Changes at Finnbrit Spring 2022

This article gives information about some changes that are happening in Finnbrit’s leadership and brings you up to speed on some recent events.

After many years of service, John Calton and Noora Kumpulainen have decided to leave their positions on the Finnbrit Council. As positions on the Council are voluntary, we would like to say thank you to both John and Noora for selflessly donating their time and experience, and for their guidance and wisdom as we navigated Finnbrit through these challenging times. Noora will continue in her roles as a co-leader of the Book Club and as a member of the Social Committee.

Ulla Pegg will no longer be working for Finnbrit after the end of May. Together, we navigated the pandemic successfully whilst also being able to develop Finnbrit on many fronts. For example, we launched the Computer-Delivered IELTS (CD-IELTS), renewed the Finnbrit website completely along with communications on social media, and implemented the electronic flow of financials from purchase to accounting. Thanks to the developments, Finnbrit has taken a firm stride forward in our electronically connected world. Further developments are already planned, including the implementation of IELTS UK for Visas and Immigration (UKVI), IELTS Online, and, last and by no means least, a renewed focus on social events for our members. Ulla leaves the day-to-day leadership of Finnbrit in the very capable hands of Gary and Tuukka.  Also, we wish all the best to Valeria who will take a pause from the Finnbrit communications activities (pub quiz, website, Instagram…) to focus on finalizing her MBA studies.

Amid these changes, Finnbrit continues to be served by a very dedicated Council:  Niina Lemettilä, the Chair of the Council, Penelope Roux, Treasurer, and members: Mira Berglund-Fitzpatrick, Zachariah Chamberlaine, Henry Loveless, and Sanna-Kaisa Tanskanen. We are grateful for their continued passion and leadership, and excited to announce that they will be joined this spring by Kerry Osborne, who returns to the Council after a pause.

As many of you know, this spring we lost a dear and valued friend, and a long-serving member of the Council. Joe White brought sharp wit and kindness to his encounters with everyone. We gathered to remember Joe in his many roles after the Annual General Meeting and were yet again surprised and impressed by the wide range of Joe’s interests and particularly an ability – known only by a few – to create fantastic functioning musical instruments from petrol canisters, table legs, and biscuit tins!

A personal message from Ulla: I would like to thank all of you for the support and friendship you have provided me during the past heart-breaking, foggy, exciting, good three years. It was a pleasure and an honour to work with Finnbrit and plan and implement the festivities of the 95th anniversary. I hope you find the 95th-anniversary pages on the Finnbrit website as a source of inspiration – together with the Tale of Two Countries pages with language course series of two policemen teaching English to Finns – whilst preparing for the 100th anniversary in a few years. Finnbrit is a fantastic Society with employees and volunteers from all over the world. Now, perhaps more than ever, the values of inclusiveness, diversity, and lifelong learning are being tested but also at their strongest and most wanted!