The man from Jomala became Mr. Märket
Sad news reached us this week. The long-term friend of Märket's lighthouse and Finnish Lighthouse society Bror-Erik Humell has passed away. His warm-hearted participation to the work at Märket is imprinted as well in the lighthouse now well preserved as in our memory touched by his good-humoured and steadfast personality
Kuva: Pertti Rahkonen
I first met Bror-Erik Humell probably in autumn 2007. Ville Holmberg, our link on Åland in those days introduced us. Humell had contacted Ville, and he wanted to help on Märket. At that time at the age of 66 Humell had pensioned, and was already working as volunteer in other projects. It was easy to see that this man had a big heart, but how big, we didn´t yet know. We didn´t know of his past, as we don´t know much even now. We knew he was interest in motors, and probably one of his dreams was to get some of Märkets diesels to run again. He never had time to try that. He lived in Jomala, near the oldest church on Åland.
Next summer he visited Märket with Ville. They improved the landing possibilities on Märket. Then sometimes during 2008-2009 Humell told us he had bought a boat that he was planning to convert as a freight boat for transports to Märket! It was hard to believe news like that! The boat was about 8-9 metres long and some 3 metres wide. Humell could load some tonnes of goods in the boat.
The boat had name, Lotta. Nice name for a slowly going freight boat. Humell started his trips in 2009. He drove the long way from Mariehamn to Märket – all the way on the open sea. It took some 5 hours. He could wait days, even a week, for the right weather with boat ready loaded. He never took any risk on the sea. With fully loaded Lotta he could have little chances on the open sea. But one had not to be afraid of his voyages. He was as trustworthy as a rock. When the wind calmed down, he could start at 5 a.m. He would call me and ask to inform Märket of his arrival. Which we did. There was a permanent order for Märket people: unload Lotta and make Bror-Erik comfortable with lunch or coffee in the kitchen.
Mostly I communicated with Bror-Erik on the phone from the continent. “Jaaha, guuddaag”, answered he when saw who was calling. In phone, as everywhere, he was always in good mood. There was never a problem that he was not willing to solve.
Kuva: Harri Hyvönen
In the first summer Humell transported mostly water with Lotta to Märket. A lot of that was needed for the brushing and painting of the lighthouse. The following years the main article was firewood. It came as 2-2.5 metres long logs which were afterwards cut on the yard of Märket. Arrival of Lotta was always a great occasion on Märket. And always the skipper was in a good mood.
Humells greatest achievement was to transport the whole wind power system to Märket: the mast, the batteries, the turbine and the diesel generator. In this time Lotta carried its most valuable load. Everything went very well – as it always was with Lotta.
In the last years Humell helped also now and then to drive Sjöströms Zephyr, Märkets regular connection boat with the mainland.
Last winter Bror-Erik called me, it might be in January. "Greetings from the sea", he said. "I just visited Märket". What? He was on the wide sea in the middle of the winter, alone. We had earlier been discussing over how to check the condition of our wind mill. So he drove there 5 hours from Mariehamn with Lotta to check things out there! The sea was calm, but anyway, it was winter. What a brave man.
Bror-Erik was a real sailor, a man that everybody liked. You can´t find more helpful and friendly man than he was. We all in Märket team miss him. Bror-Erik has a permanent place in our hearts. He will be remembered on Märket as one of the symbol persons of Märket.
Finnish Lighthouse Society