The spring meeting of the district gathered the Rotarians of Southern Finland and Estonia, this time in the spring forest in Espoo. Hotel Nuuksio, located right next to Nuuksio National Park, served as the meeting place.

The morning seminar section was opened by district governor Ritva Semi, who told the meeting news from the district level. In 2025, it will be 120 years since the foundation of international Rotary activities. The goal of the district is to organize a spectacular conference in honor of the anniversary in May 2025. The first club in Finland was founded in December 1926, so in a couple of years, the centenary of the domestic Rotary will also be celebrated.

We also heard greetings from Southwest Finland’s rotary district 1410. District governor Aaro Söderlund, who lives in Nauvo, told inspiring examples of rotary activities in his own area and e.g. The Rotakids activity, which has helped the clubs get a lot of new members. Southwest Finland also has strong Water Backpag activities and cooperation with schools.

Hanna Markkula-Kivisilta, general secretary of Save the Children Association, led us to a more serious but even more current topic. In his speech, he spoke strongly about the situation of the world’s children in crises and reminded us that not all crises are in the public domain. For children, they are still dangerous and make their life and future difficult. The plight of children and young people touches us all, and that is why the Nuori mieli project, which is currently being implemented with our district’s Mieli ry, is extremely important.

MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, who knows the corridors and working methods of the European Union, opened the meeting with an international perspective. He talked about current EU affairs and reflected on EU enlargement issues and the effects of the war in Ukraine on EU politics and the rule of law. The EU Parliament just started its session break, and the member states are preparing for the EU holidays, which are just over a month away.


Rotary service honorary medals are given for outstanding service

Medals of merit awarded by the rotary service of Finland and Estonia were handed over to Ulla Lucenius and Markku Juhola. Ulla Lucenius from the Helsinki City West club received the Finland Rotary merit badge for her merits and a primus for being a driving force in several of the club’s Ukraine projects. He was there to receive the badge of merit

Markku Juhola received the Finnish Rotary’s I-class merit badge. He is the “father” of Silakkasoutu and has been the chairman of its steering group for several years. He was currently on vacation abroad, and the token was handed over to him over the phone. Juhola is a member of the Riihimäki-Hausjärvi Rotary Club.

Both recipients of the merit badge thanked for the attention, but stated that these things are not done alone but together and share their attention with their clubmates.



The district conference approved the plans for the next rotary year

Firstly, the officers of the next rotary year were introduced to the representatives of the clubs. The officers are district governor Aune Past (Tartu Hansa RC), district governor-elect Jere Jantunen (Lohja RK), and district governor nominee Heldur Allese (Saaremaa RC).

In the district meeting, the district governor elect, Aune Past, presented the action plan, the budget, and the district management plan, which had been sent to the clubs of the district in advance. The meeting approved these plans. Aune Past also invited all Rotarians to Tartu for the district conference to be held next October.


Along with the meeting, we got to know the nature of Nuuksio

During the break of the meeting, there was also an opportunity for networking and enjoying the nature of Nuuksio. The field guide led the participants to a brisk walk in the bosom of the awakening nature. In Koda, our exchange students got to bake marshmallows and it was fun!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the district conference and negotiations! The next district conference is already in the fall on October 19, when the cultural capital Tartu invites us!


Photos: Juha Merinen, Irmeli Viherluoto-Lindström