Friday, 18 January 2013

Freed Lithuanians' idea of the Future

Freed Lithuanians' ideas of the future

Security and the unimpeded pursuit of happiness are the fervent wishes of four new Australians in Adelaide, who recently completed their two-year contract with the Commonwealth Government and are now 'free to go where they please, and when'.
The four men, all Lithuanians and single, came to Australia with the first batch of DPs from Germany in November, 1947.  Their contract was shortened by two months.  To capture those elusive entities, security and happiness, they intend now to — 
  • Master the English language.
  • Get the best job possible.
  • Save a lot of money and buy a home.
  • Marry an Australian girl and have a family.
All are eager to become naturalised Australian citizens and clip the 'new' from 'new Australian.' They like Australia, say they have been 'as happy as possible in the circumstances.'

Wants to study law
These are the men and their stories: —
Stasys Cibiras, 26, has been a laborer since coming to Australia. He is now an orderly at Daws Road Repatriation Hospital.   Standing 6 ft. in his socks, broad-shouldered, blue eyed, Stasys intends remaining an orderly 'for a little while longer.' Later he would like to enter the University to study law.  He was a student in Lithuania when the Germans sent him to work as a laborer in Germany. Back in Lithuania are his parents, six brothers and a sister.  He has not heard of them since 1944.  He is afraid to write because, for his people, 'a letter from abroad is a ticket to Siberia.' 

Prefers bookkeeping
Pranas Duoba, 39, a book keeper in Lithuania before the war, worked for the SA Railways for over a year.  Now he is employed by an automobile factory and does not intend leaving it 'for a while.' Pranas is tall and well built, has one great difficulty — the English language.  He realises that until he has mastered it he can do little toward improving his present position, and he intends doing something about it.  One day he wants to return to bookkeeping and then, when his house is in order, marry.  He thinks Australia is the me rood country in the world for raising children. Pranas' family is still in Lithuania.  There has been a silence for five years.

Vincentas Derencius, 24, small and pleasant, wants to be a mechanic or an electrician.  For 15 months he was a laborer with the Forestry Department.  Now he works at an Adelaide automobile factory.  He hopes later to go to Melbourne where he has friends.  He was a student when taken by the Germans.  His father, a Lithuanian farmer, his mother, two brothers and a sister, are in a DP camp in Germany.  For a year he has been trying hard to get them to Australia.  Vincentas likes Australia and Australians, though he admits the whisper 'Balt' has hurt him many times.  He is the owner of a motor cycle and other property for which he has saved conscientiously.  

Has marriage in view
Kleopas Daulenskis, 34, former blacksmith and farmer, weighs 15 stone.  He says he is glad his contract has finished, but does not intend to make any radical changes in his surroundings.  He has blue eyes, a wide, open face, and fists like hams.  For the past 20 months he has been employed as a laborer on the SA Railways.  A keen organiser, Kleopas has already bought a block of land in Adelaide.  Next he wants to build a house; then he hopes to get married.  He has not decided what his future work will be, but he has ideas.  He thinks Australians are 'very nice people with very big hearts,' and is proud of the friends he has among them.  He, too, left his family be hind in Lithuania. He has not heard of them since, wonders if they are still alive.

The Mail 

Saturday 15 October 1949

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