Mr Louis Norrak, Chairman of the Estonian Society of Sydney, stepped down from his position of Chairman on 26 March 1941, in order to serve in the Second Australian Imperial Forces. An additional three members of the Estonian Society of Sydney joined the Australian Armed Forces.
The text of the letter Mr Norrak wrote on his departure from the Board of the Estonian Society of Sydney:
“My good colleagues,
In writing these lines I do so with a heavy heart. We have grown together, sharing common joys and worries and bearing difficulties for 12 years.
These have not been easy years. And some of you are silver-haired, but your spirits are young because in them glows love for your homeland, love for your national centre.
Still the feeling and knowledge that now we have erected this beautiful national temple, no power can forcibly take this from us, not so long as there are Estonians in Sydney who have the courage to fly the blue-black-white flag and honour our mother tongue, this gives me the courage and strength to step into the ranks of those who are out fighting for the freedom, rights and truths that give our lives meaning, substance and purpose.
Struggling with life’s difficulties and everyday worries, we here, perhaps don’t value sufficiently highly the virtually limitless freedoms that our current homeland offers us.
For the land of our birth, regrettably, there is very little we can do at the moment. Because of this I have decided after lengthy deliberation, to join those who are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of a better future for all of humanity and as a result of whose victory we can hope that from the ruins of the first free Estonia a new and more sustainable Estonia will emerge.
I ask you all herewith to accept my warmest thanks and to pass these on to all those whom I may perhaps not see in the near term.
May your endeavours for the good of our beautiful home enjoy luck and success and may you be supported in the knowledge that so long as you work according to your conscience, then will your endeavours be lauded here also, as representatives of Great Britain have stated publicly, that in order to be good citizens of your new homeland, first and foremost you must be good Estonians.
With heartfelt greetings
L. A. Norrak”
The Estonian Society of Sydney supported its members who served in the armed forces, sending them parcels at Christmas.
Purchase of adjacent blocks of land
As early as 1945, discussions were held regarding purchase of the adjacent blocks, 24-26 Goodchap Street and 143 Campbell Street, for extension of Sydney Estonian House. The blocks were purchased in the name of the Co- operative with funds of the Estonian Society of Sydney in 1946.
For the purchase price, the Estonian Society of Sydney was allocated shares in the Co-operative to the value of £ 1000, which were held for the Estonian Society of Sydney by its designated Trustees. Extension of the house commenced in 1957. Until then, the houses on these blocks of land were used by the Estonian Society of Sydney for its activities, including, for example, meetings of the Cubs and Scouts in the 1950s.