Event honors Finnish community

Region – The New England Finnish Community has planned a celebration commemorating Finland’s 87th anniversary year of independence from Russia (1917) and maintaining it. The event is on Sunday at 2 p.m., at the Finnish Center at Saima Park on Scott Road in Fitchburg, Mass.

The event will honor the Finnish war veterans and the people who had to evacuate and lose their homeland to Russia. Finland survived the wars against Russia: 1939-1940 and 1941- 44. Finland built 364 ships for Russia, among many other demands.

The program will consist of a brass band playing Finnish marches and compositions. The guest speaker will be Finnish newspaper correspondent Mr. Roy Helander; musical selections by Ms. Irene Hails; and violin solos by Patricia Gebura. Alan Tastula will play the Finnish National Instrument “Kantele.”

There is no admission charge and refreshments will be served.

Finnish organizations and churches across the United States formed a country-wide relief organization in 1939. The purpose was to collect badly-needed aid for war- stricken Finland. Fitchburg City Hall and Saima Hall were the collection places. Two-hundred big wooden boxes were taken to New York. $64,000 was sent to Finland just from this area. President Hoover was the honorary chairman for the whole country.