Global True Lithuania Lithuanian communities and heritage worldwide

Perth and West Australia

A 1150-meters-tall mountain near Tom Price town is named Mount Truchanas after Olegas Truchanas, a Šiauliai-born Lithuanian photographer. Olegas Truchanas is considered an important person in the Australian envirointmentalist movement as his images of pristine nature have attracted a wide attention to how the humans affect the nature.

The Lithuanian community of the area was never large and it has largely assimilated, leaving little material heritage.

After Australia has accepted Lithuanian refugees from the Soviet Union, some 600 of them settled in Perth, West Australia, further from other Lithuanian communities. Unlike elsewhere in Australia, the Perth diocese offered Lithuanians a church (St. Francis Xaver, Windsor street, Eastern Perth). Initially, Irish priests held the mass, who were later replaced by Lithuanians. Beginning with the Vatican II, a Lithuanian mass was held (until 1999), the wedding and funerary rites were also performed in Lithuanian.

However, Lituanity faced an uphill struggle in Perth as the community was both small and isolated. It was mostly the senescent people who were supporting the Lituanity, while the children were not interested in it. The language was not passed to the new generation and the Lithuanian festivals are no longer celebrated. There were attempts to establish a Lithuanian school in 1969, however it folded in 1972 as it failed to attract enough children to receive funding. Since 1975, a Lithuanian newspaper Žinutė (the Message) was published, but the publishing ceased in 1999. The Lithuanian radio transmissions became English at 1995.

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