Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Just over 60 years ago, the Adelaide Lithuanian school began. Father P Jatulis initiated the weekend school on November 27th 1949 by inviting former teachers and parents to form a weekend school at St Joseph’s church. The school opened on December 3rd 1949 with 21 students. The students were divided into two groups from 9-12pm with seven teachers. The church was not ideal as the tables were too high for students. Each child was given a hard piece of board on which to rest their work on.

In 1954 the school was reorganized to come under the Lithuanian Cultural Australian Fund and was renamed Lithuanian Weekend School. It was hard at first as many parents worked the Saturdays and so attendance was sporadic. Another difficulty was the absence of text books, there was no where to source them from. The teachers were not troubled by this and taught the children to read and write. The lessons expanded to include Lithuanian poems and songs. By the 1960’s text books could be sourced and soon the school was decorated with Lithuanian books and maps.

A celebration of the school will be held in September, with past pupils teachers and parents encouraged to attend. If you had a connection with the school, we would love you to share some memories with us and photographs we could copy.

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