Eesti Elu
Volunteer Work and Celebration at Seedrioru
Eestlased Kanadas 23 Jun 2011 Helena OtsaEesti Elu
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What a wonderful day, what an inspirational evening! Last Saturday, the 11th of June,
Seedrioru honoured long-time volunteers who have worked hard to support the
Childrenʼs Summer Camp. This was the largest gathering of young, middle-aged, and
seniors in many decades. Together we sawed, hammered, and cleaned. A new play set
rose up from the ground for the youngest children.Seedrioruʼs family
members came together from near and from far. Short bursts of rain could not dampen
the flame that warmed our hearts. We had fun.

When the dayʼs work was done, a trip to the sauna refreshed the workers in time for the
evening celebration. Under the direction of Ene Rebane Billings, volunteers were
treated to a dinner fit for royalty. Many had prepared foods ahead of time to share at this
festive table. We jointly said the traditional Seedrioru Grace and partook of the
offerings. Toomas Aasa had generously donated wine and beer for all of the tables.
Merike Koger organized a lottery--the lottery tickets sold quickly and resulted in a
handsome profit. Linda Varangu baked a chocolate-raspberry cake in the shape of the
Seedrioru Logo. Valen Varangu Booth, Lindaʼs son, decorated the cake, using dried fruit
and fresh berries, to look exactly like the logo. There was enough for
everyone...over sixty of us.

After dinner, Toomas Eichenbaum spoke from his heart to the four men, now all over 90
years, whose volunteer spirit we celebrated that night. We sang our
congratulations to Jaan Eichenbaum, Benno Jostman, Heino Paluveer, and Kalju
Varangu. These men have supported Seedrioru over many decades with their
participation, their labour and financially. They are in the memories of countless people
who once were themselves children at the summer camp. We were particularly gratified
that Jaan and Kalju were able to join us so we could thank them in person. Although
Heino Paluveer was not able to be with us, we often think of him and remember him as
one of the people we could always count our minds we see him mowing the
grass with a cigarette in his mouth and wearing his hat. We know he does not like to be
the centre of attention but that does not stop us from keeping him close to our hearts. In
the same way we will always remember Benno Jostman as an unparalleled Sports
Director and learned from him that that the Estonian spirit thrives best in a healthy body.
We celebrate all four of you and we thank all four of you sincerely.

After dinner, the celebration continued in the many exchanges of memories and stories
until it was time to leave. Coming at the end of a day filled with the joy of working side
by side with each other, such a heartfelt celebration at the end of the day was nothing
short of inspirational.

(The last volunteer work days before Suvihari and the start of the Childrenʼs Summer
Camp will be held on the 25th and 26th of June. You will be warmly welcomed and will have the option of partaking in an even warmer (hotter!) saun at the end of the day.
Directions to Seedrioru are to be found at
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