Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Independence Day 1949

The first Lithuanian Independence day commemorated in Adelaide was held on the 19th of February, 1949. It was held at the St Ksavero Cathedral, where a mass was given by Father Reardon. An eleven man choir led by organist A Giniotis sang Lithuanian hymns.

The commemorations moved to the Cathedral hall where A. Šliužas spoke in English about Lithuania to their Australian guests. Further performances by violinist Pranas Matiukas and singer P. Rutenis were performed as well as three dances by the National Folk Dancing group. Accordionist V. Čepauskas performed and J. Pareigis conducted the men’s choir singing four folk songs.

For many Australians this may have been the first time they experienced aspects of Lithuanian culture and after this event many more followed. Matiukas and Rutenis were asked to perform on radio, the dancing group began receiving invitations to perform at concerts, in hospitals and many different organizations.

Metrastis I (Australian Lithuanian Year Book)

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