Archive for February, 2020

The Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts gathered together on Saturday, February 22, 2020, to celebrate the 102nd Anniversary of Estonian Independence and the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty. As Estonia approached the 100th Anniversary of its declaration of independence in 2018, Estonia cleverly declared we would celebrate for three years: 2018 would be the 100th Anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, 2019 would be the 100th Anniversary of our War of Independence, and 2020 would be the 100th Anniversary of the Tartu Peace Treaty. And so, the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts has been following these themes at its Estonian Independence Day celebrations in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Our luncheon at the fabulous Feather Sound Country Club in Clearwater, Florida, hosted 55 members and friends of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida. We were delighted to welcome back members we usually see once or twice a year: Taivo and Anneliis Hurt, Evi and Arno Kallas, Viive and Ken Morin, Henno and Carmen Normet, Rein and Geri Raja, Helen Tammela and David Clauch, and Aino and Ants Tomson. This year we had the opportunity to welcome a new member, Liis Janusauskas; Liis and her husband recently located here from Chicago and we are delighted Liis sought out our community. We were joined by special friends too: Viviana and Tooma Paddrik from Ft. Lauderdale; Piret Komi from Toronto; and Judy Splendore, Kaie Põhi Latterner’s wonderful neighbor. We were delighted our association has hooked in these newer members: Kadri Lindemann-Owens and Mall and John Chaney; Anu Nerska Sheridan’s husband, David, came down from Montreal to join our celebration this year too. No, we did not call out all the names of those who celebrated together this year. We asked the regular members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts to stand and be recognized as the “heart and soul of KFES, who make this association thrive. They are the family members who make it possible for us to call KFES our home.”

Kesk Florida Eesti Selts EVA 102 tähistamine. 22. veeb. 2020. Clearwater, FL. Foto: Lisa A. Mets

Our program was simple this year: heartfelt, sometimes tearful, and undeniably uplifting. We began with an a capella performance of the U.S. national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, by our member Vincent Delaidatti. Vincent took our breath away, singing the national anthem the way it has always been meant to be sung and rarely is. The anthem tells a victorious story, and Vincent sang it convincingly. Bravo and thank you, Vincent! If an organization is seeking someone to open its program with the U.S. national anthem, we highly recommend Vincent without reservation; Vincent is a treasure. Lisa A. Mets, KFES president, followed Vincent. Lisa welcomed guests and offered remarks reviewing the history and significance of our celebration of EV 102 and the 100th anniversary of the Tartu Peace Treaty. We invited Vincent to return to the podium to offer a prayer for Estonia, the traditional invocation at ceremonies such as this one. As is customary, we paused to remember our fallen soldiers. Mrs. Urve Põhi read A. Oengo Kingo’s poem Noor Sõdalane. Closing remarks were offered by Ms. Kaie Põhi Latterner, Estonian Honorary Consul (St. Petersburg, FL), and we concluded on our feet with the singing of the Estonian national anthem, Mu Isamaa, Mu Õnn ja Rõõm. Preceded by a blessing for the meal by Birgit Delaidatti, lunch followed. Ah yes, our fun loterii was held over the luncheon period. Thank you to Triin Sikemäe Karr and her daughter, Annika, for leading that successful activity! Dessert was very special this year. Our member Moonika Mägi, who could not be with us on this day, made not one but three kringels, forming the year 102. Oh my, were they delicious! As in years past, a champagne toast was lifted to Eesti, Elagu Eesti! And this year, in anticipation of Jüri Toomepuu’s 90th birthday in June, we lifted a special champagne toast honoring Jüri for his lifetime commitment to the good of Estonia and our little Kesk Florida Eesti Selts: Elagu, Jüri!

Today was special. Estonians love music and dance and, as Estonians, our Kesk Florida Eesti Selts does too! Rein Männik returned with his guitar and offered a couple ballads to our appreciative ears. Kaie Põhi Latterner picked up her accordion and, with Rein, led our entire group in the singing of a number of our favorite ühislaulud: Ma Tahaksin Kodus Olla, Tallinna Teel, Kungla Rahvas, Viljandi Paadimees, and Jää Vabaks, Eesti Meri. We concluded our musical and dance program with the Perekonna Valss. Several members dressed in Estonian traditional folk dresses; and the beautiful table decorations, each a stylized Eesti sõlg, all made by Anneliis Kuusik, were right on theme.

Next year, (tentatively on 20 February, 2021, same time, same place), the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts will be celebrating EV103 and the 30th Anniversary of the Restoration of Estonian Independence. Planning is already under way and we hope to make the celebration a little extra special. Please plan to join us; you may even see the return of the Rannapiigad.

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Thirty-five hungry members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts gathered for their favorite January annual soup and sandwich lunch on Saturday, January 25, 2020, at 2:00 pm, in the lovely community room at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Seminole, Florida. A fabulous smorgasbord of Estonian-style soups, sandwiches, pasteet, Korean dumplings, meatballs, salads, and desserts were enjoyed. Yes, frikadelli supp, kapsarulli soup, and borscht delighted us all. Heeringa-, kilu- and lõhe kala võileivad were delicious. Tasty kartuli salat and rosolje were on the table too. There were desserts galore with bakers taking advantage of the Florida strawberry season, a little rum for the rum cake, warm bread pudding and unbeatable chocolate chip cookies. Oh my! It was a feast! The highlight of the afternoon was the introduction of Karneelia and Marmeelia Dishmey, accompanied by their proud parents Marju and Dallas Dishmey. Karneelia and Marmeelia are just three months old! Welcome to our community! Enjoy our photos!

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