Monday, 29 August 2011

Lithuanian School part II

On 29th June 1954 the school moved to St Cecilia’s in Angas Street where they remained until 1957. At that time they moved to the newly purchased premises at Eastry st, Norwood which was to become the Lithuanian House. The Club house suited the school needs perfectly, the school could use three rooms, two large one small and had access to the hall and stage. Kitchen facilities were soon available which made it easier to prepare food for the students and teachers.

The school term followed Australian school terms, beginning in February and ending with the Christmas breakup in December. The school ran from 10 am till 12pm with a short break. During the break food is served by the Women’s committee. Children would receive a small snack and drink, while the teachers received a cup of tea and sandwiches.

The school was able to organize a children’s library. The library began through the donation of books by Mr and Mrs Velicka and Vildžius. Donations of further books were received from other community members and from Mr Bačiunas in America, President of World Lithuanians at that time.

From 1953 a Parents committee was established whose role was to assist the school, amongst the duties were to find new teachers. They organised literature evenings, lotteries to raise money as they provided each child with a gift at Christmas time.

In 1953 and1954 a summer camp was held for the students, at Aldinga from 15 to 30 January.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Behind some men are Lithuanian women!

Researching Lithuanians in South Australia has revealed some surprising finds. Its not secret stuff but because I didn't know I found it surprising. Several well known South Australian men married Lithuanian women. I speak of Rod Sawford's (Labor MP) wife Aldona, Silvio Apponyi's (sculptor) wife Natalija, and Jurate wife of famous Hilton Hotel chef Cheong Liew. I am sure there are many more I have yet to discover.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Memories too much at age 20

Not all new migrants could leave their past behind in Europe, as this tragic story details.

New Australian Found Shot
YORKETOWN, Dec. 27.

Juozas Abaravicius, a Lithuanian, was found with gun shot wounds in his head and a rifle between his legs at the back door of a guest house at Stenhouse Bay. at 5 pm. on Christmas Day. He died in the Southern Yorke Peninsula Hospital at 630 pm. yesterday. Abaravicius arrived in Australia in 1948 and joined the Waratah Gypsum Co. early this year. He had spent some time in a German concentration camp during the war. The Coroner (Mr. E. Lloyd) deemed an inquest unnecessary.

The Advertiser Wednesday 28 December 1949

MEMORIES TOO MUCH AT 20

ADELAIDE, Saturday.-Friends of Juozas Abaravicius, 20, of Stenhouse, South Australia, said to-day that they believed his suicide on Christmas Day was prompted by memories of Christmas, 1944.

Abaravicius was the only survivor of 32 Lithuanian prisoners shot by Nazis on December 25, five years ago.

Last Christmas Day he played all the records of carols he could find in the boarding-house where he lived in Stenhouse Bay.

He said to his landlady, "I've never felt so terrible in my life."

Then he shot himself with a .303 ride. As he was dying, he whispered in Lithuanian the Christmas songs of his boyhood.

The Sunday Herald Sunday 1 January 1950