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After Lithuanians independence was regained in 1918, in 1921 the leading intellectuals, understanding importance of the national integrity development, established the Society for Beautification of Lithuania. A well-known writer and public leader priest Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas and scientific forestry patriarch professor Povilas Matulionis were elected as its chairman and vice-chairman; the Board of the Society included professor Tadas Ivanauskas, professor Liudas Vailionis, Minister of Justice and later Chairman of the State Council Stasys Šilingas, engineer Eugenijus Kubilius and others. Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas was later succeeded by such famous Lithuanian patriots as general Vladas Nagevičius and colonel Vladas Braziulevičius.

During the period of 1921–1940 the Society accomplished a great work encouraging national integration and patriotic awareness. The National Congress, organised by the Society in Veliuona on June 28, 1925, was of key importance. Celebration of the 500th anniversary of the death of Grand Duke Vytautas the Great organised in 1930 also left an unforgettable impression. The Society performed an enormous work building monuments for Vytautas the Great all over Lithuania and organising a celebrative carrying of His Majesty’s portrait through the country. Such celebrations strengthened national self-awareness, which Soviet occupants failed to break in following fifty years, although they tried to erase these events from the national memory with an unprecedented cruelty. Lithuanian patriots and intellectuals were killed, deported or forced to exile. We still fail to evaluate and honour their memory in a due way. Only honouring them we will manage to regain our national pride.

After Lithuania was occupied in 1940, the Society, which was successfully raising national and patriotic awareness and carrying out environmental activities, was banned.

On June 23, 1995, with the help of late Monsignor Kazimieras Vasiliauskas, the former Chairman of Honour of the Society, and other intellectuals the Society for Beautification of Lithuania was re-established and now continues national traditions of our ancestors. In thirteen years the Society, led by its Board Chairman Juozas Dingelis, has turned into one of the largest non-governmental organisations and accomplished a great work in the field of landscape preservation and development, encouraging national awareness and culture, unity and tolerance, as well as organising public activists – promoters of the progress, “little diamonds” as Juozas Tumas–Vaižgantas used to call them. At present the Society has 60 divisions established in different cities, towns and villages and over 4 thousand members. Justinas Marcinkevičius, the most famous poet, is the Chairman of Honour of the Society. The Society continues to work intensively to heel the wounds of the national cultural heritage. It spreads its outlets in villages and rural areas, holds conferences, congresses and environmental education seminars, organised contests between the most beautiful homesteads, settlements, apartment houses and educational institutions, planting of trees, celebrations of important historic events, celebrations of the Earth Day, the Meeting of Birds etc.

In 2008 the Society for Beautification of Lithuania has organised conferences and seminars on encouraging local communities, nature and cultural heritage preservation and employment and rural development strategies. The national unity celebration called “The Light of the Hill-forts” held on the 6th of July already turns into tradition. Veliuona was declared a sacred site representing Lithuanian fights for independence on July 29, 1925, during the 1st National Congress. Following this resolution, we have to build the Memorial for Lithuanian fights for freedom here. The State Day is celebrated at Veliuona annually. This year at 9 p. m. the sacred fire was lit simultaneously on the Serenity Hill and the Gediminas’ Grave Hill-forts of Veliuona, the Hill of Birutė in Palanga, the Gediminas’ Castle Hill in Vilnius and on over a hundred other most important Lithuanian hill-forts. This fire gives us spiritual strength, encourages loving one another and provides patriotic inspiration for working for the sake of the Fatherland. In 2008 we have organised the National Contest of the most beautiful homesteads, farms and settlements, so meeting its millennium, which is going to be celebrated in 2009, Lithuania could flourish further. The Society has issued a photo-album “On the Way of Love and Beauty of the Fatherland” (“Tėvynės meilės ir grožio keliu”). We plan to issue the album of the most beautiful Lithuanian homesteads and settlements and their creators till June 2009.
 

One of the goals of the Society for Beautification of Lithuania includes development of humanitarian and cultural ties with the EU people and cooperation with non-governmental organisations. This cooperation must be supported by the state in order to withstand negative pressure form the East and sometimes globalization challenges from the West as well.
The EU leaders and the leaders of our country must understand, that investments into culture, nature, landscape and heritage are vital for small countries, such as Lithuania, and that cultural projects following European and Lithuanian values must be supported.

The Society for Beautification of Lithuania addresses European non-governmental organisations, institutions, foundations and citizens and invites them for partnership and cooperation in cultural exchange, heritage and nature preservation, environment and landscape development experience proliferation projects.  

Looking forwards your response and proposals.


Best Wishes,

Juozas Dingelis
Board Chairman
Society for Beautification of Lithuania


Our address and telephones:

Vilnius 01130, Pamėnkalnio g. 23/5                                        Lietuvai pagražinti draugija
Tel. Faks. 852608856                                                            Įmonės kodas 291906320 a/s LT
Mob. tel. 860004936                                                              837044060000279225
www.lpd.lt; draugija@lpd.lt                                                      AB SEB bankas, Vilnius

 © Lietuvai pagražinti draugija, 2008 m. balandžio 25 d.