Monday, 29 July 2013

Easter celebrations 1961

On April 9th, 1961 an Easter Egg exhibition was held at St Casimir’s church hall.  The Easter granny  (Velykų Bobutė) was present to give chocolate eggs out to over 100 children.  The program was instigated by A. Stepanienė, who warmly thanked all for coming to the event.
The church stage was decorated in green foliage, with a window of Easter granny house. From here  you could see the children begin their performances, of dancing, poems, games and a pageant.  Mr A Barauskas read the story of the Easter legend.  Keršytė read, M. Staugaitė and M. Blaževičiutė performed a dance.  K. Kuncaitis, V. Bardauskaitė, J. Juciutė and R. Staugaitė beautifully recited from memory an Easter poem.  R. Kubiliutė narrated a long story about the Easter bobutė.  L. Varnas and V. Gudiškis staged Easter egg painting.  N. Vyšniauskaitė and R. Kubiliutė read from works of Antanas Baranauskas, a famous Lithuanian author.  

After another dance the performances continued.  V and F Antanaitytė’s, D. Barauskaitė, R. Jasiūnas and J. Beinoravičiutė recited poems.  The Easter bobutė signalled from her house window and a flock of rabbits to appeared, G. Kubilius, L. Varnas, A. Blaževičius, J, Juciutė, S. Valčiukas and M. Blaževičiute.  They each held baskets filled with Easter eggs.  They greeted the surprised children and danced a rabbit dance.  Following this, the rabbit flock came down from the stage and handed out chocolate eggs with everyone in the hall.  

The event was organised by E. Varnienė, A. Stepanienė, A. Zakienė and K. Pažerienė.  The Catholic Women’s group prepared a supper for the performers and parents who sat and enjoyed the delicious food. 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Juozas Bačiunas Library

A library was established not long after the Lithuanian House was purchased in Eastry street.  It began with an old cupboard filled with donated books.

On 30 December 1962, the Library was officially opened by Juozas Bačiunas, President of the World Lithuanian Society, visiting from America.  Bačiunas was honoured by officially having his name bestowed to the Library and cutting a Lithuanian sash.

The Library workers appealed to the community for further donation, and Bačiunas sent several parcels of books from America.  The ALB Adelaide Community Society donated 50 books, and later would donate books in the memory of deceased community members.
After a short time the Library had over 1000 catalogued books.

The Library expanded its purpose by selling books, music, Lithuanian folk art and jewellery.  Visiting authors and book launches were supported by the Library.

In 1990, the Library held 3,800 books, subscribed to 18 newspapers and journals and had 121 borrowers.  

After 51 years the Library is closing, with only two borrowers and tired staff it is a logical decision.   Having said this it will open again, not as the Library we knew it as but a place that will hopefully have more benefit to the community at this time.  More to come. 

Library workers
Bronius Straukas 1957
Mečislovas Urbonas 17 August 1963
Elena Reisonienė 21 January 1967
Kostas Pocius 1 January 1981
Nata Alvikienė Sept 1985 – still there in 1992
Renata Urmonienė 11 April 1999 – 30 June 2013 
Marytė Neverauskienė 1973 – 2013 (40 years)
V. Vitkunienė 1985 - 1999
J. Kutkienė 1967 - 1982
Brone Lapsienė there in 1992
Ona Baužienė there in 1992

Stefanija Rudzenskienė 1967 - ?
Katryna Garbalauskienė 1967 - 1980
Laisve Daugalienė 1985 - 1999
Dana Pretty 1999 - 2013
Albina Gudelienė 1999 - 2013

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Ciurlionis Ensemble in Germany

The Čiurlionis Lithuanian Art Ensemble was an internationally known group of entertainers formed in 1940 in Vilnius, Lithuania, by Alfonsas Mikulskis. It was organised to keep the nationalist spirit alive in the people despite Soviet and Nazi domination.

The Čiurlionis, named after the noted Lithuanian composer Mikalojus K. Ciurlionis, featured Lithuanian dance, music, and song, performed in traditional costumes.

Following the second invasion of Lithuania by the Soviets in 1944, the ensemble escaped to Vienna, Austria, where they re-established and began touring Austria and Germany.  Mikulskis, founder of the Čiurlionis Art Ensemble and its director until his death, studied at the Klaipeda and Kaunas conservatories and at the Stuttgart Academy of Music. A former director of the Lithuanian Philharmonic Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, he was also a member of the Lithuanian underground during occupation. He was aided by his wife, Ona, who also studied music and directed the Lithuanian Kankles (a mandolin-like instrument) National Ensemble.

At the close of World War II, the Ensemble found its way to the West. In Western Germany the Ensemble gave more than 300 concerts in Western Europe appearing in the concert halls of Vienna, Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Bayreuth, Frankfurt, Hamburg and many other cities where they were enthusiastically received by American, French, Swiss, and German music critics. 

In the fall of 1949, through the generosity of many friends, the Ensemble was able to settle in Cleveland.  After settling in Cleveland, the Čiurlionis gave its first concert in 1950. It appeared at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, and South America.  From about 40 members in 1949, the number had grown to nearly 70 in the 1980s.  The ageing of the membership along with the difficulty of finding a director prompted the disbanding of the group in 1992, two years after it had experienced the fulfilment of a final tour back to a free Lithuania.

Several of the Ensembles members immigrated to Australia, and in the Archives are a collection of posters, programmes and tickets of the groups concerts around Germany in the years 1944-47.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Scout photos

Vilniaus troop early 1960's

Adelaide Vilniaus troop, 1960's

Ateina naktis!

Adelaide Vyciai

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

10th anniversary of ‘Vilniaus’ troop

On the 21 June 1959, the scout troop was the first Adelaide Lithuanian organisation to celebrate their 10th anniversary.  A ball was held, with 70 scouts attending and 80 guests.  The scout leader Vytas Neverauskas addressed the attendees, Although 10 years is not a huge milestone, the scouts over that time had held camps, meetings and balls.  Over the past 10 years, no less than 200 youth have participated.  Scouting leaves footprints that will shape future work.  Scouting is school of life for young boys and girls who will become young men and women and will guide them through challenges and work.

Greetings were read from the Australian Lithuanian Scout master,  Antanas Krausas and Guides head Irma Laisvenaitė.  Good wishes were given by the Adelaide Community President, J. Janavičius, who thanked the scouts for their hard work, and for the communities’ contribution.  The President of the Women’s committee, Jasiunienė also complimented the scouts.  Juozas Riauba, President of the Scout parents committee praised scouting for its strengthening of a child’s character and hoped that the troop could celebrate its 20th anniversary in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, after which the troop is named. 
After the speeches, seven guides and two scouts gave the scout oath to serve God, Homeland and neighbours.  Neverauskas tied their scout ties and urged the scouts to keep their promise.  Vytas then presented Vytautas Opulskis with an Už Nuopelnus (Achievement) medal.  Opulskis had been a member of the ‘Vilniaus’ troop since its instigation and has managed several scout levels.  Vytautas Vosylius was honoured for his unflagging devotion to the troop and scouting in general. 

A glowing camp fire light was lit inside the hall, around which the scouts sang, performed skits, and for an hour or the guests recalled memories of their homeland and forgot that they were inside a hall.  Antanas Gavelis was the camp fire leader.
After the camp fire, Vaclovas Ilgunas showed two films from ‘Vilniaus’ troop camps, the first taken in 1957-8. 

The evening ended with the traditional singing of ‘Ateina naktis’ (Night is coming).