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CFF logo  St. Urho Celebration (March 2013)

Photos by Bob Hursti and Bob Diotte

St. Urho aka Costa Kapsalis and his wife Sinikka, aka Mirja Kapsalis
St. Urho aka Costa Kapsalis and his wife Sinikka, aka Mirja Kapsalis

Lisa Koponen her father Vesa Koponen
Lisa Koponen her father Vesa Koponen

Ritva Joki – enjoys a glass of wine – perhaps thanks to St. Urho?
Ritva Joki – enjoys a glass of wine – perhaps thanks to St. Urho?

Lindy Hokkinen and Pat Hursti – relaxing after a great meal.
Lindy Hokkinen and Pat Hursti – relaxing after a great meal

Bob Hursti and (at left) and Raine Bade long time members, enjoyed the party
Bob Hursti and (at left) and Raine Bade long time members, enjoyed the party

Most American and Canadian Finns know that St. Urho drove the grasshoppers out of Finland which saved the Finnish grape harvests from destruction. But did you know that St. Urho was also an expert on what it takes for a successful marriage?

Members of the Canadian Friends of Finland (CFF) in Ottawa were privileged this year at their annual St. Urho’s Day dinner to learn. that St Urho a.k.a. Costa Kapsalis and his wife Sinikka aka Mirja Kopsalis, who are in fact celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and their 10th anniversary of guest appearances at the CFF St. Urho dinner.

Most of the 60 or so at the dinner also knew that St. Urho himself was celebrating 57 years since his birth in Minnesota where American Finns, grew tired of those Irish Americans with their St. Patrick’s Day festivities, so they invented the mythical St. Urho so they too could celebrate - and a day earlier at that, on March 1th.

We asked St.Urho to share some of his secrets for a long, and successful marriage. He started by remarking that they always hold hands when they go shopping because if I let go she goes starts shopping. Sinikka, his wife also added that twice a week they go to a nice restaurant, have a little wine, some good food and even dance a bit. “I go Tuesdays, and he goes Fridays,” she added.

St. Urho asked Sinikka where she wanted to go for their anniversary. “Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time! she said. So he suggested the kitchen. And we both sleep in a king-sized bed she added. His is in Ontario and mine is in B.C.

St. Urho added that he has come to realize that marriage is like a workshop ...I work and she shops. To which Sinikka added that she certainly did marry Mr. Right. I just didn’t know that his first name was Always!

But St. Urho said that he was never surprised by anything that happened during their relationship. Once Sinikka told me that the car wasn’t running well because there was water in the carburetor. I asked where the car was. “In the lake,” she replied.

But seriously Urho, what advice would you give to our friends? He replied, “the same advice I would give to our friends, living near the St. Andrea’s fault in California.” And what is that we asked?

When you find a fault, don’t dwell on it!”

(by Bob Diotte)

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