Andreas Pilt

Andreas was a founder of the Edmonton Estonian Society and played a key leadership role for many decades. He was instrumental in uniting Estonians across the province to retain their ties to their cultural heritage. Andreas Pilt was born on March 12, 1915 in Jarvamaa, Estonia. He had one brother, Ilmar, and two sisters, Leida and Karin. They have all since passed away.

Andreas served in the Estonian Army during the Second World War. During the course of the war he escaped to Sweden but had to leave his first wife behind. He met his second wife, Salme, in Sweden. Together they applied to come to Canada and, upon acceptance, they arrived March 12, 1949.

They traveled to Alberta with only 100 dollars collectively. They immediately began working on a farm and eventually saved up enough money allowing them to relocate to Edmonton. Once in Edmonton, Andreas opened a shoe repair shop and also worked as a carpenter.

Andreas became the office manager of Barrigan Woodworks; he worked there for 23 years. Salme passed away in 1966. In 1974 Andreas married Shirley Murphy and became the proud step-father of her two young girls. Andreas started his own company with partner Ernie Hebert. Known as Hebert and Pilt Construction, Andreas managed the outfit until his retirement in 1986.

In 1987 Andreas and Shirley moved to Summerland, British Columbia. They returned ten years later when Andreas' health began to deteriorate. He passed away February 27, 2006. He was 90 years old. While living in Edmonton, Andreas was a member of the Edmonton Estonian Society.

Alberta's Estonian Heritage