Photo: Jaakko Savolainen

Oiva Saloila

Director General 1962–1977

Oiva Saloila (1910–1998) had a long career at the Postal Services. He joined the organisation in Tampere in 1928 as a relief postman. He then worked as a postman, a clerk in the post coach unit, a notary in the telegraph unit, as a secretary to Director Ahola, as a legal counsel in the general management department, manager at the work analysis department and manager of the financial department. Compared to Ahola, Saloila acted more like a civil servant and kept a low profile. He was a very diligent worker and conciliatory by nature. Politically, he characterised himself as an independent conservative. He was moderate but wanted to implement changes in the organisation.

Saloila studied while working and passed the matriculation exam in 1934, achieved a degree in law in 1936, and a postgraduate degree in 1943. Saloila was also actively involved in trade unions. He was Editor-in-Chief at Postitorvi magazine, Chairman of Suomen Postiyhdistys (Finland's Post Association) as well as a member and vice-chairman of the Board of Directors at Virkamiesliitto (the Civil Service Association).

Postal History in Finland

  • In 1964, households sent 33% of letters, but at the end of the 1980s this figure had dropped to 10%.
  • The 1970s were an era of great changes. The focus was on rationalisation and efficiency.
  • The planning process for Pasila distribution centre began in 1965. A decision on its location was made in 1971.
  • A five-digit postcode system was introduced in the Helsinki region in 1965 and in other parts of the country in 1971. A countrywide sorting centre system was implemented in stages during the 1970s.
  • Bicycles designed for deliveries introduced in 1965.
  • Distribution by car started when the first right-hand drive delivery vans arrived in 1970.
  • Postal Services vans introduced in 1972 to replace post offices and post office buses.
  • Mail distribution trolleys introduced in 1973.
  • Deliveries made five days a week throughout the country in 1974.
  • A shortage of labour in the Helsinki region in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • 1,127 million items delivered in 1965 (51.2 million official items, 668.5 million newspapers).
  • The number of international deliveries continued to grow: 79.4 million in 1965 and 95.6 million in 1970.
  • 4,647 postal outlets in 1965, 894 of which were post offices. There were 91 mobile post offices (carriages).
  • 4,220 postal outlets in 1975, 959 of which were post offices. Mobile post offices: 19 carriages and 30 postal services vans.
  • Staff: 37,517 in 1965, 41,569 in 1970 and 46,156 in 1975.




  • The society changed as a result of rural-urban migration.
  • The first Lotto draw in 1971.
  • Lasse Virén won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres events at the Munich Olympics in 1972, and renewed his victories in Montreal in 1976.
  • A bank strike closed all banks except Postipankki for two weeks in 1973.
  • The first Uuno Turhapuro film premiered in 1973.
  • The first refugees arrived in Finland from Chile in 1973.
  • The Finnish government launched an energy conservation campaign in 1974. Particular areas of conservation were heating, use of electricity and transport.
  • Automatic telephone communication available between Finland, the Nordic countries and West Germany in 1974.
  • The Hurriganes' song "Get on" won the European Pop Jury competition in 1974.
  • The Road Traffic Act 1975. Wearing seat belts became compulsory for the front seats of a car (for rear seats in 1987), and wearing helmets became compulsory for motorcyclists and their passengers.
  • Miss Finland, Anne Pohtamo, crowned Miss Universe in 1975.
  • The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) held in Helsinki in 1975.
  • President of Finland: U.K .Kekkonen (Agrarian Party) 1956–82.
  • Population 4.7 million in 1975.

Global Events

  • The Beatles' first single released in 1962.
  • US President John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas in 1963.
  • Leonid Brezhnev became the Soviet leader in 1964.
  • The American company Bowmar launched the first pocket calculator in 1971.
  • Elvis Presley performed in a concert in Hawaii, watched live by more than 1.5 billion people in 1973. The first concert in the world that was broadcast around the world via satellite.
  • The energy crisis in 1973: the rapid rise of oil prices increased the cost of road transport.
  • The Swedish band ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with their song "Waterloo" in Brighton in 1974.
  • Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer in 1976.
  • A small company called Microsoft was registered in New Mexico in 1976.