Thanks to Katie Hughes for bringing this to my attention. Following in the footsteps of David Livingstone, this is the story of a Blantyre man who went out into the big wide world, to make his fame and fortune.
Victor Miliunas, was born in Blantyre on 16th February 1916. The son of a miner and homemaker, the family were of Lithuanian descent. When he was just 5 years old in 1921, the family, like many families in Blantyre during that decade, sought their fortune elsewhere in the world. They up rooted and decided to follow their heritage by going back to Lithuania. I can’t help but feel this may have been due to the strikes and hardships, including closures of several of Blantyre’s collieries. It was certainly more difficult in the 20’s to find work.
At the age of just 14, Victor had his first poem published in Lithuania and by the age of 19 had written his first book “The six weavers”. Within his young life, he studied French and was successful in translating many books for people. A successful wartime career as a playwright and author followed, but it was his ventures into creating Children’s books that saw real success arrive. In 1953, with the launch of “Tough as Iron” he embarked on a career of writing childrens books, something he did frequently up until 1986.
Victor died on 11th September 1986, aged 69.