Friday, May 26, 2017

The funeral of President Mauno Koivisto


http://www.is.fi/kotimaa/art-2000005227100.html




President Mauno Koivisto's state funeral was on Thursday. The Koivistos had been married for 65 years.

Thus wrote the Helsinki Times:

"Over 30,000 people lined the streets of Helsinki to watch the funeral procession of President Mauno Koivisto on Thursday, according to the Helsinki Police Department.
Koivisto, born in Turku in 1923, served two terms as the President of Finland in 1982–1994, guiding the country out from under the shadow of the Cold War into the European Union. He passed away at the age of 93 at Meilahti Hospital in Helsinki on 12 May, 2017.
He is widely credited for ushering in a new era of parliamentarianism in Finland by actively reducing his own powers and enhancing those of the Finnish Parliament.
“A great Finn has departed from our midst,” President Sauli Niinist√∂ summarised in his eulogy at the Helsinki Cathedral on Thursday. “He has left us, but remains close to us. In terms of his ideas, ways, values and principles, he is still with us.”
“President Koivisto’s uniqueness did not lie in the fact that he knew the people, but that the people knew him,” said Niinist√∂.
“His thoughtful, deliberative way of approaching issued brought the ordinary citizen close to the statesman, perhaps closer than to any other in Finland’s history. Mauno Koivisto’s pithy, sharply analytical and often humorous remarks remain embedded in the essence of what it is to be Finnish. They reflect a way of thinking, principles and values that still affect our actions and deeds.”
"Koivisto’s final journey took him from the Helsinki Cathedral to the Hietaniemi Cemetery, where he was laid to rest close to predecessors Risto Ryti and Urho Kekkonen.
Koivisto also served twice as the Prime Minister of Finland in 1968–1970 and 1979–1982, as the Minister of Finance, and as the Governor of the Bank of Finland. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Tellervo Koivisto, and daughter Assi Koivisto-Allonen.
His funeral was the first presidential funeral to be held in the country since that of President Kekkonen in 1986.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT"
I wrote thus in Iltasanomat: "Thank you, Iltasanomat, for the well-written articles, the photos and videos. They made it possible for those who live in Norway, also take part in the solemn occasion. When Sibelius was taken to his resting place, I was one of the honorary guard of students with their white caps lining the streets. Then also there were multiple rows of people on both sides of the streets.


The speeches of President Sauli Niinistö and Bishop Emeritus Eero Huovinen were moving, the Bishop was wiping away his tears.

I was close to President Koivisto and his daughter when they visited Canberra in the eighties. There was a lunch or coffee at the Finnish club and anybody could get close to them, even to take photos."

I have a slide I took of them, where both happen to support themselves on the table with the same hand on their chin.

Here Mrs Koivisto throws the red rose on the coffin, Bishop Huovinen watching, the choir Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat at the back.





There is a continuous flow of people to President Koivisto's grave, both young and old, many want to take photographs.

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