In Toronto, on November 27, 2021, the end of an fascinating journey was marked by the presentation of the highest archival awards to Lithuanian Ambassador to Canada Darius Skusevičius and Professor Charles Hopkins by Lithuanian Central Archive Director Dalius Žižys. The same award was presented to Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada Director Danguolė Juozapavičius-Breen on October 2 of this year. The awards commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Lithuanian archives were granted in gratitude for the important work done by these three individuals in returning to Lithuania the long lost documents that had once been in the possession of Lithuanian Honorary Consul-General Vytautas Gylys in Toronto.
The story of these papers, which include various valuable bilateral treaties, is documented in the virtual exhibition on the Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada website lithuanianheritage.ca. The virtual opening of the exhibition on November 24, attended by historian and former Ambassador to Canada Vytautas Žalys, Lithuanian Central Archives Director Dalius Žižys, Ambassador Darius Skusevičius and LMAC director Danguolė Juozapavičius-Breen is available to view on YouTube. Awards were presented at the Royal Military Club of Ontario on November 27, at a luncheon hosted by Ambassador Darius Skusevičius.
Earlier this year, tevzib.com wrote about this collection‘s incredible journey. Now you can read about it and hear from the actual players in this fascinating drama, including Professor Charles Hopkins, who actually salvaged the documents and ensured that they finally went to the right hands and their rightful owners. Thirty treaties comprise this collection, with the signatures of world leaders of the Lithuanian Independence period, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Japanese Emperor Hirohito, and Pope Pius XI, among others.
A momentous event in Lithuanian diplomatic history has taken place in Canada this year, and it will be of interest to historians, archivists and Lithuanians throughout the world for years to come. During the awards event, the Central Archives of Lithuania signed a treaty of cooperation with the Lithuanian Canadian Community and the Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada.