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”.

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