Tom Sukanen

At peace in the shadow of his ship

"Tom Sukanen, born in 1878 as Tomi Jaanus Alankola, was a Finnish-born sailor, farmer and Canadian. He immigrated to Minnesota at the age of 20, where he married and became a farmer. In 1911, he left his wife and farm and walked to Saskatchewan where his brother Svante Sukanen was living. Tom then began a homestead in the Macrorie area farmed there for seven years. Returning to Minnesota, he found that his wife had died, their children living in foster homes, and their farm abandoned. He attempted to bring one of his sons back to Saskatchewan, but the boy was turned back at the south of the Canadian border. In 1929, the height of the Great Depression he made a laborious return voyage to Finland for a visit. Upon his return he set to building a sea vessel to facilitate his permanent repatriation to his homeland."

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