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Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on March 24th, 2020

Lauri Tulkku, Edwin Sandblom Wäinö Kuikka with the Canada Malja (Kanada-malja) Trophy in 1950.
At Sampo Hall in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

In the late 1940s, Edwin Sandblom, and members of the Finnish National Society of Sudbury (Sudburyn Suomalainen Kansallisseura) and the Sampo Athletic Club organized a fund to have a trophy made to be sent back to Finland for their National Ice Hockey Championship.

There is no record of how the trophy was officially presented to the Finnish Ice Hockey Association, but there are two stories of how the trophy made it to Finland, one being that Lauri Pihkala, a Finnish newspaperman working in Canada, is said to have presented the Kanada-malja (Canada Malja) trophy to Finnish Ice Hockey Association on behalf of its Finnish Canadian donors from Sudbury, and the other being that Arne Ritari, who owned a travel agency in Sudbury brought the trophy over to Finland.

The Finnish Ice Hockey Association had no idea about the trophy, or that the trophy had been made for their association by the Finnish Canadians as a gift for their national championship.

The Kanada-malja (Canada Malja) trophy was adopted as the championship trophy for the top level of ice Hockey in Finland, which at the time was called SM-Sarja, and 1st presented in 1951 to Ilves Tampere, a Finnish Sports Club founded in 1931.

NOTE:
Sampo Hall on Antwerp Street in Sudbury, served as the centre of cultural activity for Finnish Canadians between 1935 to 1994.

The communities of Thunder Bay, Sudbury and New Finland form the main centres of Finnish-Canadian activity. Thunder Bay boasts the largest Finnish population outside of Scandinavia, and the only Finnish cultural centre in Canada, housed in the Finnish Labour Temple.

Finnish Canadians pioneered efforts to establish co-operatives in several Canadian cities. Canada's largest co-operative, the Consumers' Co-operative Society, was started by Finns.

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