Ines Väikemäe

Major Donor


Ines Väikemäe was part of a donation made to EFC put together by four people indirectly. This information was compiled, originally in Estonian, by Mart Pikkov.

In addition to Ines herself, her husband, Raid, who passed away in 1991, was also a contributing member of the large contribution made to ESK by Ines. Raid was a farmer's son who graduated from high school in Estonia before the war. He loved literature and was a wonderful musician. In Toronto, he found work at the Eatons department store as a carpenter. Among other things, he helped to build the great floats contributed by Eatons for the annual Santa Claus Parade in Toronto. After business hours, he built furniture that he sold privately as well.

In the Toronto Estonian Society, Raid was known as one of the most approachable, helpful, and sociable men. He played in several bands and was very passionate about reading and his personal library. After his death, most of the books from his extensive collection were donated to the Tartu Institute Archives. He also made a large contribution to the Estonian Boy Scouts troops. He was always very involved at Kotkajärve and was one of the main builders of the cafeteria and kitchen area there.

Ines' maiden name was Hindper. Her father was an officer in the Estonian army during the Estonian War of Independence and by the end of the war, he had been rewarded for his work with a house and farmland in Hageri, Harju Country. Ines was the eldest of daughter of a family of four children and after high school graduation, before the beginning of the war, she moved to Sweden where she was forced to remain until the end of the war. There she studied sewing and embroidering. In Sweden, she met Raid, who had also fled to Sweden after the war and they got married.

Another daughter from the Hindperi family, Lillian, fled through Germany to Sweden to meet up with her sister. There Lillian met and married Ants Orupõld. Even before the end of the 1940s, the young people had moved to Canada. Ants Orupõld worked for some time in the forests of northern Ontario in the early 1950s. He became the owner of a large portion of land located in the south of Parry Sound. He was a very enterprising businessman.

When his logging days ended, Ants moved to Toronto where he became a carpenter at the CBC Television Studios on site. He built the sets and stages for television shows up until his retirement.

Lillian Orupõld worked in banking. Lillian was also very entrepreneurial by nature and eventually together they became quite wealthy. They were sociable and kind and always had a vibrant social life and activities - while in Parry Sound and later in Florida and of course in Toronto. Among other things, they were passionate about Estonian literature, they were art enthusiasts, and they were lovers of the theater. They liked to travel as much as they could.

Ants passed away in the 1980s and Lillian lived until 1995. Her bequest was split into a number of parties - a large part went to Ines and the rest went to Ants' distant relatives who lived at home and elsewhere in Estonia.

After Lillian's death, Ines was left without any close relatives. One Hindperi sister lived in Estonia, however, she had lost her mental health for a long time before her death. Other more distant relatives of both Ines and Raid were either deceased or had lost contact with Ines completely.

Ines was a confident woman and got along well by herself. She loved to socialize and was a wonderful hostess. It was not possible, when going to visit Ines, to leave without first sitting down for a cup of tea and samples of her wonderful baked goods.

Years went by. Ines eventually found herself a new companion - Mr. Oskar Kirsiväli, who lived in the apartment next door to her. They enjoyed spending time together and traveling for a number of years before Oskar eventually passed away as well.

Despite the shocks of fate, she continued her own social activities. For several years, she did all the neckties sewing for Lembitu, and eventually all the Estonian Canadian Scout troops. She enjoyed crafts and needlework and participated in many groups for these hobbies. Unfortunately, in her later years, Parkinson's Disease made her needle and thread work impossible. She was a member of the Tartu Institute and the Estonian Bibliography Club.

In her later years, she still traveled alone by bus and subway everywhere in Toronto. Despite the fact that she had become a rich woman, she lived modestly, helping the needy or less fortunate whenever possible. She donated to so many different organizations, it seemed as though she made a contribution to anyone who came knocking at her door with a charity box.

In 2005, the final phase of her life began - first in a hospital, then in a rehabilitation center, and eventually in home care. In spite of her suffering, she was always pleasant. Even in the worst situations, she did not accuse anybody, but merely reiterated that "there is nothing that can be done."

However, a major concern remained. In the Will, which was more or less similar to that of Lillian, she wanted to give half to her relatives - but as noted, a large portion of these people were already deceased. Others had long ago lost contact with Ines. There were no children in her family and any relatives that Raid might have had were strangers to Ines.

In the end, Ines decided to leave all of her inheritance to the Estonian Foundation of Canada. It seems to me the she liked the idea that her money could be shared out in different directions - a bit here, and a bit there, so that everyone could benefit.



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The Estonian Foundation of Canada is a registered charity that supports Estonian cultural and heritage initiatives across Canada.

Charitable No. 891452575 RR 0001


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