Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Lithuanian medals

Once again I found myself a long way off from my starting point. While scanning a program from 1968, the 50th anniversary of Lithuania's Independence Day, I came upon a name who was a receiver of an award. So began an Internet search which let me to this site http://www.decorations.lt/ Uz nuopelnius Lietuviai (For merits to Lithuania). Its a list of people who have received Lithuanian awards. Parts can be translated to English. If you go to "Albumas" (Album) you can enter a name. There isn't much detail but photographs are included.

A database is only a good one for me if I can find some connection between Lithuania and South Australia. I entered a few names and an entry was found for Jonas Pyragius (Karo lak┼źnas JONAS PYRAGIUS -savanorio byla Nr. 1113). Jonas arrived in Australia in 1949. A few more clicks on the web took me too www.plienosparnai.lt (Lithuanian Aviation history 1919 - 1940, with a whole entry on Jonas http://www.plienosparnai.lt/page.php?823 Unfortunately there is no English translation, but you could use Google translate. There are over 400 detailed histories (including photographs) on people which you can search alphabetically http://www.plienosparnai.lt/page.php?122

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Lituania Adelaide Lithuanian Choir

First Adelaide Choir by J Mockunas (1974)

The first migrants to Australia were mainly single men or couples without children. The men most often lived near their work place, either in tents or metal barracks for the EWS, Railways, sawmill or other places that Australians didn’t want to work.

In 1948 he rented a small flat near his workplace of Calvary hospital. On Sundays Lithuanians would meet to talk about their work, worries and fears, to sing and sometimes to drink cheap wine. A Lutheran pastor of the name A. F Zinnbauer had heard that they like to sing and offered them an opportunity to sing at an informal Scandinavian gathering. Under Mikas Pareigis their director they began to rehearse, all eleven of them. They sang well and were soon invited to sing at the Royal Society for the Blind after hearing about their performance.

The group soon began rehearsing for the February 16th, Lithuania's Independence day in1949. This event had many Australians so “God save the king” was learnt and sung with four Lithuanian songs. Before the concert the first Lithuanian mass was held where Lithuanian hymns were sung, the organ played by A Giniotis.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

LIthuanian school Director V. Statnickas

School Director 1949 – 1962, 1969 – 1982 Vladas was born on the 9th November 1909 in Asteikiai, Katrena district. He finished his schooling at Siauliai in 1932. He was called to undertake military service in the Army which he completed in 1935 with the rank of junior lieutenant. He was then assigned to the Calvary regiment as Platoon leader. During WWII he fled with his family to Germany, and lived for a time in the Displaced Persons camp at Hanau. Vladas made use of this time by undertaking numerous training opportunities to further his job opportunities. He studied accounting, English and Spanish commerce and driving heavy vehicles. He later worked as an accountant for the IRO in Frankfurt camp. In 1947 he arrived in South Australia on the ship, Oxfordshire. Soon after arrival Vladas became involved with the formation of the school and actively participated in its life. He also sat on the SSABSA board for Lithuanian Language exams. In 1992, Vladas received an Order of Australia medal for his services to the Lithuanian Community. He passed away in 1995, at the age of 85, survived by his wife and two sons.