John Moore moved from Great Britain to Joensuu toward the end of 2003. He was brought to cheerful eastern Finland by love and the spectacular snowy winters. For a living, John Moore welds the frames of forest machines at John Deere Forestry Oy. The chatty and positive Brit makes even the sulkiest metal workers smile at his workplace.
John Moore, born in Bristol, is amused when he thinks thirty years back to a holiday he spent motorcycling with friends in Spain. One day they met two charming ladies at a bar. Moore’s friend deduced that the women were from Finland. They decided to go and strike up a conversation with the ladies.
– My friend knew exactly two words of Finnish: “moi” (hello) and “sika” (swine). These were the words we used to initiate a conversation, and the women burst out laughing, Moore recalls and shakes his head.
Despite the unusual pickup lines, they spent the next few days together. After parting ways at the end of the holiday, letters began zooming back and forth between Finland and Britain.
Moore travelled to Finland in February next year. Three years after they first met, Moore got married with the girl from Helsinki.
Home in Bristol
The married couple first settled in Bristol where Moore worked at a zinc factory. The work was demanding and also dangerous due to the poisonous gases related to the process. The Australia-owned factory later moved its operations from Bristol to Australia, but the hard-working man soon got a new job. His wife also found work in the pharmaceutical industry.
– But my wife said that she did not want to stay in Britain until retirement age. We started to think about moving to Finland. I was fascinated by Joensuu where my mother-in-law’s twin sister lived. The Joensuu region offered great opportunities for our snowboarding hobby. Joensuu had just the right amount of peace and casualness for me.
His Helsinki-born wife was slightly troubled as to whether Joensuu was big and busy enough for her. In the end, Joensuu drew the long straw. Their house in Reijola was completed in 2004.
Home in Joensuu
While the Moore family still lived in Bristol, the young couple led an active life. Motorcycling and snowboarding were their shared hobbies. Sometimes they spent their holidays in Europe, sometimes in Finland. There were no signs of family life with children yet. But so it happened that soon after moving to Joensuu, the couple was expecting their firstborn. From the family point of view, moving to Finland was even better a choice – safety and quality of education gained new importance.
– In England I had worked as a welder and done some other jobs as well. When we came to Finland, my education was no longer adequate. Therefore I spent one year in Outokumpu studying welding.
After a year of studying, he found work in a small company in Käsämä. However, a friend he made in Outokumpu was hired by John Deere and soon began trying to persuade Moore to also apply for a job at the world-leading forest machine manufacturer.
Nobody is looking over my shoulder. When you need help and advice, you get it.
Life in balance
In 2007, Moore was hired permanently by John Deere, whose work community and spirit the welder praises. Moore, who has worked in many places before, gives particular praise to how safety is acknowledged at the workplace. He also appreciates the workplace culture of people trusting one another.
– Nobody is looking over my shoulder. When you need help and advice, you get it.
In 2007, the family had their second daughter.
– As our daughters got older, my wife got a nurse’s education and was soon hired. We are still living in the house that was built in Reijola fourteen years ago. We have a wonderful neighbourhood! I like to wave at people, greet and have a chat with them. My wife is often surprised about me knowing so many people around here.
Moore has since dropped motorcycling. A family man no longer has time for every hobby. But no matter how busy he is, he takes care of staying in shape. He finished the Joensuu marathon in May with the finish time of three hours 48 minutes. Triathlon – cycling, running and swimming – is one of his favourite sports.
Text: Sirkka-Liisa Aaltonen/Viestintä-Ässä