Tuesday, 20 September 2011

St Casmir's School

Members of the St Casmir’s Lithuanian Catholic Centre, initiated the school in 1960. The schools main aim was to instill a belief in God, and preserve the Lithuanian language and culture in Adelaide. The school began with two teachers and seventeen students, and a year later it had eight teachers with Father Kungys who teaching Religion. Elena Varniene ws the first principal of the school.

The second floor of the parish building was perfectly suited for a school. It consisted of a large room which became the kindergarten, several small rooms were used for individual classes and another large room that held different activities. The parish also had a hall and stage where performances could be held.

The school was run on very similar lines to the weekend school held at Lithuanian house. School ran from 10am to 1pm each Saturday morning. In 1979 there were six classes plus kindergarten.
Initially school curriculum was obtained from America, lastly being used in 1974, when an Australian version was created.

The school began with six grades which rose to eight in 1972 and by 1980 there were ten grade levels.

Children who attended the school also participated in Lithuanian dancing, sports and Eiglutes choir.

Teachers were Elena Varniene who taught Lithuanian language. Agota Stepaniene – Lithuanian geography and history, Kazys Pazera – Lithuanian language, Aldona Zakiene – Lithuanian language, S. Pusdesriene – singing. L Vilcinskaite – national dancing, Rimas Daugalis – art, Laimute Kuncaityte – dancing and accompanied on piano.

Funding came from donations, the Lithuanian Catholic women’s Association, and occasionally donations were received from Ramove (Lithuanian veterans) and the general community.

From 1960 to 1989, 60 students completed school. In 1965, 103 students were enrolled, and over 300 attended over the years.

Directors of Sv Kazimiero
Elena Varniene 1960 – 1964
Pr Dauknys 1965
Kazys Pazera 1966-70
Kun Albinas Spurgis 1971-1973
Anele Urneviciute 1974-1976
Elena Varniene 1977
Loreta Rupinskaite 1978-79
Elena Varniene 1980 – 1981
Anele Urneviciene 1982.

Throughout the 28 year history, this school taught over 300 students taught by 60 teachers.

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