Oldest living Estonian Marta Kivi turns 107

Marta Kivi, a resident of Kohila in Rapla County, is the oldest living Estonian. Ms Kivi celebrated her 107th birthday on Tuesday.

Ms Kivi is looked after by her 73-year-old son, Jüri, and his family. Although these days she depends on her wheelchair, she is lucid, quick to respond—and happy, as she herself says.

"There was a moment last week when I thought well, that's it, time to go," Ms Kivi says. "But it was over in five days, and now I'm alive again."

Born and raised in Saaremaa, Ms Kivi graduated from what was then the Lääne County Teachers' Seminar in 1932. In the 1940s she returned to her old school on the island, where she worked as a primary school teacher, but also taught Estonian and German lessons as well as home economics.

Although the school's children today don't know Ms Kivi of personal experience, Tornimäe did send her a video greeting for her birthday, acknowledging her year-long work for the school also with its choir and dance groups.

"When I started working there, there were more than 120 children, three teachers and one assistant," Ms Kivi says. "And when I retired, there were maybe 50 students and a lot more teachers."

The school's director, Raili Nõgu, says that Ms Kivi's contribution has been a guiding light for teachers in the school. "We've heard she only got angry once in her life in school," Ms Nõgu told ERR. "An extremely good teacher."

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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