Sunday, 15 December 2013

Mt Gambier LIthuanians

I have written a post on Mt Gambier Lithuanians before.  Here is more.


By 1953 there were 12 Lithuanian families and eleven single men living in the town.  Several Lithuanians owned their own businesses, including a furniture shop, a restaurant and a sawmill.  A Lithuanian folk dancing troupe led by A. Janušaitiene and her three adult children.  Mt Gambier did not officially form any Elderate.  After 1960 had no formal interaction with the Federal Executive of the Australian Lithuanian community.
(Australian Lithuanians by Popenhagen)

I have managed to identify 21 names, consisting of families and single men who lived for some time or longer in Mt Gambier.

Many who went, worked in the area as part of their 2 year government contract, some stayed on and made their life their.  Most worked in the forestry area at first.  Some 3000 people live and work among the forests of exotic pine trees and associated mills.  Government owned sawmills at Nangwarry and Mt Burr in the Penola forest.

Lithuanian born Martin Bendikas, 30, about to plant a row of year-old pinaster pines in a nursery at Penola Forest. He has been in Australia for eight years, has applied for naturalisation. August 1958 PRINCIPAL CREDIT: photographer Don Edwards  National Archives of Australia
ABROMAITIS
BENDIKAS
BOGUŠIS
BZESKIS 
DAUGALIS 
GEDUTIS
GYLYS 
JAKIMAVIČIUS 
Matulis
Stanevicius 
JACIUNSKAS
JANUSAITIS
KALINA
KRIKSČIUNAS 
LAURINAITIS
MAČIUNAS
PECIUKAITIS 
STASKEVICIUS 
STADOLIUKAS
VELAITIS
ZABIELA 
ZIGAITIS 

At least nine of these men or families settled in the area.  Bzekis had a motor upholstery business in Mt Gambier, Zabiela had his own wood cutting business.

If anyone knows more about these families I would love to hear from you.

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