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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Sudbury 2004

1st Finglish trip August 2004 #4

Suppuri is how the Finns call Sudbury, the town with one of the biggest nickel mines in the world. Sudbury was established in 1883 when nickel sulphur ore was found. Eventually Inco and Falconbridge mines expanded around the city. Due to acid rain the native vegetation was almost totally lost, much of the area around Sudbury was a moonscape in the 1960s due to nickel smelting. In 1972 when I as a teen visited there NASA astronauts were brought to field training in Sudbury basin, but not only because of the landscape but because it's a meteorite impact crater — at 62 kilometers long one of the largest on earth.

My aunt Mirjam and her husband Sulev, an Estonian refugee, settled in Sudbury in 1950. Before that Mirjam took care of her widowed brother Eino's two kids in Sioux Lookout. Sulev started working at the Falconbridge copper smelter and Mirjam was active in the Finnish Canadian community. There are today more than 8000 Canadian Finns in Greater Sudbury. Mirjam passed away in 1977, but her memory lives on with the Mirjam Kallas Memorial Award, for Laurentian University students of Estonian and Finnish background.

Next State College Pennsylvania USA.

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