Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Thankyou everyone who visited this blog in the past year.  Next year much is planned with the Archives, and we hope to make more information accessible.
Here is to 2014 being a fantastic year for Lithuanian history.
Linksmu Sv Kaledu.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Mt Gambier LIthuanians

I have written a post on Mt Gambier Lithuanians before.  Here is more.

By 1953 there were 12 Lithuanian families and eleven single men living in the town.  Several Lithuanians owned their own businesses, including a furniture shop, a restaurant and a sawmill.  A Lithuanian folk dancing troupe led by A. Janušaitiene and her three adult children.  Mt Gambier did not officially form any Elderate.  After 1960 had no formal interaction with the Federal Executive of the Australian Lithuanian community.
(Australian Lithuanians by Popenhagen)

I have managed to identify 21 names, consisting of families and single men who lived for some time or longer in Mt Gambier.

Many who went, worked in the area as part of their 2 year government contract, some stayed on and made their life their.  Most worked in the forestry area at first.  Some 3000 people live and work among the forests of exotic pine trees and associated mills.  Government owned sawmills at Nangwarry and Mt Burr in the Penola forest.

Lithuanian born Martin Bendikas, 30, about to plant a row of year-old pinaster pines in a nursery at Penola Forest. He has been in Australia for eight years, has applied for naturalisation. August 1958 PRINCIPAL CREDIT: photographer Don Edwards  National Archives of Australia

At least nine of these men or families settled in the area.  Bzekis had a motor upholstery business in Mt Gambier, Zabiela had his own wood cutting business.

If anyone knows more about these families I would love to hear from you.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Publications printed on the way to Australia

'General Black' concert program
Daily newsletters, souvenir journals and the like were printed on board the ships that carried the new migrants to Australia.  They are typed and often illustrated by someone on board with some artistic talent.   The language varies, depending on who is publishing the item.  Most are in several languages of the Displaced Persons, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, German, Ukrainian, Russian and English. They often include interviews with members of the crew, facts and information about Australia, an itinerary of travel locations, poems, historic items of Lithuania’s history.  Some contains articles talking of preserving Lithuanian culture and traditions when they live in Australia.

Many contain lists of key personnel on-board, details about the ship and even a page for signatures to be collected. 

From the souvenir edition of newspaper printed on board the USAT General Heintzelman in November 1947.  The first transport carrying DP's to Australia, post WWII.

'General Heintzelman' 1947
We have ceased counting the days which have passed since we lost sight of the European coastline.  With each hour more and more miles increase the distance between is and the hopelessness and idleness in Germany, bringing us nearer to a new worthy life in a new land.  We are animated by gratitude for the rehabilitation which we are offered by the Australian Government in conjunction with the IRO.  We are determined to become good citizens of our new country and we fervently desire to take once more our place in a community which will accept us as its members, each one of us working to the best of our abilities, with regard to our individual aptitudes.  

These abilities and aptitudes are a heritage from our native countries on the shores of the Baltic Sea, our only native countries for which there will always be a feeling of longing and reverence in our hearts.  We all are sons and daughters of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and such we will remain, remembering that once were ours.  The fate and suffering of the Baltic peoples ar known to the greater part of the world, to the rest we shall untiringly tell of them until the day that our native countries regain their freedom and independence.

This ship is a link between our distant native country and our new refuge.  Is it our wish that this review be a link between the passengers and the crew on this ship. 
Back cover with signatures of publication on
board General Stewart, Feb 1948

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Delegates from Australia to Youth Congress 1966

Delegates from Australia to the World Lithuanian Youth Congress in Chicago 1966

Čibas Romas                            Sydney
Didžys Martynas                        Melbourne
Didžytė Jieva                           Melbourne
Doniela Vytautas                       Sydney
Kazlauskas Algis                        
Kisonis Dr Gerutis
Kolakauskaitė Judita                 Sydney
Labutytė Daiva                        Sydney
Maksvytis J
Mališauskaitė Nijolė Aušrelė   Melbourne
Maželytė Daina                       Adelaide
Pullinen Juhani                        Sydney
Pullinen Pajauta                       Sydney
Račauskas Romas                      Sydney
Reisgys Rimantas                      Sydney
Sagatys D
Sagatys Evaldas                        Brisbabe
Skuodaitė Danutė                     Sydney
Stepanas Antanas                      Adelaide
Straukas Vytas                          Adelaide
Stankunevičius B
Stasiškytė Giedrė
Šimkus Algis                             Melbourne
Šiuksterytė Emilija                   Adelaide
Vaičiurgytė Nijolė                    Sydney
Zdanavičius Dr Kazys                Melbourne
Zinkutė Ramunė                       Melbourne
Žiedaitė Rūta                          Sydney
Adelaide delegates; Vytautas Straukas, Emilija Siuksteryte, Daina Mazelyte, Antanas Stepanas

Three Australians at camp Dainava, from left;  J. Kolakauskaitė, N. Mališauskaitė, R. Žiedaitė