As the planning for the voyage began, numerous notifications and letters were sent to the co-operative shareholders.
All arrangements concerning the Walnut's sailing were held highly confidential for fear that if too many people knew of the plans, the departure could be disrupted. The following are translations of correspondence distributed to Walnut passengers mere days prior to the voyage. Only one of the letters is dated. All were sent out on behalf of the co-operative's Executive.
The English translations of the following original newspaper articles are not a verbatim duplication of the Estonian text, but rather a very close English version of the original. Translated by Tiiu Roiser-Chorowiec
Note also, that translated newspaper articles from various sources appeared both shortly after the Walnut voyage and were also written many years later. Many news articles contain factual inaccuracies, but are presented herein as published and written by their authors.
Some names have been changed to initials only to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned. If the individuals involved, or their families, wish full names shown or removed, please contact us.
Letter # 1
L/ü L E N N U K [original name used by organizers]
Södra Liden 25, c/o Linde
Respected fellow traveler.
It was elected by the temporary executive that the the ship's company name shall be L/ü "Lennuk". Henceforth, use the following address in all correspondence: L/ü LENNUK, c/o Linde. Södra Liden 25. Göteborg, additionally, registered correspondence should be sent to the same address, however, to the attention of A. Kalbus.
L/ü Lennuk has an account opened at the Göteborg Bank. When making any payments use the account name: L/ü LENNUK. Current account payments should be ended.
The temporary executive divided jobs as follows: Chairman--Captain August Linde; Assistant-Chairman--A.L. [full name edited for privacy]; Treasurer--A. Kalbus; Assistant Treasurer--G.K.; Secretary--A.K.; Assistant secretary--A.A.; Dispodent--H.S.. The executive signed a contract with the captain (A. Linde) and the first mechanic (A.A.), who have now begun to assemble the crew. According to the contract the ship has been taken over [under the management of the above-mentioned] and its voyage readiness work has begun with great enthusiasm. The work will dictate when we will gather, which will be advised next month.
The number of travelers has reached its maximum and, therefore, it is no longer possible to register new requests. We ask that everyone, who has only partially completed their commitments [financial] to please complete the remainder as quickly as possible.
Share purchases are still possible and we ask that you please use this opportunity, since speedy repairs are dependent upon this. At this same time, the executive uses this opportunity the thank those who have quickly fulfilled their share commitments.
We please ask that all fellow travelers complete the form below and send to the company executive. Each family should use the same form.
On behalf of the temporary executive, H. S. , A. Kalbus
L/ü Lennuk - Highly confidential.
Västanvindsg. 12 C I, c/o Suursööt or Södra Liden 25, c/o Linde
Respected fellow traveler!
Herein we notify that work on the ship is being completed and the gathering for our voyage is set for October 30th, 1948.
The exact departure point, as well as the station to which luggage is to be sent, will be announced within the week. It is not possible to board the ship earlier, since this would impede and hinder repairs.
When boarding the ship each traveler must possess the following documents:
"Utvandrings" [Swedish document names] certificate and "Utvandrings betyg", which is available through your neighbourhood/local church office where there is "mantalskriven".
From the appropriate tax office "skatteintyg" to prove you are debt free. This is also available from "Länsstyrelseni Landskontoretist, Uppbördsverket Kronkammare, Landsfiskalilt" or self-employment [this is the exact translation, however, I am not confident that this wording o reflects the true meaning] - salary office.
"Strafflöshetsintyg", is available from the local police.
"Främlingspass" or the travel document, as well it is recommended an Estonian VABARIIGI personal identification [like a Canadian birth certificate] or VALISPASS [direct translation is exterior passport - perhaps they mean exit visa ? unsure].
Food ration card and "personkort" [person card ?], for those who have them.
"Motbok" - alcohol book.
Those who do not have the necessary documents - ensure you get those still missing quickly. Without the above documents you will not be allowed on board and being left behind is definite. Any expenses in connection therewith [being left behind] will be at your own expense.
In order to export "valuutas", you must have the necessary notation on your passport and the traveler must carry the necessary permission. Permission is given from the bank when you purchase your valuutas.
It is not permitted to bring more than 99 Kroona value with you. It is more beneficial to exchange any excess into valuutas and purchase L/ü Lennuki shares at 500 kr.- each.
Room and bunk requests should be presented within the next three days, since after that it is not possible to consider them. On your requests, you should indicate the names and ages of your friends and relatives with whom you want to travel together and be in the same room and nearby. It should be noted, most rooms have been supplied with three-story and some with two-story bunks and have been divided typically for double occupancy. Also note if you wish a one or two-person bunk. We thank you that you be modest with your requests, since priority for room assignments will be given to women with children, then married couples with children, etc. etc.
Some travelers have not paid their entire voyage fee. We request that this be done at the latest to the 21. skp. [?] company account payable to: L/ü Lennuk, Göteborg Bank, Göteborg. If payment has not occurred within this time [I am unsure of the specifics of time...does 21 represent a date? not sure what skp means. They use skp at end of letter also quoting 17. Possibly Sept.?] we will give your place to the next person on the waiting list.
Since the boat has been purchased, remodeled and supplied, it is no longer possible to offer refunds.
Also, there are many individuals who have not returned their personal information sheets (last notice letter) together with paid amounts showing. We ask that you please do this immediately, otherwise it will not be possible to arrange things with the powers that be.
Suitcases and baggage: The ship's interior will accommodate two suitcases per adult and one per child. A third suitcase must be packed so that it is weatherproof and will be placed on the top deck. The company will not accept responsibility for poor packing resulting in damage.
Every traveler needs to bring their own bedding: mattress, pillow, blanket and sheets. To pack clothes and undergarments, it is recommended that you use a "sailor's bag", since this is easy to accommodate and in addition this kind of packing is waterproof (cost ca 15. Kroons). If you have a large amount of suitcases (more than three suitcases + bedding) you must pay additional charges for additional remodeling and presetide muretsemise eest [?] (ca kr. 5 - LO pakilt). It is not possible to place large boxes and suitcases into the rooms.
Suitcases and packages must have nametags. For this it is recommended that you use an appropriate leather nametag, into which is placed a name card. If you don't have this, mark your name on wooden tags, and write your name in a weatherproof fashion. It is also recommended that all packages have nametags, which should be glued to both sides of the suitcase, in order to avoid much trouble later. - Suitcases must be tied tightly and locked.
It is not possible to bring furniture, also it is not recommended that you bring large food supplies. It is not recommended that you bring machinery. The same goes for radios, since on that side of the beach there is only short-wave. In addition, the radios may suffer on the voyage.
In addition to the above, it is recommended that each family supply themselves with one backpack or sailor bag or briefcase into which you should place your valuables and necessary documents. These should be kept with you. This case should also contain your necessary personal items such as: toilet items, saltwater soap, towel, nightclothes, children's necessities, women's sanitary items, reading material (recommended English language study book). Everyone should expect that packages may be inspected/controlled by tolls and the ship's executive.
Clothing: It is recommended that you board the ship with a suit which is not the newest and with a warm coat. Women should bring long pants, since moving about with a skirt is dangerous and might result in unnecessary accidents. Recommended footwear are rubber boots and in your room slippers.
Headwear: Ski- or wind hats, also a beret.
Everyone needs to bring their own food dishes: knife, fork, spoon, drinking cup and deep soup bowl or pot or soldier pot.
Special food for children will not be prepared and, therefore, parents are responsible for them, bringing with you if necessary foodstuffs (canned milk, milk powder, treats, cookies, fruit, etc.).
Free communal food serving will begin the day of departure.
If anyone is concerned about their health, you should be seen by a doctor. This is especially important for those with weak lungs. Poor lungs will definitely be a reason for you to be sent back. Contagious diseases are also another definite reason to be sent back.
Onboard the ship there is first aid and appropriate medical personnel. Anyone with an unusual/special illness should bring for themselves any necessary medical supplies, since those are not available in the ship's pharmacy. Seasickness tablets are your own responsibility. Also, everyone should supply themselves with plastic bags in case of seasickness.
Politically unacceptable individuals should be pointed out to the executive, since they may hinder the screening of all travelers.
Since our voyage is the cause of much interest, in order to have a successful outcome, it is better if you refrain from talking about the voyage and certainly you must keep secret our gathering place and time. When gathering you should not count on assistance from relatives and you must avoid well-wishers [people accompanying you to say goodbye].
In order to get valuutas, it is still possible the beginning of next week to present "inköpsanmälanit" [?]. The necessary forms are available upon request.
Meeting in the cafeteria/cafe with the company representative is terminated beginning 17 skp.
On behalf of the L/ü Lennuk executive:
A. Kalbus H. S.
Compania Maritima Walnut S.A. Göteborg, October 27, 1948
VASTANVINDS 12 CI Göteborg
Respected fellow traveler:
Our gathering is moving a few days later, since we have been unexpectedly given by the ship inspectors new demands "jul eoleku" [?] and "pääteseadeldiste" [life preservers ?] New life preservers [?] and reserve [?] "manteerimine" [gathering/collecting ?] will take a few days. Unfortunately this voyage has been talked about too much and to people who need not know. We hope that in future you will refrain from talking about the ship and the voyage, at least until we leave.
Concerning payments, announcements have been made concerning 1947 year additional payments and these need to be paid prior to boarding. It is, therefore, necessary to control your current "skatteintyge" [receipts?] if they answer actuality and to determine if it is necessary for anyone to pay the difference in additional charges. Without paying the difference, it is not permitted for anyone to leave the country. In order to avoid unnecessary delays and any other mix ups it would be prudent if everyone checked their status with the local tax office.
The location where to gather to board the ship and where to bring baggage will be announced in the next few days. Gathering early is not recommended since this would hinder new renovations and would result in even further interest by unfriendly individuals. Also, since there is no food yet available and little room to move about, this would cause unnecessary discomfort for those who would board early.
Onboard, all places are numbered and divided, thus ensuring that everyone has a definite place. Exchanging places on your own accord is not permitted. Thereby rushing early onto the boat is not necessary, since you are not able nor permitted to select a so-called "better" place.
Baggage handling from the station will be done with cars in order to avoid being noticed. Moving baggage will be done for a reasonable rate.
During the voyage it will be possible to purchase on board cigarettes and tobacco, for which you must pay as soon as you board. Onboard there is a strict code which everyone must obey. You should expect to help out with room cleaning and kitchen help on a rotating basis at least several times while onboard. No smoking is allowed in the rooms, smoking is allowed only on the deck and in the eating rooms. You may not use alcohol while on board. Self-initiated bunk and room exchanging is not permitted. After 10 p.m. there must be complete quiet in the rooms. All arrangements, of which you are advised via letter, need to be obeyed. Organizing arrangements will be done by each room elder or their substitute. All arrangements and requests are presented only through the room elders.
It should again be noted that any refunds are no longer possible since all monies have now been invested in the endeavor.
At the last shareholder meeting it was decided to approve the Executive's step to abide by Compania Maritima Walnut S.A. bylaws. This means that Compania Maritima Walnut S.A. is registered under Panama and owns that country's "õiguskaitse" [legal protection ?].
Compania Maritima Walnut S.A. Executive.