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Vello Sermat's Geni Profile

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Vello Sermat

Birthplace: Võrumaa, Eesti
Death: Died in Toronto, ON, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of August Sermat and Marta Sermat
Husband of <private> Sermat (Holden) and <private> (Kivi)
Father of Alan Gregory Sermat and <private> Homer (Sermat)
Brother of <private> Sermat

Occupation: psühholoog - pedagoog
Managed by: Tiiu Zibo
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Vello Sermat

Psychologist, Professor, Author:

"Born in Voru, Estonia, Vello immigrated to Canada in the 1950's, spending time in Finland and Sweden after escaping from German-occupied Estonia in 1943. His parents, August and Marta Sermat, and his two brothers, Ulo and Ago, are deceased.

Vello graduated from Yale University in 1960 with a doctorate in psychology and earned the Yale Graduate School's Senior Sterling Fellowship, as well as the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. He was the recipient of numerous other grants and awards from the University of Oregon, the National Research Council of Canada and York University. Vello retired from teaching as Professor of Psychology at York University, and his long-standing career included postings at the University of Toronto, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Oregon, at Eugene.

His many publications included articles in the Canadian Journal of Psychology, the Journal of Social Psychology, the British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Baltic Studies, Psykologia, Akadeemia, Kasvatus, and Kasvun Vuodet, among many others.

He spent many years compiling his memoirs and self-published a novel in the 1980s. A prolific writer, painter, photographer and aficionado of the symphony, the ballet and the theatre, Vello appreciated all things cultural and artistic. He was enamored of nature and wildflowers, long walks and still moments. His original paintings and photographs reflect the passion he held for the beauty of the natural world. Awarded the Order of Estonia in February 2001, Vello considered this honour very dear, as his heart and soul never strayed far from the land of his birth." Globe and Mail obituary, Sept. 19, 2005.

Vello Sermat: "Mida tähendab kodu ja kodumaa? Kanadas tunnen ennast kodus, aga mu kodumaa on Eesti. Kui kodumaa oli okupeeritud, käisin igal suvel Soomes, sest sealsed inimesed, keel , loodus ja kultuur olid kõige lähemad Eestile. Kui oli jälle võimalik vabalt Eestis ringi liikuda, hakkasin üles otsima noorpõlve mälestustega seotud kohti. Ei leidnud enam Soelaane talu, kus olin olnud kommunistide eest varjus 1941.a., ega küla selle lähedal, kus olid elanud mu sugulased. Inimesed olid kadunud, talud maatasa tehtud ja maad oli üle võtnud sovhoos. Ainult suveöö mälestuste järv oli alles. Ainsas järelejäänud talumajas oli veel paar aastat tagasi elanud perenaine, kes oli kord mind seal vastu võtnud nagu oma pere liiget. Ehkki sellest, mis seal kunagi oli, polnud palju järel, tundsin siiski, et see oli olnud mulle üks tähtsamaid ja südamelähedasemaid paiku.

Inimesed ja loodus on mulle olnud tähtsad. Inimestele mõeldes kerkib sageli mingi looduspilt mu silmade ette. Eriti on aga mulle meelde jäänud inimesed, kes ei taotlenud omakasu, kuulsust või rikkust, vaid lõid koduse, hooliva ja sõbraliku miljöö endi ümber. Nad on olnud minu ideaaliks."

Väljavõte Vello Sermati eluloost, Torontos, 26.nov. 1998.a.

Sigtuna novellid autor - Väljaandmise aeg: 1991 Välis-Eesti & EMP

Sigtuna novellid kirjeldavad sõjapõgenikeks jäänud eesti noorte väikest ühiskonda Rootsi väikelinnas.

Argipäeva kitsad olud ja rootsi õppekava ranged nõuded tekitavad pingeid, millele otsitakse mõnikord leevendust noorusliku ülemeelikuse puhangutes, protestituhinas või romantilistes ekskursioonides linnakese ajaloolisse ümbrusse – kord terve kooliperega, teinekord kahekesi.

See on tükk Eestist võõrsil pika pagulaspõlve algaastatel, mille jälgi viimase novelli peategelane läheb otsima aastakümneid hiljem.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: "Vello Sermat developed a keen sense of survival at a young age. At 16, having been conscripted into the German army, which was occupying his native Estonia, he found an opportunity to escape by boat to Finland. He would have to leave his family behind. But his father gave him gold coins for the journey, and he left. In Finland, there were still many dangers: conscription into the Finnish army or, with the Soviet presence, the risk of being deported to Siberia. So he escaped to Sweden -- on skis, by night, over the Baltic Sea. (Kate L. Barrette.)

"Dr. SERMAT made it to an Estonian refugee camp, where he was one of 100 students to finish an education interrupted by war. "They really became each other's families," said his daughter, Stephanie. Ten of the group attended his funeral last month. The trauma of leaving Estonia never left him, and it informed his studies when he came to Canada in 1953. With three languages already under his belt, he conquered English after just two years in Toronto. He then studied psychology at Yale, specializing in social relations and loneliness. Dr. SERMAT, who loved sketching and photographing, never forgot his native land. Through the years, he contributed political writings and academic support to Estonian universities. In 2001, Estonia awarded him the White Cross, the country's highest civilian honour. "He made... every student over the years aware of the experience he came from, and how it relates to the modern world," Stephanie said. "He never stopped caring."

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Vello Sermat's Timeline

April 19, 1925
Võrumaa, Eesti
September 16, 2005
Age 80
Toronto, ON, Canada
- present