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History

At the end of year 2008 YWCA building has been in Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu for 80 years. The building has seen many interesting periods and is expecting to see many more in future. Beautiful and active lady Helka will tell you about her memories and life by herself. Lady Helka's memorable moments "I think it is easy to think of me as an 80 year old lady since my outfit is clearly from 1920's. But I do not think of myself as poor shaped grandma since I have been so tenderly taken cared of for all my life. Actually I believe I will stay around for at least next eighty years. My front side is in very good shape thanks to regular care. But my back was peeled and restored during the last decade. And my head was fixed as well - not that it is unreliable, but sometimes steam is coming out of it because I have a sauna in my head. During year 2006 my inside was renovated again. "At the good old times I was good for so many purposes: kindergarten, apartment, bakery, laundry, office… Now I am just a hotel and I have gained more weight and spread myself into Runeberginkatu Street. Well, I must follow the time. I'd rather be modern and popular hotel than museum of better times. Of course I think I am a remarkable House. When I was younger I draw attention to myself widely. I was the first building in Finland which was acquired by female organization. The President of Finland and Chancellor of University of Helsinki were present at my house warming party. Few of us will see such of guests. Opening speech was given by the Bishop of Tampere and closing speech was given by the Bishop of Porvoo. Oh, I was so nervous. Usually old ones are entitled to tell stories from past. I have had wonderful moments, but also some dark one. Latest blue era was during recession in the last decade. I found a young man beside me and he helped me through the hard years. Another quite dark period was during the Second World War; luckily I was helped by my other Nordic countries. Nowadays I have friend all over world. During the last decade I met a lot of Russian friends but in this decade I have met more friends from middle Europe and UK. I have wide arms and warm lap to hold friends from any part of the world.

Text of Kaisa Halonen (Näky 1/98, page 3) modified, corrected and cut by Marko Virtanen