Monday, 3 August 2015

Sydney Lithuanians, 1914

This photo (courtesy of Metraštis No. 1, p14) is captioned 'a group of early Lithuanians on a picnic':





The same photo was reproduced in Luda Popenhagen's Australian Lithuanians and titled 'Lithuanian Australians picknicking in Sydney c. 1914, holding Lietuva, the American Lithuanian newspaper which published articles about Lithuanian migrants in Australia'.

We know that John Wedrien (Jonas Vedrinaitis) and Alexander (Ksaveras) Skierys had written an article to Lietuva, which was published in edition No. 16 of 1914; see the posts of 5 March and 12 March for their stories).

I'm confident the man on the far left of the photo is John Wedrien and that the man sitting in the front row (looking down) is Alexander Skierys.

It would be great to identify the ladies and the other two men in this photo.

Perhaps one of the other men was Jonas Mickevičius (known as John McCowage in Sydney)?

Metraštis No 1 (p8) recounts a few elements of Mickevičius' story as told by John Wedrien:
  • he arrived in 1887 from the UK with his wife and one child, together with two other Lithuanian men.  The two other men soon returned to London;
  • his wife, who according to Vedrinaitis was the first Lithuanian woman to have set foot on Australia, died after 10 years here;
  • Jonas had met no other Lithuanians in Australia until a chance encounter with Vedrinaitis at a Sydney market in 1913 or 1914;
  • he operated a greengrocer's shop.

Other Lithuanians who were living in Sydney at that time included:
  • Jonas Balaika;
  • Aleksandras Daukantas;
  • Antanas Juknaitis;
  • Petras (Peter) Kairaitis and his brother Vincas (Bill) Kairaitis;
  • Petras Kazlauskas;
  • Pranas Maciunas (Franc Matzonas); and
  • Stasys Urniežius (Stanislaus Urniarz)

No comments:

Post a Comment