Skip to the main content

The Immigration Story of Tiina Agur (Estonian immigrant)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

Culture : 
Country of Origin: 
Port of Arrival: 
Creative Commons: 
Accession Number: 

Story Text: 

I was a very sad and bitter 16 year old teenager when I found out my father
wanted to uproot us again to find a better life for us in Canada.   Six years
previously we had escaped from the Soviets in Estonia and had made Landskrona, Sweden our home for the last few years. My father met a Captain who wanted to take his old fishing boat across the Atlantic Ocean to Canada. He had heard that the Canadian government was accepting new immigrants. Father was very much interested and offered to help restore his boat before setting sail. On June 24th,1949 at 8:00 p.m. from Lysekil Harbour, Sweden, we departed with 23 passengers on board.  The following people who were passengers on the boat. Captain Theodor Vompa, Heljo Vompa (Capt. Wife), Jaan&Erna Sepp with their children, Silvia (myself), Peter, and Signe, Jaan Lindpere and his wife, Martha Kabel, Vaid Lind¸The Liiv Family (4 members), twin sisters (names unknown) and a farmer.(name unknown) Again leaving all my friends and memories behind. That evening people were celebrating the summer solstice, it was a perfect opportunity to leave unnoticed.  After a few days we ran into a storm on the North Sea, where a majority of people got sea sick. We slept in very crowded quarters where the women and children were together at the front of the boat and the men in the back.  The Captain decided stop in Sligo,Ireland to fill up on fresh water and supplies. The Irish people were very friendly and accommodating who
showed us their countryside.   After a few days, we continued our journey
across the Atlantic Ocean. On route near Newfoundland, I saw my first icebergs.  It took us 14 days at sea before we finally reached the Halifax harbour. We were so happy and relieved we had safely made it to Canada. We had no problems with our visas and medical clearances except for 5 people who didn't have their visas. We lived on the boat for 2 weeks before my father got in touch with a family in Toronto who generously took us in.