Estonian House after extensions were added in the late 1950s.
Do you remember the choir practices and the performances of the men's, women's and mixed choirs? Was Estonian House the place where you met friends in the dining room for convivial social evenings? Did you participate in the graduate associations that met in Estonian House? Have you ever been a user of the Estonian Archives? Did you buy Estonian books at the Meie Kodu offices in the past?
All these activities and more have long been focused on Estonian House. Does Estonian House bring fond memories? Is it where you spent many happy hours? Would you like to see Estonian House remain the centre for Estonian cultural and social life?
Today, Estonian House remains the centre of activities for singing, dancing and socialising. Meie Kodu and the Archives remain whilst the veterans' association continues to meet in Estonian House. The gurgles and giggles of small children linger whilst their parents participate in social and cultural activities.
Now the house is increasingly showing its age. To meet modern safety requirements, the security and facilities of the house need to be continuously upgraded for better safety, entry and exit.
Gutters, wiring, kitchens, toilets, drainage and sewerage, all require repair and upgrading over time. Many of the services and facilities have now reached the end of their useful life. A fire safety upgrade has recently been completed. Gutters have been replaced though more work still needs to be done. A major kitchen renovation is in progress. The most obvious repair work has been the repair of the corner of the wall on the front facade where the foundation has given way. Paying water bills, council rates and supplying necessities eats into the income of the Co-operative.
The Co-operative's income is limited to the rent from the shop and membership fees and there are few alternative sources of finance for necessary works to the building. Income from functions and rent to other organisations goes to the Estonian Society of Sydney (Sydney Eesti Selts). Shareholders own Estonian House and have a responsibility to help maintain it. We all maintain our own homes through our own efforts or by paying tradesmen for the upkeep of our residences. Estonian House is the same. The Estonian House Co-operative needs the help of its existing shareholders so that Estonian House will continue as the centre for Estonian cultural and social life.
To carry out the necessary upgrades, maintenance and renovations that Estonian House needs, the Estonian House Co-operative will ask for a voluntary contribution from shareholders to raise funds for maintaining and upgrading Estonian House. Donations to help maintain Estonian House are also welcome from people who do not hold sharess. If you truly value Estonian House as the focus for Estonian activities and want it to continue as the Estonian centre in Sydney, shareholders' financial contributions will allow Estonian House to vibrate with living Estonian culture, entertainment, ceremonies and activities.
Director, Estonian House Co-operative
|What does Estonian House mean to you? Do you remember the folk dancing lessons, the performances and the practices at Estonian House? Did you attend the language classes that ensured you could still use your mother tongue? Maybe, you were a member of the veterans’ association or the scouts or guides groups?|