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Adelaide Lithuanian community gives an exceptional gift to Lithuania on the occasion of the country’s centenary
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the state of Lithuania, the Adelaide Lithuanian community prepared an exceptional gift for Lithuania – preserved personal relics of Lithuanian Presidents.
The community has preserved a manuscript and a walking stick owned and used by the President Antanas Smetona, as well as a silver ladle and a barometer that once belonged to the President Aleksandras Stulginskis. These priceless artefacts will be handed over to Lithuania and exhibited at the historical Presidential Palace in Kaunas.
“The personal belongings of the Presidents of the First Lithuanian Republic are important not only to local Lithuanians. They are significant for entire country, therefore, the public must have the opportunity to make themselves acquainted with them. Now that we are to celebrate the February 16th for the 100th time, what more suitable occasion than that for giving this gift!” said the Chairman of the Adelaide Lithuanian community Aleksas Talanskas.
“From a historical point of view, this is a unique gift to Lithuania and we are grateful to the Adelaide Lithuanian community for giving it to us. We are also thankful for their active effort to foster and maintain the Lithuanian identity, as well as a sense that they are an integral part of global Lithuania,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister Darius Skusevičius, who received the gift on behalf of Lithuania.
The commemorative event was attended by members of the Adelaide Lithuanian choir ‘Šypsena’, Irena Kalibatas, members of the Lithuanian folk dance group ‘Žilvinas’, and a group of students of the Lithuanian language school ‘Žiburėlis’. In addition, the local Lithuanian poet Lidija Šimkutė, whose poetry has been translated into 16 foreign languages, read her poems.
During the visit to Adelaide, representatives of Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also visited the Adelaide Lithuanian Catholic Center. The only Lithuanian church in Australia that was opened in 1959 – the St. Kazimieras chapel – is located at the centre. The centre also houses historic documents (refugee case cards), paintings and sculptures by Australian Lithuanians, general information about Lithuania and Lithuanians, and photos that provide a glimpse into the community's everyday life in Australia.
On 14 May, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius officially opened Lithuania‘s Honorary Consulate in Gifu, Japan.
On 15 February in Canberra, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius held a meeting with the Deputy Secretary at Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia Justin Brown. Skusevičius called on finalising bilateral agreements on social security and the Lithuanian-Australian working holiday program for young people.
“The achievements of Lithuanian scientists in the fields of life sciences and lasers are known and appreciated in the world. Hopefully, with representatives of the Lithuanian Laser and Engineering Technologies cluster (LITEK) we can not only introduce them in New Zealand, but also establish new partnerships,” said the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius, who met with New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau and the Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Jeff Langley on 12 February in Wellington.