Marine Commemoration Day 2013

  Austrian Marine Association – ÖMV
A report by Erich Kadlec
Pictures by Hannes Hochmuth – Press Photographer

A delegation of our Naval Fellowship Archduke Ferdinand Max took part in the Austrian Marine Association’s Marine Commemoration Day.

The event was held in the Handelskai shipping centre in beautiful summer weather. In our Navy blazers we got up quite a sweat! The ceremony this year featured Croatia – on the occasion of its accession to the European Union.

The OMV was supported by MilKdo Vienna as well as the MK Admiral Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand. The musical accompaniment was provided by the Guards Band under Director of Music, Major Johann Kausz.

Many guests had come from the Government, Senior Officers of the Armed Forces and the Executive. From the Croatian Embassy Ambassador Gordan Bakato was present, as were representatives of other Embassies. In addition to delegations from the Austrian Naval fellowships, Naval Friends organizations from Croatia, Hungary and Bulgaria also participated.

The festive ÖMV fanfare ‘Freundschaft auf See’ opened this ceremony by the lake.

After the main parade of Banners the customary ceremonial addresses followed. Prof. Dieter Winkler spoke on the topic “The Croatian Adriatic coast – nostalgia and economic stimulus”.

The Austrian Navy contributed with their presence and, through the expansion of the Port of Pula, is making an important contribution to the development of this coastal region. That presence is also significant for the development of tourism, e.g. Opatia.

After the welcoming address by the Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia a hymn by Prof. Stefan Hausmann was premiered: ‘Republiki Hrvatskoj – put u Europsku uniju.’ – ‘Republic of Croatia on the way to the European Union’. The hymn was introduced by a tamburizza group (the tamburizza is the Croatian national stringed instrument) and performed here by the Burgenland Croatian Choir and the Guards Band. The hymn was dedicated to Ambassador Bakato and a commemorative copy of the score was presented to him.

After a hymn in remembrance of fallen sailors, Father Dr. Alexander Lapin D.D. (the Orthodox Military Chaplain) delivered a short devotion. He was assisted by Deacon GR, Deacon Colonel William Hold, and a Croatian Military Chaplain.

Then followed the ceremonial high point – from the gunboat ‘Niederösterreich’ and the Police launch in the middle of the Danube, wreaths in memory of the fallen were committed to the waves to the sounds of the traditional song of unity ‘Vom Guten Kameraden’ and gun salutes by the artillery piece of  ‘Reitende Artilleriedivison Nr: 2’. A special note was given to the ceremony by the fly-past of two Draken aircraft – it was like they had been ordered.

After the official ceremony a relaxed get-together brought proceedings to an end in a friendly atmosphere.

To mark his 75th birthday, President Skrivanek was invited to a reception at the Maria Theresa Barracks Club. Many well-wishers honoured him there.

The CSLI, and with it the Naval Fellowship Archduke Ferdinand Max, thanked him for his services and friendly cooperation with the presentation of the Grand Cross of the CSLI Navy Cross.

Musical accompaniment to the evening was provided by the ‘Original Hoch-und Deutschmeister’ Band lead by Director of Music Reinhold Nowotny.

In his speech Major-General Karl Wendy told us about Skrivanek the man, reporting on his many contributions: as a family man, an engineer, an inventor, an officer, a researcher and a cosmopolitan.

For almost 40 years Colonel DI Karl Skrivanek served as a Militia Officer, with aviation engineering one of his specialties. His civilian career was always closely related to the Austrian Army. For German industry he developed a variety of propulsion systems, gas turbines and aviation transmissions. His valuable experience was reflected, among other things, in the development of the Steyer tank family.

His work on mobile medical technology lead to the development and construction of the DRASH tent system (Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter)* introduced into the Armed Forces.

His work on projects took him to Italy, Germany, Sweden, France, Canada and the United States. He was also in China for ten years, and a Visiting Professor at the Technical University in Jiangsu.

In recent years Colonel Skrivanek has devoted himself to his role as President of the OMV. For this work he has been honoured with many awards. In a touching acceptance speech on being awarded the Grand Cross of the CSLI Navy Cross, he stressed his desire to continue to work actively for the OMV.

We all wish him, once again, “Happy Birthday!”

Picture impressions of both events: