The Estonian Newspaper in Great Britain was first published in December 1947 under the editorship of novelist, Gert Helbemäe. He remained as editor till his death in 1974. Up to 1980 the paper was produced on a weekly basis, usually of 4 pages in broadsheet.
From 1981 to 1999 the paper was produced fortnightly, but in tabloid or A4 size with more pages. It became a monthly newspaper in 2000 and is produced both as a four pager (8 times a year) and 8 pages (4 times p.a.).
Following the death of Gert Helbemäe the editorship passed to the Chairman of the Association of Estonians in Great Britain, Väino Pärtel, till he went to live in Germany in 1981 and then to Zinaida Hiiemäe. August Lembra took over in 1983 for 10 years, with Aili Eistrat as his successor till 2008. Up to this time all the editors received payment for their work. Now the paper is produced on a voluntary basis under the editorship of Reet Järvik.
The newspaper has roughly 250 subscribers, though it is read by more people at various places where copies are available in London, Leicester and Bradford.
The Eesti Hääl maintains close contacts with other Estonian papers printed outside Estonia:
The Association of Estonians in Great Britain, founded in November 1947, acts as a central co-ordinating committee keeping alive the culture and language of Estonia, both among the older generation who came here as refugees after the Second World War, their offspring and more recent arrivals. We are a voluntary organisation. We cannot help with accommodation or employment, nor do we provide grants or finance.
The Estonian community has three main centres where there are Estonian houses/clubs - London, Leicester and Bradford. There are smaller communities elsewhere in Nottingham, Bolton/Manchester and Scotland, as well as many persons of Estonian descent scattered far and wide. We would encourage all Estonians to visit their nearest centre and take part in their activities.
The largest Estonian community is in London and there are several societies. The oldest is the London Estonian Society founded in 1921. Other groups include the London Estonian Guild, the Estonian Relief Committee which organises Sunday lunches for charitable purposes on nine occasions in the year at the London Estonian House, the London Estonian School which operates on a fortnightly basis on Saturday mornings and others.
The London Estonian House, which is a private establishment, hosts only a limited number of events for its restricted membership. It was originally purchased in 1957 by hard-working exiled Estonians for use by all Estonians, but nowadays the principle activity is the letting of the apartments in the house. Visitors should not go unannounced.
The Bradford Club (Bradfordi Eesti Kodu) is open regularly Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes.
The Leicester Estonian House is open on Friday evenings and at weekends and for special events.
Events and functions are organised in the main centres include:
Previous I.E.Ü chairmen
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