The 101st birthday of the Estonian Republic meant also a change of leadership for Swiss Estonian Association.
On March 2nd the Swiss Estonian Association celebrated the first birthday of the second century of the Estonian Republic in Gockhausen near Zurich, in one of the so-called “Studio houses at the edge of the forest”, known for their open and inspiring architecture.
Before the celebration could begin, the General Assembly of the Swiss Estonian Society took place. The president of the Association, Mirjam Loertscher, welcomed everyone and gave a detailed and colourful overview of the association's activities over the last two years. Unbelievable, how much can happen in 24 months! Different concerts, Estonian Food Day, Birdlife project, St. John’s Day celebrations, making of the “Estonia 100”-wine… Kristi Leibur-Nagel explained the financing part behind the scenes. In addition, Kristiina Bylyku and Gerdy Ling looked back at the activities of the Estonan Childrens Playgroup – it seems that also here there is no lack of new ideas!
When all the reports had been approved, the time had come: the previous leaders of the Swiss Estonian Association thanked the members and resigned. The Association did not remain “headless” - the new candidates introduced themselves and were in no time unanimously elected: Kristi Jõeleht as the new President, Annika Fibbioli as the Vice President, Gerdy Ling as the Treasurer, and also Kristiina Bylyku as Head of the Playgroup is now part of the leading team. Best of success to all of you!
Hans Graf, Honorary Consul of the Estonian Republic, thanked the previous leadership and welcomed the new one. Also present was Tiia Miller, Consul of the Estonian Republic in Vienna, who passed on the greetings of the whole Embassy and also a big thank you from the Estonian Republic to Mirjam for her services.
In the meantime, some of the party guests had already arrived and were waiting outside – now the doors were opened to everyone and the party could begin! A delicious aperitif was served and in no time the whole house was full of people, talking and laughing!
As it really did get loud, we had to move the book launch of Anu Elmer-Ehin to another room. “My Switzerland” tells very realistically and humorously the story of Anu’s first years in Switzerland. Mirjam interviewed her short and then Anu read a passage from the book, telling about the differences between Estonians and Swiss when it comes to going to a forest. The books that SE Association had brought along, were sold out very quickly, with Anu’s autographs.
The party went on with food and drink – in the meantime, the “rösti” made outside on the open fire was ready to be served and salad buffet waiting for the hungry guests. The latter ones had arrived from near and far, some even very far – but not because of the “rösti” (although it was very tasty!). The highlight of the evening was the concert of Jaan Tätte, who had arrived from the most westerly place of Estonia – Vilsandi on island Saaremaa, to sing his songs.
After the concert – as everyone was in the same room and had their attention on the “stage” – Mirjam officially passed on her duties to the new president and thanked everyone who had supported and helped her during the past 6 years. The leading team thanked Mirjam in return – the shoes to fill are quite big ..
Photo gallery by Annika Palvari Fibbioli: https://annikafibbioli.smugmug.com/Eesti-Vabariik-101/n-6qrCzk/
Rea Sturzenegger, 3.3.2019, Winterthur