A longtime friend of many Finn-Brit members and of Finland, Mrs Joyce Parker, passed away in September. Joyce was a singer, a musician, an organiser of choir performances and visits. Whenever I think of Joyce, I think of music.
We first met over twenty years ago when Joyce visited Tampere with her friend David Hamer (David was the chairperson of the Tampere Finn-Brits for a couple of years). Joyce and David gave a recital in the Finlayson Church, Tampere, in 1997. This was also the last time Joyce sang in public.
For her services to Finland, Joyce was awarded the Cross of Merit of the Lion of Finland (ansioristi) by President Tarja Halonen in 2003. The photograph shows Joyce at the Finnish Embassy in London, receiving her medal from the then Finland's Ambassador, Mr Pertti Salolainen.
On the Finn-Brit tour to Shropshire three years ago we were invited to a charity concert organised by Joyce, and had the chance to meet the musicians. Thanks to Joyce, many of them were great friends of our country.
I am honoured and happy that I had the privilege of knowing Joyce, and was able to share at least a little bit of the world of music that she represented.
Kaarina Ojasti Secretary of the Finnish-British Society of Tampere ry