Sunday, 28 September 2014

Adelaide Lithuanian Amateur Photo Club

Adelaidės Lietuvių foto mėgėjų klubo
Adelaide Lithuanian Amateur Photo Club

Several Adelaide Lithuanians with an interest in photography got together and established an amateur photo club.  The aim was to help each other perfect their work.  At the first meeting on 18 October 1959, which was held at Vytautas Vosylius flat in Mile End the group produced its guidelines.
A Krausas viewing the exhibition in 1968

The first president was Vytautas Vosylius and the secretary Petras Snarskis.   The document was also signed by Kazys Požera,  Alfonsas Budrys,  Pranas Šatkus and Juozas Vebrys.

The Photo club organised several exhibitions in Adelaide and also during the Australian Lithuanian Festival Days as part of the Art exhibition.  They usually received over 50 works and in the 1968 exhibition had 95 on display.  The categories included Black and white, colour, portraits and landscapes.

Not surprisingly members Alfonsas Budrys and Vytautas Vosylius did exceedingly well in the competitions.  Both were active in Australian amateur photographic clubs as well.


The group was active until 1970.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Weekend school and me

Attending Lithuanian schools on weekends included many things I did not like, mainly dictation and grammar.  I enjoyed the history, the dancing and singing and of course playing with your friends.  On occasion we were asked to write in Lithuanian about a particular topic.  Mine always came back covered in red ink and would use a much simpler language than I could speak. It included alot of repetitive words as that filled up lots of space.   If we were allowed to do this at home, it really was my parents work. 

Homework was usually left to the Saturday morning when there was a rush to get it done and ready for school.  

Below are some examples of essays, unfortunately I don't know who wrote them or what year, but it was before 1980.  They are very loosely translated.


Weekend school and me
I rise at 8:00am and prepare for school.  10:00am the bell rings and we go to class. We say prayers and start work. We sing and dance. At 12:00pm we go to lunch.  The teachers go to eat in another room.  We play a little and then return to class.  Sometimes with Mrs Mazelis and other girls we do some weaving. The other children who do not weave go to watch films about Lithuania. 






 Every Saturday we leave home at 9:00am to go to Lithuanian House.  We gather in the Library where our class is. One week we have history, the other Lithuanian grammar and language.  Every second week we have dancing and weekly signing. The last week of the month, we weave.

This school has 8 year levels, five classes and kindergarten. It is now easier for me to write letters and talk about history. English school it is easy to do projects about Lithuania as I have learnt alot.  I like Lithuanian school very much.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Adelaide and Lithuania, closer than you think

While in Lithuania I was very excited to find several links with Adelaide. The first time was in Siauliai visiting the Rūta chocolate Museum.  In 1913, Antanas Gricevičius established Rūta, a tiny sweet workshop. As foreigners owned most of the companies in Lithuania at that time, Mr Gricevičius called the shop, Rūta, after a plant found in Lithuania (Rue), in a bid to highlight its national character.

Rūta gradually established a reputation for itself and, by the 1930s, the factory had more than 100 employees and produced around 300 different types of chocolate. In 1929, Mr Gricevičius built a new factory with shop premises to the design of the famous architect, Kārlis Reisons. Since 2012, the building has been a museum.  

The above mentioned architect is actually Karolis Reisonas, who ended up living in Adelaide and was instrumental in refurbishing the current Adelaide Lithuanian House. 

Further into the Museum, there was a display on the Rūta chocolate boxes over the years. I was rather bewildered to see a familiar one.  The tin with Darius and Girenas on it is used in the Adelaide Lithuanian Museum to keep the keys to the display cabinets in.  The tin was produced in the 1930's.  I now look at it with different eyes, and wonder if it was donated by Reisonas?

In Kaunas, I met a friend who works in the Vytautas Magnus University.  She took me to see her work place. As it was holidays there were few people around, but I did get to meet a staff member working on the Adamkus archives.  Former president of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus has donated many personal items which will be kept at the University and hopefully one day become a museum.  Amongst the items was this plate presented to Adamkus when he came to Adelaide with the American Lithuanian basketball team in 1964.  It's hand made and painted with the places and dates visited.





On my last day in Vilnius, I went to visit the Museum of Genocide Victims (KGB Museum).  Under Soviet occupation mail from outside the Union was closely scrutinised.  One display showed publications issued abroad which had been confiscated by the sensors.  To my surprise it was a program from the Australian Lithuanian Days held in Adelaide in 1962.

I was never far away from home. 


Museum of Genocide Victims http://genocid.lt/muziejus/en/  
Ruta Chocolate Museum   http://www.sokoladomuziejus.lt/en/exposition/chocolate-in-ruta/ 
Adamkus Archives Library http://adamkuslibrary.lt/biblioteka/?lang=en