Annual Report 2015

LU-NGO-UN 150 transparenter HG

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 2015

Vienna, March 2016


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 2014 already being a very successful year it must be stated that 2015 was the the most eventful year in the history of the Lazarus Union so far. While in 2014 we were able to win our acceptance as an “organisation with special consultative status with the United Nations“, the year 2015 was marked by several international missions thanks to our “humanitarian spearhead“, the SOF. In 2015 we could for the first time “score“ in humanitarian fields and we want to thank all members and attached organisations. The benefits from our “UN-NGO Remembrance Crosses“ was handed over to the High Commissioner of the UNHCR during a small celebration in the UNO City Vienna during the Lazarus Day 2015.

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 posses a “UN ground pass“ which gives them permission for unlimited entry to the UN buildings. In 2016 we do plan to continue to use and extend 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, Chev. Roberto Ortiz and my humble self.

We also have our delegates in Geneva, Chev. Urs Breu, Chev. Frederic Währen, Chev. Bernd Höhle and Chev. Danny Koch.

Not even the biggest optimists (including myself) had thought that the Lazarus Union could secure this international status by the United Nations so fast and visibly. Surely also our uniforms add to this as we always wear them in public at the United Nations and obviously are often asked about them.

I want to thank all here who participated in this success.

A further milestone in the history of the LAZARUS UNION was the establishment of the “International Leadership Academy – ILA“ as a dependance of the Brazilian based and commanded “Academia São Lázaro de Estudos Cavalheirescos e Humanitários (ASLECH)“, an academy acknowledged under the UNAI (United Nation Academic Impact). ILA academy commander is Rudolf Murth and the advisory board is lead by Univ.Prof.em. Dr. Josef Michael Schramm. The first two-day seminar has already been held for our “Knight Expectants“.

In 2015 the Lazarus Union attracted again more than 1,500 new personally registered members and the official number of members currently is more than 19,000. 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 118 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 45,000. 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 7,000 members officially are in uniform and registered by name. Special thanks go to Josef-Maris Gebel for issuing all decrees and to Christoph Ptak for registering and filing all decrees and applications.

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.

When a uniform is being worn, please ACCORDING TO THE DRESS CODE! Peter Domweber has been nominated uniform commissary and will write out new dress regulations with all relevant information.

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.

Our financial performance is exemplary, clear, and well-arranged. Thanks for this go to Oliver Gruber-Lavin who wrote the software for it. Thanks also to our treasurer Monika Gries, our vice treasurer Ludwig Brunner, and our accurate auditors Helmut Neidhart and Josef-Maria Gebel. The Lazarus Union is proud that as a result of these strict guidelines less than 1.5% of the official budget are labeled “administrative cost.“ Most of those are for paper and ink for printing of various documents. More than 4,000 membership certificates, rank certificates, legitimations, and award certificates have been printed by the secretary general‘s office and almost 50% of all awards have beed awarded WITHOUT insignia fees.

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: The 9th 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. Investitures in the HGM and in Burg Kreuzenstein, which unfortunately had to be moved to the Gruner Hof inn because of bad weather. Also the many trips by members to England, Canada, Italy, Germany, 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. Our web site is an intensively used medium, more than 750,000 page hits clearly state so. Yet it has reached its limits, being so mighty and complicated that every new modification is a nail-biter. Therefore we have decided to design a new user-friendly web site. Oliver Gruber-Lavin has taken over this big challenge and already presented part of the new structures. The new web site will be on-line around mid-2016.

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. A milestone was set with the German tour in March, when we participated in a big tattoo with more that 12,000 visitors in 5 shows.

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 34,638 emails (not counting SPAM) and answered 18,358 of those. One can imagine the countless hours I have to spend on this every day.

I received hundreds of mails and postcards with seasons 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 world wide 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. Therefore since mid-2015 ID badges cost EUR 10.- and – lo and behold – the demand has come down to a few dozen. What a relief!

The Lazarus Union still does not receive any grants (nor would it want get them) 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.

Because of increasing requirements by the authorities and the immense costs (after nine air days without any accident) in 2016 the 10th Air Day will (most probably in August 2016) again be under the command of our honorary member, the Flying Club Stockerau FSV-2000 and will again be dedicated to the handicapped.

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 2016 and I trust you!




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