New Australians enjoyed their Convention
But young film star, Ailita, had to
play a Cinderella role
By GEORGINA O'SULLIVAN, staff reporter
[NEW AUSTRALIANS at the Citizenship Convention in their national costumes meet Immigration Minister Mr Holt (centre): Left to right: Hella Rwtel, Estonian; Valeska Stewart, Latvian; Maria Luk Kozika, Polish;
Kalyna Fryz, Ukrainian; Elizabeth Bodizcky, Hungarian; Constantin Medvetzky, Polish.]
Ailita Blumanis, Latvian star of the Department of Information film "No Strangers Here," was not at the preview of the film during Australia's first Citizenship
Convention in Canberra.
A few hours before the screening officials learned she was not among the other players because she "did not have a pretty dress to
SO while the film was shown to a distinguished audience a pretty
girl was probably crying her eyes out at Cowra Migrants'
Camp because she could not be present at what should have been one of the most exciting events of her young life.
During the day delegates to the Convention pooled their ideas on migration problems, and at night migrants displayed their talents on the screen and stage, and in an ex- hibition of arts and crafts.
The arts and crafts exhibition gave a fair idea of the rare quality of needlework, woodwork, tapestry, basketware, and pottery which should appear on the Australian market as migrants finish their two year indenture.
HIGHLIGHT of the Convention
was the musical festival at the Albert Hall where, despite the squeaky chairs which play a con- stant accompaniment, migrants showed the musical and dancing talent that is coming to Australia day after day.
From the tiny Scots girls who danced the Highland Fling to the children from the holding centre at Cowra who helped Latvian soprano, Magda Vitans, sing "Waltzing Matilda," the programme was quick moving and bright.
Sonic of the male artists, who have known success on many European concert platforms, wore dress clothes, while others wore their well-pressed dark lounge suits.
UKRAINIANS George Denysenko and former medical student Kalyna Fryz wore national costumes to the
The colorful dancing caught the fancy of the audience because almost every dance mimed a humorous tale.
New Australians were almost over- whelming in their friendship.
When I tried to purchase a beautifully woven work basket from a stall where things were for sale, Polish Mrs. Maria Luk Kozika looked unhappily at the basket and said: "But it is so little and so plain."
Her friend, Irene Gizycki, also from Poland, took a yellow rose from a bowl and pinned it on top
of the basket.
Both girls beamed as Maria said: "Now it is nice."
Quaintest costume was worn by Pole Constantin Medvetzky, whose
[AILITA BLUMANIS, pretty young Latvian who stars in the Department of Information film "No Strangers Here," the story of a migrant family. She plays the role of the
daughter, a trainee nurse.]
red-and-white beret boasted a tall plumage of peacock feathers.
"Major Kershaw, the director of Bonegilla Camp, gave them to me,"
"He is very popular in our camp and he helped us wash our cos- tumes because we were late."
When I admired the beautiful needlework done by Mrs. Etelka Patacsy, she declared modestly, "My needlework is nothing, because it is customs come from one to an- other, from my grandmother to my
mother to me."
Her favorite work is an applique of vivid materials on fine linen cushions.
"The hard pattern I like to do,"
One piece of Ukrainian tapestry on exhibition is 150 years old, and Ivan Kenez, a Ukrainian, who works as a statistician in thc P.M.G.'s De- partment in Melbourne, pointed out
[GREEK DANCER Emanuel Gerakiteys adjusts his garter while his two-year-old daughter. Pothity, peeks
at the world from the shelter of his leg.]
to me its 65 different samples of
The tapestry is painted with
natural color from crushed flowers and Ivan said it represents both European and Oriental culture be- cause of Ukraine's geographical position. The tapestry will soon be given to the Melbourne Museum.
A number of migrant artists displayed their work, Including Ukrainian Leonard Denysenko, who exhibited a number of pen sketches of Australian and German scenes.
Leonard, who is 24, has done letter sketching for a Polish film company, and was also a cartoonist on a Polish newspaper before being sent to a political concentration camp.
As soon as he is free to seek work for himself, he plans to take up
commercial art, because "I like it so much I can't stay without it."
To a party of children from vari-
ous migrant camps the Convention was a boisterous holiday. Brought
to Canberra for the folk dancing at the musical festival, they had the time of their lives at Canberra Gram- mar School, where they stayed.
Called to order every now and
then for rehearsals, they raced round together, donned their swimsuits for "swims" under the shower, and took
a look at Canberra on bus tours.
When delegates returned to heir
respective communities, they took with them a number of sound ideas.
As Melbourne delegate Vivian Stafford told me: "We are tackling
the problem of 'the migrant down
"The fellow next door, across the road, or two doors down may or may not speak English with an accent. However broken his English, he is
our neighbor, and language barriers should not interfere with our friend- ship."
Most exhilarating speeches at the
Convention were made by Mrs.
Caroline Kelly, a research fellow of the Department of Anthropology at Sydney University, and John Storey,
chairman of thc Commonwealth Immigration Planning Council.
John Storey pointed out that some Australians tend to expect too much from adult migrants overnight, and
declared that we should let them lead the lives to which they have
"We should regard them as assets in helping to develop the great era of expansion inter which Australia is entering," he said.
The Oliviers to be godparents to Anita Finch
PAINTING is relaxation jor Peter Finch, who works on study oj Soho when time permits between rehearsals oj "Pommy," his first West End production. This follows his acting
success in "Daphne Laureola."
First-born of Australian actor and ballerina wife
Peter Finch's three-month-old baby daughter, Anita, is occupying all the spare time of this successful young Australian actor. He and his wife, formerly ballerina Tamara Tchinarova, are now established
residents in the heart of London's theatreland.
THEY live in St. Martin's
Lane, and Anita will be christened at the famous old church,- St. Martin's - in - the - Field, when her godparents will be Sir Laurence and Lady
From tho Finchs' flat it's only a hop-and-step to thc Wyndham Theatre, where Peter is appearing nightly in the hit play "Daphne Laureola." Add a jump to that hop-and-step, and you are in leicester Square, a blazing quad- rangle of neon-lit cinemas.
Life is a busy business for the Finchs. After a successful English film debut in Ealing's "Train of Events" and a stage debut in
FAMILY PET Chris did not have his nose at all put out of joint by arrival of Anita, for he is far from neglected and, although he ignores 'he baby, he flirts with visitors. Mrs. Finch enjoys petting him when she
lias lime in between her shopping expeditions in Soho and St. Marlin's Lane.
"Daphne Laureola"' which drew praise from the critics, Peter is now hard at work producing his first West End play, "Pommy," written by Australian John Watson and English scriptwriter W. P. ("Bill") Lipscomb.
He is also directing the West End play "The White Falcon," a historical play about Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn with Basil Radford as Henry and Sheila Burrell as Ann.
Peter says they have a routine for taking Anita for a walk-"Down to St. James' Park to watch them feed- ing the ducks, up through Green Pack, where we often pass young Prince Charles out in his pram, anti then on to Hyde Park, just near enough to hear thc soap-box boys without getting involved."
BABY FINCH, three-month-old Anita, poses happily with her actor-producer father and her lovely mother, who was formerly ballerina Tamara Tchinarova. Sir Laurence Olivier advised Peter Finch to try his luck in London.
Peter hopes his daughter will be- come a pianist.
"Mind you, I'm not going to sit her down at a piano and stand over her while she pounds out her prac- tice. But I just hope she will show a liking for it, that's all."
Apart from looking after thc baby, Tamara does thc shopping in St. Martin's Lane and in nearby Soho. "Soho is thc best place in London to get the little extras that mean so much-Continental cheeses, pastes, salami, things like that. But it's thc extra delicacies that cost thc money -sometimes four times as much as at home in Australia. Ordinary rationed foods are cheap."
And then, of course, like every- one, they arc searching for the ideal placé to live. "Wc want more room and air now that there's the baby. We're thinking of going further out
CARRY-COT is Anita's form of transport on short walks or shopping trips. Cot lifts out of the pram, enabling Peter and Tamara to get on buses or taxis. The Finch family love London, and spend hours in antique shops in search of
treasures for their home.
EXPERIENCE has soon made Peter into an expert bottle feeder. He says he had made up his mi rt 'ie would never make gooing, clucking
noises, but now he's u father it just comes naturally.