behind us is an eventful and – especially from the point of view of the Dames of the Order of St. George – successful year. Since Prague and the Order Convention, in which the Dames found their anchorage in the constitution, much has happened and we can look back with pride on the past months, in which we have very actively helped to shape the life of the Order.
With the survey in late summer and the first Salon Privé at the beginning of September, the restructuring and reorientation began. Both points are very important to our Grand Master. The filling of key positions is progressing well and the leadership team will go into retreat at the beginning of the year to jointly define orientation and objectives with short- and medium-term measures.
The work on content was not neglected either, as OD Eva Demmerle initiated a socio-political discussion at the Salon Privé, which was continued and deepened by a discussion evening with KURIER editor-in-chief Martina Salomon.
The Dames also had OK Stephan Baier as a guest, who in his impressive keynote speech on the annual theme “The Soul of Europe” took up the cudgels for Europe’s identification with its values. He expressed his hope that Europe has a future and will find united ways out of the crises. To do this, however, Europe must rediscover its soul, not try to reinvent it in the spirit of the times.
We also dealt with the ever-increasing role of artificial intelligence, which will generate profound changes in society and the economy in the coming years. OK Nikola Protrka outlined and questioned this development in his lecture and gave suggestions for protection against cybercrime.
As the focus of our work and main task, the Dames have also dedicated themselves to their charitable activities this year and, at the request of the Grand Master, have concentrated on humanitarian aid for Ukraine. In close cooperation with the Knights, medicines, relief supplies and donations in kind worth more than € 160,000.00 were provided.
The year ended with the first benefit concert, which was very well received and raised a further € 10,000.00, which was invested in emergency generators and officially handed over to the Ukrainian Ambassador this Monday. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Dames and Knights who made a special contribution. Not least our Chancellor, who increased this donation on the part of the Order by a further aggregate.
With the activities of the past months, the commitment to values and the self-conception of the Dames to contribute and engage in this community, we have laid a good foundation for the next steps and the future. I thank you all very much for this!
I wish you a Merry Christmas, time for reflection and a relaxing holiday!
Mag. Gabriela Stimpfl-Abele
President of the Dames of the Order of St. George