fellow Estonians, family and friends, the Estonian House invites you to a very important birthday celebration on the 9th, 10th and 11th of April. On Friday the 9th, our young people have arranged a dance – “50 years… Our House, Our Party”. The Kungla folkdancers will perform, with many other birthday surprises. Music will be provided by the ever popular d.j. Dave Lovell. Traditional finger foods such as pirukad and sandwiches will be served.
From Saturday afternoon onward, 45 Estonian House clubs and organizations will have exhibitions in the Gallery Hall, the Crystal Hall, the Youth Room, the shooting range and the basement gallery. A continuous video program will run, showing the activities of these organizations. You will have an opportunity to take part in a contest “Know your home, the Estonian House”. All the information you need to answer the quiz questions, and win valuable prizes, will be found in the exhibitions!
At 6:00 p.m. on Saturday the 10th of April, the Gala Dinner/Dance will take place, with a traditional meal prepared by the Estonian House Café. Entertainment will be provided by the Kungla folkdancers, Peeter, Leiki and Keila Kopvillem and Erik Soostar. From Estonia, Ivo Linna of Singing Revolution fame, and Trio Naturale will perform. The charming and humourous Rutt Veskimets will M.C. the evening, which will include impressions shared with us by the many generations that have used the Estonian House, telling us what it means to them.
Sunday the 11th of April will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a short prayer service followed by a celebratory brunch. The Estonian invention, Skype, will allow us to speak with President Toomas Hendrik Ilves directly from Estonia. Entertainment is by the Toronto Estonian Men’s Choir under the direction of Charles Kipper, as well as Liina, Elena and Maarika Lepik, Ivo Linna and Trio Naturale.
Ticket prices for Friday’s Youth Dance are $20. The Gala Dinner Dance tickets are $40 for adults, $30 for students. Brunch tickets are $25 for adults, and $15 for students. Tickets are already available at ESTORE, 416-465-2219, the Estonian House office, 416-461-7963, and from Ilo Puhm, 416-762-4392. Also at . If you have an Estonian Credit Union account, to pay for your tickets, just ask them to transfer the money to the Estonian House 50th Anniversary account.
Friends, your home, the Toronto Estonian House, invites you to its golden anniversary! Come and celebrate together!
On behalf of the Anniversary Committee,
Rev. Kalle Kadakas