Aino Kari, the parlourmaid
"Heidi had just been born and Ruth came to me and asked if I could come and help them with the housekeeping for a while. I had just finished folk high school and was working as a shop assistant and was somewhat afraid to leave, but then I promised to come as a temporary help all the same. This happened in 1911 and when I left Ainola it was the year 1968. So that was my 'temporary help'.
In the folk high school I was especially keen on singing and as a young girl I sang all day long while I was working. The Professor [Kari called Sibelius 'the Professor' after he obtained the title in 1916] once came up to me and asked me if perhaps I wouldn't sing. Well, that day passed, but I soon forgot it, and I was singing in the rooms. Then I heard the sharp knock of a cane on the wall… and then I understood that there it was again. And then I learned my lesson. I sang outdoors and in the sauna and here and there." Read also The occupants of Ainola: Aino Kari
Helmi Vainikainen, the cook
"First there was coffee around nine o'clock, then breakfast around noon and then coffee between two and three and then there was dinner, a real proper dinner around five and six. And the Professor often worked all night and went to bed when we got up. When the children were making their own music (...) he was not able to work in peace during the daytime, so he worked at night and said that his ideas flowed much better at night. (...) Well, then he sometimes said that he was going to be awake and that I should leave something out for him. And he did get food from the pantry himself and then he made coffee, he had one of those, coffee machines they called them, they had brought it from abroad and he made very strong coffee with it."
Read also The occupants of Ainola: Helmi Vainikainen