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Mart and Dr. Linda-Reet Kask

 

Presentation by Mart Kask, Board Chairman and Managing Director, Rotalia Foundation, Member of Fraternity Rotalia, Emeritus Honorary Consul, Republic of Estonia At the 100-year Estonia Independence Celebration Seattle, Washington 24 February 2018

 

Good evening! It is a pleasure to see so many people here tonight. I do not see a single empty seat. We have a full house. 

 

Regardless of whether we are citizens of United States of America or citizens of Estonia or both, we are here tonight to celebrate Estonia's 100 year Anniversary. Tonight, regardless of what language we speak, tonight, we are all Estonians.

 

Let the celebration begin. Head peo tuju. 

 

Every time we sing the American anthem, the Star - Spangled Banner, a ripple goes down my spine, and every time we sing the Estonian Anthem, Eesti Hümn, I have a hard time keeping my eyes dry.

 

The 35th newly elected President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, on his inauguration day on the capitol steps in Washington, on January 21st, 1961, said this: 

 

"Ask not, what your country can do for you. Ask, what you can do for your country?" 

 

These President Kennedy's words are not new to the Estonian student Fraternity Rotalia. Fraternity Rotalia was founded in 1913 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Rotalia's home is in Tartu, with Chapters throughout the world. Seattle is one of the Chapters. Usually, the chapter meets once a month. One of the line items on the Chapter's meeting agenda is "panus Eestlusele" or" what good deeds have you done for Estonia"? 

 

During Estonia's occupation period, the good deeds, panus Eestlastele, ranged from: 

 

1. Exchanging letters with relatives in Estonia; 

 

2. Sending care packages to family members in Estonia and to Estonia's political prisoners; and

 

3. Lobbying US Congress and the Administration, urging them to continue the United State policy of refusing to recognize the unlawful occupation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

 

After Estonia regained its independence, the focus shifted to Estonia joining the European Union and NATO. 

 

Today, we live in a world that is in search of world peace. Some people believe that, endless and meaningless conversation will result in world peace. From history we have learned and what President Ronald Reagan used to say that peace can only be achieved through strength. Believe me, Putin believes it. 

 

Therefore, to secure a peaceful future for Estonia, our panus Eestlusele is: "by supporting America's strengthening and modernizing its military and its firm commitment to its NATO partners". You can do this by writing letters to your Congressmen and the White House. Mark my word, your letters will be answered. 

 

And now, a few words about the Rotalia Foundation.

 

The Foundation was established in 1982 by Gerhard Treuberg, an Estonian-born engineer who specialized in the design and construction of hydroelectric dams. Gerhard Treuberg was a  member of Fraternity Rotalia in Estonia and later an active member in the Seattle Chapter.

 

Gerhard Treuberg asked the Seattle Chapter to form a foundation, named "Rotalia Foundation" to which he would commit his estate at the time of his death. Gerhard Treuberg died in 1987 at the age of 93. 

 

The mission of the Foundation is:

 

1. To provide scholarships in pursuit of higher learning; and 

 

2. To preserve and enhance Estonia's culture and heritage. 

 

In 1991, at Estonia's regaining its Independence, the Foundation began to issue scholarships to Estonian students enrolled in Estonia's Universities and Academies. 

 

The Foundation's endowment grew over the years, thanks to small and large donations. A significant gift in excess of 2.5 million dollars came from the estate of Anne Smith (formerly Ene Silla) of Los Angeles. 

 

Today, the Foundation has granted over 1,000 scholarships to Estonian students enrolled in Estonia's Universities and Academies. Last September, the Foundation granted 50 scholarships,

2,000 Euros each, to students in Estonia. For the 2018-2019 schoolyear, the Foundation will again award 50 or more 2,000-Euro scholarships, unless we have a disastrous fall in the stock market.

 

In conclusion, I want to say, that the Foundation is very pleased to have joined other donors to make this evening a memorable event. 

 

Now, I will ask that all the Rotalia Foundation Board of Directors present here tonight, to stand up and be recognized. 

 

May God guide Rotalia 

 

May God protect Estonia; and

 

May God bless America 

 

Rotalia Foundation

8 Lindley Road Mercer Island, WA 98040 USA

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

206 232-9388 or 206 660-1940

rotaliafoundation.com

 

IRS tax free 501(c)3 organization

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