Showing posts with label Reisonas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reisonas. Show all posts

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 

Monday, 11 November 2013

National Student gathering, adelaide 1958

Australijos Lietuvių Studentų Sąjunga (ALSS)Australian Lithuanian Student Association (ALSS) 

III National gathering, Adelaide 1958

On the first day, all participants met at Lithuanian House.  At the opening were present, 10 students from Sydney, 4 from Canberra, 4 from Melbourne and about 30 from Adelaide.  ALSS President T. Žurauskas stated the purpose of the gathering.  He said that of the 100 students in the ALSS, 17 had finished University in Australia.  People were studying at Adelaide, Armidale, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth and Sydney. 

Well known Adelaide author, Pulgis Andriušis gave a reading. He explored ideas and the importance of the students place in an English world.  This was followed by a meal and time to socialise.

The second day was spent relaxing at Sellicks Beach, and then a tour of Adelaide.  The evening was spent as guests at Girukas house.  The third day before lunch was spent taking in the sights of the art and history precinct on North Terrace in the city.  They visited the Adelaide University, Art Gallery and Museum.  Following lunch was the formal part of the meetings. They discussed all sorts of issues.  It was decided the following national gathering would be held in Canberra.

The final evening was spent at the Reisonas’ home.


Extracted from ‘Studijuojant Australijoj, ALSS 1952-1967

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Juozas Bačiunas Library


A library was established not long after the Lithuanian House was purchased in Eastry street.  It began with an old cupboard filled with donated books.

On 30 December 1962, the Library was officially opened by Juozas Bačiunas, President of the World Lithuanian Society, visiting from America.  Bačiunas was honoured by officially having his name bestowed to the Library and cutting a Lithuanian sash.

The Library workers appealed to the community for further donation, and Bačiunas sent several parcels of books from America.  The ALB Adelaide Community Society donated 50 books, and later would donate books in the memory of deceased community members.
After a short time the Library had over 1000 catalogued books.

The Library expanded its purpose by selling books, music, Lithuanian folk art and jewellery.  Visiting authors and book launches were supported by the Library.


In 1990, the Library held 3,800 books, subscribed to 18 newspapers and journals and had 121 borrowers.  

After 51 years the Library is closing, with only two borrowers and tired staff it is a logical decision.   Having said this it will open again, not as the Library we knew it as but a place that will hopefully have more benefit to the community at this time.  More to come. 

Library workers
Bronius Straukas 1957
Mečislovas Urbonas 17 August 1963
Elena Reisonienė 21 January 1967
Kostas Pocius 1 January 1981
Nata Alvikienė Sept 1985 – still there in 1992
Renata Urmonienė 11 April 1999 – 30 June 2013 
Marytė Neverauskienė 1973 – 2013 (40 years)
V. Vitkunienė 1985 - 1999
J. Kutkienė 1967 - 1982
Brone Lapsienė there in 1992
Ona Baužienė there in 1992

Stefanija Rudzenskienė 1967 - ?
Katryna Garbalauskienė 1967 - 1980
Laisve Daugalienė 1985 - 1999
Dana Pretty 1999 - 2013
Albina Gudelienė 1999 - 2013














Sunday, 12 May 2013

76 men worked 2706 hours

76 vyrai isdirbo 2706 valandas
76 men worked 2706 hours

In the year 1961, men and women donated their time to build Lithuanian House.  They worked 2706 hours, equivalent to 339 work days.  The men were fed by the Women's committee consisting of 18 women.  

Special mention for Architect Karolis Reisonas who never missed a working bee.  He not only organised the group but also worked side by side the other men.   The other special mention goes to V. Petkunas whose directs all his energy into Lithuanian House and motivates others.

Adelaides Lietuviu Zinios 
15.III. 1962  

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Memorial to the fallen


Paminklas “Žuvusiems už Lietuva”

Minint Lietuvos kariuomenės atkurimo 50-ties metų sukaktį, Liet Sajungos sodelyje, Adelaidėje, buvo pastatytas paminklas “Žuvusiems už Lietuva” prisiminti. Paminklo bareljiefą sukūrė ir isliejo sculpturė I. Pocienė. Paminklo statybos darbus vadovaujant inž arch K. Reisonui, atliko ramovėnai.

Paminklas buvo atidengtas 1968m laprkričio men 24. Po paminklo tituliniu akmeniu yra įmuryta paminklo Pašventinimo aktas, sauja Lietuvos zemės ir Nepriklausomos Lietuvos monetos.

Memorial to the fallen

At the rear of Lithuanian House in Adelaide stands a memorial that commemorates the 50-year anniversary of Lithuania regaining independence in 1918.  The memorial was built to commemorate those who died for Lithuania.  The sculpture was designed and made by local artist Ieva Pocienė. 

A woman, holds a dying or dead man in her arms.  The woman wears a wimple favoured by married women, maybe the man is her son or husband who has fought for Lithuania’s freedom.  It bears resemblance to Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ . This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. 

The memorials construction was supervised by Architect K. Reisonas and constructed by Ramovė members.

The monument was unveiled on 24 November 1968.  A cover of rocks surrounds the memorial which is imbedded with a handful of soil from Lithuania and coins from independent Lithuania. 

A small brass Vytis (knight) is placed at the top of the sculpture, followed by a metal cross in Lithuanian style.  The pillars of Gediminas 
(Gediminio stulpai)  are one of the earliest symbols of Lithuania and one of its historical coats of arms. During the period between World War I and World War II they were used by the Lithuanian Republic as a minor state symbol, e. g. on Litas coins and military equipment.  On the other sign is another Lithuanian symbol the roundel.

A wooden Lithuanian style cross has been erected near the moment, two flag poles stand behind where on commemorative occasions flags are raised and wreaths are laid at the memorial base.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Building Lithuanian House

Once the community had purchased the old church in Eastry street, they went about organising renovations. There were three stages of renovations. First was the construction of four rooms, partly done by contractors, finished in September 1960. Stage two was the construction of a library, toilets and amenities, and kitchen. Completed at the end of 1962. Third stage, extension of hall, construction of museum, stage and change rooms at the rear of the stage. All renovations were overseen by engineer Karolis Reisonas.

In 1961 to construct the front of Lithuanian House, required approximately 300 bricks, each one costing 2 shillings. A scheme was created that if you purchased a brick your received a numbered badge which had on it ALN brick. In 1966 further renovations took place to enlarge the stage and construct the museum and archives. All that remains of the original church is the roof.

76 men worked 2706 hours in 1962 about the Lithuanian House, the women’s committee of 18 women worked 851 hours.

The American Lithuanian Community donated £200 so the community could organize a library. The library was named after Juozas Bačiunas. He arrived in Chicago USA in 1897, with his parents. He was heavily involved in the Lithuanian Community and in 1963 elected as President of the World Lithuanian Association. He published many books on Lithuania, include the SA publication “Blizdingėlės prie Torenzo”.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Lithuanian House (Lietuvių Namai)


An old church property was purchased by the community. The Lithuanian Society’s President Vaclovas Reisonas and Architect Karolis Reisonas began planning renovations. Four rooms were added to the north of the hall and after a few years a vestibule, kitchen, library and toilets were added. In 1966 further renovations took place to enlarge the stage and construct the museum and archives. All that remains of the original church is the roof.

In 1960 a house was also purchased at 10 Eastry Street, Norwood, next door to the church, where a basketball court was built and a shed constructed. In 1972 another house at 16 Gray st (around the corner) was purchased where the rear yard was used for a carpark.

In 1973 Architect Eugenijus Kalibitas was contracted to design a modern bar and club rooms where billiards could be played. A women’s room, office and Lithuanian radio programme studio was also constructed.