A surviving image of Paul Zundolovich,
an early Australian Lithuanian immigrant
A Lithuanian ANZAC
Paul Ephriam Zundolovich
Zealous Priest of the Great Outback.
According to his WW1 attestation papers he was born in Mosėdis, Lithuania (he wrote this as ‘Maished’ – the yiddish version of Mosėdis – in the Telšiai district of the Kaunas gubernia) on 15 May 1865. He was of Jewish descent.
Somehow he found his way to Egypt, or perhaps Palestine, and converted to Christianity before undertaking theological studies in Rome then sailed to Australia.
He arrived in Sydney aboard the Austral in 1892 as a missionary priest and was despatched to Broken Hill, during or immediately after the 1892 miners’ strike. While in Broken Hill he probably had ample opportunity to make contact with the Lithuanian Jewish community there.
The rest of his life revolved around his priestly vocation, primarily in western New South Wales. In 1895-96 he served as a chaplain at the Wentworth gaol, and by 1898 he was naturalised as a British subject and living at Wilcannia, responsible for the Wilcannia and White Cliffs region where he would remain for the next 15 years apart from annual breaks in Broken Hill.
In 1908 he travelled overseas to North America, and probably also back to Europe.
In 1915 he was appointed to the town of Hay but that posting was to be of only short duration as he enlisted in 1916 to serve as a chaplain on AIF transport ships between Australia and Europe. On the 01 December 1916 for a “Voyage Only” – Embarked 19 December 1916 per ‘Orontes’ from Sydney, NSW and returned to Australia on the 17 March 1917 per ‘Beltana’ where his Army service appointment terminated 17 May 1917.
He was appointed to the parish of Moama in 1917 which he served until his death in 1935.
Parish Priest of Moama, Native of Lithuania
Other Lithuanian ANZACs
At the end of the nineteenth century the population living on the territory of modern day Lithuania was ethnically diverse. This list includes names of those servicemen who were most likely of Lithuanian ethnic origin. To see all Lithuanian-born servicemen – Jews, Poles and other Slavs – search for the word ‘Lithuania’ using the search engine on the home page.