Thursday, 28 November 2013

1966 World Lithuanian Youth camp and congress

Mūsų jėgos mūsų žinios
Laisvai Lietuvai Tėvynei!

Delegates came from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Uruguay, Australia, England, Belgium, Italy, France, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and America.

The camp ‘Dainava’ was held in Manchester, Michigan, a youth camp where the youth from different parts of the world could meet and get to know each other. 

Each day of the camp was themed;
Sunday 26 June Lithuanian youths freedom in the world.
Monday 27 June Youth and Lithuanian culture
Tuesday 28 June Lithuanian youth in Lithuania and Lithuania today
Wednesday 29 June Lithuanian youth and politics, Lithuanian community

This was followed by the Congress in Chicago from the 30 June – July 2nd.  
Lokys an opera in five scenes, based on the story by Prosper Merimee was performed on 1 July 1966, in Chicago. Music by Darius Lapinskas

A song festival was held on the 3rd July at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, with over 1200 singers and 1000 singers in the youth choir.
Australian delegates to camp Dainava
Camp Dainava

Next post, Congress participants from Australia.

Monday, 25 November 2013

World Lithuanian Youth Congress 1966

Pasaulio Lietuvių Jaunimo Kongresas PLJK
World Lithuanian Youth Congress

The first world Lithuanian youth congress was held Chicago, USA from June 30 – July 3, 1966.  Lithuanian Youth from around the world were invited to participate.  Student representative were invited to the organizing committee for the World Lithuanian Congress to be held in 1966 in Chicago, USA.

In 1966 the first Lithuanian World Youth Congress took place in Chicago and at Camp Dainava in Michigan. Young people between the ages of eighteen and thirty from various parts of the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and South America came together for the first time to experience their cultural solidarity.  At that time, singing was an integral part of the program and it occurred naturally and spontaneously throughout the extent of the Congress. It was apparent that the same songs had been learned in different parts of the world, and the singing experience heightened the communal feeling shared by those who participated.  

World Lithuanian Youth Congress ( PLJK ) convened every 3-4 years. It is the highest World Lithuanian Youth Association ( PLJS ) body which sets guidelines for the organization's activities and elect a new board of PLJS.

PLJK involved 120 delegates , who are elected by delegates of the congress PLJK adjustments. Representatives elected Lithuanian Youth Association . Congress is also involved in non- voting guests .

The Congress consists of two parts:
Delegates Congress - the formal part, and a camp.
The PLJS Board will present its report on the activities taken, any amendments to the statute, create the next four years of operational objectives and tasks.
An educational program is organised for the participants and guests.

- To maintain and strengthen the Lithuanian identity and national consciousness the world’s Lithuanian youth
- To inspire young people to become active members of the Lithuanian communities abroad

- Encourage the establishment of mutual relations and strengthen ties with Lithuania

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Ethnic Scout and Guide Association

Scouts-in-Exteris, also referred to as Scouts-in-Exile, are Scouting and Guiding groups formed outside of their native country as a result of war and changes in governments. Formed in the 1950s the Ethnic Scout and Guide Association, comprises scout and guide groups from seven European nationalities, from countries which were all previously under communist rule.  The Ethnic Scout and Guide Association coordinates activities, and runs an annual camp for venturer and rover age groups.

The groups that make up the Association are the Australian Latvian Scouts & Guides, the Ukrainian Scouts, the Lithuanian Scouts, the Estonian Scouts, the Hungarian Scouts, the Polish Scouts and the Russian Scout Association.  

The aim of the Association is to foster good relations amongst its members and to encourage its members to uphold traditional principles and customs of their country of origin.   Also, to advance the religious, social, cultural, welfare and recreational activities of its members.

Participating in exiled scouts took up considerable time, which in essence was taken away from one’s own scout association.  It took time to understand each other’s traditions and culture.  English was to be the official language of the Association.  This presented issues of how to present and participate ones culture so other countries could understand and appreciate each other.

Ethnic scouts have been most active in Melbourne, activities continue to present day. Less active have been activities in Sydney and Adelaide. 

South Australia had a similar organisation to the other states, Ethnic Scout and Guides of South Australia (ESGOSA).  Several combined scout camps were held in the 1980’s after which time the association seemed to disband.  
ESGOSA Camp badge, 1984

Monday, 11 November 2013

National Student gathering, adelaide 1958

Australijos Lietuvių Studentų Sąjunga (ALSS)Australian Lithuanian Student Association (ALSS) 

III National gathering, Adelaide 1958

On the first day, all participants met at Lithuanian House.  At the opening were present, 10 students from Sydney, 4 from Canberra, 4 from Melbourne and about 30 from Adelaide.  ALSS President T. Žurauskas stated the purpose of the gathering.  He said that of the 100 students in the ALSS, 17 had finished University in Australia.  People were studying at Adelaide, Armidale, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth and Sydney. 

Well known Adelaide author, Pulgis Andriušis gave a reading. He explored ideas and the importance of the students place in an English world.  This was followed by a meal and time to socialise.

The second day was spent relaxing at Sellicks Beach, and then a tour of Adelaide.  The evening was spent as guests at Girukas house.  The third day before lunch was spent taking in the sights of the art and history precinct on North Terrace in the city.  They visited the Adelaide University, Art Gallery and Museum.  Following lunch was the formal part of the meetings. They discussed all sorts of issues.  It was decided the following national gathering would be held in Canberra.

The final evening was spent at the Reisonas’ home.

Extracted from ‘Studijuojant Australijoj, ALSS 1952-1967

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Australian Lithuanian Students

Australijos Lietuvių Studentų Sąjunga (ALSS)

The Australijos Lietuvių Studentų Sąjunga (ALSS) was formed in 1952.  Members were university students or those studying at a higher professional level who have completed a diploma.  Branches were formed in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, Canberra had a eldership.  An informal group met in Brisbane, Newcastle and Perth.

Tertiary students in Adelaide began to appear soon after post WWII arrival, in the early 1950’s.   Stasys Čibiras instigated the establishment of a group in Adelaide. Officially began in 25 August 1951.  The group rose in number to 13 members by the time the first formal gathering was called on 19 April 1952.  On this day a committee was elected which consisted of Stasys Čibiras as president, Algis Navakas and Nemira Šiunaitė.

The group aimed to actively participate in the Adelaide Lithuanian community and to keep ties with other Australian Lithuanian students.  A two shilling membership fee by each member was invested so dance evenings could be held.  Ten years later the number had risen to 50 students and 24 graduates.

Adelaide instigated the first Australian student gathering which was held in Sydney in 1956.  Others were held in 1958 and 1962.

ALSS Adelaide Branch Committee
Romas Urmonas                        President
Dalia Levickaitė
Sigitas Martinkus
T Žurauskas      President
J .Arminas, V. Giruckas, D. Varoneckaitė, Antanas Lapšys.
This committee formed the central committee and organised the ALSS gathering.  12 new students enrolled in university that year.
Antnas Stepanas                        President
J. Martinkutė, Rimas Daugalis, and Ramunas Dunda.
Juratė Naujalienė                      President
Laima Radzevičiutė, Violeta Vasilauskaitė, Rimas Daugalis ir Gytis Šimkus
Vytautas Straukas                      President
Emilija Matiukaitč, Laima Radzevičiutė
Gytis SImkus    President
Rasa Pacevičiutė, A. Radzevičiutė
Vytas Straukas                            President
A. Tugaudyte, A. Radzevičiutė, K. Baškutė, V. Vanagas
This committee became the national  committee and organised the Adelaide national gathering.

The committees organised Initium and Finis Semestri, Žirnius ir aluti, outings to the countryside and readings and discussion evenings.

The committee pushed the Kūlturos Fondo (Cultural Fund) to instigate a Lithuanian course in Adelaide.  The students donated copies of the groups newsletter Lituanus to the Barr Smith Library.