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As Estonians were celebrating this weekend across the world, the small community of Arizona Estonians gathered on Sunday, February 25th in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa to also celebrate the "Centennial Year" of Estonian independence.


This is a tradition they have observed yearly since the mid 1970's. This year being a landmark event, we had one of our largest number of attendees at about 60 people, a mix of Estonians and American family members mostly from the Phoenix area. The celebration was graciously hosted by Linda and Jim Abbott who have happily opened their home for this event for nearly a decade. Linda played the piano as we all sang the Estonian Anthem. We then proceeded to dine on a variety of home cooked ethnic dishes such as blood sausage, sauerkraut soup, pig knuckle gelatin and marinated fish along with a selection of traditional desserts. Seeing that this year was a milestone in observing this event Linda requested that the people invited should send her a write-up about their family connection to Estonia and how they ended up in Arizona. Most of the folks complied and responded with their stories. From the submissions Linda compiled an outstanding forty page document filled with beautiful color photos, and narration that she handed out to all the families. It is a great honor to carry on this tradition and we hope to continue meeting in the years to come.



Mr. Steve Chucri who is in contention for being the next Estonian Honorary Consul for the State of Arizona


Also to be noted is that Michael Chan who has performed admirably as the Estonian Honorary Consul for Arizona for the past seven years, has recently decided to move to San Diego, California. The Estonian authorities are now seeking a candidate to be considered for the consular position that Michael Chan will be vacating later this year. A possible individual to fill the office is Steve Chucri, a distinguished member of the local Maricopa County business community. Mr. Chucri attended the celebration and conversed with many of us. And, indeed he projected a very diplomatic and personable impression. We expect that he may very well become the next Honorary Consul for Arizona to promote the people and interests of Estonia.


Peter (Vaga) Feldmann



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