Tartu College, in Toronto, serves as home base for the Toronto Chapter of Korporatsioon Vironia, as it does for most other local Estonian fraternities. Throughout the school year, from September to May, Korp! Vironia runs monthly meetings, socials, lectures and family events at Tartu College.
But with the arrival of Spring and the end of the school year, Korp! Vironia often looks for a change in scenery, to celebrate these two milestones. This year’s programme calendar included Kevad Kommerss at Seedrioru.
As the date approached and plans were being finalized with the Seedrioru Camp Executive, it turned out this date coincided with Kevad Talgud at Seedrioru. Fortunately this news was not an impediment for Vironia! Quite the opposite!
Saturday’s Talgud prompted some Vironia members to drive to Seedrioru on Friday night. Most others arrived Saturday morning. A majority of those who registered for Vironia’s Kevad Kommerss, also put in a full day’s work at Seedrioru Talgud, helping to ready the camp for the upcoming Suvihari celebrations and the children’s camp which follows some weeks later.
While Vironia’s ranks include painters, roofers and landscapers, most guys cannot resist the allure of a day spent with their power tools. This worked to Seedrioru’s advantage! The kitchen walkout, behind the Main Hall, received a new roof. Walls inside various camp bunkhouses were re-painted, as necessary. And the grounds were cleared of undergrowth, weeds and excess shrubbery. But most vironused spent their day helping to convert a large stack of pressure-treated lumber into 10 new picnic tables for Seedrioru.
The buzz of a sharp mitre saw, the whir of a power drill and the hum of a cordless screw gun - - all are music to the ears of a handyman! In the immortal words of Red Green: “If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!”
A quick trip to saun after the workday turned the Vironia talgulised into a good-looking crew, who washed up real nice! The festivities began with an informal cocktail hour at Toomas Koger’s Seedrioru cottage. Kommerss followed, in the Seedrioru Main Hall, because of a looming rainstorm.
Despite the inclement weather outside, Scriba Mihkel Kütti distributed a pair of “official Korp! Vironia sunglasses” to each attendee. These glasses were custom-ordered, expressly for this event. The frames were an elegant violett-colour and thus a perfect match with Korp! Vironia’s teklid, the formal caps worn by each member of the fraternity.
Senior Nick Kazakoff delivered opening remarks, followed by words of thanks from Seedrioru’s Board representative, Eero Teene. Speakers at the Kommerss included: Toomas Eichenbaum (Kõne Isamaale), Erik Kübar (Kõne Vironiale), Karl Otsa (Kõne Võitlusvalmidusele) and Glen Leis (Kõne Noorusele). Toomas Tammark, in his capacity as Magister Cantandi led the evening’s singing. Thanks to our own chef Mihkel Heap, everyone was treated to a terrific meal at the end of Kommerss.
Following dinner hour, Oldermann Priit Nikker introduced the six Pledges (Rebased) who were present and they staged the world premiere of their most recent Rebaste Teater, a witty and humourous synopsis of events at Talgud. A few more songs and then it was time for saun, to cap off a productive and fun-filled day Estonian-style!
On Sunday some vironused returned to Talgud. Others, with commitments in town, hit the road. Still others headed over to the recently completed Seedrioru Shooting Range to complete preparations for the formal ribbon cutting a week later.
On Sunday morning Erik Tiisler, President of the Seedrioru Camp Executive, reflected back on Saturday’s events and said: “We are so glad that Korp! Vironia considered Seedrioru as the venue for their Kevad Kommerss. It is important for this wonderful community treasure to be used more frequently than just at Suvihari and for Laste Suvekodu. But Vironia’s willingness to participate at Talgud was a real bonus and is very much appreciated”.
Tiisler went on to say: “Saturday night’s Kommerss was a special treat, as the singing echoed across the whole valley. Even those of us who were not present, could enjoy the many classic Estonian melodies”.
A huge thank you from Korp! Vironia to everyone at Seedrioru, especially Erik Tiisler and the Executive! Also, special thanks to all vironused who helped make “Kevad Kommerss 2019” such a resounding success!
vil! Toomas Kütti
PHOTOS: Toomas Kütti (2019)