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August Kivi

Independence for Estonia Association in Edmonton (Eesti Vabadusv›itleja †hing)was established by August Kivi. The Association was active in the 1950s, sponsoring  meetings and social events. In the attached image, Association President August Kivi is at the podium. The wall hangings and plaques were made by the Kivi family. August Kivi was born in Tartumaa, Estonia in 1891. At 19 years of age he graduated from the Tartu Veterinarian Institute. He worked withing his profession in Russia until he was mobilized into the army in 1914. Although he was wounded in a fierce battle in 1916, August's efforts in the First World War were recognized with several military service medals.

In 1918 August returned to Estonia and was assigned to the Kalev Battalion where he was appointed lieutenant. August was very passionate about fighting for Estonia's freedom. In time, he was promoted to captain, major and then lieutenant-colonel. By the late 1930s August was elevated to the position pf Commander of several military units in Pärnu, and later served as a regimental commander of a home-defence unit.

August left the military in 1940. He fled to Germany in the autumn of 1944, thereby escaping some of the fiercest battles of the Second World War. He lived in a Displaced Person Camp, but eventually immigrated to Canada in 1951.

Always eager to promote and encourage Estonian independence regardless of where he was living, August founded the Estonian Liberation Association (Eesti Vabadusvõitlejate Ühing) in Edmonton and served as its president. The Association sponsored several Estonian Independence celebrations in the late 1950s. August was the keynote speaker at the 40th anniversary of Estonian independence in 1958.

August Kivi passed away in 1974. He is survived by his wife Ludmilla. August has been remembered as a man with a steadfast commitment to preserving his Estonian heritage, particularly during his time as an Edmontonian.

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