Independence Day Celebration in Sydney 2015
February 2015

Sydney Lithuanians celebrated Lithuania’s Independence Day ("Vasario 16") on February 15, 2015. The celebration began at the Sydney Lithuanian Club in Bankstown with Mass and then was followed by a Celebration Concert, organised by the Committee of Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney.
The guest speaker for the occasion was Romas Cibas, President of the Lithuanian Community Publishing Society, which publishes the weekly "Mūsų Pastogė". The celebration concert was enlivened by the artistic endeavours of the Sydney Lithuanian Community (please see the programme below).
Please enjoy the lovely video of the concert produced by Dr Vida Viliūnas from Canberra: https://vimeo.com/126119411

Snapshots of the Celebration Concert
Book Launch of “Kur Mano Tėviškė?” by Marija Grabauskaitė - Augustinienė
June 2012
The author talks about her book
Last Saturday afternoon, 16 June 2012, Friends of Sydney Lithuanian Club Library group hosted the Sydney launch of the book “Kur Mano Tėviškė?” (“Where is my Home?”) by Marija Grabauskaitė - Augustinienė at the Sydney Lithuanian Club.
The book presentation was organised by Danutė Skorulienė. It began with the author being introduced by the comp?re for the afternoon, Jadvyga Burokienė. Then followed a foreword by the author herself, who had made a special trip from Melbourne to present her book to an appreciative Sydney audience. The author came from Melbourne together with the soprano Birutė Kymantienė, who sang a number of songs in keeping with the theme of the book, which features the author’s life experiences from birth as a deportee to Siberia, return to Lithuania and then settling in Australia.
Excerpts from the book were read by Irena Dudaitienė and Aida Zastarskytė - Abromienė. An interesting short documentary film, originally shown on SBS TV in 1996 about Genocide in Lithuania, set the mood for the afternoon.

Folk Art Group “Dainava” from Lithuania
Enlivens Independence Day Celebrations in Sydney
February 2012
Lithuania’s Independence Day was celebrated by Sydney Lithuanians on February 19, 2012. The celebration began with Mass at St Joachim’s Church in Lidcombe, and then continued at the Sydney Lithuanian Club in Bankstown.
For this year’s Independence Day occasion the Folk Art Group “Dainava” from Alytus in Lithuania presented an outstanding concert at the Club, which attracted a record audience and uplifted the spirits of all those present. The soloist during the concert, Rasa Juzukonytė, also sang during Mass, accompanied on the organ by the accompanist of Sydney’s Lithuanian choir “Daina”, Wojciek Wisniewski.
The “Dainava” group with Sydney hosts. (On the left) Director of the group Romualdas Ambroževičius and Dr. Ramutis Zakarevičius,
president of ALC – Sydney. (In the centre) Soloist Rasa Juzukonytė and Ramona Zakarevičienė, ALC – Sydney committee member.
Photo courtesy “Mūsų Pastogė

The “Dainava" ensemble is an outstanding group from Alytus in Lithuania. They have performed in many concerts in Lithuania and internationally and have represented Lithuania in World Expositions - EXPO 2005 in Japan, EXPO 2010 in China - and again will represent Lithuania in EXPO 2012 in South Korea.
The Australian tour of “Dainava" began with a concert in Adelaide on February 5. Then followed concerts in Geelong, Melbourne and Canberra, before the final concert in Sydney on February 19. All of its concerts in Australia were dedicated by “Dainava” to the occasion of Lithuanian’s Independence Day of February 16. On that date 94 years ago Lithuania re-established its independence after a century of Russian occupation.

Further information:
www.dainava.art.officelive.com
www.voruta.lt/maza-lietuva-aplanke-australijos-lietuvius/
www.alytausnaujienos.lt/alytausnaujienos/paskutinionumeriostraipsniai/?nid=8183

Sydney Lithuanian Folk Groups “Sūkurys” and “Atspindys”
Perform at Central Coast Oktoberfest
October 2011
On the weekend of 29 - 30 October 2011 an Oktoberfest was held on the Central Coast, at the Mt. Penang Parklands at Kariong, an hour’s drive north from Sydney. The Sydney Lithuanian folk dancing group “Sūkurys” and the folk singing group “Atspindys” were invited to perform at the Oktoberfest. They performed in two time slots on the Sunday, October 30. For awhile it looked like inclement weather might spoil the festivities, but in the end everything turned out fine.

“Sūkurys” dancers whirl
The audience was greeted with “Sūkurys” girls performing the “Hat dance” and a few words about Lithuania and its culture. With “Atspindys” singing and “Sūkurys” dancing the programme continued for 30 minutes. After a couple of hours the programme was repeated to even greater applause from the audience. The Oktoberfest organisers liked the Lithuanians so much, they did not waste any time in inviting them to perform again next year.

Sydney Celebrates Lithuania’s National Day
July 2011
Lithuania’s National Day on July 6 commemorates the anniversary of the coronation of Lithuania’s King Mindaugas in 1253. A sizable gathering of Australian Lithuanians in Sydney celebrated the occasion with an interesting programme on Sunday, July 10, 2011, at the Sydney Lithuanian Club in Bankstown.
The MC for the event was Jadvyga Burokienė, who began the afternoon’s programme by inviting those gathered to sing the Australian National Anthem, after which there followed a brief welcome by the President of the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney, Dr. Ramutis Zakarevičius. In attendance was Ms. Ginta Viliūnas, the newly-appointed Lithuania’s Honorary Consul for NSW and Queensland, who also made a brief address.
Group photo of the performers and those present. Photo courtesy Povilas Eimaitis

The keynote speaker for the occasion was Povilas Eimaitis, the Executive Producer of the SBS Lithuanian Radio Programme, who delivered a well chosen address for the occasion. In the concert part of the programme, the audience enjoyed hearing the folk song group “Atspindys”, seeing the folk dancers “Sūkurys” and were uplifted by the poems of Lithuania’s beloved poet Justinas Marcinkevičius, recited by Janina Ratkevičienė. The Lithuanian National Anthem concluded the programme and all those present then gathered for a group photo.
The afternoon provided a memorable occasion for a friendly get-together for Sydney’s Lithuanians. Many stayed on at the Club after the programme to enjoy the rest of afternoon catching up with friends.

A New Book by Nijolė Jankutė
May 2011
The most recent book by the noted Australian Lithuanian author Nijolė Jankutė - Užubalienė was presented to Sydney readers by Friends of the Lithuanian Library at the Sydney Lithuanian Club on May 15th. The book “Pašnekesiai su kukabura” (“Conversations with a kookaburra”) has been just published in Lithuania and deals with the author’s impressions of Australia, since settling in Sydney in 2005.
Author Nijolė Jankutė-Užubalienė
introduces her book during the book launch
Nijolė Jankutė’s book
“Conversations with a kookaburra”
Nijolė Jankutė was born in Lithuania and after the war settled in Chicago in the USA. There she began her writing career and has now published more than ten books, a libretto for a musical, many articles for the press media. A number of her books have been republished in Lithuania and her book “Atvirukai” has won the Lithuanian Writers’ prize.
Nijolė Jankutė’s book presentation in Sydney was organised by Danutė Skorulienė. It began with an introduction of the author by Jadvyga Burokienė and followed with a foreword by the author herself. A number of extracts from the book were then read by Aida Zastarskytė-Abromienė, Irena Dudaitienė, Greta Savickaitė-Fletcher and Milda Karpavičienė, with piano interludes by Ramutis Zakarevičius. The afternoon’s programme was received by an appreciative audience. The book had already been well received in Lithuania and America and now Sydney Lithuanians had the opportunity to appreciate the author’s impressions of their city, as well as other interesting places in Australia.

Further information: “Mūsų Pastogė” 25/05/11
Sydney’s Australian Lithuanians Come Together
to Celebrate Lithuania’s Independence Day
February 2011
On Sunday February 20, 2011, Australian Lithuanians in Sydney commemorated two significant days in Lithuania’s history. They were the 93rd anniversary of the Lithuania’s Declaration of Independence on February 16th, 1918, and the 21st anniversary of the reestablishment of Lithuania’s independence from Soviet rule on March 11th, 1990. The day’s festivities began with Mass at St. Joachim’s in Lidcombe, celebrated by Fr. Jonas Stankevičius, and then continued at the Sydney Lithuanian Club in Bankstown, where the all-day celebration drew one of the largest gatherings in recent years of Sydney Lithuanians and their Australian friends, to celebrate Lithuania’s freedom and to express pride in its achievements.
“Sūkurys” folk dancers
During the last 21 years Lithuania’s achievements have been many. Let us recall just a few of them. Lithuania is now a highly respected member of the international community, a member of EU and NATO. This year Lithuania has been entrusted with the very important international role to chair the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Lithuania this year also chairs the Council of Democracies, a body with over 150 members. In the cultural and scientific fields its achievements have also been noteworthy. In 2009 Lithuania’s capital city Vilnius was Europe’s Capital of Culture. Lithuania’s second city Kaunas now has the fastest broadband in the world; Lithuania leads the world in the area of scientific lasers, just to mention a few achievements.
All were invited! The placard was drawn by Fiona Katauskas
The all-day fete at the Club included a short commemorative concert and many fun activities for the young and the old. There was delicious Lithuanian food to enjoy, folk art and book exhibits, raffles and lucky dips. The compčre for the afternoon and the concert was Aida Zastarskytė – Abromienė. A highlight was the cartoon drawing exhibition and competition for children, run by the artist Fiona Katauskas. Another highlight was the presentation of two stunning outfits by the fashion designer Alma Kavaliauskaitė – Rountree, which were donated by her for a fund-raising raffle, drawn at the end of the afternoon’s activities.
In the formal part of the celebration, the president of the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney, Dr. R.A. Zakarevičius, welcomed those gathered and thanked everyone who contributed to the day’s success. In the concert that followed the audience saw and heard the folk song group “Atspindys”, children from the Sydney Lithuanian weekend school, the folk dance group “Sūkurys” , young contemporary dancer Denika Veigel, the choir “Daina” and videos by the Sydney Lithuanian scouts. After a short break young newly arrived Lithuanians put on a short show, which was very well received.
The day was a huge success, with participation from most of Sydney Lithuanian community organisations. It provided an opportunity for Australian Lithuanians in Sydney to meet up and spend a pleasant day in a festive environment. People lingered on after the formal activities and many stayed on until the early evening. A great day was had by all!


A Fun Day at Bondi Beach for Newly Arrived Lithuanians
January 2011
On Saturday January 29 2011, young Lithuanians recently arrived in Sydney, got together at Bondi Beach for a picnic organised by Greta Savickaitė – Fletcher, member of the Sydney Australian Lithuanian Community Committee.
The beautiful sunny Sydney day was ideal for the beach, to meet up with friends, make new acquaintances, get information and learn how to participate in the Lithuanian Community.

Recently arrived young Lithuanians enjoy a picnic at Bondi Beach

To see all the photos click here -> Photo Gallery
Young Lithuanians Gather for a Picnic
January 2010
Last Sunday, January 10, 2010, was a good occasion for young Lithuanians, recently arrived in Sydney, to get together at Coogee Beach for a picnic and to celebrate the birthday of Greta Savickaitė – Fletcher, President of the Sydney Australian Lithuanian Community.
A beautiful sunny Sydney was ideal for a day at the beach and to meet up with friends. Great fun was had by all and especially by Greta on her birthday.
Recently arrived young Lithuanians enjoy a picnic at Coogee Beach
A happy Greta on her birthday at Coogee Beach
Melbourne Cup Lunch at the Sydney Lithuanian Club
November 2009
On Melbourne Cup day November 3, 2009, the Sydney Lithuanian Club organised a traditional Melbourne Cup lunch with all the trimmings for the “race that stops the nation”.
The tradition of demonstrating beautiful hats gave the ladies a chance to show off their millinery best. Great fun was had by all and some even won some money!
Photos - courtesy “Mūsų Pastogė”
It was ladies day at the Melbourne Cup lunch
Club manger Suzanne Fairhall (left) and artist Leeka Gruzdeff show off their hats
Irena Kaledienė (left) and Ele Kains also proud of their hats
Sydney Lithuanian Scouts at Camp Kariong and in Lithuania
April, July 2008


April 2008 camp "Nyeri" at Kariong scout grounds

In the national scouts camp “Legenda Tęsiasi” (“The legend continues”) in Lithuania


Lithuanian Wedding Traditions Recreated in Performance
May 25, 2008
The Sydney Lithuanian choir "Daina", together with the folk dancing group "Sukūrys" and the singing group "Atspindys", demonstrated Lithuanian wedding traditions through song and dance at a concert at the Polish Club in Bankstown on May 25, 2008. The very successful afternoon drew a large audience of Sydney Lithuanians and left them with memories of times past and old customs.
Dancers whirl

Photos - courtesy "Mūsų Pastogė". Further information: "Mūsų Pastogė" 11/6/08
"Seku, seku pasaką" Introduced the Wonderful World of Lithuanian Stories, Legends and Sayings
March 9, 2008
The Friends of Lithuanian Club Library group’s literary afternoon last Sunday, March 9 2008, presented "Seku, seku pasaką" ("I tell, tell a fairy tale"), a series of readings which unveiled the richness of Lithuanian folklore in its many facets. The programme was moderated by Nijolė Jankutė - Užubalienė and organised by Dana Skorulienė.

Nijolė Jankutė introduced the afternoon

A Successful Start to the Sydney Lithuanian Saturday School
February 23, 2008
Saturday Lithuanian classes for children kicked off to a very successful start on 23rd of February 2008 at the Lithuanian Club "Dainava", 16-20 Meredith Street, Bankstown. They will run every week on Saturdays at 11 am. The teacher is Jadvyga Dambrauskienė.

For further information please contact: Jadvyga Dambrauskienė Tel: (02) 9709-3814 Email: juozas@optusnet.com.au

Children with parents at the start of Weekend School. The teacher Jadvyga Dambrauskienė is in the centre of the photgraph.

Sydney Lithuanian Scouts "Mini-Vykla" at Camp Coutts
January 18-20, 2008
Sydney Lithuanian Scouts recently had short duration camp, which they imaginatively called a "Mini-Vykla", at Camp Coutts, near Engadine on the outskirts of Sydney, January 18 - 20, 2008. They learned new scouting skills and had great fun doing the things that scouts do.

Making Lithuanian crosses

Photos courtesy "Mūsų Pastogė"
Lithuanian Visitors Meet Locals at "Dainava" Lithuanian Club
December, 2007
The Lithuanian Co-operative "Talka" president Mr. Audrius Balbata, together with his wife Regina, came from Melbourne to attend the Sydney "Talka" AGM, which was organised by the Sydney branch manager Ele Kains. This was held at the "Dainava" Lithuanian Club, Bankstown, on the afternoon of December 9, 2007.
Lithuanian born Linas Jakučionis from Wellington, New Zealand, flew in to meet up with some newly arrived young Lithuanians, now living in Sydney. Linas formerly lived for 7 years in Ireland, where he instigated the now incorporated Irish Lithuanian Community. Coincidentally, the New Zealand Lithuanian Society in Auckland signed the application to incorporate over a "cepelinai" lunch the same day (9/12/07). Their new website www.lithuanians.org.nz is available in Lithuanian and English languages.
Conversation, shared ideas, Lithuanian dishes and "Švyturys" beer added up to a stimulating fun afternoon at "Dainava" Club in Sydney.
Standing (L-R) - Linas Jakučionis, Ramona Ratas-Zakarevičienė, Audrius Balbata, Regina Balbatienė,
Greta Savickaitė-Fletcher, Darius Bačiulis. Sitting - Egle Juškevičiūtė, Mindaugas Kairys


Picnic Cements Friendships for Newly Arrived Young Lithuanians
November, 2007
Newly Arrived Young Lithuanians are finding out that a picnic is an excellent way to meet up with friends, make new ones and have a relaxing time. The newly arrived young Lithuanians group in Sydney, organised by Greta Savickaitė - Fletcher, again met up with their young families, this time at a picnic at Bankstown Ruse Park on November 10, 2007. A glorious Saturday afternoon meant that a very pleasant time was had by all, including the many pre-school children.


Newly arrived Lithuanians at Bankstown Ruse Park


Newly Arrived Young Lithuanians Form a Group in Sydney
February, 2007
Young Lithuanians, mostly students, who have recently arrived in Sydney from Lithuania, have come together to share their experiences and to get to know each other better. Their newly formed group has already held very successful and enjoyable picnics on the last two weekends: on Saturday, February 17, at The Entrance, 100km north of Sydney, and on Saturday, February 24, at Balmoral Beach in Sydney. The group, ably led by Greta Savickaitė-Fletcher, plans to hold regular functions, especially for young people, which would include picnics, evening get-togethers at the Sydney Lithuanian Club, and other events.


For further information: Greta, mob: 0401 442 325, Email: gretasav2@yahoo.com, Skype Id: GretaFletch

Meeting up at The Entrance, with the channel in the background


Lithuanian Scouts regional camp at Anglesea
January 2-10, 2007
Australian Lithuanian Scouts at the regional camp at Anglesea, Victoria (near Geelong), January 2-10, 2007