It is time to move on and say farewell to my readers

Vapaa Sana

One phenomenon in life is that it is constant coming and going. Thus, this is the last paper I have edited. It is time to move on in life.
But within this paper life continues and it will be in good hands. From now on Elina Kirssi who came here as an intern will take it over as an experienced Torontonian. There are still some of my stories in store and I will write an occasional column too.

Every editor contributes something new and different to the paper. After learning how narrow and selective the contents of Vapaa Sana had been, the first thing was to make sure in the future all quarters, people in important posts or just a semi-forgotten and quiet people would be equal here.
The most pivotal task for a community paper is to be a link to everybody, dismount barricades and stay unbiased in the middle of controversies.
Naturally, also the Estonians who have suffered more during the past decades than Finns belong to our big family. So do American Finns too who outnumber the Canadian Finns.
Also, in my opinion humor and lighter side stories belong to a paper to bring versatility besides the official news. We have received lots of rebate from this and almost exclusively positive one.
Furhermore, in many events I have been approached by the people who have praised our new contents and policies. The biggest thanks belong to the Reader who have received me such a cordial way, and also to those who have been subjects of a story or inspired them.

My eight month’s post has been an era of change. In the very beginning, starting with a new chairman of board around the same time, we learned we had inherited an empty coffer.
The impression was there had been lived like there’s no tomorrow. So a question arises: why didn’t the previous boards do enough to solve this? Well, the times have changed too.
Soonafter starting here began the inevitable downsizing and reorganizing, which is not a lovely topic to discuss. The latest news is reported otherwhere in this issue. Namely Vapaa Sana and Canadan Sanomat will be merged into one paper.
However, I am not going due to the above mentioned facts, but for personal and health reasons. I have mostly had good and immemorable time here.
My Toronto stop has been a unique experience. I even became a big fan of the Maple Leafs, what I would have never believed to occur.

Our own paper will surely prosper with these new arrangements for years to come. This one, or the new merged paper will need the support of the whole Finnish community.
In this you, Dear Reader are in a key position. The paper comes for as long as you want to stand for it and I believe you will.

Thank you for these wonderful months together!

Jonathan Riikonen

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