Volunteer of the Week - Reino Keto

From the RGASPI fonds.

The volunteer of the week is Reino Keto! Born in Laihia, Finland on March 20, 1908, Keto immigrated to Canada in May 1930. Keto served with the Finnish Army for a year during the 1920s, and worked as a bricklayer, on a farm, in restaurants, and as a gymnastics teacher in Canada. His file notes he lived in Fort William, Toronto, and Worthington, Ontario, and that he was transient for a time. He was involved in sports organizations and, like so many other Finnish-Canadians, joined the Communist Party in 1930.

Keto arrived in Spain in February 1937 and served with the 155th Partisans—operating behind Nationalist lines alongside fellow Finnish-Canadian Untamo Makela—and later with the machine gun unit of the Masaryk Battalion of the 129th Brigade. Later in the war he was promoted to lieutenant. He survived the war and returned to Canada in February 1939. Keto was later active in the Mac-Paps Veterans Association in Toronto, and died March 15, 1993.

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