On Friday 1.9.2023, we celebrated the opening party of our new sawmill. The programme of the event started with an overview of the project, from the first meetings to the finished package, which was shown in the form of a video. We were transported into a festive mood by a piece from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Winter, played by organist Elias Niemelä, who accompanied the video.
This was followed by speeches by entrepreneurs Juha and Lea Kokkonen. In his speech, Juha spoke about the impact of the sawmill on our environment as a whole as a user of wood and about the importance of wood as a valuable natural resource. ''This valuable resource will continue to be used with care and precision, so that it will continue to give its best for future generations. Properly managed and used, it will continue to provide well-being for the future. As the old saying goes, Finland lives from the forest!'' Juha also referred in his speech to the implementation of the project and the positive employment it has created, especially in Tervola.
Lea's speech mainly focused on the history of Tervolan Saha ja Höyläämö Oy and the financial figures of the project. ''The total cost of the project will be over EUR 26 million, for which we received a significant development grant from the European Union's Regional Development Fund. The objectives of the project include digitalisation and internationalisation, which we have also been able to launch.''
The main themes that emerged from the entrepreneurs' speeches were gratitude, meaningfulness and family entrepreneurship. At the end of the speeches, family members who work for the company came forward. Mum, Dad, sons, daughter and sons-in-law. It was a touching sight!
In her speech, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sari Essayah highlighted the importance of family entrepreneurship for the success of a business, which also enables large investments. ''It is important that new investments and innovations come into the forest sector. New investments such as the Tervola Sawmill will highlight the regional and local significance of the region, creating more jobs for the local community.'' In her speech, Essayah also highlighted the positive effects of the sawmill industry and forests on the environment and climate. "Well-managed forests provide enough raw material for industry and to replace fossil raw materials. Yet, forests remain important carbon sinks.''
At the event, we also heard heartfelt speeches from the company and our partners in the project. Due to the humid weather, we moved the music from the tent to the new sawmill building, which served us very well in terms of acoustics. In the sawmill building we heard valuable music from organist Elias Niemelä, tenor Mikko Salakari and the girls of the entrepreneur couple. The blue and white ribbon was ceremoniously cut by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sari Essayah together with entrepreneurs Lea and Juha Kokkonen. After singing together the Lapland Provincial Song, we got to follow the sawmill.
After the event, the doors were opened to the guests, who also had the opportunity to visit the sawmill and the sawmill itself. The number of visitors was positively surprising. The number of guests and visitors at the opening was estimated at around 700. We are very grateful to all guests and visitors!
Click on the link below to see more of the atmosphere of the inauguration ceremony in the form of a video.