S.S. Walnut

A voyage to Freedom - 1948

30th - 1978



 30th - 1978

 50th - 1998   

   60th - 2008

65th - 2013  


Into God's Hands

 A stormy sea -
the water 
looms endless -
cold and frigid;

We leave behind 
those we have loved
things we have known;

All my possessions
in one small suitcase -
are easy to pack;

What fate awaits us?

Together we came
with dread -
yet filled  with hope;

Into God's hands -
we placed our dreams
and our lives;

Deliver us all
from evil
Your kingdom come;

We thank You -
for this second chance
our lives anew.

Tiiu Roiser 
Dec. 2008




30th Reunion
October 27, 1978


The 30th reunion of the Walnut passengers took place on October 27th, 1978, in the middle hall of the Toronto Estonian House.  The space was tight - in attendance were over 150 participants.

Organized by J. Saarniit, he noted in his speech that on board had been 347 individuals, who arrived in Canada illegally.  The youngest passenger was one and the oldest 80.  From the Walnut family, 300 came to live in Toronto.  When one individual had been asked by immigration why he had brought with him so many old tools, he had answered:   "These tools have previously earned money and will do so again, since they are like an old Stradivarius violin."   Saarniit further stated:  "Time has changed us during the last 30 years, both internally and externally.  Have we gotten smarter?  If not, at least so much that if we need to voyage again, then at least not against the wind."

Saarniit thanked all who helped to organize the event, especially Nelly and Vello Hubel.  A moment of silence was given for those passengers who had passed away - included among them was Captain August Linde.  


Entertainment at the 30th reunion.

From the left:
Hubel daughters and Evelyn Valge 
-- all offspring of  Walnut passengers -- 
perform at the reunion dinner.

Evelyn Valge sings a solo 
accompanied by Lilly Valge.

Evelyn Valge and Lilly Valge.


Many family members of passengers entertained the guests with recollections of the journey, including song and poetry presentations.  One of the evening's most interesting events was the auction of the S/S Walnut life preserver ring.  The life ring had been in Montreal for the last 30 years in the care of an Estonian.  This had now been sent to Toronto and sold to the highest bidder for $250 who turned out to be artist Mati Saarniit.   

Read the article written for the 30th reunion by J. Saarniit:

  Translated into English (part of the Voyage story)

  Original article in Estonian.


We are looking for photographs from the 30th reunion.  
To donate materials, please contact the webmaster.


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This page was last updated 27/12/2018 08:05 PM

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