On March 17 the traditional St. Patrick’s reception was held by the Irish Embassy, Tallinn. We would like to thank H. E. Peter McIvor, the Irish Ambassador to Estonia, and Mrs. McIvor for inviting some of our members to the event. The evening passed with networking and chatting in the festive atmosphere.
Zinaida Jevgrafova, Chairman of the ESU of Estonia
On the evening of 25 October the members of the ESU of Estonia visited the residence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Ireland. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by Mr. Peter McIvor, the Ambassador, who was enthusiastic about meeting new people, and his charming wife, who kept the conversations going on and on, making sure her guests were not bored. When the last person arrived, the doors closed and we all took a seat around a big table. Mr. McIvor stood at the dais and gave us a wonderful speech about himself as a child and Ireland in general. Mr. Ambassador gave us two sets of copies with poems and colorful pictures of places he had visited in his childhood. The story Mr. McIvor told us was nicely illustrated with some interesting pictures and poems he had picked out. The story ended with a poem, written by Mr. McIvor himself. I think everyone in the room was surprised when he read it out loud for us.
by Peter McIvor
Was I touched by the colors of my childhood?
Autumn on the hills behind the school;
The waterfall in winter, frozen in mid-fall
And cold as steel, like the heart on return
After Christmas. Then pockets of bluebells
Below the Dog’s Grave path; the brighter blues
Of summer promising release, until September
Would bring the cycle round again.
Oh, I was touched all right. Yet, what I remember best
Is the bare cyclorama after the opera,
Footlights turned off, house-lights turned on;
Car-lights ‘stabbing the blackness’ on the coast.
And me, just begging to see what separates,
Wish from fulfillment: trusting still
Childhood’s colors to confirm themselves
Brighter and brighter as the terms passed by
We applauded Mr. McIvor for the wonderful story he shared with us and for all the time and effort he put into preparing this evening for us. Later on we were moved into the other room to try out some of the delicious dishes being served; there was a variety of flavors to choose from so no one was left unsatisfied. The biggest surprise was a dessert cooked by Mrs. McIvor herself. It was very delicious! All of the guests sat at the table, ate and chatted with one another. Mr. McIvor and his wife were at the center of every conversation and made us feel at home. The evening ended with us taking some pictures together and saying thank you once again for giving us such a warm welcome. I’m sure all the guests had a great time and would love to come see Mr. and Mrs. McIvor again!
Kathrin Frei, ESU of Estonia
On Tuesday, September 25 people who like reading met at the Drink Bar for the first Book Swap Club event. We exchanged our books, talked about them and got to know each other. Along with ESU Estonia members there were also people present from the British Embassy, CRE8ORS OÜ, Drink Bar itself, etc., and there were a lot of books to choose from. We have agreed to meet next time at the same place on October 23 at 6-7.30 pm. We thank James Ramsden for hosting the event.
On Wednesday, August 22 ESUE members visited the exhibition “The Romantic View. 19th Century Dutch and Belgian Paintings from the Rademakers Collection.” The collection was compiled with superb intuition by former television producer Jef Rademakers and offered an overview of all genres and shades of the diverse romanticism of Dutch art. Our excursion was guided by Helena Risthein, who helped us explore genre painting, cityscapes, seascapes, portraits and mysterious moonlit landscapes. We also visited the 5th floor of KUMU Art Museum, where a new exhibition had just opened: “Speed of Darkness and Other Stories”, which was a quite modern collection of installations by lighting artists. We then concluded our wonderful evening with a visit to the permanent exhibition of Estonian art.
Maria Silvia Martinson
ESUE, Committee member
On July 10th the ESU of Estonia had the privilege of meeting briefly with Andrus Ansip, the Prime Minister of Estonia.
You can find some photos from the event below.
In February the ESU of Estonia met with the U.S. Ambassador Michael C. Polt to discuss language and culture. The event was a great success, and before leaving for his next appointment, the Ambassador invited all those present to the July 4th event organized by the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn to celebrate the 236th anniversary of American independence.
The event began with the welcome remarks, followed by the presentation of colors, which was carried through by the United States Marine Corps Security Guard Detachment. It was then that Gen. Ants Laaneots received the Legion of Merit (Commander Degree), one of the highest military decorations issued by the United States.
Once the colors were retired, it was time for the Philadelphia Boys’ Choir to take the stage to sing the Estonian and U.S. national anthems, which they managed superbly.
In his speech, Michael C. Polt stressed how hard he has worked to make the U.S. Embassy more visible in Estonia and bring the two countries closer together. He said he had never felt as welcome anywhere as he has in Estonia, and that he would always remember his conversations with our bright, motivated youth. The speech was followed by the cake cutting ceremony, after which the official part of the event was concluded.
Delicious food, wonderful people, and great weather worked well together to make for a memorable afternoon at Maarjamäe. The ESU of Estonia thanks Ambassador Polt for his kindness to the organization and hard work in Estonia.