Between 7th and 10th of September, this year's international Grand Magisterial Council Meeting, organized by the Grand Priory of Austria, took place in Neudörfl an der Leitha, Burgenland. The Supervision had the Grand Prior, H.E. Chev. Dr. Friedrich Schuberth, GCCLJ-J, while for the necessary logistics was the responsibility of the Prior, H.E. Chev. Ernst v. Stejskal, BBA, GCLJ-J. The financial arrangement was in the hands of the Treasurer, Dame Andrea v. Stejskal, MBA, DLJ-J.
While the Executive Council met on the 8th of September, the rest of the guests attended the well-known medieval Baroque Forchtenstein Castle. After the visit the lunch was taken in the restaurant "Grenadier". Afterwards the group went to Wiener Neustadt, where Europe's oldest military academy was visited. The tour was conducted by Colonel Mag. Gernot Pauschenwein, MAS, one of the officers at the Theresian Military Academy, who shared a great deal of cultural and historical knowledge as well as background knowledge about this college. The interesting day ended with a joint dinner at Hotel Martinihof.
Saturday was then the most important day of the event. After breakfast, all participants drove to the Freistadt Eisenstadt, the capital of Burgenland. Under the expert guidance of Mag. Gottfried Schachinger they were introduced to the most important sights of the city. The tour then ended at the Landhaus, the seat of the provincial government. The Governor of Burgenland, Hon. Hans Niessl, had invited to a reception in the Landtag (parliament) meeting room. His representative brought us a lot of information about the youngest province of Austria. The Grand Prior was then allowed to take over the recognition of the Hon. Governor for the Order. Finally, all drove back to Neudörfl. The Vice Governor, Hon. Johann Tschürtz, had already by letter wanted the event to be a success.
In the meantime a large part of the Hungarian members had already arrived. They all moved quickly, and then went to a reception in the Town Council Chamber in the city hall. There the mayor of the market community Neudörfl, Hon. Dieter Posch, welcomed us. With sparkling wine and sandwiches time passed quickly and soon it was already on the place in front of the city hall the procession put together. According to schedule we entered the local parish church Nativity of Mary. The Roman-Catholic service was celebrated by Revd. Provincial Fire Brigade Curate Dean Spriritual Councilor Harald Schremser in Latin. The worship ended with the anthem of the Ordere of St. Lazarus.
The festive Investiture Ceremony followed the service. On behalf of our Grand Master, the Grand Vicar and President of the Supreme Council, H.E. Chev. Vittorio Galoppini, GCCLJ-J, admitted 13 new Members and promoted six members in rank. In addition, he awarded six members of the Order with various decorations. After the obligatory group photo in nfront of thw church after the investiture everyone was asked for a Cocktail on the terrace of the Martinihof.
In the festively decorated ballroom of the hotel, the Gala Dinner took place. After the welcome from the Grand Prior the Grand Vicar handed over the diplomas to the persons admitted, promoted and awarded. Then our Grand Master gave the floor to the audience. The Hungarian Grand Prior took the opportunity to present some decorations of his Grand Priory. During the evening the Grand Marshal, H. E. Chev. Björn Pettersson, GCCLJ-J, handed over to our Grand Vicar the Reginald Attard Trophy awarded to him by the Executive Council. All could be tasted into the late night hours the many courses of the festive buffet. During the evening the Duo Leo Kohn & Co. underwent the musical performance of the Gala Evening. The evening also gave an opportunity to get to know each other more closely and to cultivate friendships.
In the course of Sunday then almost all the conference participants left again. Only the Grand Vicar remained in Neudörfl, so he was able to make together with Senior Officers of the Austrian Jurisdiction Wiener Neustadt unsafe. The walk through the old town ended with a lunch at Hotel Corvinus
The Grand Magisterial Council Meeting of the Order is held every two years in another country. 2019 is to be held in France. We wish the coming conference a success similar to this year, with many beautiful and interesting experiences, to raise mutual understanding and, above all, to foster brotherhood and friendship.