Union CSLI: New operations activated in Lithuania, Lietuvos Lozoriaus Korpusas (May 2014)
Saturday, 31. May 2014 featured the foundation ceremony of the Lithuanian Lazarus Corps which took place in the Lithuanian town Juodkrante (literally: Black Shore). It is worth noting that the authorities allowed the founders to use the emphatic title of "Lithuanian Lazarus Corps", a naming form only allowed when certain requirements are satisfied related to charitable organisations of national significance.
A CSLI delegation led by CSLI president Wolfgang Steinhardt reached the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on May 25th. The other delegation members were Monika and Hans-Rudolf Gries and Dr. Oswin Hochstoger. Together with LLK members a short city tour was taken. Parts of the medieval old town were visited, the cathedral with the burial chapel of St. Kasimir next to the lower castle, the campus of the old university, a Russian Orthodox monastery church and the chapel of the Gate of Dawn with the icon of the Lady of the Gate of the Dawn.
On the evening of the 30th of May a dinner took place in a restaurant on top of a multi-story hotel, offering a terrific view over the pier and theBaltic Sea. Participants were the CSLI delegation and several LLK staff officers led by the LLK president Giedrius Petruzis.
On 31. May 2014, the actual founding ceremony took place in the old fishermen's town Juodkrante, which developed into a respectable health resort during the past decades. Later that morning the celebrations commenced with an open-air concert by the Lithuanian Navy Band, led by Pranas Memenas in front of the only church of the place, the Protestant church of St. Franciswhich is jointly used by the Catholics. The ceremony was embedded into a Holy Mass, led by Navy and LLK Chaplain Romualdas Ramasauskas together with the Protestant pastor of St. Francis, Jonas Liorancas.
First the honorary LLK president, CSLI Brigadier Algis Klimaitis presented the history and the goals of the LLK to some 250 guests before asking the first group of LLK officer candidates to give the officer's promise. Then Chaplain Romualdas Ramasauskas blessed the LLK flags. After the service, which was accompanied by the youth choir "Jaunyste" from Kaunas, CSLI president Wolfgang Steinhardt awarded the Grand Cross Special Level of the Union's Lazarus Cross to the commander-in-chief of the Lithuanian Navy, Admiral of the Fleet Kestutis Macijauskas, to the highest-ranking officer of the Lithuanian Border Troops, General Vainius Butinas, and to the Mayor of the municipalities of the Curonian Spit "Neringa", Mr. Darius Jasaitis.
The ceremony came to an end with the Lithuanian anthem. The the guests marched behind the playing band some 200m to a pier where the ship Venus was boarded to spend a few sociable hours on the lagoon. On three decks there was plenty to eat and drink. The youth choir "Jaunyste" led by Danguole Beinoryte sang lots of melodies and there was a very good mood aboard.
The new project of the Lithuanian Lazarus Corps:
The municipality of the Curonian Spit has left an estate with a delapidated building to the LLK and its supporting children's aid fund. It is the intention of the LLK to revive this property with the help of donations to provide a dignified and healthy abode to the children and youths of the children's aid fund. Currently the building's condition is deplorable but this shall be changed in the future.