After getting acquainted with the facts of the biography of the engineer V. Rėklaitis, it can be firmly stated that he was an energetic and active personality. In the daily newspaper “Į Laisvę” (1942), V. Rėklaitis was described as an active public figure, a member of various societies and organizations (“Lithuanian Baltic Company”, “Lithuanian-Finnish Society”, Member of the Board of the Seamen’s Union). It is also mentioned that V. Rėklaitis was a very devout person, very kind and friendly to colleagues and friends. Always tactful and cultural. Apparently, due to these and other positive qualities, he became the director of the resort of Kačerginė.
Advertisement of the American–Lithuanian company in Kaunas. Source: Album “Vytauto Didžiojo mirties 500 metų sukaktuvėms paminėti albumas”. Kaunas, 1933.
V. Rėklaitis left one of the brightest architectural monuments in the town – a villa. It is believed that the villa was supposed to be built between 1935–1938 on the main street of Kačerginė. At that time it was still Palankiai village not attached to the resort. The building is one storey, slightly asymmetrical, planked with wood. From the street side you can see a glazed porch with an entrance. Looking from the inside of the two-storey tower on the side of the yard, you can see Nemunas river, with the greenery of the meadows, the beauty of the valley and the barely visible town of Kulautuva on the other side of the Nemunas.
At the end of the interwar period, an outpatient clinic was located on the premises of the building for many years. Even in the years of independent Lithuania, the villa remained abandoned for a long time, until it was recognized that it is a very important symbol that forms and nurtures the resort’s collective memory. Therefore, in 2016, the villa was renovated. Now it houses the eldership of town, which welcomes tourists and all passers-by who want to share their own stories or to get to know more about Kačerginė history.
Text by Gabrielė Balaševičiūtė
Photos by L. Mykolaitis, 2018 and R. Tenys (“Kas vyksta Kaune”), 2016.