A Visit to the LazarusUnion’s
6th CSLI Disability Aviation Day, 2012
A personal report by
2nd Lt CSLI Jör Peter Jung from LI Germany
My trip toViennabegan on Thursday 06/09/2012 at 7 o’clock in the morning.
Take off forViennawas at 9.15 and, after a relaxing 1.5 hours flight, I arrived atVienna’s Schwechat airport.
On arrival I was warmly welcomed by Wolfgang (unmistakable in his uniform).
After a brief introduction we were on our way to Stockerau, starting with an extensive city tour ofVienna. Wolfgang’s detailed description of its history brought me closer to this breathtaking city.
After this impressive experience, we reached Stockerau in two hours where we had arranged to deliver some snacks for the flight day.
After spending two hours in a car filled almost to capacity with about 150 bottles of soft drinks, it was a relief to finally arrive at Stockerau airfield.
When the drinks had been stored I had my first view of the airfield and was introduced to its employees.
Next, it was back for a short visit to my hotel to inspect my room and take a quick shower. After this I was “kidnapped” by Wolfgang for a walk in the Prater where we met with Christoph and his wife.
After an invigorating time on the swing ride at a dizzy height of 125 meters, viewing the Prater from above, it was time for an excellent dinner and pleasant conversation at the famous ‘Luftburg’ restaurant.
To end the evening, Wolfgang and I took another circuit on the water ride and then made our way home.
On Friday morning I decided to use the Metro to take my own “mini” tour ofViennato prepare for the afternoon, where I was scheduled for construction work for the flight day.
At 16.00 I met with Christoph in front of the subway where Wolfgang joined us and took us to Stockerau for the preparatory work.
Once there, I was introduced to the other workmates.
After exchanging friendly greetings we all set to work making preparations for the flight day.
Everyone was full of energy and, without any grumbling, all the work was done quickly with lots of fun and enthusiasm.
This was actually THE “key experience” during my stay here in Austria. In the Lazarus Union there is no “snobbery”. Everyone, whether president or “ordinary” member, works to get things where they are needed and everything seems to be fun when you are part of a community achieving something together. I was included in the circle as if they had known me for years.
That evening, thinking about the next day, I was so tired I just wanted to get to bed to be fit and rested to fulfil my commitments on the flight day.
On Saturday morning at 7 o’clock “Hannes”, the “official photographer of the Lazarus Union”, was already waiting for me at our meeting point, whistling and full of life.
After intensive discussions between the CSLI and Marine Fellowship about “Joseph” and its engine, we were picked up soon afterwards by Wolfgang and were chauffeured in good company and companionable conversation to the airfield.
Once there, a short briefing prepared us for work.
Within a short time all the comrades and companions began to work, eager to give disabled people a particularly unforgettable day.
My job, with others, was to set the stage and audience area for the Big Band. Then I made my check-in useful by helping out at any station where someone was needed.
Through the unbelievable precision and accurate logistics preparation done in advance, and the incredible energy of all the workmates, everything went smoothly and an unforgettably beautiful day had been prepared for our handicapped people. You could see this in the eyes of our guests when, full of pride, they told you of their (often first) flight experience.
Not only the flights themselves, but everything around them was one great experience. That many workers from other organizations have no apparent problem or “fear of contact” working with the Lazarus Union really impressed me. InGermanythe “competitive spirit” would make it almost impossible to work in this comradely manner. It was another new experience for me – things can obviously be done differently.
I noticed that the Lazarus Union was able to motivate the following organizations, associations and institutions for joint collaboration:
The CSLI Air Wing, the Air Sports Club of Stockerau FSV 2000, the Vienna Aviators Group, the Band of the Lazarus Union, the Naval Comrades Society Vice Admiral Ferdinand Max, the Aerial Lazarus Air Corps (ALAC), AERIAL Helicopters, POWER FOODS with the Antonov AN-2, the Spillern Fire Brigade, the Vienna Disaster Relief Services, the Vienna Fire Youth, the club for Friends of Vehicle and Engineering History of Austria, the Koller Heldenberg Oldtimermuseum, the Harley Davidson Club, the Lower Austria Comrades Association-Urban Community of Mödling, soldiers of The Guards Regiment of the Austrian Army, the Austrian Humanitas Corps (AHC), the Saint Lazarus Grand Priory of Austria, the Brotherhood of the Archangel Michael, the PR plus advertising agency and many individual workers. (I hope I have not forgotten anybody!)
And all, without exception, were there “to give pleasure” for the participating guests. Participating guests were:
The Austrian Aid Society for the Blind and Partially Sighted, the Neunkirchen Children’s Clinic, Special Homes Stockerau, Vinzi RAST – homeless hostel, the ODILIEN Institute home community, CARITAS St.Pölten, HABIT- the House of Mercy Community Integration Team, BALANCE – life without barriers home Boeckh, CARITAS residential home Horn, CARITAS Hollabrunn and many individual guests, some of which have become “regular guests” and “family”. (Again, I hope I have not forgotten anybody.)
Our physical well-being was catered for with plenty to eat and drink and, what surprised me the most, it was all very generously provided free of charge.
A very special highlight for the day was provided by the premiere concert of the “Lazarus Union Big Band”. Without this outstanding performance the whole day would have missed an indescribable, unique touch.
Leading us through the concert programme was our Union Commander who had to step in at short notice because the Bandleader of the Big Band was “stuck” inMoscow. With his charming manner he always found the right words to give us interesting background information about the music that was played and its composers. The keyboard player of the band, Max Höller, took the role of conductor and performed this task no less brilliantly!
Finally promotions and honours were awarded where, to my surprise, even I got an award.
This was quickly followed by the post-event cleanup, again all done without a lot of discussion, returning the airfield back to normal operations.
After this emotionally eventful day, I arrived back at my hotel but decided to use the subway to go to the Stephansplatz and take a long walk throughVienna. At about 2 o’clock, back in my hotel bed tired but very happy and content, I finally fell asleep.
To make the most of my stay, on Sunday morning I took a short walk throughVienna’s city centre with its many historic buildings.
Around noon I was still out, taking a relaxing ride in a small motorboat on the “Old Danube” near my hotel ready to check out an hour later.
At 14.30 Wolfgang picked me up again and we visited theDanubeTowerandDanubePark.
To finish we had a “farewell dinner” in the Prater of Viennese boiled fillet of beef and plum jam turnovers. After this the “Airport Bus” took me directly to the airport.
These days of unexpectedly fine camaraderie were over, but I could take a lot of pleasant new memories home with me. Above all I now know for sure that I am in the right organization and standing up for the right cause.
Since my ultimate goal has always been to help other people, I am proud that I decided some time ago to become active in the Lazarus Union.
The trust placed in me inVienna, and the courteous behaviour I experienced from all my comrades, have inspired me to continue to contribute to the philosophy of The Lazarus Union inGermany.
Link to video:
Now some pictures (An extract of the photo CD with appr. 550 pictures in HR!) in the following chapters:
“PREPARATION”, “CREW PICTURES”, HIGHLIGHTS”, “OUR GUESTS”, “SCENIC FLIGHTS”, “THE CONCERT” and “VARIOUS PICTURES”.
Tel.: 0043-664-352 08 51