Archive for February, 2018

At the regular meeting of the St. Petersburg (FL) City Council, Councilman Steve Kornell transmitted to Lisa Mets, Immediate Past Honorary Consul of Estonia (St. Petersburg, Florida) and KFES vice president, the Mayor’s Proclamation proclaiming February 24, 2018 as Republic of Estonia Centennial Day. These representatives of the Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) attended: KFES Past President Tõnu Toomepuu, current KFES President Kersti K. Totsas-Linask, KFES Board members Maare and Jaan Kuuskvere and Erkki Taada, and member and Estonian Honorary Consul candidate Kaie Põhi Latterner. This recognition from the City of St. Petersburg expands the gateway that already exists between St. Petersburg and Estonia.

This action is dedicated to the centenary of the Republic of Estonia.

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Kesk Florida Eesti Selts/
The Estonian Society of Central Florida

invites you to our luncheon celebrating

Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.
Feather Sound Country Club
2201 Feather Sound Dr., Clearwater, FL 33762

Program Highlights
Remarks by Estonian Consul General Kairi Künka
Folkdancers New York’s Saare Vikat and
Florida’s Rannapiigad
A musical program offered by Florida Estonians and
Estonian-related musicians

Advance reservations are required by 2/28/18
Tickets: Adults $50.00, children under 12 $23.00
For tickets, contact Anneliis Kuusik
kuusika09@aol.com; tel. 860-810-3469
7069 Key Haven Rd #505, Seminole FL 33777
Please specify your meal choice (fish or chicken)
and make checks payable to the
“Estonian Society of Central Florida”

The Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts expresses deep gratitude to the following for financial support for this event:

Integratsiooni Sihtasutus Eestis (Eesti Vabariik 100 väliseesti kultuurühingute projektikonkurss toetus/A fund in Estonia dedicated to helping celebrate the Estonian centennial around the world

Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendriikides/Estonian American National Council

This event is dedicated to the centenary of the Republic of Estonia.

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Estonia’s Consul General from New York City will be in St. Petersburg, Florida, Friday, March 9, 2018, to perform consular duties. Estonian citizens will be able to apply for a passport and/or ID Card, renew their passport and/or ID Card, receive previously ordered documents or conduct other consular business. Information regarding consular services, application forms, and contact information may be found here: Estonian Consulate General in New York City

The Consul General will conduct business in the former Honorary Consulate, Upham Administration Building, Eckerd College, 4200 54th Avenue S, St. Petersburg, Florida 33711. Directions and campus map may be found here: Directions and Map to Eckerd College/Estonian Honorary Consulate

Starting January 2, 2018, please pre-register for an appointment by sending an email to Lisa Mets, the immediate past Estonian Honorary Consul, at lisa.mets@gmail.com. Please include the following information: (1) your name and the name(s) of any family members coming with you for services too; (2) your mobile phone number; (3) the purpose of your appointment, e.g., passport, ID card, pick up documents, or other business; and (4) your preferred time of day (early morning, late morning, early afternoon, late afternoon).

Please share this announcement with Estonians who may be interested in this visit.

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Twenty-five members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida enjoyed lunch together as we fire up for the celebration of Estonia’s 100th anniversary of independence, which we will celebrate with a gala program on March 10, 2018 (see separate listing above). We were delighted to welcome Eda Vare and Vernon Aldan Bandy. Eda spends half the year in Vermont and half the year in Sun City Center. Thank you, Eda, for looking us up and joining our selts!

We met in the usual private room in one of our favorite restaurants: Pier 22, 1200 1st Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205. The restaurant has a varied menu with moderately priced items. We look forward to returning here again next year.

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On February 6, 2018 in St. Petersburg, Florida, three members of a Civil Affairs Team of the 92nd Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, and an adviser, engaged in a mission readiness exercise with Lisa A. Mets, the Immediate Past Estonian Honorary Consul (St. Petersburg); and Maare Kuuskvere, Markus and Liisa Larsson, Erkki Taada, and Triin Karr, all members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts). A mission readiness exercise engages members of a civil affairs team with diaspora community leaders to learn more about the ethnic experience of the diaspora community and to learn and practice cultural sensitivities. This is the third time a civil affairs team assigned to Estonia has worked with the St. Petersburg Estonian community on a mission readiness exercise.

The program introduced the Civil Affairs Team to Estonian and Estonian-American perspectives through three generations of Estonians that live in Tampa Bay: those born in Estonia before World War II, who were refugees with experience in displaced persons camps; those born and raised in Estonia under Soviet oppression; first generation Estonian-Americans whose lives have been committed to preserving Estonia’s sovereignty; and those who were teenagers in Estonia when Estonia regained independence in 1991 and now make Florida their home.

A whirlwind orientation program covered Estonian geography, history, demographics, government, economy, Estonia’s place in international rankings today, language, educational system, culture, and e-Estonia. To introduce the Civil Affairs Team to Estonian cuisine, refreshments included traditional Estonian breakfast võileivad, a Jaanipäeva-style picnic lunch, and a traditional Estonian Christmas dinner with homemade verivorst.

The following day the Civil Affairs Team visited Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, the workplace of the Immediate Past Estonian Honorary Consul. In two sessions, the Civil Affairs Team learned about emergency preparedness planning and the student-run marine rescue program, which is called Eckerd College Search and Rescue (EC SAR).

“Secure the victory” is the motto inscribed on the pin worn by the members of the Civil Affairs Team. That describes perfectly their role in Estonia helping Estonia to preserve its independence. Those who hosted this experience consider it an honor and privilege to engage in mission readiness exercises and stand ready to continue to serve in this way. On behalf of all Estonians in Estonia and the diaspora, we express deep gratitude to the USA for its continuing support for Estonia.

Members of the Civil Affairs Team and their adviser. (back) Lisa Mets, Maare Kuuskvere, Liisa Larsson and Markus Larsson. Feb. 6, 2018, St. Petersburg, FL. Photo: Erkki Taada

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