Monday, 30 March 2009

February 16, 1949

Lithuania’s Independence day on February 16th 1949 was celebrated in the Indian Ocean. A group of Lithuanians onboard the Nea Hellas organized themselves into preparing a festival for the occasion. On the morning of February 16th mass was held in the hall, near a prepared Lithuanian flag, crosses and a picture of Aušros Vartai (Gates of Dawn). Mass was conducted by a Ukrainian priest from the Greek Orthodox faith. Throughout the service Lithuanian hymns were sung. 

The main commemoration was held on the Sunday. On that day at 9pm by a decorate flag, gathered the leaders of the ethnic groups, soldiers, sailors and the ships crew. The opening words in Lithuanian, German and English were spoken by Aleksandras Stulpinas. The Lithuanian and Greek national anthem was sung ,after which salutations were heard from the Latvian, Estonian, Polish, Ukrainian, Yugoslavian, and Hungarian delegates. The Latvians in particular gave a very moving greeting and an octet sang a Latvian song about Lithuania. Mr Mickevičius lead the men’s choir and Mrs Ivoškienė and Mrs Milaknienė led the children’s national dancing group. Genovaitė Vasiliauskienė sang four solo Lithuanian songs. 

 The captain who had attended the celebrations was presented with a Lithuanian flag and spoke in English. The ships newsletter had printed in English a memorable write-up of the day which all passengers received. On the Monday 21st an extra edition of the News Bulletin was printed in Greek and Lithuanian. Albinas Pocius wrote the Lithuanian version. The transport had 174 Lithuanians who arrived in Bonegilla from Melbourne on the 24 February.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Adelaide Lithuanian Dancing group

Brone Lapsys was leader of the National Dancing group in Adelaide for many years. The group formed in 1953 from students attending the Saturday Lithuanian school. The group would perform at Lithuanian concerts, Australian festivals and occasionally on t.v.

In 1964 for the Australian Lithuanian festival in Melbourne there were 30 dancers, with the groups accordion players, Julija and Rima Germanis.

Female dancers
V Brazauskas
L Daugalis
M Danisevičius
M Keršyte
Emilija Matiukas
V Mikeliūnas
R Pacevičius
I Pečiulis
Elzbieta Pocius
Rūta Pimpė
L Radzevičius
M Šiukšteris
V Vasilauskas

Male dancers
E Brazauskas
A Jonavičius
Rimas Daugalis
Jonas Morkūnas
P Kanas
V Maželis
Jonas Mikužis
Eugene Pocius
Gintaras Pimpė
A Radzevičius
A Stepanas
G Šimkus
Vytas Staukas
A Vasiliauskas
Algis Zamoiskis

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Lithuanian Catholic Church

Sventadienio Balsas (Sunday Voice) the newsletter of the Adelaide Lithuanian Catholic community first edition was released 29 March 1953. It was written by Father P Jatulis who resided at the Archbishops House West Terrace.

The two page newspaper contained articles on the Catholic faith on the first page followed by news about the community life, sports, events.

The paper contains information on baptisms, marriages and deaths. The deaths would usually give information on how they died, the next of kin, children, where buried.

Before a church was purchased for the community, Father Jatulis would give mass in numerous places, Royal park, Albert Park, Woodville Gardens, Lobethal. Every few months Father Jatulis would travel to Mt Gambier.

By 1953 there had been in the Adelaide Lithuanian Catholic community
26 christenings (12 boys, 14 girls)
11 marriages (6 with other nationalities)
3 deaths all men SB 1/54

In May 1954 it was announced that the community had a Lithuanian hymn book featuring 60 hymns in 160 pages. Churches were Lithuanian mass was held would have a certain number of reserved hymn books but you were able to purchase you own copy from Father Jatulis.