The Daugavas Vanagi (Daugava River Hawks) is a non-profit, charitable organization aimed at preserving Latvian culture and community. Originally founded on December 28, 1945 in a DP camp in Belgium, their mission at first was to provide support for Latvian war veterans and their families, but soon encompassed Latvians from all walks of life. Communication spread quickly to other DP camps in Europe, and as Latvians began immigrating to new countries in the early 1950′s such as Canada, the USA, Australia, and elsewhere, they brought their cultural organization with them.
There was a chapter of the Daugavas Vanagi within Karlis Vinakmens’ 7566 Labor Service Co (and probably Arvids Akerfelds’ 7132 LSC too) at their Ettlingen, Germany base. Surely Karlis was a member. They competed in sports events, held lectures and concerts, and even housed a library. http://chelli11.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/ancestor-story-karlis-vinakmens/
A story passed down by family is that Karlis asked some authority for money to purchase a farm or a house as a residence for the LSC men’s families. Quite possibly it was the Daugavas Vanagi.
There is a Kitchener-Waterloo (Kičener-Vaterlu) chapter of the Daugavas Vanagi, and while I was thumbing through some old documents of my mother’s today, I realized that they donated flowers at Arvids’ funeral. Then I noticed the great number of Latvian signatures in his book of condolences. Was Arvids, and likely also Karlis (and family friend Zigurds Melderis) a part of the Kitchener-Waterloo Daugavas Vanagi? Being proud Latvians it is hard to believe they were not. I have contacted the current members (which include at least one name from Arvids’ condolences book) to see if they kept any records, and hopefully I will have my answer!