of the Lazarus Union
Knighthood of Honour
A report by „Spectator“
As our official titular seat Castle Kreuzenstein makes us depend on the weather very much (last year we had to move our investiture on very short note because of heavy rain) we did not want to take any risk this time and chose the Palais Augarten as location, the official seat of the famous Vienna Boy‘s Choir. And a wise decision it was. Just like last year two hours after the event commenced it started to rain. Only this time it provided no problem at all!
The Palais Augarten as seat of the Vienna Boy‘s Choir is an exceptional place and not open to the public normally. But as our president and Grand Master in his youth was a member of the Choir himself, the Lazarus Union was able to use this wonderful setting for its 11th investiture and had an exceptional celebration in these splendid halls.
Exceptional also because the first part of the celebrations consisted of a private concert by the Vienna Boy‘s Choir for our guests. The first part of this unique concert was dedicated to spiritual music, starting with the eight-part Chorus “Haec Dies“. Our president noted in his welcome address that he had to sing this piece also during his first performance with the Vienna Boy‘s Choir in 1957.
To express our bond with the institution of the Vienna Boy‘s Choir the board had decided to award the Vienna Boy‘s Choir the highest possible peace award of the Lazarus Union, the “Cross of Peace with Diamond Star“. The Vienna Boy‘s Choir is the very first institution to receive this exceptional Award.
So in the intermission between the first and second part of the concert the award was presented to the director of the Vienna Boy‘s Choir, Prof. Gerald Wirth. Afterwards all boys who participated in the concert were awarded the “Lazarus Medal in Gold“ together with a certificate as a souvenir.
To recognise the artistic value personally, the Lazarus Union International Leadership Academy awarded the “Union‘s Lazarus Cross Grand for science, research and arts“ to Prof. Gerald Wirth which was presented to him by Lazarus Union President Senator h.c. Wolfgang Steinhardt and the Chair of the Academy‘s Advisory Committee Univ.Prof.em. Josef Michael Schramm, the “Union‘s Lazarus Commander‘s Cross for science, research and arts“ to Dr. Wolfgang Scheidt, choir mate of our president, assistant of Leonhard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan, guest conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, former head conductor of the Istanbul State Opera and more, and the “Union‘s Lazarus Officer‘s Cross for science, research and arts“ to the chorus director of the Vienna Boy‘s Choir Hayden Chorus, Mr. Chi Bun Jimmy Chiang.
Then more awards were presented to other personalities. The Federal Commander of the Austrian Samariterbund Ambulance Service Mr. Wolfgang Zimmermann and Mr. Leopold Waclawek received the “Grand Star of the “Flame of Mercy of the Lazarus Union“ and Mr. Dir. Erich Lunzer the “Grand Commander‘s Star of the “Flame of Mercy of the Lazarus Union“.
Oberst i.Tr. Alfred Dienstl received the “Grand Cross Special Level of the Union‘s Lazarus Cross“ and finally Mr. David Oswald Ehn the “Commander‘s Cross of the Union‘s Lazarus Cross“.
Congratulations from the Lazarus Union to all those awarded!
The second part of the concert was dedicated to Viennese classical music and after a thank you address by Prof. Gerald Wirth (who hat to leave immediately afterwards as he was catching a plane to accompany the Japan tour of the Vienna Boy‘s Choir Schubert Chorus) the “Tritsch Tratsch Polka“ was a much applauded add-on. Of course we were behind schedule (as always). A Lazarus Union trade-mark.
After a short break to prepare the room for the investiture the ceremonial move-in of the postulants, the Knights of Honour, the sword-bearer, the flag and the chapter of the Knighthood of Honour commenced to the Victory March from Aida. After the fanfare and the report by the protocol officer to our Grand Protector of the Knighthood of Honour BM a.D. Dr. Fasslabend the 11th investiture started officially according to the protocol.
The new banner for our music corps was handed over to deputy bandmaster CSLI Col. Franz Lentner and Banner officer Günther Purker by banner mentor Mrs. Dkfm. Maria Praxl and the Lazarus Union president.
The chorus “Nearer my God to thee“ bridged to our remembrance of deceased comrades, especially the recently passed CSLI founding member and CSLI MajGen Host Schöffmann with the song “I had a Comrade“.
Afterwards all union officers present traditionally renewed their officer‘s promise, framed by bugle signals from the “Großer Zapfenstreich” and the Dutch “We Gather Together”.
With Händels “Fireworks Music“ and the address of the Grand Master the investiture ceremony started.
In his speech the Grand Master addressed especially those parts from our mission statement which refer to “…we pay respect to all people.…“ and “…oriented at our moral values we accept every person in their own uniqueness…“. This with regard to the fact that there needs to be a firm borderline to what art and satire as well as “free speech“ must not lead to, that humans are insulted and disparaged in their personal dignity. This irrespective of the fact that one might disagree with the person in question and probably have a different view or opinion on some issues. Some descriptive examples stressed the necessity of our mission statement especially in these times.
Ordained as Knight Expectants were:
Herbert Alexander Bauer
Thomas Laserer (left)
Ordained as Knight Expectants being called on their names were:
Hans-Georg Pesch und Fabian Springer.
Ordained as Knight Expectant Officers was
Oberst CSLI Franz Lentner
Because of the opening of the world exhibition 2016 in the Turkish city Antalya five of our Turkish brothers and sisters could not participate because of their job duties (three directors of hotels in Antalya and their wives). So according to the statutes their names were made public and the Grand Prefect of the Knighthood of Honour for Turkey Chev. Ludwig Brunner handed over insignia and coats by proxy to the wife of the president of the Austrian Muslim Faith Union Dr. Fuat Sanac. As these Knights and Dames of Honour are muslims their coats will hold a coat of arms with two crossed swords and two crescents instead of crosses. So the Lazarus Union pays absolute respect to other religions. Only when one pays respect to others one is entitled to claim respect for oneself. Because of this officials in Turkey hold the Lazarus Union in great respect. It is always give and take, something which works perfectly within the Lazarus Union. The official investiture and ordainment of Knight Expectants is planned in Antalya/Turkey in Fall 2016.
Ordained as Dames of Honour in Turkey were:
Ayliy Karslioglu and Meltem Sak.
Ordained as Knights of Honour in Turkey were:
Ismail Karslioglu, Usar Murat and Volkan Sak.
Ordained as Dames of Honour were:
Ordained as Knights of Honour were:
The Grand Master handed them the sword and the coat after asking the “famous“ questions:
“I ask you therefore, before the assembled congregation: Do you of your own free will as … (here the rank and position to which the candidate is to be commissioned is used) want to belong to our community and accept our mission?“ and “Are you aware what it means to be a member of this community?”
The the candidates who answering with “I want it with all my heart!” and “Yes, I am!”
The Grand Protector Dr. Fasslabend put the Knight‘s Cross around their neck. After this the Grand Master gave the symbolic accolade and presented the new knight resp. dame to the applauding audience while the fanfare was sounded as a very personal welcome.
Ordained as “Knight Commander“ and “Member of the Chapter“ was
Chev. Univ.Prof.i.R.Dr.Josef Michael Schramm
The ceremony came to an end with the “Gebet aus dem österreichischen Zapfenstreich” followed by the prayer of the Grand Master (Saint Francis Prayer) together with Pater Stefan Schnitzer OSB.
Our special thanks go to the Vienna Boy‘s Choir, to our protocol officer CSLI Col. Rudolf Murth for the organisation and the “choreography“ of this investiture, as well as the Music Corps and all comrades working onstage and backstage in various jobs to make this 11th investiture of the Lazarus Union Knighthood of Honour a success.
As a final surprise the Vienna Boy‘s Choir made a final appearance and gave a wonderful performance of “Amazing Grace“. After some final words by the Grand Master, final orders from the Grand Protector and the marching out all guests met for the agape in the Vienna Boy‘s Choir “Christmas rooms“.
In total 43 Dames and Knights of Honour of the CSLI Knighthood of Honour, 18 postulants, 27 CSLI officers, NCOs, and enlisted ranks as well as 62 invited guests were present.