Sunday, 8 May 2016

Baltic Convention, Adelaide 1968

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of Independence of the Baltic counties in 1918, a Baltic week was held throughout Australia from 1st to 8th of June 1968.  Functions arranged for that week included Remembrance Services and concerts, exhibitions of Art and crafts, Baltic food display and tasking and social evening.

The Baltic convention was held on the 1st June in Adelaide as part of Baltic Week.  Held at Latvian house the convention was attended by 98 delegates (35 Estonians, 35 Latvians and 28 Lithuanians) representing communities in Adelaide Melbourne and Sydney.
Mr A Krausas (Lithuanian member from Melbourne) summed up the aims,
To strengthen the resistance and ties of the Baltic nations in their fight for freedom, culture is the best weapon.

Being without our countries and armies, the only way we ca strive for freedom is through cultural media. 
All three of us working together will have a better chance to be heard and our voices of protest will be stronger.  All of us are suffering the same cruel fate and our countries are smothered by the communist regime.  We must try and save our cultural heritage, so that it does not fade, but make it flourish and grow stronger and more meaningful than ever.

To achieve this we must;
Try to send as many young people as possible to gain higher education.

Try to translate classics and other noteworthy works into each other’s language.
Try to have a chair for Baltic Studies in at least one Australian university.

Parents should teach their children to be proud of their nationality, let the children have a dual nationality, let them assimilate the best to each culture.
Items discussed were how the communities could work together to promote the history and traditions of their countries.  Discussions mentioned the formation of a Baltic Art Association even a of a Baltic arts and crafts museum. 

The convention notes were collated and printed in a booklet.

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