Y’s Men In Bauska On Two Days

Y'smen's training was presented on the local web news in Estonia. www.kylauudis.ee/2018/05/27/ys-men-kahel-paeval-bauskas/

Y’s Men In Bauska On Two Days 

The Y’s Men Region Finland-Balticum gathering in Bauska began with unusual experience that continued through the two days until the leaving, however the programme of the seminar was well prepared by the Pärnu club, also concise and beneficial. The meeting ended with an impressionable Whitsunday service and concert at the Bauska baptist church. The opportunity to stay in the languagewise and connection-wise homonous company was ruled out.

The gathering, listening to the presentations, exchanging experience and solving the tasks of Y’s Men Region Finland-Balticum took place in the renovated centuries-old Bauska castle’s conference hall on May 19th and 20th. The fact that people from different nationalities and countries were seated in numbered seats immediately showed that all the details had been thorougly and responsibly prepared in advance. The surprised gazes gave sign of  incomprehension at first, however  the need for such seating became obvious very soon. The opportunity to stay in the languagewise and connection-wise homonous company was ruled out. Such organisation created a perfect premise for international communication and practice of a foreign language.

Piia Karro-Selg, the future director of the Region Finland-Balticum and the responsible main organiser of the Bauska meeting is also a strict leader considering the schedule. When the people of one country’s club thought they could join the agenda at a time suitable for them, Piia Karro-Selg made all the rest wait for them, until all the 26 pre-registered people had sat down in their seats. Y’s Men movement is not merely a christian charity volunteer union, it also aims to shape an inner caring for odrer and a respectful attitude towards each other.

The strict timetable was also challenged by the local organisers. At first we were directed to have lunch at a place 200 meters from the castle. After a more thorough research it appeared that the lunch was set across the Mūsa river, about 1.2 kilometres away. All was well – an enjoyable walk through beautiful nature in a fine weather in the company of pleasant people outside a small town only lifted the spirits. After reaching the place, we apologized for running a half an hour late, however then it turned out we had been expected even an hour earlier. More than that the international company was surprised by the amount of beer brought on the tables. Most of the company was happy with the drink. After a walk in a warm weather the liquid hit the right place. However, this turned out not to be the hosts’ hospitality, rather than a miscommunication through a third language. When the issue was clarified we were able to giggle and jiggle our full stomachs. The situation turned out to be plain and simple. While ordering a beef soup the last letter of the word was either ambiguously written or read: beef = beer. So, we got cool drinks before the hot soup.

Let it be said that the culmination of the amusing situation arrived at the next day’s lunch time. When on the first day we got beer that we had not ordered, then on the second day we almost did not get the water we had ordered. The first to leave went without. The most patient ones finally got the water, only thanks to the help of a Bauska town government official. Ilze Tijone has showed the support of the town government on all of Estonian visits as well as she did this time. She went to the kitchen and got the water, also the glasses, because none of us had experienced drinking straight from the pitcher before. This description does not reflect the dissatisfaction of our company, but the simultanious appearance of several random mishaps. The continuous amusing cases made the already smiling people laugh out loud.

A member of Võnnu club, Ineta Krumina introduced the history, current situation, structure and goals of the Y’s Men movement, also the opportunities to get funding through different projects. The movement began in 1920 in the town of Toledo, which is located in the Lucas county of Ohio state in the United States of America. The head of the union of united volunteers was judge Paul William Alexander. The international association of Y’s Men clubs was founded in 1922. The movement reached Europe in 1928 when the first club of the Old World was founded in Tallinn. During the Soviet occupation the activity of any volunteer unions was suspended, thus the movement was able to continue in Estonia in 1993. The current situation implicates that compared to the Tallinn club the club activities of Pärnu are much more efficient.

A thorough synopsis of Pärnu club’s activities was given by the Y’s Men Pärnu president Marina Mesipuu whose presentation raised many questions and brought to fruitition several interesting exhanges of views. Another example of an interesting presentation was about the activities of Võnnu (Latvia) club, given by the outgoing Anna Ziemele who sat in for their president.

At the end of the second day of the meeting every member and future joining member was able to say a very short conclusive idea of what seemed the most important to them. The time given for this opportunity was measured in an unusual way. A person could share their idea until the lit match between their fingers burnt out.

This was not the end, though. Together we went to the Bauska baptist church where a special Whitsunday service was held for the members of Y’s Men movement. Karro-Selg explained that a traditional part of such bigger meetings has been visiting a sermon of a christian congregation. Due to the usual time of the sermon not fitting into the schedule pastor Raimonds Lozs found another way.

Most of the songs were from the current programme of church songs, however an especially soulful song was „How Great Thou Art“. The lyrics were written by Carl Boberg and the melody is a 19th century Swedish folk song. Boberg (1859-1940) was a dedicated preacher and songwriter, also a representative of people, a politician. The known song is very suitable to be sung in springtime, due to the several mentionings of nature. For example: „When through the woods, and forest glades I wander / And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees / When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur / And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.“

Mikko Selg, the governor of region Estonia – also our driver – said that from the pastor’s short service he remembered the idea of lack of coincidence. „Nothing is coincidental or nothing has been left for coincidence.“ The guests also heard the need for unity in the words of the pastor.

Ilze Tijone said, leaving the church, that she had not been aware of the existence of such a nice congregation in Bauska and that she was sincerely moved by the invitation to join the sermon. Pastor Lozs as well as Tijone got a monkey-bread-tree as a momento from the Y’s Men. All the Y’s Men recieved a notebook and a very environment-friendly cardboard pen as a gift by Bauska town government organized by Tijone so that they could scribble their impressions down on paper and recall them later by browsing the notebook.

Urmas Saard

Translated from Estonian by Ester Haas

Del dette: