Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thank you 56ers!

(Cross-posted on all my major personal and alma mater blogs. This is a tribute I received for concerned blogging.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

(Click images to see enlarged version.)

Dear Class of 56,

Editorial page from Class of 1956 Directory, 2006.

To quote from the editorial page of your Class Directory:

To Jacob Matthan go immense thanks for the support of his blogsite and his indefatigable research.

Thank you, Meena, for writing these words which will be remembered by my children and grandchildren for another 50 years at least, even though none of them had the opportunity to be Cathedralites.

I do hope that I have instilled some of the “education” that I received from my glorious alma mater to these two generations of my immediate family.

You 56ers have made today of my most wonderful days of my life.

Courier Post this evening brought me the Class Directory and two absolutely precious Tee-Shirts.

Cover of 1956 Class Directory, 2006.

I offered one to my better half, but she said that they were for me.

Annikki & me, Rauma, 2006 October.

Of course, she told me not to wear it as I usually do, as I am, at this tender age of 63, in the habit of spilling my tea all over the front onto my large paunchy area.

When Ubi forwarded me the Reunion Report, my eyes were moist with the tears of joy and sorrow that welled in me. I was especially moved by the news of how Muku, another one of my heroes, came to the reunion get-together. His CV in the Directory explained to me the character of a man I admired in school.

I especially remember when young Aditya Malkani read about his father on my Seventh Heaven website (April 2001), well before it was made into a blog.
From: "Aditya Malkani"

Subject: Re: Picture Champion House 1953

Mr Mathan,

It was great to recieve your email.

I went to your very impressive web site and saw the picture from 53.

I almost had tears coming out of my eyes looking at pictures of my dad and reading about names that i had heard him mention so often.

I am currently a third year in Oberlin college and i will be graduating in may of 2002.

I have several school pictures from around 1956 that my father kept in good condition, if you like i can scan them and send them to you when i return to Bombay in July.

I wish in thirty years from now our graduating class of '98..manages to keep in touch, the way yours has.

Thank you ever so much for allowing me to learn more about my father's younger days.

aditya malkani

When Doreen discovered me and entered into a beautiful relationship, I have enjoyed every moment learning about her life and her family.

And when Ubi entered into my life via the blog, I was so thrilled to be in touch again with someone so immensely dedicated to the school, that it was my greatest pleasure to fulfil his every desire towards making your reunion a success.

And from all the accounts that I have received, it was.

When I received the Directory and turned open the cover and found the mention of ME in the editorial, Annikki and i were so overjoyed that we have still not stopped talking about it.

I explained to her about so many of the personages contained therein, many of you whom i remember so vividly.

Ubi was my hero, but that does not detract from the enormous respect I hold for so many of you who used to be willing to give time to us kids to help us.

What I learnt from many of you is what i practice on my blog.

I do hope that as many of you will send me photographs and details to share with over 3000 Cathedralites from 1945 to 2006 who tune in to this blog faithfully to see what YOU have to say.

I hope that you will allow me to be part of your 60th Reunion!

Thank you 56ers.

Jacob Matthan
Kampitie 6 B
90150 Oulu
Tel: 041 - 7067788
email: jmatthan@gmail.com

Saturday, November 25, 2006

CHAFF Newsletter 05

Friday 24. November 2006

Dear CHAFF participant,

This week’s CHAFF meeting is a farewell to one of our wonderful and very regular CHAFF participants, Kerstin Schewe. She will return to Germany at the end of this month.

Kerstin models a Thai dress

I hope that all of you will turn out to wish her goodbye. The meeting will be at the Pailin Restaurant, Kenttätie 9, Kasarmi Area. It will start at 13:00 hours, and it is anyone’s guess what time it will end!

Last week’s meeting was an enormous success. Visit the previous blog entry to see the report of the meeting.

The Fulbright lecturer, the professor from Washington D. C., Kenneth Koleson, was a wonderful participant. We must especially thank Eeva-Maija Kolehmainen and her husband Janne, and Hannu Kuivalainen, his students for sharing him with us.

Do visit Ken’s blog which I have found greatly educative, humourous and interesting.

Chaff Participants have managed to help save Ravintola Pailin to live another day. It was not just contribution financially, but help on the legal and organisational front also which has helped them at this juncture.

However, this is just an early stage in this fight for survival.

Thank you to each and everyone of you that came forward to help out, using one or many of the methods that had been had suggested.

Even the couple of notes that you offered were of great help.

The most effective method was your physical presence to eat the Restaurant to success. This gave Pailin and Unnop great comfort that they and their restaurant are greatly appreciated by a large volume of us.

Thank you all from the very bottom of my heart for responding in such a positive manner.

The DVD of the major activities at Loy Krathong Festival made by Seppo is available at the Pailin Restaurant. It costs just Euro 5. Please order your personal copy from Unnop.

A second DVD, which was prepared by CHAFF Participant Matti Rautiola, will soon be on the internet. it is a series of short takes on all the major happenings at the Festrival.

The SAAB is now here is Oulu.

SAAB and me

If you are interested in test driving it, call me. It is a really good buy and is a safe car for someone who has kids. No air bag technology but the solid steel shell makes it a great cage to protect you and your family.

There is a great car repair garage, Jokelantien Autokorjaamo, at Haukipudas.


The garage also does welding and painting jobs at reasonable prices. The owner, Nassar, is from Iran. The garage is located at Jokelantie 254 in Haukipudas. (Phone numbers: 050 407 1842; 08 333 713).

What a small world.

I had hardly circulated this Newsletter when I got an email from Esa Hartikainen in Forssa with this picture of Nassar!


See you all on Sunday 26th November 2006 at 13:00 hours at the Pailin Restaurant, Kenttätie 9, Kasarmi Area.

Jacob Matthan
Kampitie 6 B
90150 Oulu
Tel: 041 - 7067788
email: jmatthan@gmail.com

Monday, November 20, 2006

New participants at CHAFF

Yesterday morning when I picked up Tony at the Station at 5 am and when I drove him home, I found two of our regular CHAFF particiapants, Benjamin and Andi, having a breather in the fresh air outside Tony's front door. Kerstin had been having a farewell party, as she leaves us to return to Germany at the end of this month.

This party just seemed to be warming up at that early hour.

I sensed that several regular CHAFF participants would not be in any shape to attend the meeting at 13:00 hours. I warned Pailin and Unnop that maybe the buffet would not possibly be necessary. And a call to Tingting at 12:00 had a sleepy voice telling me just that.

However, Eeva-Maija Kolehmainen, former Secretary of the Oulu University Students Union had written to me thus:

Hello Jacob!

Is there room on Sundays meeting for 2-4 extra people? I told my Fulbright-Professor Kenneth Koleson about CHAFF and we thought about coming to Sunday's meeting with him.

There are only 2 of us students attending his wonderful Pittsburgh-history course and I think he would love to meet great people outside the university. Kenneth's great blog can also be found from here. In addition to Kenneth and me, my classmate Hannu Kuivalainen might be also coming, as well as my husband Janne.

I hope to see you on Sunday!

Eeva-Maija and the big tummy-preperson :-)

Then I had a call from Tony who said that he had changed the tyres on his car and would be attending. Pentti and Matti were attending. Tero said he was attending. Eija had said she would be attending. Ildiko and Ilari had said that they would be coming. Veijo had indicated that he would attend. Jarmo and Saim had wandered in to the restaurant. I guessed that a couple of our more irregular participants may show faces. So I rushed back to Pailin to alert her that maybe a buffet should be prepared for about 14 people!

Sure enough, Fumi, baby Mari and Ville Suomi, whom we had not seen for a couple of months since Mari was born, strolled in. It was wonderful to see Mari, a really beautiful and calm baby. (Ville has posted a report on his blog of today's CHAFF meeting.)

It was a great meal and a great atmosphere. I requested Ken to say a few words about his tenure in Oulu. Two statements really struck a chord with almost all of us. He said that in the fifties pollution was considered as a sign of prosperity in the society in USA. Secondly he said that the once great and prosperous town of Pittsburgh, the hub of the US Steel Industry, had a major problem of a shrinking population! The second is typical of much of Finland!

I felt sad that so many regular CHAFF participants could not attend this really interesting visit of the US Professor to CHAFF.

But next week will be special CHAFF meeting as we assemble to say goodbye to one of our lovely and faithful CHAFF participants, Kerstin, who will return to Germany at the end of her tenure at the University of Oulu. Kerstin has been such a great sport that she has inscribed herself into the hearts of many in Oulu and especially several CHAFF participants. It seems just yesterday that I had picked up this young lady at Oulu Airport and she told me that she had never travelled out of Germany. But the way she fitted in to our society in Oulu showed her great character.

Our efforts to help out people with the CHAFF Help Fund is gathering momentum. I do hope this momentum will continue as there are several today who desperately need help and your contribution, however small it may be, could make a massive difference in someone's life.

See you next week Sunday at 13:00 hours at the Pailin Restaurant, Kenttätie 9, Kasarmi Area. Maybe an RSVP for this meeting would be in order as we expect a huge crowd to say goodbye to Kerstin, so we have to make some special arrangements to house all of us!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Some important news

Benjamin Hayes, our Chaff participant hailing from Australia, has written a great article about the Loy Krathong Festival.

Benjamin modeling a Thai outfit

The festival owes a lot to him for its success.

You get to it through this link.

Full Moon Shines at Loy Krathong, Written by Benjamin Hayes, Thursday, 16 November 2006

Happy reading.

We are likely to have a distinguished visitor at our next Chaff Meeting this Sunday.

Kenneth Kolson is at the University of Oulu teaching two courses - a lecture course on a North American city and a seminar on the history of Pittsburgh. You can read more on his Fulbrighter in Finland Diary.

Fumi and Mari

I also had a very nice post from a dear Chaff friend, Fumi, from Japan. She updated me with a picture of her and her lovely daughter Mari. Fumi wrote:

Mari is a calm baby so easy to handle. I had expected a more hectic life with a new born baby, but she's so quiet and easy so that we can still enjoy the time of our own.

Hope you can make it - 13:00 hours on Sunday 19th November at the Pailin Ravintola, Kenttätie 9, Kasarmi.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Article about CHAFF in 65 Degrees North

(Cross-posted on Jacob's Blog.)

An article about CHAFF has appeared on the front page of 65 Degrees North.

The location may change so the above link is only temporary.