February 2013

First of all, apologies for the rather late account of our annual meeting, which took place February 10th at the usual location, Dusenberry Library. We have been busy planning and confirming the events for the rest of the year, do read on for a surprise event!

Joel opened the meeting

The annual meeting kicked off with a hearty welcome by Joel Wasti, our President. This first meeting of the year also marked the club’s 47th birthday and at the mention of cakes, several pairs of eyes wandered toward the table on which Connie Kampsula had prepared a feast. But first things first: We stood up and sang Maamme, to respect not only the founding principles of the club and those who have come and gone before us but also the reason we gather together: Finland.

Then, it was straight to business. We wrapped up 2012 with carefully prepared reports on membership by Jim Wesanen, the financial situation by Shirley Convertino and an overview of 2012 by Renee Nelson, and all aspects were found to be in good standing. The next topic provided some excitement to the usual, as there was a proposed change to the board. John Hensala retired as the Vice President and Hannele Franklin offered to take over the position. With no objections from the membership base present at the meeting, Hannele was elected as the Vice President for the year 2013, bringing with her contemporary connections to Finland and the Finnish culture. She will also continue to update the club’s social media sites and respond to any and all inquiries that require the knowledge of the Finnish language. The rest of the board members continue in their positions, providing the club with a solid slate of experience and enthusiasm. The current list of FACT Officers can be found by clicking on this link (Opens in a new tab).

As for other new business, some minor changes to the club’s Constitution were proposed and accepted. The improved Constitution is easier to read and no longer contains outdated rules.

Sinikka read excerpts from the early FACT members’ first notebook.

After the mandatory, yet important aspects of the club’s business were successfully wrapped up, Sinikka García had a treat for us. She read excerpts from the very first book that the very first club members had kept, noting board members’ records of events, sometimes with wonderfully broken Finnish that had those of us with some knowledge of the language giggle benevolently.

The glance back to the past provided a perfect platform for Albert Lannon, who entertained us with not only one but two poetic shows. You just had to be there for the Bisbee Deportation Blues, as Albert’s inherent abilities to portray enthusiasm and emotion grasped us all into a tight grip that only eased up as he uttered the final words. The verbal void that followed after the powerful performance was appropriately filled with cake and coffee. It was good to see members interact with each other and enjoy some refreshments.

Our very own poet Albert with Joel

At the end of the meeting, a slide show of FinnFest 2012 lightened up the atmosphere, especially as we scanned each picture in detail, attempting to find familiar faces among the attendees.
Now, the surprise. We had planned to meet up again on March 17th and watch Suddenly Sami, a Norwegian movie, but jumped at a suggestion of a hike in Sabino Canyon instead. In March, the weather will not yet be too hot but we should still be able to enjoy sunshine and a good walk. If you would like to attend, please arrive by 8.30am on March 17th at Sabino Canyon Visitor Center, right by the flag pole. Bring your own snacks and plenty of water, and wear comfortable shoes. Hope to see you there!

As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas, we will be more than happy to discuss them. Till the next time!


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