Personalities

Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė

Born March 30, 1861 in Puziniškis (Panevėžys dist.) – died June 14, 1943 in Panevėžys.

G. Petkevičaitė-Bitė was a writer, publicist, teacher, public figure, philanthropist. Since 1914 she lived in Panevėžys and in Puziniškis, from 1919 to 1924 she taught in Panevėžys boys’ gymnasium. From 1920 to 1922 G. Petkevičaitė-Bitė was a member of Constituent Assembly of Lithuania and a chairperson of its first meeting. She wrote short stories, plays, and a novel as well as memoirs and various articles.

In 1929 the writer was awarded with the 3rd degree Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, in 1936 with the 1st degree Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas. G. Petkevičaitė-Bitė was announced the honorary citizen of Panevėžys and Panevėžys district in 2011.

In 1989 Panevėžys public library was given Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė’s name (now Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library).

Virtual exhibition Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė

Kazimieras Barėnas

Born January 12, 1908 in Stanioniai (Panevėžys dist.) – died March 17, 2006 in London (Great Britain).

K. Barėnas was a writer, editor, and publisher. In 1944 he moved West and worked in various German, later English press offices. He was the head of the publishing house “Nidos knygų klubas”, published and edited literary magazine “Pradalgės”. K. Barėnas published a few collections of short stories as well as a couple of novels, he was the editor of the book “Britanijos lietuviai” (“Britain’s Lithuanians”).

In 1997 the writer was awarded with the 4th degree Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas.

K. Barėnas gifted his personal library and manuscript archive to Panevėžys county Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library. In 2007, following Marija and Kazimieras Barėnas’ wish to encourage young talented writers, the library established Kazimieras Barėnas’ Literary Prize. The award ceremony is held in the library every year.

Juozas Miltinis

Born September 3, 1907 in Dabikinė (Akmenė dist.) – died July 13, 1994 in Panevėžys.

J. Miltinis was theater and cinema actor, theater director, who created intellectual, philosophical theater. He established Panevėžys Drama Theater and during 1940–1980 was its art director, senior stage director, and the head of acting studio. He directed around 80 plays.

In 1980 the director was announced the honorary citizen of Panevėžys, in 1994 he was awarded with the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, and in 1995 with the France’s Order of Chivalry of Art and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres).

According to the will J. Miltinis left his apartment, art collection, personal library, and manuscript to Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public library. In 1996 the library established Juozas Miltinis Heritage Study Center. The center boasts Juozas Miltinis fund, which was included in Lithuanian National Register “Pasaulio atmintis” and announced to be of national significance.

Digital Juozas Miltinis archive

Juozas Urbšys

Born March 13, 1896 in Šeteniai (Kėdainių dist.) – died April 30, 1991 in Kaunas.

J. Urbšys was a public figure, diplomat, soldier, and translator. From 1922 to 1934 he was working as a diplomat in Berlin, Paris, Riga. From 1938 to 1940 he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, from 1941 to 1956 J. Urbšys was held in exile by Soviets.

Since 1921 J. Urbšys worked in Lithuanian and foreign press, wrote articles on politics, social issues, and culture. He translated literary works from French language, published his own memoirs.

In 1928 J. Urbšys was awarded with the 4th degree Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, in 1936 with the 2nd degree Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, in 1932 with the 4th degree Order of Vytautas Magnus. In addition to that, he received orders and medals from Estonia, Latvia, Sweden, France, Chile, and Vatican.

In 2009, March 16 Juozas Urbšys Social Thinking and Culture Centre, belonging to Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library, was established in Zaosė farmsted (Čiūrų village, Panevėžys dist.).