This red brick building was built by the Russian army before World War I in the 1910s. The house first served as a residential building for the officers of the 2nd Mountain Artillery Battery located in Hamina. During the period of independent Finland, the building has functioned as a residential building and as an NCO club. Today, the Old Veteran’s tradition centre operates in the building.
At the beginning of the 20th century, due to the international situation, Russia began to expand its garrisons in Finland. In Hamina, new construction began after 1908. The garrison expanded in its southeast corner. New red-brick buildings were built in front of the ramparts between the Viborg Gate and Turku bastion, located in the southeast corner of the barracks area. Units of the 6th Finnish Sniper Regiment and the 2nd Mountain Artillery Battery, which were part of the garrison forces, settled in the barracks.
The Old Veteran is a tradition centre for peacekeeping and veteran work established in 2018. Its purpose is to cherish the legacy of veterans of our wars, voluntary national defence, and Finnish peacekeeping and crisis management. The centre is located in Hamina, opposite the RUK museum, next to the main gate of the garrison. The founding members are the Finnish Peacekeepers' Association, the Peacekeepers of Kymenlaakso, the War Veterans of Hamina-Vehkalahti and the Support Society of the Reserve Officer School. The number of members is currently 30 registered associations.
During the first years of operation, about 10,000 guests have visited the exhibitions of the Old Veteran. Passing on the tradition of the veterans of our wars to future generations is very important now and in the future. Information about their struggle, achievements and values to preserve the independence of the motherland must also be passed on to future generations. Understanding that is the basis of a high will to defend the country. However, it is necessary to be able to present the information to young people as interestingly and visually as possible.
With its history that began in 1956, peacekeeping/crisis management has become an important part of Finland's international responsibility for building common security. From the outset, approximately 50,000 Finns have participated in dozens of civil and military operations around the world. Crisis management veterans, but also their loved ones and of course every Finn needs a place where they can get to know the operations and their conditions in more detail.
The Old Veteran is the Peacekeeping and Veteran Work Tradition Center operating in the center of Hamina. The museum presents Finland's peacekeeping history that began in 1956, as well as all Finnish peacekeeping and crisis management operations up to the present day. Changing exhibitions cherish the heritage of war veterans, voluntary national defence and peacekeeping.
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