Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Farewell picnic for Father Jatulis

Picnic at Christies Beach

On a Sunday afternoon on the 25 August 1957,over 400 Lithuanians gathered at the Caritas property at Christies Beach for its first picnic and blessing of the house. Mass was said by Father Jatulis whose sermon emphasised a common house, common work. The choir, Lituania even came and sung. 
Not sure if this photo is of the actual event described but it was taken at Christies Beach

After mass, tables were set up, placed in rows and the Women’s committee brought out the home made, lovingly prepared food.  The occasion also served as a farewell to priest Paulius Jatulis who had been summoned by the church to go to Italy. 

Speeches were spoken every head present, from by ALB President, Stasys Čibiras, Theatre group head, Juozas Gusčius, Youth group leader Juozas Lapšys, Lithuanian Society President, J. Raginis, Scout Leader Vytas Neverauskas, Sports President J. Jaunutis and Ateininkai head, A. Kubilius. Instead of a farewell gift, the community gathered over £100 for Jatulis for his new path in life.  All present sand Ilgiausiu metų (Longest Years, sung on any special occasion) followed by more singing and joking before those present made the long journey back to Adelaide.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Australian Lithuanian Student Assembly 1958

The third Australian Lithuanian Student Assembly was held in Adelaide in December 1958.  It opened on December 27th by T. Žurauskas.  Present was Pulgis Andriušis, Kristina Česnaitė (Melbourne), V. Martišius (Canberra) and I. Venclovas (Sydney), Secretary Daina Maželytė (Adelaide).

Žurauskas in his address stated that in 1958 in all of Australia and New Zealand over 100 Lithuanians were studying at University level.  In 1957 13 students finished, Sydney 5, Melbourne 5 and Adelaide 3.
Pulgis Andriušis took the stage and gave an interesting reading about ideas and values in life and its place in the English world.   The first day finished with singing of the Lithuanian National Anthem, followed by dinner and fellowship.

The 28th featured an outing to the beach where several hours of swimming and games was allowed.  In the evening participants gathered at the Giruckus home at Richmond.
The following day, there was an outing to the Art Gallery, Museum and other cultural institutions.  At 3:00pm the delegates regathered at Lithuanian House to continue discussions. That evening the Reisonas home was open.

In all, 19 students from around Australia assembled and 25 from Adelaide. J. Mikužis, dr E.  Petrikaitė, Dr N. Šurnaitė, Dr V. Aleksandravičienė, and Aldona Navakienė spoke.  
December 30 and 31 was left open to visit friends while others organised a trip to the Barossa Valley.

New Year’s Eve was celebrated with a ball organised by the Adelaide Community.

The following year the Student gathering would be held in Canberra.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Adelaide Lithuanian News 10 years: 1970

Adelaidės Lietuvių Žinios 10 metų
Adelaide Lithuanian News 10 years: 1970

Now in its 46 year, the Adelaide Lithuanian News has always been the voice of the local community.  The newspaper was published as a combined effort by the Adelaide Lithuanian Union Committee and Adelaide Lithuanian Community Committee.  The first edition specified the need for broad, correct and on time information.  The newspaper was open to all groups of Lithuanian interest.
After ten years 240 newsletters had been written, printed, folder and posted. The newspaper united all Lithuanians with articles on Lithuanian history and interest, local gossip, birth, death and marriages and upcoming events. 
It was a time to thank the writers, editors, publishers who all volunteered their time to make it to this milestone.

The first ALŽ editor was Vladas Radzevičius who held this position from July 1960 to January 1963. Vladas was a journalist and wrote for numerous Lithuanian newspapers in Australia and America.  During that time, he published 61 editions. The second editor, Jurgis Arminas held this position from January 1963 to June 1967.  Antanas Serelis followed until December 1967. He was followed by Odete Stimburienė, until March 1970.

An Editor would spend many hours preparing each fortnight edition.  Usually there was eight pages but sometimes 12-16. That equates to 2400 pages in ten years.
Newspaper administration was undertaken by Juozas Lapšys (1 July 1960) then Juozas Gylys and Stasys Dunda (1 Jan 1963 – 1 June 1968). This position also required a large investment of time.  One needed to address each envelope and print 500 newspapers.
The newspaper was assisted by Paulina Gavelienė, Nadezda Varnauskienė, Kataryna Garbaliauskienė, Elena Reisonienė Povilas Kanas, Marija Navakienė. Amalija Pyragienė, Kutkienė.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Šaruno Marciulionio Basketball Academy

Basketball to a Lithuanian is known as the second religion.  Australian Lithuanians also embraced the love of this sport, so much so that when a youth basketball team from Šaruno Marciulionio Basketball Academy came to Australia in 1990 it was a big deal. 

A boy’s youth team arrived in Adelaide on 11 March with their sponsors and Zita Mačiulionyte, Šarunas’ sister.  They arrived to Adelaide heat, maybe not hot for those who grew up here but coming from Lithuania the 35 degrees would have been felt.  Aged between 16-18 years the team played several games in Adelaide against the SA Sports Institute.  The first game was won by the Lithuanians by 4 points, 71-67. The second game held on the 13th at Seymour College which they won, 90-79.  The third and final game began poorly for the Lithuanians, being 14 points behind before they scored.  They pulled together and again managed to win 78-69.  The Lithuanians played a friendly match against Adelaide Vytis again winning.  Following the game, the players returned to Lithuanian house for a meal and camaraderie with the Adelaide community members.
On the 15th, Adelaide bid goodbye to the team as they caught a bus to Sydney. 
I can remember the tshirts and pendants given out by the players, orange and black featuring an eagle. Like the one below for the Academy’s opening in Vilnius.  The Academy is still running.

Š. Marčiulionis is one of the best Lithuanian basketball players of all time. He was a first player to go to the NBA from the Soviet Union, and one of the first European players to enter the NBA. Šarūnas is a cavalier of the 1st, 3rd and 4th Order of Vytautas the Great, and Order of the Badge of Honour.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Kaminskas poet from Kaunas

Kazys Kaminskas amongst other things was a poet.  He married and raised a family in Adelaide after arriving heer after WWII.  His poetry was often printed in the Adelaide Catholic newsletter.

Forced to leave one’s homeland would have broken many hearts and ending up under a foreign land, different language, culture, landscape was too different for some. His poems often mentioned his beloved homeland, his childhood memories of growing up near the banks of the river Nemunas and his parents.  His book is titled ‘Po svetimu dangum’ ‘Under foreign skies’ published in Adelaide in 1981. 
Tėvynėje liko lyg sapnas praeitis:
Jau pradingo jaunystės dienos ir laimė,
Beliko tik svajoniu žiedai,
O mano gimtąjį kaimą
Aplanko tik ilgesio sapnai.

As fate unfolded, he actually passed away in Lithuania, fortunate to see his beloved homeland free once again. He once wrote in a poem about death, ‘Mano kūno pelenis svetiname krašte’ (my ashes will be in a foreign land).  I think he would be happy they weren't.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Clothes and Shoes to Germany

In 1954, the Adelaide Lithuanian community was still sending clothes and shoes back to Germany.  Destined for Father Vaclovas Šarka in Hamburg, the boxes were to be distributed to Lithuanians residing in Germany, but who do not reside in cities and do not receive BALF packages (United Lithuanian Relief Fund of America (Bendras Amerikos Lietuvių Fondas A Šalpos)  (BALFAS).  These Lithuanians often live far from the larger Lithuanian communities in DP camps and are hard to reach and sometimes forgotten.

Father Šarka wrote to the community thanking them for their generous contribution and that material from Australia lessens their need and strengthen their spirit.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Literature Afternoons

First Adelaide Literature evening was held on the 30th May 1954 in the Catholic Cathedral hall in Wakefield Street.

The session were conducted by Pulgis Andriušis, Pranas Pušdešris, Leonas Pakalnis from work that had not been published before.
The first half featured serious reading from B. Brazdžionis poetry.  The second half was a selection of humourist readings.  A  pianist, M. Martinkienė provided some musical interlude.  It was organised by the Lietuvių Mokyklos Tevių Komitetas (Lithuanian School Parents Committee).

After this, weekly literature afternoons were held, organised by the ALB on Sundays after lunch.  It featured readings, discussions and a musical hour.   These were held in St Joseph’s church hall.
Topics included a talk by Antanas Rukštelė on Lithuanian press and the path to independence.  Jonas Lapšys gave a talk on Lithuanian shipping, Stasys Čibiras spoke on leased property acquisition in Australia, Dr Šešokas spoke on consumption and its treatment.  Father Jatulis spoke about the Australian Aborigines.