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American-Finnish Directory of Palm Beach County and Vicinity

Aino M. Carlson

Finnish-American Tourist Club
(Lantanan Suomalainen Turistiklubi)
Box 876. Lantana. Fla.

The Club building of the American-Finnish Tourist club is located on U.S. 1, Highway in Lantana, and is on the west side of the highway across the FEC Railroad tracks in the south end of Lantana.

The Club originally began its meetings on January 22, 1944, under its present name of American-Finnish Tourist Club. It received its charter February 17, 1948 at which time the present club house was built.

Its membership consists of those applicants who are accepted at a meeting of the club, are of good character, of legal age, Finns, and who will accept the charter and by-laws of the club, accept and uphold the Constitution and laws of and form of government of the United States. Who do not belong to any totalitarian organisation or uphold their principles.

The purpose of the club is to entertain the permanent residents as well as the tourists who visit here and to cultivate a spirit of brotherhood among themselves and their neighbors. The present membership ranges between 200 and 250.

During the winter season affairs such as dancing and get-togethers are held every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, with special events on other evenings of the week. Also during the winter season dinners are served each Sunday at the clubhouse, the ladies being on the committees which prepare these well-attended homecooked meals.

The Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce

The Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce is to be commended for the work it has done and is doing in building the city. It is through the work of the Chamber of Commerce that so many improvements have been made and the city has had wide publicity throughout the country. The winter festival, Fiesta del Sol. which is held every season is attended by thousands of visitors froth not only the immediate vicinity but froth all over the state. Bands from many cities and towns, as well as the military bands from the nearby army and navy installations take part in the parade. Beautifully decorated floats by the civic and fraternal organizations are becoming more numerous each year as interest in the festival and parade grows and the publicity given it by the Chamber spreads further afield. The Chamber is also to be credited with the settling of new industries and businesses into and about Lake Worth. New homes are building at a greater rate than perhaps anywhere else in the country and from being known as only a city for the retired, Lake Worth is needing more schools as the younger population find it an ideal place to live in and raise their families, as possibilities for earning a living are growing better. Especially the Chamber of Commerce has been making great strides, since Joseph J. Gallo has been president and William (Bill) Waddell, Manager. The Chamber has also arranged for the issuing of drivers' licenses and license plates at the proper season saving a trip to West Palm Beach. All in all the Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce is active and is to be commended for its work.

History of Finlandia Foundation Palm Beach County Chapter

On October 9, 1954 a group of people met in the home of Mrs. Ella Lehto for the purpose of planning an organization meeting to form a chapter of the Finlandia Foundation in Palm Beach County.

The objects of Finlandia Foundation are to cultivate closer relations between Finland and the United States of America. Strengthen the friendly bonds between Finnish-Americans and others interested in Finland. Support the cultural activities of the Finnish-Americans and their societies and churches. Assist the Finnish-American educational institutions, libraries and monuments and their maintenance in the United States. Assist in the interchange of studets. teachers, and lecturers, publications, art, music and science between tile United States and Finland. To advance Finnish culture in America and American culture in Finland.

At the organization meeting the temporary officers Edwin W. Lammi, chairman was elected president, and the secretary Aino M. Carlson, retained as secretary with Mrs. Sylvia Kivikoski, treasurer. Since then a board of trustees was elected. Edwin W. Lammi, Aino M. Carlson, Frank Maki, to serve for three years. Thor Soderholm, Mauno Nikander, and Willis Koski to serve for two years, and Ella Lehto, Jean Pantilla and Anne Pettersen for one year.

It is customary for the foundation to elect its officers from among the board members by the board and this was done so that the present officers are: Pres. Edwin W. Lammi; lst vice pres., Ella Lehto; 2nd vice pres., Mauno E. Nikander; Sec., Aino M. Carlson, and Treas., Willis Koski.

To date the Chapter has held a dance in the Lake Worth Casino, which was well attended by the public and prepared a float for the Fiesta del Sol which is a yearly event in Lake Worth. The float depicted an emigrant family saluting the Statue of Liberty, and the motto of the Finlandia Foundation, "United we reach high goals". Everyone is welcome to join the foundation and the official language of the foundation is English in which meetings are held and minutes kept. Anyone of legal age and good character interested in good relations between Finland and the United States is welcome to come to the meetings and join the organization.

Finnish Workers' Educational Club

Finnish Workers' Educational Club is located on Melaleuca Lane, south of Kirk road, on the north side of the Lane before reaching Military Trail.

The Club was organized in 1944 and received its charter in January 1946 at which time the building was erected. There have been additions to the original building and at this time, 1955, a new dance hall is being erected. There were 26 charter members and the present membership ranges between 175 and 200.

According to the charter and by-laws, a new member must be accepted at a meeting of the membership, must be of legal age and good character, willing to uphold the by-laws of the Club, must not belong to any subversive organization, or uphold the principles of any totalitarian order, must uphold and believe in the American form of government and uphold the Constitution.

The purposes of the club are to provide a gathering place and to entertain its members and visitors and to educate and enlighten them through its library and the American as well as Finnish publications which are provided for those attending the club.

The seasonal entertainment is held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays on which evenings programs and dancing are enjoyed. The monthly meetings are held the first Sunday of each month. Also in the season dinners are prepared and served at the clubhouse and they are very well attended being cooked by the ladies of the club and reasonably priced.

History of St. Andrews Church

The Finnish population of Lake Worth started in 1953 to build a Lutheran Church. Land was purchased on South E. Street between ninth and tenth avenues. Rev. Frank A. Pelkonen arrived as first pastor on Oct. 1, 1953, through the offices of the Mission Developer, Board of Home Missions, Suomi Synod, National Lutheran Council Church, chartered under the laws of the State of Florida. The purpose in building the church was to furnish a place of worship for American-Finns and those of Finnish descent. St. Andrews Church however welcomes all Lutherans of whatever nationality as well as all who wish to worship with them.

After due consideration by a committee for building the new church and examining other churhes in the vicinity suitable plans were decided on and Architect Ervin G. Wald and Engineer Karl Haller completed final drawings for the building. Work was started under the supervision of Hans Wuori as overseer. Mr. Allies Aksila was consulted as to suitability of the plans and work was begun in October of 1954.

The Board of Administration selected was:
Pastor Frank A. Pelkonen, Chairman 1954-1955
Nestor Harju, Vice-Chairman 1954-1955
Matt Johnson. Vice-Chairman 1954-1955
Mrs. Urho Kivikoski, Secretary 1954-1955
Mrs. Henry Niemi. Vice-Secretary 1954-1955
Mrs. Frank Pelkonen, Member 1954. Vice Secretary 1955
William Laitinen, Treasurer 1954-1955
Miss Jean Pantilla, Financial Secretary 1954-1955
Mrs. George Pettersen. Member 1954-1955
Frank Mackie, Member 1954-1955

Building Committee
Pastor Frank A. Pelkonen,
Nestor Harju
William Laitinen
Ames Aksila
Urho Kivikoski
Gunnar Turnquist
Frank Mackie
Hans Wuori
Matt Johnson

At the present writing the church is expecting the arrival of Pastor Herman Matero and family Pastor Pelkonen having moved to Pensacola, Fla. The first purpose was to build a suitable church meeting place to use as a church building for worship until such time as funds were raised and the requirements necessitated a regular church building.

"Halls of Finland"

In April of 1950, WEAT, which was then located in the Casino Building on the beach at Lake Worth, began a program for the Finnish population of lake Worth, the Palm Beaches and vicinity. This has continued ever since and the program is in the Finnish language, its director and hostess, Aino M. Carlson presents news of Finnish events, announcements of birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, arrivals and departures of winter visitors to the locality. Music is recorded and although most of the records are in Finnish other records such as Swedish and Norwegian are used, and at the Christmas season, songs of all nations. In over five years since it has been in existence the program is well listened to by many others besides the Finnish and Swedish peoples.

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This booklet has been published in the hope that it will be of use and aid to not only the Finnish population but our friends and neighbors no matter where their ancestors came from. In Finnish we say "that the end beautifies the work". I wish to say that without the help and co-operation of my friends this task would have been almost impossible. Therefore, I thank those who helped so much in every way and especially the untiring work and support of my secretary, Jeanette Tuomi. So to all of you,

"Kiitos kaunis"
Aino M. Carlson.

American-Finnish Directory of Palm Beach County and Vicinity. Amerikan suomalaisten asuntoluettelo. 1956, 25 p.

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