Over 150 guests – some from as far away as Iran – had accepted personal invitations to join the festivities in Palárikovo on 21 October 2006 on the occasion of the contract signature between Slovakia and the CIC. The contract allows the CIC to use the castle in Palárikovo as a museum and conference center. It was here that the first concrete steps to create the CIC were initiated, the first statutes developed and the name “Conseil International de la Chasse” was decided upon.
The museum will show CIC’s history and current work for sustainable hunting. With time all CIC Commissions and member countries will be represented. Many exhibits can already be seen but more are to come just as soon as National Delegations, Commissions and private sponsors decide to contribute financially to building this unique museum.
Guests began arriving on a sunny October afternoon and each was greeted by the sound of horns. By the evening representatives of 14 countries had arrived, registered, taken their rooms in the castle and were eagerly awaiting the official beginning of ceremonies. Among the guests were important personalities from Slovakia such as the Minister for Economic Development Dr. Ing. Lubomir Jahnátek, the President of the Agricultural Commission in the Slovak Parliament Ján Sláby, the Director of the Slovak State Forestry Organization Ing. Ján Stefanik, the State Secretary for Agriculture Viliam Tursky and the President of the Slovak Hunting Union and Head of the Slovak Delegation to the CIC Marián Lipka as well as the General Manager of the Slovak Hunting Union Dr. Imrich Suba and the Director of the Museum in St. Anton Marián Ciz.
The CIC was well represented by President Dieter Schramm, Vice-Presidents Count Rudolf Colloredo- Mannsfeld (A), Dr. Carlo Alberto Pejrone (I), Dr. Francois Schwarzenbach (CH), President of the Commission Hunting in Art Emmanuel La Roche (CH) as well as Commission Vice-Presidents Heinz Meier (CH) and Count József Károlyi (A). Amongst other special guests we had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Rudolf Gürtler (A), Abdolali Yazdani (IR), István Pintér (H), Alexander Wendt (S), Yves Lemauviel (F), Count Michael von Medem (A), Neculai Selaru and Attila Kelemen (RO), Dr. Ján Kovarik and Tomas Budik (CZ).
At the sound of horns the participants gathered in the dining hall where Marián Lipka welcomed and reminded them of the events that took place here some 80 years ago. This was followed by speeches from President Schramm, State Secretary Tursky, General Director Stefanik and by Count Károlyi who presented the museum and a painting of his grandfather who in 1928 had initiated, together with his friends, the concrete steps that led to the constitutive assembly in 1930 in Paris.
Amidst applause more fanfares and bright lights the signatories of the contract proceeded to do their job and signed the 5 contract originals under the watchful eyes of Count Louis Károlyi’s portrait. After the signature renowned singers from the Bratislava State Opera gave a performance of songs from well-known operettas followed by a sumptuous buffet, wine and lively gypsy music until late into the night.
The next morning greeted us with more sunshine and splendid October colors. After breakfast we could admire the eagles, hawks and dogs, which were already assembling in the park to help Bishop Jan Orosch celebrate the St. Hubert mass attended by the inhabitants of Palárikovo.
Each year in September, Marián Ciz, well known by many CIC members, organizes the “Days of St. Hubert” in St. Anton, Slovakia, which are attended by thousands. The culminating event is the St. Hubert mass. Thanks to Marián’s support it was this mass – birds, dogs, archers, pheasants, ducks, fish and of course the deer carried by students of the forestry school, which was celebrated in Palárikovo.
After the mass all participants assembled around a small red beech (Fagus sylvatica) which received Bishop Orosch’ blessings and, following president Schramm’s example, each CIC member put hand to shovel to help plant it in memory of this event.
A festive lunch with more speeches closed the festivities, which will remain in the participant’s memories as a harmonious and joyful event amongst friends united in memory of the past for the service of the future.
The event was co-organized by the Slovak Hunting Union, the Slovak State Forestry Organization and the CIC Commission Hunting in Art. Special thanks go to the major of Palárikovo, Jozef Dernar but especially to Marián Ciz and to Dr. Imrich Suba without whose work and enthusiastic support, this event would not have been the same. All those who unfortunately did not attend missed an opportunity to intensify friendship but will be able to see the film at the GA in Belgrade.
The Commission Hunting in Art hopes that, now that the CIC Museum is a reality, Delegations, Commissions and private sponsors will be proud to participate in building this unique exhibit.