Report by “Spectator”
Pictures by Hannes Hochmuth-Pressphftographer
Translation by Dipl.Ing. Herbert Paulis
The Lazarus Union annual general assembly took place on February 21st, 2015.
After playing the Lazarus Union march and the welcome address by Union commander Senator h.c. Wolfgang Steinhardt a commemoration of those comrades who had died last year took place, focused especially on one who had left us way too early, Chev. Erich Kadlec, Lazarus Union Secretary General and Commander of the Lazarus Union Knighthood of Honour. The Union Commander using very personal words in the name of all present remembered the merits and personal characteristics of this merited comrade. Then the members present commemorated all comrades who were called to the “Great Army“ last year.
After this the delegates concentrated on working through the topics of the agenda.
One relevant item of discussion was the self-imposed neutrality of the union, newly regulated in §18 of the union‘s statutes. This is relevant especially regarding the union‘s outside relations to associated organisations. Consequently interpreting this paragraph, relations to the United Grand Priories were put on a new basis – the former membership in the “Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem“ was changed into a “cooperative friendship“. Another consequence was the withdrawal of the naval comradeship Vizeadmiral Erzherzog Ferdinand Max (as unanimously voted by its general assembly) from the Austrian Naval Union. Both decisions were unanimously affirmed by the general assembly.
Core items of the Union Commander‘s report were the Lazarus Union status with the United Nations, the number of members and the growth rates (4,000 officers world-wide), the principle of voluntariness, and the newly created rank of “Knight Expectant“ as a pre-stage towards the Knighthood of Honour.
This was followed by the reports of the treasurer and the auditors. It was especially mentioned that in 2014 again only 1.84% of the budget was used for administrative purposes (manly paper and ink for printing certificates). The excellent financial situation of the Lazarus Union was confirmed by the auditors and the reports as well as the formal discharge of the cashier and the board of management for the year 2014 were both accepted by the general assembly unanimously.
The next agenda item covered necessary personal decisions for the future. Oliver M. Gruber-Lavin was elected new secretary general and Ludwig Brunner deputy treasurer, also the auditors were confirmed in their office. The hitherto temporary secretary general, Col. retd. Rudolf MURTH, was upon request confirmed as member of the board of management. Also Peter Scherer was appointed as ambulance representative with the rank of CSLI Major.
Upcoming activities of the Union (investiture of “Knight Expectants“ April 25th, 2015 – all “expectants“ were confirmed unanimously by the general assembly), participation in the airfield festival of the FSV and the performances of the music corps concluded the report on upcoming activities.
Finally the general assembly decided by acclamation to award the Special level of the Grand Cross of the Cross of Merit to Josef-Maria Gebel in recognition of his long fealty, his loyalty, his comradeship, his helpfulness, his fulfilment of duties despite relevant personal handicaps, and his status as one of the first founding members.
The awarding of the distinction was also the dignified conclusion of the general assembly.