Monday, 10 August 2015

Sydney Lithuanians, 1934

This photo, courtesy of Metraštis No 1 (p15), is of participants at the 1934 Lithuanian Independence Day celebrations in Sydney, organised by the Australian Lithuanian Society:

Presidents of the Society included:

  • Jonas Vedrinaitis (John Wedrien): 1929-31;
  • Antanas Bauže: 1933-36;
  • Jonas Vedrinaitis: 1937-38;
  • Kazys Brazauskas (Key Braz): 1939; and
  • Antanas Bauže: 1940-50. 

Luda Popenhagen (Australian Lithuanians, p22) records that:

The Honorary Latvian Consul, J McLeod, who was British by birth, was also the official representative of the Lithuanian government in Australia.  Consul McLeod and his wife began attending the Lithuanian Independence Day celebrations in 1934, and continued to be popular guests of honour.  From 1937 onwards the Estonian House in Sydney's city centre was used, as it was close to public transport and contained an auditorium suitable for banquets and concerts.

Popenhagen also provides this snapshot of the economic situation of Australian Lithuanians during the Great Depression [presumably based on Australian Lithuanian Society member records]:

  • 23% were wage or salary earners;
  • 14% were self-employed;
  • 11% were employers;
  • 12% were unemployed;
  • 40% were not in the workforce
(source: J. Kunca 'Lithuanians' in J. Jupp (ed) The Australian people; an encyclopedia of the nation, its people and their origins, 2001, p570)  

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