Sunday, 26 August 2012

Adelaide Lithuanian Radio Program


In 1975 the Adelaide University radio station 5UV invited ethnic groups to present programs. You were able to listen to Dutch, German and Latvian.  Vytautas Neverauskas, President of the community at that time thought it would be wonderful to hear the Lithuanian language on radio.  He approached  Viktoras Baltutis, Secretary of the community to contact the radio station where he was promised a weekly half hour slot.  A committee was formed consisting of Algis Grigonis (technician), Jurgis Jonavicius, Jonas Neverauskas, Genovaitė Vasiliauskienė and Viktoras Baltutis. Algis Grigonis worked at the ABC as a radio technician, whose assistance was vital to the success of the program. 

On March 13, 1977 the first progam was produced.  The community still had no equipment and at first used the studio at the Ukrainian house.  Algis contacted the Australian Lithuanian Federal Council for finance to purchase equipment.  $2000 was required, more than the committee had, so finances from Lithuanian Freedom society was borrowed.  The Adelaide Community converted the small room behind the stage at Lithuanian house into a studio.  It wasn’t hard to fill in half an hour as many of the community groups were keen to be participate.  It didn’t take long to repay the loan.

In 1979, the Adelaide Ethnic Broadcasters Incorporated (EBI) was formed out of the Adelaide University 5UV station and  given their own frequency.   It started to broadcast ethnic programs firstly in Dutch and Italian.  All previous foreign language broadcasts had been on commercial stations.  The Adelaide Lithuanian Radio committee approached EBI to extend their broadcasting time to one hour slot each fortnight, which they were granted.  

Viktoras Baltutis managed the radio program for six years.  He would plan the program, write small plays and invite others to participate.  Jurgis Jonavicius, Genovaitė Vasiliauskienė, Jonas Neverauskas, Elena Varnienė, and the Adelaide Youth organised by Jonas Mockūnas and Paulius Dunda. 

News and other announcements were read by Genovaitė Vasiliauskiienė, Odeta Stimburienė, Marytė Neverauskienė, Elena Lomsargienė, Viktoras Ratkevicius, Bronius Rainys and Augis Zamoiskis.  Algis Grigonis assisted with the radio until he passed away.  Stepas Guščia , Augis Zamoiskis, Jonas Rupinskas and Danutė Grigonytė assisted over the years.

The main aim was to broadcast news about the world and Australian Lithuanian life. Occasional speakers included Father Spurgis and Juozas Petraitis.  Special guests have included Simas Kudirka, Vytautas Kamantas (World Lithunain President) Dr Kazys Bobelis (surgeon, Honorary Chairman of the American Lithuanian Council and President of the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania), soloists G Čapkauskienė and R Daunoras.

In 1983, the radio program was organised by Leonas Gerulaitis, assisted by Janina Vabolienė. Robert Sabeckis, Vita Bardauskaitė, Saulius Varnas, Pranas Pusdešris, Bronius Straukas, Antanina Guciuvience have been involved over the years.

The community still broadcast the one hour program, weekly on Saturdays at 9:00am on 5EBI 103.1FM.

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