Honours & Awards

The Celebration in Honour of Member Taisto Eilomaa

On May 25, 2014 President Elsie Stephenson presented Taisto with a Certificate of Honorary Membership and a Plaque of Appreciation. Thanks to Aili Mantyla and Maija Israelsson for presenting us with a Biography of Taisto from the time that he had left Finland in 1951 to the present. A heart-warming happy story in marriage, and on becoming a father, pappa and iso-pappa…….as well as becoming a most accomplished businessman. Taisto’s life’s experiences depicted a man of integrity, hard work and SISU! What a blessing to have had him as a steadfast member of the Finnish Canadian Historical Society all these many years, and we hope that Taisto will continue to give FCHS his support for many years to come.


Kiitoksia viellä kerran, Taisto!

Civic Volunteer Awards

On April 16th, 2015 the City of Greater Sudbury had their civic awards for voluteerism at the council chambers.  Chair, Elsie Stephenson, on behalf of the membership, nominated Taisto Eilomaa and Martin Neva for the award.  Oiva Saarinen was also to be nominated, but he declined as he had received the award in the past.

Taisto Eilomaa

Taisto Eilomaa was born and raised in Lohja, Finland. He immigrated to Canada from Finland in 1951 at the age of 22, and not long after his arrival in Canada he moved to Sudbury. He was a dedicated businessman, and owned or was a partner in several businesses including: Lockerby Auto Service, Brown's Concrete Products Ltd, and Wanup Sand and Gravel Pit.

He has been a member of the Finnish Canadian Historical Society since 1968, and has been involved in the efforts to preserve the history of Finnish citizens by ensuring that those residents settling in Sudbury of Finnish descent have been documented, particularly through photography collection and archiving. The Finnish Canadian Historical Society have presented him with two awards in recognition of his outstanding service and lasting contribution. He has also received a certificate of appreciation and is an honorary member of the Voima Athletic Club, which he has been actively involved with since 1952.

Taisto is also one of the founding members and a previous past president of the Finlandiakoti Finnish Rest Home Society. His commitment to the vision to help make Finlandiakoti a reality, and his dedication has helped make life a little better for Sudbury seniors. His other previous volunteer affiliations include being a member of the Mason's and Shriners for over 30 years.

Martin Neva

Martin Neva is a dedicated community volunteer who has made a significant contribution to the success of many organizations he has been involved with. His involvement and dedication has helped the organizations prosper and grow, and his volunteer work has made a substantial impact in our community.

Martin's community volunteer work includes: President of Black Lake Playground for two years - late 1970's; Walden Minor Hockey Association (WMHA) in the 1970's and 1980's, as Coach for 4 years, treasurer for 2 years and assisted in organizing tournaments; the Finnish Canadian Historical Society, as Secretary for three years (2005-2007), Co-Treasurer in 2010 and 2011, Genealogist for the past 10 years and Webmaster for the last 3 years.

He also volunteered with the Northern Ontario Relic & Treasure Hunters, as secretary and newsletter Editor for the past 15 years; Lapidary Society, volunteering with the Gem & Mineral Show for four years; the Walden Cross Country Fitness Club, doing trail maintenance and grooming for last ten plus years.

He has worked with Citizens on Patrol as a member for 2 years, receiving a volunteer pin for 125 hours of service; the Walden Art Club, volunteering with the art shows for 10 years and Gravemarker Gallery, photographing and renaming thousands of photos of grave markers over the past 12 years for the Gravemarker Gallery that had over 1,000,000 photos from cemeteries across Canada. Unfortunately, the Gravemarker Gallery has been taken off line by the webmaster as the workload was affecting his health. The photographs have been donated to another organization called "CanadaGenWeb Cemetery Project" and are being added to their collection. The site is free to search at www.findagrave.com which has over 170 million memorials created by the community since 1995.