GRAŽBYLĖ VENCLAUSKAITĖ (1912−2017)
She was born in 1912 in Riga. Gražbylė studied Law at Vilnius University and worked as a lawyer in Šiauliai and Joniškis. The most important factors that influenced her career and life were law and justice. Gražbylė and her family contributed to life-saving of Jews. Her house was later reconstructed and now there is the museum of “Aušra”. Gražbylė was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in March 3, 2000 .
KLEOPAS JAKAITIS (1924–2007)
He was born in 1924 in Raseiniai district. Kleopas was ordained to the priest in 1947. He initiated the equipment of the church organ at the Cathedral of Šiauliai. Kleopas Jakaitis is the patron of the International Ecclesiastical Festivals. He was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in March 3, 2000.
SAULIUS SONDECKIS (1928–2016)
The director, the honourable member of Musicians’ Association of Lithuania. He initiated the foundation of Chamber Orchestra in Lithuania in 1960. The Youth Orchestra, conducted by Saulius Sondeckis won the first place in the International Orchestra Music Competition in Berlin in 1976. Saulius Sondeckis is a participant of many international musical festivals and the initiator of cultural activities in Lithuania. Saulius Sondeckis became the Laureate of the Award of the National Culture and Art in 2000. He was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in March 3, 2000 .
VILIUS ANTANAS KAZANAVIČIUS
He was born in 1936 in Rokiškis district. Vilius has lived in Šiauliai for 23 years and now he lives in Vilnius. He had worked at the Executive Committee and initiated the up-building of the Republic Library, Art Gallery, Park Stage, the Premises of Engineers, the Houses of Teachers, the Surgery Corps at Republic Hospital, the cinema-theaters ”Saulė” and “Laikas”, the Children Art School. Vilius Antanas Kazanavičius revived both cultural and intellectual life of the city as he initiated the arrival of a lot of industrious directors, actors, architects from other cities. Many of them currently live and work in the city of Šiauliai. Vilius Antanas Kazanavičius was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 14, 2000.
VYTENIS RIMKUS (1930−2020)
He was born in 1930 in Šiauliai district. All his family was exiled to Siberia in 1946. There he was sentenced to death due to rebellion against the Soviet Regime, but later the penalty was remitted. Vytenis Rimkus has been mastering students’ Bachelor’s and Master’s works for 30 years. He delivers lectures at Šiauliai University and is a member of Doctoral Committee in all universities of Lithuania, Art Academy and the Institute of Culture and Art. He was given the professor’s degree in 1988. Vytenis Rimkus is known as a prominent person, contributing to Lithuania’s spiritual life. He was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 14, 2000.
ALFONSAS STAKĖNAS (1925-2021)
He was born in 1925 in Rokiškis. Alfonsas Stakėnas graduated from the University of Vilnius and gained the specialty of urologist. He had worked at Šiauliai Hospital for 41 year. Alfonsas Stakėnas has published a great number of scientific articles and is an active participant of the activity of urologists in Lithuania. Apart from this, he is the Head of the Third Century University. He was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 14, 2000.
PETRAS ILGŪNAS (1918−2016)
He was born in 1918 in Vilkaviškis District. Petras Ilgūnas had worked as the Head of Gardeners’ Association for 36 years. His task was to deliver seminars for gardeners, instruct them about fertilizers, proper garden equipment, how to take care of various plants, etc… His contribution to Šiauliai City and the Republic of Lithuania is self-evident The gardeners of Šiauliai have won many awards so far. Tourists often visit the city for the sake of seeing the achievements of the gardeners. Petras Ilgūnas was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 12, 2001.
JONAS KRIVICKAS (1929−2007)
He was born in 1929 in Šiauliai. Since 1967 Jonas Krivickas has been working as a teacher at Julius Janonis Gymnasium in Šiauliai. He was given the title of the Emeritus Teacher for being a creative and honest pedagogue. Jonas was given the qualification category of the Expert of the Lithuanian Language and Literature. He is a founder of the Museum of History at Julius Janonis Gymnasium. Jonas Krivickas travels a lot, he is an excellent photographer and the guide of Žemaitija region. Jonas Krivickas was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 20, 2001.
JUOZAS DZIDOLIKAS (1941−2011)
He was born in 1941. Juozas lost his sight in early childhood. In spite of this, he has always been a public-spirited person and an active musician. Juozas Dzidolikas published a book for blind people ”A Book for Adults How to Read in Braille” (“Suaugusiųjų aklųjų mokymas kaip skaityti Brailio raštu”). Juozas Dzidolikas has been interested in blind people’s problems, was always trying to find adequate solutions for them. His musical performance “Say Hallo to a Musician” (“Paveikink muzikantą”) was recorded on the CD. Juozas initiated the equipment of the electric musical organ at Šiauliai Cultural Center. He was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 19, 2002.
KAZIMIERAS ŠAVINIS (1937-2018)
He reported to Šiauliai in 1959. Under his decision many projects, concerning bypasses were implemented. Kazimieras Šavinis was the first Mayor of Šiauliai City after USSR recognized the independence of Lithuania. He would sponsor many projects of the city infrastructure, especially the one of the reconstruction of the motorway “Šiauliai-Bubiai”. Currently Kazimieras Šavinis is a member of Lithuania’s Cultural Fund at Šiauliai Council. Competence, sociability and intelligence are his most characteristic features. Kazimieras Šavinis was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 11, 2002.
ANTANAS KRIŠTOPAITIS (1921−2011)
He was born in 1921 in Šiauliai district. Antanas was arrested in 1940 and spent seventeen years in exile. While being far from his motherland, he created the scenography for fourteen operas and ballets. Antanas Krištopaitis painted about six hundred pictures of churches and over two hundred pictures of windmills traveling all over Lithuania. His collection of self-portraits was involved into Lithuania’s Book of Records. 645 pictures of Antanas Krištopaitis are placed in the museum “Aušra”. The artist was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 11, 2003.
POVILAS MORKŪNAS (1932−2017)
He was born in 1932 in Biržai district. Povilas had worked as the head of the Television Factory for 23 years. He was given the title of the Emeritus Engineer of the Soviet Union Republic of Lithuania. Povilas Morkūnas managed to recourse the erection of the Sports Complex, Health Clinic and Resort Center. He had worked as the chairman of the Executive Committee for five years. Povilas contributed to the implementation of the projects of improving the quality of drinking water, the up-building of the Medical Premises, etc... He retired in 2001. Povilas Morkūnas was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 11, 2003.
KAZIMIERAS ROMUALDAS ŽUPERKA
He was born in 1937 in Kėdainiai district. Kazimieras is an illustrious scientist and public figure, the Head of the Lithuanian Language Department at Šiauliai University, the author of a lot of manuals. Kazimieras Romualdas Župerka published the manual for university students “The Stylistics of the Lithuanian Language” (“Lietuvių kalbos stilistika”) in 1983. He is the co-author of the manual “The Lithuanian Language” (“Lietuvių kalbos vadovėlis”) for secondary schools. Kazimieras Romualdas Župerka was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 11, 2003.
He was born in 1956 in Šiauliai district .The male teams, coached by him once won the Cup Final and were twice the winners of the third place in Lithuania’s Basketball League. Antanas Sireika was given the title of the Emeritus Basketball Coach in 1996. The third place in the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 made Lithuania famous world-wide. This year, after 64 years break, Lithuania’s Male Basketball Team, coached by Antanas Sireika became the Champions of Europe. He has been coaching basketball players for 25 years. Antanas Sireika was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 18, 2003.
He was born in January 5th in 1949 in Denmark. He is the citizen of Denmark, but lives in Sweden. His family consists of wife Jet Ronne, son Christian Ronne, daughter Dorte Ronne. Torkil Ronne got higher education in higher business school in Copenhagen.
Torkil Ronne his activity in Lithuania started in 1992, when being a member of "Rotary Club" he came to Lithuania for the purposes of charity. Even then he realised that the majority of investments from abroad go to Vilnius or other bigger cities of Lithuania. Therefore, he began to struggle that more investments, charity and other projects would be implemented in Šiauliai.
Since 1994 Torkil Ronne associates with Šiauliai Didždvaris Gymnasium, institutions of special education "Goda", "Ringuva" and J.Laužiko School for the purposes of charity support and education.
He organises the actions of charity and support. With his and other people's help Šiauliai City collaborates with Cristianstade City and Šiauliai University collaborates with Cristianstade University. These cities implement international "Rotary" projects and delegations of businessmen from both cities closely collaborate. He helped to organise exchange programs, the courses of English for free for inhabitants of Šiauliai. With his help students from this city could get grants and go to study to Sweden. In addition, thanks to his work that a number of business institutions from Scandinavia invested into development of industry in Šiauliai. In this way such companies as ISC "Bigso", ISC 'Artliux Baltija", ISC "DIAB" were established and more working places for inhabitants of Šiauliai were created. A number of businessmen became the partners or found clients in Scandinavian countries. Since 1999 till now T.Ronne is business co-ordinator of IKEA TRADING UAB in Lithuania.
Torkil Ronne is frank, thoughtful, creative and imaginative person, who always has some new ideas in his mind. His house is always full of people from all over the world. He has a great experience on international collaborating. His wish to help to inhabitants of Šiauliai really deserves gratitude.
In 09 -09 -2004 according to the decision No.T-208 made by the council of Municipality of Šiauliai he was conferred the honorary citizen's title.
BRONIUS GADEIKIS (1926−2005)
He was born in February 24 in 1926 in Plungė City. He studied in Plungė and Kaunas. In 1953 he graduated Kaunas medical institution and was appointed to department of orthopaedics - traumatology to Šiauliai republican hospital, where he gained more knowledge and improved in this field. He stove for higher category in children's orthopaedics and traumatology.
In 1966 he was conferred the first category of orthopaedics - traumatology and in 1984-the highest qualification category of orthopaedics - traumatology. In 1963-1964 the doctor went to advanced training institute in Riga where he learned to master operative treatment of inborn dislocation of joint. Later he began doing analogous operations in Šiauliai.
Since 1963 doctor B.Gadeikis was the initiator in Šiauliai maternity home that started systematically examine all new-born children once a week in order to ascertain inborn deformations.
Four years he did that regularly. The doctor taught micropediatrists of Šiauliai districts to use review technology. All new-born children with inborn deformations were given a follow-up care and treated in children's polyclinics. Twice in his as doctor's career he studied in advanced training institute in Moscow where he improved in children's orthopaedics, traumatology and surgery. He was always apt to share his knowledge with colleagues. The doctor was the member of such organisations as Republic scientific circle of orthopaedics-traumatology, Scientific circle of surgeons in Šiauliai area and Republic circle of children's surgery. In addition, he was the member of children's traumatic commission in Šiauliai City for many years. During 50 years of work the doctor prepared 30 reports, which were read in conferences of surgeons, gynaecologists, micropaediatrists, in the meetings of Šiauliai surgeon's, in schools, kindergartens. Many of his reports were realised in medical publications, local newspaper.
Little patients and colleagues love and respect doctor Bronius Gadeikis for his energy, optimism, humanity and professional knowledge. Several times he was awarded medals, diplomas and got official messages of thanks.
In 09 -09 -2004 according to the decision No.T-208 made by the council of Municipality of Šiauliai City he was conferred the honorary citizen's title.
ZENONAS EIMUTIS SABALYS
He was born in January 2nd in 1939 in Kaunas. He studied in Veiviržėnai primary school and Šilute 1 Secondary School, which he graduated with silver medal. In 1960 he got qualification of civil engineer in Kaunas polytechnic institute. While studying there he sang in academic chorus, worked in students' scientific circle, learned Esperanto language, established KPI circle of Esperanto and had many pen friends from foreign countries.
In 1962 Z.E.Sabalys got married and moved to Šiauliai. He worked as engineer, later he was chief in the 6th mechanisation office in Šiauliai, which at this time became one of the best building organisations in Lithuania.
In 1974 he was rewarded according to his deserts in building Akmenė cement factory and got engineer's honorary title. During 17 years of work Zenonas Eimutis Sabalys participated in all buildings in Šiauliai, such as: Television Sets, Rėkyva Tyres and Rėkyva Peat companies, "Nuklonas","Mechanika", Bikes Factories, Milk and Meat enterprises, dwelling houses, schools, kindergartens etc. Engineer still remembers "partisan' projects, such as complicated works of poles' driving in building Summer's stage, the building of KPI palace, creation of Engineers' House, where Z.E. Sabalys ran cultural sections.
All these objects were built when the chairman of executive committee of the City was Vilius Kazanavičius. In 1967 he joined TSKP.
In 1979 Zenonas Eimutis Sabalys was assigned to assistant chairman of executive committee. Later he became the first assistant responsible for building and architecture of the city. He united all architects, builders, and companies of the city and organised the reconstruction of old cinema, which was transformed into a nice little theatre, which is still visited by inhabitants of Šiauliai. Z.E.Sabalys actively participated in making projects and building the objects for 750 anniversary of Šiauliai City, also later he participated in building the biggest objects of education, medicine and sport. In 1990 he was elected deputy of the council of Šiauliai City.
Since August of 1990 till February 2003 Z.E.Sabalys worked in banking. He together with Elvyra Palaimienė and Arvydas Salda established Šiauliai bank and worked there. Later he became director of branch office of bank "Snoras".
Z.E.Sabalys is of many years a member of Žemaiciu circle "Saulaukis", international club of Šiauliai "Lions", Lithuanian Esperanto union. He represented Lithuanian Esperanto speakers in various congresses in Sweden, Czech, Germany, France, Israel and China. He actively participates in the work of social organisations of the City. He is awarded medals, diplomas, and premiums and got official messages of thanks.
He is a widower. He has two adult daughters Eglė and Audronė.
Since 08-11-2003 he is a pensioner.
His erudition, strong character, various activities for the welfare of the city and its inhabitants, constant search for novelties really need to be appreciated.
In 09 -09 -2004 according to the decision No.T-208 made by the council of Municipality of Šiauliai he was conferred the honorary citizen's title.
ALBERTAS GRIGANAVIČIUS (1934−2015)
He was born in 1934 in Panevėžys district. Albertas Griganavičius graduated from Vilnius University and gained the specialty of surgeon. He had worked as a surgeon and neurosurgeon at Šiauliai Hospital for 34 years. Since August of 1981 till August of 1998 Albertas Griganavičius was the head of the Neurosurgery Department. In addition to his professional work he joins in editing studies and articles of hospital specialists, shares his knowledge and experience with young medics, participates in the Association of Surgeons Learned Body, prepares and reads papers. The doctor Albertas Griganavičius is an active spreader of Bishop Motiejus Valančius temperance movement in Šiauliai and Lithuania. The doctor has written hundreds of articles to the newspapers ‘Blaivioji Lietuva’, ‘Valančiukų aidas’ and other newspapers and magazines.
The doctor Albertas Griganavičius has arranged a lot of events for Lithuanian revival, participated in all major city culture events, shot them and has a wide film library of authentic historical importance. While creating the Third Century University (in 1999) he was the member of the creative initiative group. Later he helped to establish the faculty of Spiritual Development and was assigned the dean of it. He was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 2005.
JONAS LAMAUSKAS (1941 - 2022)
He was born in 1941 in Kaunas. He gained the specialty of lecturer and the qualification of orchestra artist, and was appointed the grand piano lecturer at Šiauliai K. Preikšas Pedagogical Institute in 1964. In addition, he took the lead of the Institute Instrumental ensemble and worked as a bassoon lecturer at Šiauliai Music further education school. He has worked as a headmaster at Šiauliai Music further education school (now called Šiauliai Conservatory) since 1966.
Jonas Lamauskas was the kapellmeister and leader of Šiauliai city Folk Symphonic Orchestra since 1989 till 1993. As the headmaster of Šiauliai Music further education school he has attempted to concentrate a strong, creative team of high expertise and qualification.
In 1990 Jonas Lamauskas was the initial founder of the Children’s Music school which exists up to now. He and his colleagues issued the book ‘Šiauliai Conservatory in 1939-1999’ (Šiaulių Konservatorija 1939-1999) in 1999. As a lecturer he trained 15 bassoonists, 5 of them became winners of various competitions.
He has participated in organizing cultural jamborees, music and dance festivals in Šiauliai city and Lithuania since 1964. He has been awarded by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, Šiauliai region, and Šiauliai City Municipalities. Prof. Saulius Sondeckis called Jonas Lamauskas the champion of longevity because he has leaded Šiauliai Conservatory for 40 years. Jonas Lamauskas was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 2005.
VLADAS RAVKA (1924−2006)
He was born in 1924 in Šiauliai. While he was studying at Šiauliai Adult gymnasium he wrote an article against the Soviet regime to an underground newspaper. Because of that he was arrested, questioned, and sent to prison for 10 years in 1948. He was imprisoned in Uralas, Karaganda, and Kamerava. In 1958 he and his wife returned to Šiauliai city and worked at Building trest. He was an active member of amateur artistic work, wrote a lot of articles to Šiauliai city newspaper and other publications.
Vladas Ravka has managed the garden association ‘Margiai’ since 1996. He has encouraged the members of the association to love and care of the nature, decorate and clean the environment. The ‘Margiai’ garden association was given prizes and diplomas for beauty and organization. The garden newspaper is published, the garden chronicle is written, the unique garden museum has been found and it is visited by foreign and Lithuanian guests. Vladas Ravka has created the map of Lithuania using various plants in his own garden.
Vladas Ravka has been the member of political prisoner and deportee choir ‘Tremtinys’ since 1989. V. Ravka has participated in political prisoner and deportee movement since 1991-1992 and was the manager of Šiauliai department. At present he is the chairman of the Culture committee. He published the publicist book ‘Dictated by Life’ (‘Gyvenimo padiktuota’) in 1997. This memory and poetic book shows the person of great writing and poetic abilities. V. Ravka was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 2005.
He was born in April 5th in 1943 in Kėdainiai district. In 1968 he graduated Kaunas polytechnic and started working in Kedainiai road exploitation department. Since 1974 - director of Šiauliai road department, which in 1993 was privatized and renamed into "Šiaulių plentas".
The director assembled a hard-working and qualified staff, which helps to achieve main goals of the organization - to increase the level of quality using modern technologies. A. Armalas, together with his company, is an active participant in the business development of Šiauliai district and for that he has been awarded multiple times.
Since 1983 he is a sponsor of various sports activities. "Šiaulių plentas" is the general sponsor of local basketball and football clubs.
Alfonsas Armalas is an iniciative, energetic, trust-worthy person, skilled in organizing various activities and able to share his experience and mind for the sake of the city and whole Lithuanian country's betterment. A.Armalas was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 2006.
PRANAS PIAULOKAS (1945−2008)
He was born in June 2nd in 1945 in Klaipėda district. In 1969 he graduated Lithuanian conservatoire and is an actor of the Šiauliai Drama Theatre. He was created about a hundred colorful and impressive roles. P. Piaulokas acted in various movies.
In 1977 Pranas Piaulokas was given the title of Emeritus Artist, in 1985 - the title of Folk Artist. He was also honoured with various prizes and awards.
P.Piaulokas, very intellectual and creative actor, is a true patriot of Šiauliai, like a symbol of the city, who devoted 37 years of his cultural activity to the city of Šiauliai and it's citizens. While participating in different events, the actor tries to enhance the level of culture, erudition and intelligence.
P. Piaulokas was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 2006.
KAZYS KNIZIKEVIČIUS (1915−2009)
He was born in June 28th in 1915 in Pasvalys district. In 1944 he restored Joniskis Hospital and Dispensary and became a director of it.
In 1950 he started working in Šiauliai Hospital as a doctor-radiographer, before he was promoted to the head physician in 1953 and had worked there for 23 years. During that time, many of the new medical institutions were built, the new generation of medical specialists grew, including the seven of them, who, advised by K.Knizikevičius, were given their titles.
K. Knizikevičius was apt to improve in special courses, participated in publishing publications and organizing scientific conferences. His experience helped to save lives of many citizens of Šiauliai city and district. In his 90th anniversary, he was given the title of Emeritus Health Service Servant.
The doctor is respectable of his erudition, intelligence, sensitivity, diligence and ability to hear out, advise, and help.
K. Knizikevičius was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in September 2006.
HE EUGENIJUS BARTULIS
HE Eugenijus Bartulis was born on December 7, 1949, in Kaunas. In 1968 he graduated the secondary school in Kaunas. He studied in Kaunas Interdiocesan Seminary 1971–1976. E. Bartulis was ordained priest on May 30, 1976. 1976–1986 Rev. E. Bartulis worked as vicar in parishes of Kelmė, Radviliškis and Kaunas. 1986–1989 he was pastor of the parishes Deltuva and Bukonys. In 1989 Rev. E. Bartulis was appointed administrator of the Archcathedral of Kaunas. In 1990 he was appointed chancellor of Kaunas Archdiocesan Curia. Afterwards he was appointed pastor of one of the biggest parishes of Kaunas. Later he taught in Kaunas seminary and worked as spiritual director of the seminary. On June 1, 1996, Rev. E. Bartulis was appointed rector of Kaunas Interdiocesan Seminary.
On May 28, 1997 he was nominated and appointed ordinary bishop of the newly established Diocese of Šiauliai. Eugenijus Bartulis was consecrated bishop on June 29, 1997, in the Archcathedral of Kaunas. On November 3, 1999, Bishop E. Bartulis was elected member of the permanent council of the Conference of Lithuanian Bishops. On November 25, 2000 Bishop E. Bartulis was additionally appointed ordinary of the newly established military ordinariate. He was given the title of the Citizen of Honour in 2007.
BRONIUS PRĖSKIENIS (1930−2019)
Bronius Prėskienis was born on June 14, 1930 in Bugonys village, Alytus District. In 1949, he graduated from the Merkinės Gymnasium, in 1949-1953 he studied at Vilnius Pedagogical Institute. In 1953 Bronius Prėskienis came to Šiauliai and worked at the Šiauliai Institute of Teachers, Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute and Šiauliai University.
1955-1963 - head of the Department of Lithuanian Language and Literature, Šiauliai Institute of Teachers.
1969, 1971-1972 – Vice-rector for Studies, Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute.
1973-1992 Dean of the Pedagogical Faculty, Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute.
Since 2002, vice-president of the Emeritus University Veteran Club.
Bronius Prėskienis issued totally 12 books, over 150 articles, thesis, reports and reviews. He was given the title of the Citizen of Honour 2007.
ALGIMANTAS VITOLIS TRUŠYS (1936−2018)
Algimantas Vitolis Trušys was born on 16 September, 1936 in Kaunas City. His childhood and youth past in Pušalotas village. In 1955–1961 he studied at Vilnius State Art Institute. Algimantas Vitolis Trušys is a painter monumentalist. 1996, he started working in Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute (now – Šiauliai University) as a lecturer, later senior lecturer and professor.
Since 1974, Algimantas Vitolis Trušys was head of the Art Didactics Department.
Since 1974 he is member of the Lithuanian Union of Artists.
His paintings and wash-drawings are exhibited not only in Lithuania but also in Poland, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Ukraine, Russia and Latvia.
He was given the title of the Citizen of Honour 2007.
STASYS GLIAUDYS (1928-2022)
Stasys Gliaudys was born on 25 December, 1928 in Kelmė District. In 1954 he graduated from Veterinary Academy and until 1960 he studied in Lithuanian Academy of Agriculture. He worked as a zoologist and since 1974 he was a lecturer in Siauliai Pedagogical Institute in the Faculty of Pedagogy.
He liked to make herbals, hunt, collect insects and store various educational visual aids. As a result, S. Gliaudys established a cabinet of botany and zoology, the latter in 2000 became The Museum of Nature. In this museum we can find unique exhibit which even cannot be found in other museums of the country.
A lot of years S. Gliaudys studied the plants of Lithuania, wrote lots of articles about pollen and together with co-authors published the book "Apiculture".
Also S. Gliaudys studied the birds of Siauliai City and its outskirts, he found 160 different species.
In 1976-1977 he did an extensive study of Talksa and Ginkunai lakes famous for its birds and later this study became a good source helping to follow further changes of bird variety in these lakes.
Even now S. Gliaudys is the active member of Siauliai City community: he consults the city architects about handling of Salduve Park and Talksa Lake, gives various suggestions how to handle the Green Areas of Siauliai City and works in Zoology Museum of Siauliai University.
Arvydas Salda was born in 1955 in Kretinga District. He graduated from Kaunas Polytechnic Institute and qualified as a specialist of Applied Mathematics.
In Šiauliai A. Salda began working as the assistant manager in Šiauliai Counting Center. On his own initiative new technologies on statistics managing in Šiauliai Region have been implemented.
Since the first years of Restoration of Independence in Lithuania A. Salda actively integrated into formation of the Šiauliai City self-government, implementation of its functions and development of the self-government system. In 1991, he was elected to the mayors post of Šiauliai City. His diligence and intelligence helped to seek economic and social stability in Šiauliai City. The ideas and works are still continued.
Being a member of Šiauliai City Council in 1995-2007 A. Salda promoted prosperity, democracy and public spirit in Šiauliai City.
A. Salda contributed developing Šiauliai Airport one of the city's strategic and important objects; supported reorganization of Šiauliai Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts and was member of the Chambers Council. Also, he was one of the first to translate ideas of the free-trade zones in Lithuania into actions.
Recently A. Salda represents the bank of Šiauliai City - JSC Šiauliai Bank with the head office is in Šiauliai and branches expanded in the entire country.
Arvydas Salda is involved in various social activities: he is the member of Šiauliai University Council, "Rotary" club, working group on City Strategy for 2007-2016 development as well as member of the Liberal and Center Union.
NELLIE SUDAVICIUS MACCALLUM (1945-2023)
Nellie Sudavicius Maccallum was born in Germany after the Second World War in Lithuanian family. Later her family moved out to America.
In 1963 N. Sudavicius MacCallum graduated from Nebraska University at Omaha (USA) and received a diploma of Fine Arts. She worked creative work in several companies of Nebraska, developed her own business at the same time having wide interests about Lithuania.
N. Sudavicius MacCallum is the author of friendship between Omaha and Siauliai. Being active president of the Lithuanian community in Omaha and realizing the importance of this communication she willingly participated in the activities of Omaha City Association and attempted to establish long-time relations with Lithuania. Due to her initiative and big efforts in 1994 Siauliai and Omaha began to communicate, in 1996 these cities signed a contract of collaboration. During twelve years (1996-2008) it was done a lot in order to strengthen the collaboration and friendship between Omaha and Siauliai.
Also, N. Sudavicius MacCallum worked a lot in order to develop the collaboration between Siauliai University and Nebraska University at Omaha; she supported the students and lecturers of Siauliai University. Since 1997 with a help of N. Sudavicius MacCallum Siauliai Children Ensemble "Ro-ko-ko", the pianist Rimantas Vingras, musician and singer Virgis Stakenas and other artists visited Omaha. In addition, American Indians Ensemble visited Lithuania.
ALEKSANDRA ALDONA MASĖNIENĖ
She was born in 1941 in Joniškis district. Studied in Vilnius College of Culture and Education, graduated from the Vilnius Conservatory Klaipėda branch and was appointed to Pakruojis Centre of Culture. She organized groups of three genre – folk dance, ballet and ballroom dancing.
Since 1969, Aldona Masėnienė works in Šiauliai. She is leader of children's dance group Želmenėliai. The group is laureate as well as winner of various competitions and festivals. In 2005, the group was recognized the top dance group in Lithuania and granted with awardAukso paukštė (Golden Bird) by the People‘s Centre of Culture.
In 1983, Aleksandra Aldona Masėnienė was granted a title of the Emeritus Cultural Worker of the Republic, awarded with the Honour Sign of Merit to Šiauliai County and other awards.
created dances such as Lietuva brangi (Our dear Lithuania), Brangiausios spalvos (Dearest colours) dedicated to the National feast-days as well as the dance Atmintis (Memories) dedicated to the January 13th events.
She devoted 40 years of her cultural activity to the city of Šiauliai and it's citizens.
JŪRA NIJOLĖ VIKTORIJA DAULENSKIENĖ (1933−2018)
Jūra Nijolė Viktorija Daulenskienė was born on 5 April, 1933 in Marijampolė, in the family of schoolteacher and agronomist. She studied in Marijampolė Gymnasium and in Kaunas Medicine institute. In 1957, she started working in Šiauliai as a pediatrician. She worked in the Infantile Diseases Department, Šiauliai hospital, neurologist consultant in Šiauliai district , deepened her knowledge in infant psychoneorology, had traineeship in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Moscow.
Since 1963, Jūra Nijolė Viktorija Daulenskienė has been working as a lecturer in Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute. In 1973, she defended a thesis for the doctor's degree The Neurological Analysis of Non-Advanced Schoolchildren of Massive Schools and became the Doctor of Medicine. Since 1975 she has been a senior lecturer.
Jūra Nijolė Viktorija Daulenskienė was a lecturer of the Special Pedagogics Department and the Medicine Basics Department, the Faculty of Defectology (now Faculty of Social Welfare and Disability studies), Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute moreover, she worked voluntary as the infantile neurologist in hospital, children's clinic, orphanage, Pedagogical Psychological Service and consulted children in hospitals of Šiauliai region.
The doctor's activity let her to pursue the main mission - to serve people and to improve the doctor's qualification and competence. This experience was important implementing academic research works and preparing for conferences. In the period of 1963-2003, Jūra Nijolė Viktorija Daulenskienė wrote many scientific publications, published 5 methodical educational books for students which are still in use. She always cherished and promoted the ideas of humanism, refreshed the Christian values. After restoration of Lithuania's independence the doctor and the pedagogue J. N. V. Daulenskienė became the member of the women Catholics organization and the Senior's Club, came out as a poet. She actively participates in the cultural city events. After the doctor's K. Knizikevičius, honorary citizen of Šiauliai city, death she manages the documents of the Šiauliai hospital activity. As well she collects and prepares to publish the memorials of doctors.
Doctor of Medicine, Jūra Nijolė Viktorija Daulenskienė dedicated all her life for children's health, scientific and research work, consolidation of the public spirit and humanistic conception in the conscious of young people.
Viktorija Čmilytė was born on August 6th, 1983 in Siauliai City. Graduated from the Siauliai Didzdvaris Gymnasium, studied English at the University of Latvia, Faculty of Philology. Her greatest achievements glorifying the name of our city and Lithuania were attained at the chess board.
First important victory Viktorija won in 1993, when she became the winner of the Girl's European Chess Championship. 1995 in a championship in Brazil, she became the children world chess champion. Persistently working through 21 years of her career Viktorija has been victorious in many worldwide and European events, she also became multiple Lithuanian chess champion.
In 1996, for the achievements in chess sports and glorifying Lithuania's name worldwide, the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Algirdas Brazauskas, awarded her with the Knight Cross of the Order of Gediminas, the Great Duke of Lithuania. In 1998, fifteen year old Viktorija, was granted the name of the International Woman Grandmaster. In 2001, she was granted the International Men's Master name, and in 2010 the International Men's Grandmaster name as well. Viktorija was and still is the first woman in Lithuania to attain such a title.
In the year 2000, in the International Chess Olympiad in Istanbul she won a gold medal at the first woman team board. This achievement was repeated in 2004 in a championship in Spain.
In 2003 and 2010 she took the second place in the European Woman Chess Championships. But the year 2006 were probably the most successful year in both, her sports career and recognition, because in that year she has won a bronze medal in Woman World Chess Championship. The Department of Physical Education and Sports under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania awarded Viktorija with the medal for her victories in sports, she was selected to be in the top 10 of athletes of 2006, selected to be the Lithuanian woman-athlete of the year by Lithuanian sports journalists. Her greatest victory came in 2011, when she became the European Woman Chess Champion for the first time in her career.
*- Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen
Edmundas Armoška, a collector and patron, was born on August 1, 1945 in Šiauliai.
In 1962-1965 he studied at Vilnius College of Technology. Later on he worked in the factory Plasta and graduated from Vilnius University, Faculty of Economics. By the year 1990, Edmundas Armoška worked in the position of director for commerce in the factory Plasta. In 1990-2005 he worked in the private business structure.
Since 1992 he is the president of the Lithuanian Collectors Association that closely cooperates with the Lithuanian Art and other museums. In the year of his presidency the association organized many paintings, arts and crafts, numismatics and medals exhibitions. One of the exhibition was involved in the official jubilee program of the King Mindaugas 700 year anniversary.
Edmundas Armoška initiated and funded the magazine Kolekcija. Moreover, he initiated the production of the album of Š. Sauka, the laureate of the National premium, catalog of A. Samuolis exhibition, the album Lietuvos malūnai in accordance with A. Krištopaitis aquarelle. In 2005, using the Edmundas Armoška collection, the catalogs of P. Rimša works and Solom Tetelbaum exhibition were published.
The outstanding collector organized 3 exhibitions from his personal collections to commemorate the millenium of Lithuania: painters of Vilnius Art School, classic and contemporary painters of Lithuania. Furthermore, Edmundas Armoška organized exhibitions in Latvia, Poland, Estonia, Russia, Sweden and Norway.
For 14 years Edmundas Armoška has been actively participating in the city cultural life. He constantly organizes exhibitions from his personal collections in Šiauliai Culture Center Laiptų galerija. Edmundas Armoška as well gives the art pieces to different Šiauliai institutions: Šiauliai Aušra museum, Šiauliai Culture Center Laiptų galerija, Šiauliai diocese.
Edmundas Armoška was awarded with the letters of thanks and medals for his merits and activities. In 1994, he was awarded by the Lithuanian Collectors Association, in 2009 - letter of thanks of the National Museum the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 2010, Edmundas Armoška was declared the Grand sponsor. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 he was awarded with the Šiauliai City Mayor's letters of thanks for the promotion of the cultural traditions in Šiauliai City. In 2011, Šiauliai J. Janonis Gymnasium awarded him with the letter of thanks for the dissemination of art values and the pictures of the painter Č. Janušas donated to the gymnasium.
Aloyzas Gudavičius was born on 12 May, 1940 in Kalniškiai village, Kelmė District. In 1957 he graduated from Šiauliai Pedagogic School ( teacher's seminary ). In 1964, he started working at Šiauliai University (former Šiauliai Pedagogic Institute ) as a lecturer of Russian language and literature.
In 1970, Aloyzas Gudavičius defended a thesis in philology at Vilnius University. In 1990 he became a habil Dr. in the humanities and in 1994 - professor. The main scientific works: common linguistics, etnolinguistics, contrastive linguistics, interlinguistics and text linguistics.
The major part of the prof. Aloyzo Gudavičiaus activities is closely connected with the students education at Šiauliai University. Prof. Aloyzas Gudavičius is the first habil. Dr. in the Humanity Faculty, the outstanding linguist not only in Lithuania but in other countries as well (the Czech Republic, Latvia, Russia, Poland). The professor has written 4 monographs, 4 handbooks, over 100 scientific articles in the Lithuanian and foreign publications.
Since 1973 Aloyzas Gudavičius has been an associated professor of the Department of Russian language. In the year 1975-1983 - dean of the Faculty of Philology, 1984-1991 and 2001-2010 - head of the Department of Russian Language.
In the year 1990-1991, 2011-2005, 2005-2011 - chairman of Senate at Šiauliai University. In the year 1991-1998 - rector of Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute later on Šiauliai University. Since 2010 Aloyzas Gudavičius is a professor of the Department of Foreign Language Studies.
Aloyzas Gudavičius was one of an initiators to establish the university in Šiauliai. Furthermore, he contributed a lot to the development of science, education and culture in Šiauliai City and region.
Since 2010 Aloyzas Gudavičius is a president of the Šiauliai LIONS ALKA club.
Nijolė Prascevičienė was born on April 5, 1951 in Šiauliai. In 1978, she graduated from the Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy with the qualification of lecturer and orchestra soloist.
Since 1971 she has been working as a teacher in the Šiauliai 1st Music School. Nijolė Prascevičienė -teacher - expert, the head of the String Instruments Department has 42 years of work experience. In the year 1992-2008 she played in the Šiauliai symphonic orchestra, later on in the chamber orchestra.
While working in the Šiauliai 1st Music School she initiates many events, competitions and seminars or contributes to their organization: the international junior violinists seminars Vibrating Strings, the international Saulius Sondeckis junior violinists and cello players competitions in Šiauliai, the international chamber ensembles festivals-competitions Fiori musicali in Šiauliai, excellence lessons - seminars for the Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Latvian, Danish violin schoolmasters, musical project - concert cycle Children to Children, project Summer Camp for Talented Children in Šiauliai and in 2007 the international project dedicated to the Day of Statehood - Crowning of the King Mindaugas Tėvynė tavyje.
The teacher is mindful not only of the requirements of the programs and harmonization of schoolchild individual capacity and interests but as well of formation of the schoolchild human feature. Nijolė Prascevičienė has created a distinctive music education system that amazes not only Lithuanian but the foreign musicians as well. This new system assisted her schoolchildren to win over 70 awards in the national and international competitions in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, France, Italy, the Czech Republic. Moreover, 8 her schoolchildren are presented with the Queen Morta premium. The school string orchestra has become the laureates of 3 national competitions, as well participated in the Lithuanian Song Festivity and in 2006 became the laureate of the Lithuanian television competition The Time of Small Stars.
In 2003, Nijolė Prascevičienė was awarded with the prize of the Lithuanian Culture Fund for the activities educating young talents, in 2004 award of the Queen Morta premium, award of the Lithuanian Government and the Ministry of Education Teacher of the Year 2003. In 2005 -award of Šiauliai City Teacher of the Year and award of the Lithuanian Culture Fund medal Morta-the Lithuanian Queen for the promotion of the Lithuania's history and culture as well for the education of young talents. In 2006, the teacher was awarded with the Šiauliai City culture and art premium. In 2007 - award of the Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus for the activities educating young Lithuanian talents. In 2009 - honorary medal of the Governor of Šiauliai County for her merits to Šiauliai County. In 2010, Nijolė Prascevičienė was awarded by the Lithuanian President with the letter of thanks for her significant activities educating the Lithuanian young musicians and promotion of the Lithuanian music culture. In 2012 - the President's letter of thanks for her assistance preparing the international competitions. In 2011 - letter of thanks by the Mstislav Rostropovich Charity and Support Fund Assistance to the Lithuanian Children for her pedagogic activities educating the talented Lithuanian children.
Nijolė Prascevičienė is a member of the Board of the European String Teachers Association (ESTA) Lithuanian branch as well the member of the Šiauliai City professional music commission.
Marytė Markevičienė was born in 1955, Punia village, Alytus District. In 1970 she graduated from F. Žemaitis Secondary School, later on Šiauliai Higher Music School and in 1979 – Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Since 1978 she has been working in Šiauliai Higher Music School (today Šiauliai Saulius Sondeckis Art Gymnasium).
Marytė Markevičienė is an utmost teacher-expert of accordion. She teaches as well an ensemble class, conducting and orchestra performance. Her graduates often become the laureates of Lithuanian and prestigious international competitions, where 4 of them – laureates of the Queen Morta, 2 – diplomaeds.
These are her graduates, the most famous in the world – Martynas Levickis, Tadas Motiešius, Eglė Bartkevičiūtė and others.
Marytė Markevičienė is an initiator, organizer and conductor of the international festival-competition in Šiauliai Jolly Accordion, founder of the international accordion orchestra The Baltic Tremolo.
The teacher is well known and appreciated by the Lithuanians and the Šiauliai County community. In recognition of her merits to Lithuania Marytė Markevičienė is awarded with the medal of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas.
In the year 2005, she was awarded with the Bagde of Honour of the Šiauliai County Governor, in 2007 – with the medal Morta –the Queen of Lithuania.
In 2010, she was awarded with the name Šiauliai Citizen of the Year. Moreover, she was awarded with the Šiauliai City Culture and Art Premium for the accomplishments in the Lithuanian and international competitions.
Marytė Markevičienė has been constantly participating in the jury proceeding of the international and Lithuanian competitions, festivals, song festivities and final exams. Furthermore, she conducts seminar-practice classes to the accordion performance teachers, participates and reads reports at the international scientific conferences.
The teacher is proud of small and big accomplishments of her graduates. She spares her time both for the professional training and shaping the human quality and personality of graduates. The utmost values are the human being and the nation’s culture.
Remigijus Adomaitis, born on February 9, 1965 in Kazlų Rūda, Marijampolė District, in 1981 graduated from Kazlų Rūda Music School, later on Kazlų Rūda Secondary School and in 1990 - Lithuanian State Conservatorium.
Remigijus Adomaitis is a director of Šiauliai Singing School “Dagilėlis”, art director and conductor of the Boys and Youth Choir “Dagilėlis”. In 2005, he was awarded with the music teacher - expert name and in 2010, he received the 1st category in management. He is as well the member of presidium of the Lithuanian Union of Choirs, Šiauliai County children choir expert - adviser and the member of Šiauliai City Culture Council.
The work of Remigijus Adomaitis is assessed with numerous awards. In 2003 - Šiauliai City culture and art premium, in 2005 and 2011-letters of thanks from the Presidents of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus and Dalia Grybauskaitė, in 2006 - Šiauliai City Teacher of the Year, in 2008 - Šiauliai County Governor’s medal of honour, in 2010 - „LATGA-A“ „Golden Star“ for the contribution to the choir art, in 2011 - award of the International Music Association, UNESCO and Paderewski Fund (USA ) for the contribution to the cultural life, in 2013 – the best conductor at the 3rd International Wroclaw Choir Festival – Contest “Vratislavia Sacra”.
Today the name of Remigijus Adomaitis, the conductor of Šiauliai Boys and Youth Choir “Dagilėlis”, is well known not only in Šiauliai but in Lithuania, Europe and the world as well. Achievements of the choir at the international festivals and contests promote the name of Šiauliai world wide. The concerts of the choir “Dagilėlis” have been held in the European and American churches and halls. Remigijus Adomaitis can be considered as an ambassador of Šiauliai presenting the name of the city in the world.
PROF. VIRGILIJUS KĘSTUTIS NOREIKA (1935−2018)
Virgilijus Kęstutis Noreika was born on September 22, 1935 in Šiauliai. In 1945, with the parents he moved to Vilnius. In 1949, he started his studies at Juozas Tallat Kelpša Music School, later on continued his studies at the Lithuanian State Conservatory ( present -Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre). In 1957, while still being a fourth year student, he debuted at the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Lithuania. The same year he won a golden medal at the World Youth and Students Festival. In 1965-1966, he continued his career at the La Scala theatre in Milan. There he mastered even 6 roles and as well sang the part of Pinkerton from Puccini‘s opera Madam Butterfly.
In 1975-1991, he was a director of the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Lithuania and an art director as well. In 1993-1994, he lectured at the Latin America Academy of Singing in Caracas (Venezuela). In 1995-1996- master class teacher at the Tallinn Theatre „Estonia“ and since 1997 –professor at the Estonian Academy of Music.
Noreika’s impressive creative biography comprises 46 operatic roles, he has participated in 900 performances, travelled with concerts in 49 countries, given more than 700 solo concerts. The foreign media often compared him with L. Pavarotti and P. Domingo
PRESIDENT VALDAS ADAMKUS
VALDAS ADAMKUS, former President of the Republic of Lithuania
H. E. President Valdas Adamkus was born on 3 November 1926 in Kaunas. His father Ignas Adamkavičius was born in Šiauliai. Mr. Adamkavičius voluntarily joined a liberation movement fighting for the independence of Lithuania, also, he was one of the first people to become the head of the Lithuanian Military Aviation School.
During World War II, Mr. President was actively involved in the resistance efforts, forcing him and his parents to flee to Germany in July 1944.
While in Germany, Mr. President graduated from a Lithuanian gymnasium, after that, he studied Environmental Protection at the University of Munich. In 1949, Mr. President moved to the United States (‘US’). In 1960, he graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with a degree in Construction engineering.
In the beginning of 1970’s, Mr. President started working at the US Environmental Protection Agency and was appointed regional administrator in 1981.
In 1951, Mr. Adamkus married Madam Alma Adamkienė, a philanthropist and a public figure. In 2016, the couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
Even being away from Lithuania, Mr. Adamkus was an active member of the Lithuanian community and voluntarily took part in various social and political activities.
Mr. Adamkus got the first opportunity to visit Lithuania in 1972 and after that he would visit the country every year. In fact, Mr. Adamkus was in charge of coordinating environmental protection efforts accorded to the Baltic States.
Since 1993, Mr. President got actively involved in the political life of the newly independent Lithuania. At the time, his main place of residence was Šiauliai.
In 1998, Mr. Valdas Adamkus was elected President of the Republic of Lithuania. His main goal was the fast modernization of Lithuania, reinforced by three core values: free people, open society and a strong country. In 2004, Mr. Adamkus was re-elected for his second term.
During Mr. Adamkus’ presidential term, many historical developments took place in the country, including Lithuania becoming the member of the European Union and NATO.
Mr. President has received a number of national and international awards for his achievements. In 2003, he became UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for the Construction of Knowledge Societies. At the time, there were only 42 people around the world who held this title. During the prestigious ,,European Voice” awards in 2007, Mr. President was granted the European of the Year title. Among many other honours, Mr. President holds awards of highest appreciation in 33 countries.
Most recently, on 9 September 2016, Mr. President became the Honorary Citizen of Šiauliai.
VIOLETA LAUGALIENĖ IR ROMUALDAS LAUGALIS
Violeta Laugalienė was born on 16 April, 1959 in Šiauliai and Romualdas Laugalis was born on 30 May, 1956 in Kėdainiai. In 1981 they both graduated from Klaipėda University with a degree in ballet education.
Violeta and Romualdas Laugalis have been leading and directing children and youth folk dance ensemble “Šėltinis” since its estabilshment in 1981. Today the ensemble has more than 300 dancers and in 2012 “Šėltinis” was awarded with the first category of artistic capacity prize. “Šėltinis” has performed on the biggest stages in Lithuania as well as abroad and has undoubtedly become a global ambassador of traditional Lithuanian dance.
Despite their active participation in national and international festivals, Romualdas and Violeta Laugalis have always paid a particular attention to their home city Šiauliai and its young generation. In addition to their educational activities as folk dance teachers, every year Romualdas and Violeta Laugalis also offer their helping hand to the less privileged by organizing charity concerts to support the orphanages in Šiauliai and people in need of social care.
Romualdas and Violeta Laugalis tirelessly spread Lithuanian national and cultural values not only in the city of Šiauliai, but also all over the globe, preserve the long-living traditions of Lithuanian folk dance, and develop social competences of their students. In order to honour their priceless contribution to the social and cultural development, the title of Honorary Citizen of Šiauliai was given to Romualdas and Violeta Laugalis on 7 September, 2017.
Stanislovas Grušas was born on 20 September, 1958 in Skuodas district, Mažieji Rūšupiai village. He currently lives in Šiauliai and works as a general manager (GM) of a joint-stock company (JSC) Non-woven fabric factory.
Grušas graduated from Riga polytechnic institute with a degree in engineering and mechanics in 1983. After his studies in Latvia, Grušas moved to Šiauliai where he started his career in Šiauliai TV factory.
In 1992 Grušas became a GM of a JSC Non-woven fabric factory and a chairman of the board of directors. Since then he expanded the business and it now consists of 22 groups of companies and has more than 2600 employees.
As a true patriot of Šiauliai, Grušas develops his business locally and invests heavily in neglected and underused industrial areas of the city. He was also one of the first businessmen to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) to Šiauliai, and currently his companies are among the biggest suppliers for IKEA.
It is important to note that Stanislovas Grušas is not only a successful businessperson, but also a very generous sponsor of city festivals, celebrations and cultural events. He also provides financial assistance to numerous sports clubs and cultural fellowships. One of his best-known initiatives is a rosarium of thousand roses planted in the garden of Chaimas Frenkelis’ Villa.
Stanislovas Grušas was given the title of Honorary Citizen of Šiauliai on 6 September, 2018 for his enduring commitment to improving the wellbeing of the city of Šiauliai and its citizens.
Regina Vaišnorienė was born on 3 November, 1950 in Šiauliai. The city of Šiauliai plays a central role in Vaišnorienė’s life – she was born and raised here, started her education here and, after a couple of years spent in Vilnius, she came back to the City of Sun where she has been educating generations of art and music students for more than 40 years.
Regina Vaišnorienė is a teacher expert and she works at the Saulius Sondeckis gymnasium of arts and music in Šiauliai. During the 40 years of Regina Vaišnorienė’s educational work, more than 70 students graduated from her kanklės (traditional Lithuanian stringed instrument) class and over 60 students graduated with a degree in choral conducting taught by her. Students of Regina Vaišnorienė spread the culture of traditional Lithuanian music both in Lithuania and abroad, and are regular award-winners of national and international music festivals and contests.
One of the most significant Regina Vaišnorienė’s contributions to the cultural development of Šiauliai is coordination of national and international social events in the city. Together with her colleagues from Saulius Sondeckis gymnasium of arts and music, Mrs Vaišnorienė organizes the second round of the National Jonas Švedas competition as well as various conferences, workshops and seminars. In addition to that, she is also an initiator and co-founder of an international children and youth traditional music festival “Tūto” and international Pranas Stepulis chamber folk instrumental music festival.
In 1980 Regina Vaišnorienė established a kanklės trio “Aušrinė” which she leads and directs to this day. She is also a conductor of Saulius Sondeckis gymnasium of arts and music folk orchestra. The orchestra has given more than 1000 charitable performances both in Lithuania and in foreign countries. In 2007, it received the best folk orchestra in Lithuania nomination and was awarded with a prestigious “Aukso paukštė” (“The Golden Bird”) prize while Regina Vaišnorienė was awarded as the best conductor in Lithuania.
For long-lasting commitment to educational and social development of her home city of Šiauliai, Regina Vaišnorienė was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Šiauliai on 5 September, 2019.
Algirdas Butkus was born on 26 June, 1951 in Joniškis, Lithuania. Algirdas Butkus graduated with a degree in economics and engineering, and he began his professional career in Šiauliai straight after the years of study. During the era of the Soviet Occupation of Lithuania, Butkus worked at the Šiauliai TV and experimental machinery factories.
After the independence of Lithuania was restored, Butkus became one of the founders of the Šiauliai Bank and played a key role in its development. It is thanks to the hard work and determination of Algirdas Butkus that the Šiauliai Bank has become a financial institution of national importance and to this day is regarded as a constitutive element of the Šiauliai city identity.
Owing to the social initiatives of Algirdas Butkus, the Šiauliai Bank has been financially supporting local youth artists and musicians for years. Additionally, the Bank annually sponsors representative events of the city, such as the birthday of Šiauliai "Šiauliai days" and "Šiauliai nights". Algirdas Butkus also significantly contributes to the cultural, academic and sports life of the city of the Sun by providing financial assistance to the "Aušra" museum, higher education institutions and Šiauliai men's basketball club.
Lifetime achievements and contributions of Algirdas Butkus has not gone unnoticed as he is a proud holder of some of the most prestigious business awards in Lithuania, namely Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists’ "Honorary Golden Badge" and Silver Work medal awarded by the Association of Lithuanian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Crafts (ALCCIC).
Algirdas Butkus was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Šiauliai on 3 September, 2020.
Mindaugas Bilius was born on 13 February, 1982 in Šiauliai, Lithuania. Mindaugas Bilius became interested in track-and-field athletics at a relatively late age, when he was 17 years old and on his way to acquiring upper-secondary education at the local Dainai secondary school. In his early 20s, he moved to the United States of America where he got into an almost-fatal car accident in the state of California in November, 2009. The car accident caused 27 broken bones as well as brain bleed, and put Mindaugas Bilius in a coma for two weeks. Even though the medical staff gave Mindaugas Bilius a 10% chance of survival upon the accident, he eventually managed to recover and came back to the city of Šiauliai, Lithuania in 2010. In 2011, he decided to return to sports even though he could still barely walk at that time. As a consequence, Mindaugas Bilius began to compete in Para athletics becoming one of the most decorated Paralympic athletes in Lithuania’s sports history. Between 2012 and 2017 he won multiple European and World championship titles in the men’s shot put and men’s discus throw events. However, arguably his most important victories were achieved at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where Mindaugas Bilius won the gold medal in the men‘s shot put event and the silver medal in the men‘s discus throw event. For his immense contributions to sports, Mindaugas Bilius was awarded by the eighth President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė: he received the Cross of the Knight in 2014, and the Grand Cross of Commander in 2017.
While Mindaugas Bilius was still an active athlete, in 2013 he also managed to acquire a master’s degree in diplomacy and international relations at the Vytautas Magnus University, and two years later he also graduated from a study program in tourism and sports management. Since 2012, Mindaugas Bilius has been more actively involved in public life as he found a sports club for disabled people in the city of Siauliai and was its president until 2018. In addition to that, between 2017 and 2019, Mindaugas Bilius was the head of the Siauliai City Municipality Sports Council, and in 2019 he joined Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union. In 2017, Mindaugas Bilius was elected as the President of the Lithuanian Paralympic Committee, and in 2021 he was reelected for a second 4-year term. As the President of the Lithuanian Paralympic Committee, Mindaugas Bilius has placed a particular emphasis on initiation of positive changes regarding public’s perception of disability; assistance for the people with disabilities to sufficiently integrate into society through sports; and improvements in the conditions under which Paralympic athletes prepare for competitions.
It goes without saying that by his personal example, Mindaugas Bilius has been a great inspiration and a role model for the sports community not only in the city of Šiauliai, but also across the globe.
Mindaugas Bilius was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Šiauliai on 10 September, 2021.
Vilius Puronas (born February 11, 1947, in Panevėžys) is a professional industrial designer, artist, local historian, community activist in the city of Šiauliai. He is also known as an expert in Šiauliai history, a television show presenter, lecturer, writer, and publisher, having authored 14 records in the 'Lithuanian Book of Records.' He is one of the most productive artists in Šiauliai, having received numerous awards for his creative and publishing activities.
From 1953 to 1964, he studied at the Panevėžys boarding school, where he specialized in photography and metalwork. From 1967 to 1971, he studied industrial art at the Vilnius State Art Institute, specializing in design and art engineering.
Professional career: From 1964 to 1967, he worked as a photographer at the "Ekranas" in Panevėžys; from 1971 to 1973, he served in the Soviet army; from 1973 to 1992, he worked as the chief artist of Šiauliai City's LDT VK; from 1994 to 2004, he held the position of director at the advertising company UAB "Neuwerbung"; from 2000 to 2008, he worked as a lecturer in the Design Department of Šiauliai University's Faculty of Arts; from 2004 to 2012, he held the position of senior specialist at Šiauliai City Municipality Administration; from 2008 to 2011, he worked as a lecturer in the Tourism Administration Department of Šiauliai State College; from 2012 to 2015, he worked as a project manager at the Public Institution "Šiauliai Tourism Information Center"; from 2012 to 2015, he worked as a lecturer and presenter at Šiauliai Vocational Training Center. Since 2013, he has been retired.
Community involvement: Since 1984, he has been a member of the Lithuanian Artists' Association; since 1987, he has been a member of the Lithuanian Designers' Association (LDiS); from 1986 to 1995 and 2007 to 2016, he served as the chairman of the LDiS Šiauliai branch; from 2007 to 2021, he was a member of the board of the Lithuanian Designers' Association; since 2005, he has been a member of the Lithuanian Artists' Creators Association; from 1990 to 1994, he was an independent deputy of the I Šiauliai City Council in independent Lithuania; since 2008, he has been a donor and knight of the historical Order of the Cross of the Knights of Jotvingiai of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Vilius Puronas was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Šiauliai on 1 September, 2022.
The cultural life of the Šiauliai city is inseparable from the creative musician, educator, conductor, researcher, and community figure Sigitas Vaičiulionis. Over 50 years of his life, Maestro devoted himself to the musical culture of Šiauliai and the entire country. His significant contributions have left a deep mark on the history of the city and Lithuania's culture.
Sigitas Vaičiulionis was born on November 13, 1948, in Vilnius. From 1955 to 1966, he studied choral conducting at M. K. Čiurlionis High School of Arts, and from 1966 to 1971, he pursued choral conducting studies at the Lithuanian State Conservatory.
He worked as the chief choir master at the Kaunas State Musical Theatre from 1970 to 1972, served as the choir conductor of Šiauliai City House of Culture's folk ensemble "Jovaras" from 1973 to 1975, and was a lecturer and senior lecturer at Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute from 1974 to 1980, also serving as the conductor of the mixed student choir. From 1980 to 1986, he was a lecturer in choral conducting and solo singing at Šiauliai Higher School of Music. In 1984–1990, he served as the artistic director and conductor of the men's choir "Tauras" at Šiauliai Television Factory. From the autumn of 1990, he became the senior assistant at Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute (University) Music Department, later becoming an associate professor in 1992, and leading the Music Department from 1992 to 1994. In 2010, he founded the professional chamber ensemble "Ars Vivo" and became its leader. Since 2016, he has served as the artistic director and conductor of the Šiauliai Brass Orchestra.
S. Vaičiulionis name is inseparable from the Šiauliai State Chamber Choir "Polifonija." Thanks to him, Šiauliai has one of the country's best professional chamber choirs. Maestro, together with his wife Danute Vaičiulionienė, successfully led this choir for over 40 years. The choir has earned prestigious awards in international competitions, represented Lithuania on diplomatic visits by national leaders, made valuable recordings of old choral music.
During the Soviet era, Sigitas Vaičiulionis initiated the organization of concerts and festivals featuring church and sacred music in Šiauliai, these events continue successfully to this day. Thanks to him, Šiauliai has been hosting religious music festivals for several decades during the Easter period.
For many years, Maestro organized classical music concerts in Šiauliai on New Year's, which he offered to the city's residents selflessly.
Sigitas Vaičiulionis' pedagogical activities were also connected with Šiauliai's Saulius Sondeckis School of Arts. He dedicated ten years of his professional life to this educational institution: from 1980 to 1986, he was a senior lecturer at the Šiauliai Higher School of Music (now Saulius Sondeckis School of Arts), chairman of the methodology committee for solo singing, and from 2007 he worked as a teacher and concertmaster at Šiauliai Conservatory (now Saulius Sondeckis School of Arts). Until 2011, he led the choir and vocal group of the folk music ensemble "Jovarėlis" at this school. Over these years, he prepared over a hundred free concerts for Šiauliai city, participated in various projects, represented the city at national and international festivals, competitions, and other events in Lithuania and abroad.
One particularly valuable and significant aspect of S. Vaičiulionis pedagogical work is his unpaid professional support to young and talented Šiauliai musicians, many of whom now represent Šiauliai both nationally and internationally. Maestro systematically nurtured young performers, involving them in concerts alongside professionals and collaborating with them to create concert programs.
Sigitas Vaičiulionis was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Šiauliai on 7 September, 2023.