Ulpu ry

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The first chairperson, Hanna Vanamo (1913 - 2000)

Hanna Vanamo, the founder and first chairperson of ULPU ry, represented Finland alongside her husband Jorma Vanamo successfully and prominently in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ diplomatic missions abroad and domestically for over 40 years. Hanna Vanamo significantly advanced the position of families of civil servants working in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She also strongly advocated for the establishment of a children’s boarding school.

The Ladies of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

In May 1968, Hanna Vanamo, Sirkka Rytkönen, and Marjatta Lehtovaara gathered the wives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs officials stationed in Helsinki. Over the years, Hanna Vanamo had encountered situations where advice and guidance on representing oneself abroad would have been appreciated. The ladies decided to take action.

On Floran päivä (Flora’s Day), May 13, 1968, 35 ladies attended the event. It was decided during the event to establish an association named “Ulkoasiainhallinnon rouvat ry” (The Ladies of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs). A board of directors, other officials, and a rule committee were elected for the association. Hanna Vanamo was chosen as the first chairperson. During the inaugural meeting, it was noted that to alleviate initial difficulties in diplomatic missions, there was a need for a guidebook. The association could also compile a file containing information about conditions in different missions. The establishment of the association was announced to all civil servants’ spouses. The work on creating the first guidebook for the wives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs officials began.

Helsinki, Finland. Xmas Market On Senate Square With Holiday Carousel And Famous Landmark Is
Uspenski Cathedral and Helsinki harbor from Tervasaari - Helsinki, Finland

From the Wives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to a Semi-Association

Over the years, the association’s name changed first to Ulkoasiainhallinnon virkamiesten aviopuolisot UHVA ry and then to its current name, Ulkoasiainministeriön puolisoyhdistys ULPU ry.

In 2008, when ULPU ry celebrated its 40th anniversary, the association published a history book.

In 2018, on the occasion of the association’s 50th anniversary, a festive event was held at the Katajanokka Casino.