Anual Report 2014

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Lazarus Union

ZVR: 023914681

Organisation with Special Consultative Status as NGO with the United Nations (ECOSOC)

in Vienna, Geneva and New York

UN registration number: 632158

The President



Annual Report 2014


Vienna, January 2015


Dear Comrades!

Dear Sisters and Brothers!

Dear Friends and Sponsors of the Lazarus Union!


Yet another year has passed and again it is time to strike a balance.

With 2013 already being a very successful year it must be stated that 2014 was the the most successful year in the history of the Lazarus Union so far. While in 2013 we were able to move our seat to the venerable Castle Kreuzenstein and to hold two wonderful investitures of our Knighthood of Honour in the Imperial War Museum, 2014 was characterised by our acceptance as an “organisation with special consultative status with the United Nations“. To mark this event the “Lazarus Union UN-Remembrance Cross“ was founded. Please make use of it.

I want to once more explain what the meaning of this “special consultative status“ means for the Lazarus Union.

It means seven delegates accredited by name to the United Nations! Seven delegates each in New York, Geneva and Vienna.

These delegates not only are allowed to follow all UN ECOSOC meetings but do have the right to pipe up, file own proposals in the name of the Lazarus Union and look for allies with other UN delegations. The delegates have their own seats with name tags in meetings and conferences and may also use offices and conference rooms to prepare for meetings and conferences in the three cities named.

All Lazarus Union delegates with the United Nations have a “UN ground pass“ which gives them permission for unlimited entry to the UN buildings. In 2015 we do plan to make use of this especially in New York, the UN seat of ECOSOC. Our local representative in New York is Chev. Martin von Grossmann, a Lazarus Union founding member, supported by CSLI LtCol Brian Reynolds.

Not even the biggest optimists (including myself) had thought that the Lazarus Union got awarded this international status by the United Nations so fast and without major problems.

I want to thank all here who participated in this success. First and foremost I thank the late secretary general Chev. Erich Josef Kadlec, who died suddenly last year and who was the inspirational driver for our UN application, also doing all the necessary research.

In 2014 the Lazarus Union attracted again more than 2,000 new personally registered members and the official number of members currently is more than 18,000. In this context I want to make some notes and clarifications regarding the Lazarus Union members.

The Lazarus Union as such can be compared to a “group holding organisation“ as the Lazarus Union members are the various local Lazarus Union organisations and the various groups and unions affiliated with the union. Every one of these groups and local organisations possesses ONE vote at the general assembly. To this the members of the chair and the board of management, all nominated by name, are added so that the fate of the Lazarus Union is directed and guided by approximately 120 members entitled to vote.

As the Lazarus Union asks neither for admission fees nor for membership fees from its members, the administration of the local members is in the responsibility of the local commanders or groups and unions affiliated with the Lazarus Union. Membership numbers are reported (rather) informally to the Lazarus Union HQ and are not verified.

Only when a member wants to be in uniform and to carry rank and insignia of the Lazarus Union it is necessary to send an extra personal application to the Lazarus Union for the chair to decide upon acceptance as an extraordinary member. The union commander then confirms the “rank“ suggested by the local commander or changes it as he sees fit.

In other words, the “invisible“ membership number is definitely to be considered higher than the official figures suggest and, according to my conservative estimate, definitely thought to be more than 40,000. All members from organisations affiliated with the Lazarus Union as “group member“ are accepted and counted as “affiliated members“, even when not (yet) known by name. They also will be granted the right to be in uniform, if applied for. As of now more than 5,000 members officially are in uniform and registered by name.

Also for the Lazarus Union it is not that important how many members there are as the Lazarus Union wants to communicate an attitude based on tolerance, piety, charity, and altruism and not on “collecting membership fees.“

Important is the pursuit of our mission, not the money!

Because of this absolute voluntariness is emphasised. NOBODY must be forced into doing something. Only personal honour may compel someone to carry on with a duty taken over until either a successor is found or the member is released from the duty again.

Nobody is compelled to go in uniform! Nobody is compelled to buy devotional objects! Nobody needs to buy wearable distinctions! There merely is the RIGHT to do so if one WANTS to do it and the preconditions are met! This seriously distinguishes the Lazarus Union from (many) other organisations, something that also has to be stated with clarity. And the profit coming from all those items sold goes 100% into our various projects. Expenses are waived from all members, as is stated in our statutes.

We spend no money for representative offices, cars, furniture, or “trips by officials.“ All members pay for their personal expenses themselves. Even telephone bills for duty calls from private mobile phones.

ALL officials from the Lazarus Union and affiliated groups, unions, and associations must follow this principle, or leave the Union. There is (unfortunately) absolutely NO tolerance to this from my side. To ensure this principle, all officials from the Executive Board, the Advisory Board, the Union Command, and the Local Commands will have to give a written statement in 2015 that they accept this.

The Lazarus Union is proud that as a result of these strict guidelines less than 2% of the official budget are labeled “administrative cost.“ Most of those are for paper and ink for printing of various documents. More than 5,400 membership certificates, rank certificates, legitimations, and award certificates have been printed by the secretary general‘s office and almost 50% of all awards have been awarded WITHOUT insignia fees.

It shall also be noted that all expenses are checked by “10 independent eyes“ and a monthly statistical analysis is performed as well as a financial statement covering all receipts and expenditures. Receipts and expenditures are also done as well as booked by different persons! Full transparency is a very important and essential concern to me! This was also the precondition that the full Lazarus Union annual accounts report for 2014 is available already on beginning January 2015, for handing over to the elected auditors.

I do not want to inflate this annual report with event stories which can in detail be read on our web pages by everybody. So let me just briefly mention the main events of the previous year.

Notably: Our 8th Handicapped Air Day at Stockerau airfield. The many appearances of our music corps and here I cannot conceal the pleasure our music corps gives me. Soon a CD will be available with many live recordings from appearances of our ensembles, the marching formation, and the big band. It can be purchased from our web shop for a donation of EUR 15 plus p&p. The net revenue will be used to purchase some necessary equipment for the music corps. Included on the CD is the “Lazarus Union March“ composed exclusively for the Lazarus Union by Johann Hausl and premiered at the memorable investiture for our Knighthood of Honour at Castle Kreuzenstein, October 13th, 2014. Also the many trips by members to England, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, and Malta were beautiful and lasting memories in the last year. To list the numerous projects of all the national organisations and groups here would go beyond the scope of this report and I only point you to our home page and the various home pages of our union members.

Our homepage shall also be mentioned here: Unfortunately we had some most objectionable hacking attacks and had to set up our pages anew several times. On this occasion I want to say a big thank you to our web team, first and foremost to Oliver Gruber-Lavin, who patiently labours in the background on the design and the editorial job. The number of hits is most satisfactory and shows nicely that our home page is fully accepted as an international information and communication medium.

Special thanks go to three more important supporters (everyone is important, but those three especially). To Chev. Christoph Ptak, our (primus inter pares) vice president and manager of our CSLI shop, which is the basis and most important foundation for financing our projects, to our treasurer Dame Monika Gries, who manages our finances and accounts, and to our bandmaster Friedrich Lentner, who is responsible for the forming and assistance of our wonderful music corps and the musical activities.

On a personal note, some remarks concerning the emails I daily receive in great numbers. Emails requiring an answer or comment I usually answer promptly resp. to 99% within 48 hours. In 2014 I received exactly 26,497 emails (not counting SPAM) and answered 19,247 of those. One can imagine the countless hours I have to spend on this every day.

I received hundreds of mails and postcards with season greetings and wishes for a happy new year and I am pleased about every one of them and give my sincerest thanks. Yet I do ask for your understanding that it is not possible for me to answer every single one, as much as I would love to.

As much as I love to communicate with everybody personally, I do ask to stick to the chain of command. There is no sense in asking for decisions from me which need to be done by the responsible local command chains. Direct responsibility of all local levels is a very important and personality developing factor in the Lazarus Union! An example: At a single blow there was a worldwide order of almost 1000 (free) service ID badges via email (many with incomplete details). If those are not processed within a few days I already receive remainder mails.

We all volunteer our time, some off a regular job, and I do ask for a little more patience and understanding for the comrades engaging themselves in the task. Would there have been such a large request for ID cards, had there been a fee of EUR 15 per ID card?

As can be seen on our home page, the Lazarus Union also had to circumnavigate several cliffs in 2014. Jealousy one (obviously) has to earn hard. Unfortunately we not only have friends but also some (occasionally grim and unfair) enemies. As neither myself not the Lazarus Union can be accused of any misconducts, they tried with several cowardly, perfidiously, and false ANONYMOUS charges against the Lazarus Union, several members, and me personally.

All these attacks were successfully warded off respectively “records set straight“ and so I will not go into any details. I personally have forgiven ALL of them and hope that these people will in the future see the work of the Lazarus Union with more fairness and less envy. The Lazarus Union does not receive any grants and its members work rather in small individual and personal fields. A major part of our mission and our intention is to give others (small) pleasures. The Lazarus Union campaigns always for peace and reconciliation and has this also anchored in its statutes.

We focus on the future and the year 2015 has some challenges ready for us. Many foreign visits are planned, Canada, USA, England, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Cuba, Hungary, Slovakia, Malta, to name but a few. The “3rd International Hospitaller Symposium“ in Vienna also will be a logistic and financial challenge. Therefore I URGENTLY ask all persons interested to QUICKLY register as otherwise the hotel reservations will expire and it is very difficult to get a hotel room in Vienna in September.

If we do not have enough foreign registrations by mid-March 2015 the international part will be cancelled and only the investiture of the knighthood of honour will be performed. I am rather pragmatic on this as I do not want to make any experiments at the expense of our many other activities. We love to work for our international friends but this work must particularly be accepted in this case (and in time).

Because of increasing requirements by the authorities and the immense costs (after eight air days without any accident) there will be no air day in 2015. We will see how this develops in the future. We will focus more on music and try to have less cost intensive and risky projects.

Finally I thank all commanders and comrades in all countries where the Lazarus Union is active for their dedication. I thank our board of management for their valued contributions. But especially I thank my chair and the extended supporting circle who together with me have done the main work for the Lazarus Union in the past year. I count on this also in 2015 and I trust you!

To this effect I also ask you to forgive me if I seem to be a little brisk and gruff occasionally and call a spade a spade. I am not perfect but I work on it and wish all of us a Happy and Successful New Year 2015.






Report HERE as PDF


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