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Club's born 

The first decades of 1900s, in the society of Varkaus, was the time when the boundaries between societal classes were clear. The gap didn’t just go between the burghers and the workers. Also members of the burghers knew their place in the rank of the industrial locality. The social status also determined what kind of activities a person could participate and with whom to move.


The civil war in 1918 with its re-enactment meant that power relations also changed in Varkaus. Moving to the time of White Finland, when the Finnish White Guard held order. Burgher people wanted other forms of organization than the armed organization of The Finnish White Guard. According to the model of other towns, the idea of creating a factory’s club was born in Varkaus. No sooner said than done the own club was found. The 1919 club report was recorded as follows: “In the autumn of 1918, the question arises of the establishment of an official association among the Warkaus Factory officers. This was also discussed in a couple of meetings in the factory's office. The conclusion was to establish the Warkaus Factory’s Club. Gents J. Kaustinen, C.S. Westman, Y. Heinonen, R. Hendunen ja L. Lemström were chosen to prepare rule proposition for the Club. 8th of January, at the constitutive meeting the Club’s rules were approved and the first annual meeting was 7th of February.


At that annual meeting, Engineer J. Kaustinen was elected as the first chairman of the Club’s first board, Engineer C.S. Westman as a vice-chairman, sir R. Hendunen as a secretary, sir E. Gönblom as a club master, sir J.N. Helenius as a treasurer, E. Lindqvist as a librarian and sir L. Lemström as a board member. During the year, when Westman and Hendunen moved out of Varkaus, they got replaced by landlord Y. Lindqvist as a vice-chairman and engineer W. Lindgren as a secretary. In the middle of the year engineer B. Skogström was chosen as a new librarian.


The board was obligated to launch the Club’s action. Officials elected on the basis of the annual report succeed on their duties: “The first task of the board was to find a suitable club room, what didn’t succeed, until Tienkorva-building was finished in November and A. Ahlström’s corporation board gave Club new club room, library room and kitchen. When A. Ahlström corporation kindly gifted 15. 000 Smk to Club, as Club decided to use the funds to get furniture in the Club, it became possible for the board to furnish the club room and to acquire the necessary economic needs.” The security building, where the first club rom was located, was completed in 1913. Architects Valter and Ivar Thomé designed a building on the Ahlströminkatu. After the renovation and expansion of 1932, club facilities improved even further. In connection with the expansion, the main entrance was changed to the facade on Ahlstöminkatu. In the crossroads Club worked until 1947.


Meaning of the Club

The Warkaus' Factory Club and afterwards the Warkaus' Industrial Club above all have been primarily collaborative organizations. Club rooms in Tienhaara and Villa in Päiviönsaari have gathered persons into their premises, who are working on the higher assignments. There were many avocation to do. There has been parties, colorful events and speeches. Some of the work have been recorded as a documents and in pictures. Club activities have also been recorded in film.


For different generations, the meaning of club's parties have been anomalous. Before the Second World War years, club was almost closed, nearly secret society-like community, which doors only opened for a select few and chosen. The club was a form of bourgeois organization that offered the community elite the opportunity for a common leisure. From the point of view of the local industrial leadership, the club was an attraction factor that attracted highly-educational personnel to the resposible duties of the expanding Ahlström company. The nature of the club activity changed at the end of 1940s. Leif Glöersen's patron-like excerpts also included the leadership of the club. In the 1950s and even in the start of the next decade people still lived the time of "Cohesiveness golden times of Römmiläinen". "It was horrible" said contemporarys, when parties ended at morning hours. During the Glöersen's time, there was also certain openings in club activities. Although, only the local leader had the right to invite outsiders in the club, but still, even more people outside the industry came to the club. For example, the leading doctors in the hospital belogned to the group of invited.


When the "last patron" left Varkaus, company's new local management never gave the club the same status as before. Club activities clammed up crucially starting at the end of 1960s. When the generation of so called "it was horrible" was over, the activity was crowned in organizing more traditional-like activities. Some kind of drop in activity happened in the club. In the mid 1980's, as industrial ownership changed, club activites faced whole new challenges. As the reign of Ahlström company ended, club activity needed to reorganize again. New arrangements had to be made for both membership rights and financial arrangements. For the remains of club activities, people who appreciated the significance of club culture created over the decades, became more and more valuable.


Changing the name of the club, from Factory Club to Industrial Club, was a message about the changed operational environment. Industry of Varkaus had shifted more accurately from the time of one industrial company to time of several separate units. Like decades ago, club activities were advertised as of one opportunity to spend leisure time in a civilized company. During the last decade, the expectations of children and families have been taken into account in the planning of events. Also, holiday in a cottage owned by club has been satisfying familys' leisure needs.


Integral part of locals' volunteering to work, has been the club activites in Varkaus. Lots of unpaid work has been done in the different periods. Undoubtedly, the club has enriched the lives of people working in industry leadership positions. It is certain that people will remember the good times with a laugh. Within the club, many individuals have been able to implement themselves. Presidents, vice-chairmen, secretaries, housekeepers, members of the Executive Board, district councilors, club masters and many others who have worked in various roles have been doing their best for club life over the decades. It should be noted, that the total number of people involved in club activities are thousands of people. Without the club's activity, many recreational opportunities would not be created. As an example of tennis and sailing, the club was in a pioneering role.


The club has also been a meeting place for generations. Older people in club have moved their skills to younger generations. Retaining the activities developed in the past as part of the club's parties shows, how people can cherish traditions and renew them. Club is over eight decades old, and it can provide building materials for a birth of a novel communality and the encounter of people. In the early days of the Warkaus' Factory Club, the organization's goal was to ensure the enjoyment of membership and to allow socializing. The current and future decision makers of the Warkaus Industrial Club may have a lot to learn about the activities of former club members. The beginning of the millenium has already shown that the windward winds are blowing towards the club's activities.


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