The Livonian Community House 50th Anniversary Logo

With the approach of the 50th anniversary of the Livonian Community House, the Slītere State Reserve administration – which were its administrators at that time – in cooperation with the re-established Livonian Culture Union had the idea of commemorating this event with a world Livonian congress on August 5-6, 1989. Many individuals and organisations were involved in planning this festival. The Ministry of Forestry provided the materials for covering the roof and for painting the walls, the Dundaga kolkhoz renovated and renewed the Irē (Latvian: Mazirbe) church, the employees of the reserve and the Irē boarding school worked in the Irē church cemetery, and the Dundaga artisan Aleksandrs Lapiņš built a fence incorporating traditional designs around the community house. The square next to the community house and the road through Irē village were paved. The work was overseen by not only the Livonian Culture Union, but also the Latvian Culture Foundation. The festival was popular as can be seen from its attendance figures: 629 participants in the scientific conference (75 of the participants were from abroad), eight presentations with one in Livonian by Eduard Vääri on the history of the Livonian Community House, and all of these were included in the collection “On the Livonians” (Par lībiešiem). Musical performances included “Līvlist” (34 participants), “Kāndla” (30), “Skandinieki” (24), the choir “Mare” (40), and the Kolka Brass Band (40).

The Livonian Community House 50th Anniversary Logo. Artist: Baiba Damberga
From the archives of Emma Ērenštreite and Ieva Neilande.