With the ambassador, Perti Salolainen and his wife Anja
and David Cavill immediately after the ceremony
Best known in the world of dogs as Secretary of Southern Counties Canine association and a very successful breeder of Finnish Spitz, few people realise that Angela is also deeply involved in the development of cultural relations between Finland and the UK. She serves on the board of the Anglo Finnish Association and to encourage closer links between the Finnish branch of the English Speaking Union and the ESU headquarters inn London at Dartmouth House, just a few hundred yards from the Kennel Club. A fluent speaker of what is generally agreed to be the Western world's most difficult language, Angela visits Finland regularly.
The picture that appeared in Finland's national newspaper, taken on the steps of Langham House with Ch Toveri Pertia
Her hard work has now been rewarded with the Cross of Merit of the Order of the White Cross from the President of Finland. The award was made at a formal lunch held in her honour held at the Finnish Residence in London where Perti Salolainen, the Finnish Ambassador, read out the citation and presented her with the award, a cross with a rose at its centre. The Cross of Merit' is the highest Order of the White Rose below 'Knight' so in UK terms it is equivalent to becoming a Dame.
There was tremendous excitement in Finland when the award was announced. The Finnish Kennel Club devoted a page of its web site to the news and, on 2nd July, the date Angela formally received the award, she appeared, with a Finnish Spitz, of course, (Ch Toveri Pertia) on the front page of Finland's national newspaper. In the evening she was the third item on the main national television news at 10.00 and a longer interview was broadcast on the following morning, again with a Finnish Spitz - this time Ch Toveri Armaani. Most Orders of Merit go to Finnish servicemen and women, senior civil servants and successful industrialists so it is unusual for this recognition 'for the performance of important services to Finland' to be awarded to someone without an 'official' status.
In her acceptance speech, a proportion of which was in Finnish, Angela thanked her friends in Finland and the UK both at the Finnish Kennel Club and the ESU who had nominated her for the award.
For those interested the relevant web sites are
Finnish Kennel Club http://www.kennelliitto. fi/uutiset20030610_1.htm
Finnish TV news http://www.mtv3.fi/uutiset/ulkomaat/ulkomaat.shtml?2003/07/175400
Finnish National Press http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/uutiset/artikkeli/1056721043583