Ernst Ivar Roini 1857–1905
Serlachius Fine Art Foundation’s collection comprises photographs from the album of Ernst Ivar Roini. Roini was renowned in Mänttä for being a zealous adversary of Gustaf Adolf Serlachius in 1880s. But was else was he?
Ernst Ivar was born in Oulu incopper smith Johan Henrik Idström and Brita Elisabeth Tornborg’s family. He moved from Oulu to Kuopio to continue his learning at Kuopio Finnish lyceum and started his studies at the historical-philosophical faculty of Helsinki University in 1878. Roini (until 1883 Idström) moved to Mänttä with his first wife Helena Bergbom in 1884 after having acquired Seppälä farm.
Gustaf Adolf Serlachius and undergraduate Roini – as he was called – both were Fennomans, but in contrary to mill owner Serlachius, a supporter of conservative Old Finn, Roini affiliated himself to the ideals of Young Finns.
The mill owner and the undergraduate found it impossible to cooperate with each other. Roini filed a lawsuit against the mill owner on account of license violation and counterfeiting. Also, rights for water boundaries and land deals caused conflicts. The rural correspondents of newspapers made the quarrels between Serlachius and Roini more widely known for the general public. They both also wrote sharp accounts in Aamulehti slandering each other.
Undergraduate Roini was a prominent operator also in another context. When governor Järnefelt’s family spend the summer of 1889 in Kolho in Vilppula, Roini kept company with them in Kolho as well as at Seppälä farm in Mänttä. Roini has acquainted himself with the family during his studies. An acquaintance already from the time spend at Kuopio Lyceum, Juhani Aho, also visited Kolho during that summer. Axel Gallén, Louis Sparre and Järnefelt family participated the Keuruu summer party held during the same summer. The inaugural address of the festivities was held by Ernst Ivar Roini and the keynote speech by Juhani Aho.
During his time in Mänttä, Roini acted as the chair of Keuruu municipal assembly 1890–1892 and advocated for establishment of dairies and primary schools. Roini was a member in the administrative boards of several schools. He also was a founding member of Keuru-Ship Ltd, in which also Gustaf Adolf Serlachius participated.
In Keuruu, Roini was elected a representative of peasantry to the Diet of 1891. His main themes during the Diet were establishment of schools and proceeding with the construction of railway from Jyväskylä westwards to Keuruu.
Early 1890s Roini moved to Vyborg to work as the editor and later owner of Viipurin Sanomat newspaper. Late 1897 Roini bought a run-down farm in Ruskeala, Ladoga Karelia, which the family restored into a model farm.
During his studies in Helsinki, Roini had authored a few plays. His play Walansa rikkojat premiered in the Finnish theatre in 1883. Roini experimented also in actor’s career by taking part in few dramas across Finland. He has also made translations. Roini’s best known text is probably a song called Vallinkorvan laulu, whose lyrics he wrote for A. B. Mäkelä’s dramatisation Ruukin jaloissa. It was composed by Oskar Merikanto.
Roini continued his career as a journalist his entire life. In Karelia, at places where he resided, Roini actively took part in administrative work as a member of municipal boards, commissions, and committees. He died in 1st of May 1905 in Ruskeala.