NEWS FROM THE COMMANDERIES
New South Wales
Vale Dame Barbara Hamer DLJ
The Victorian Commandery was saddened to learn that on 28 May 2020, its emeritus member Barbara May Hamer DLJ passed away. Barbara Hamer joined the Order in 1999 and held several positions with the Commandery including Almoner and subsequently Hospitaller. She was appointed a Dame in 2010 at the New South Wales National Chapter.
Barbara had an interesting career after she enrolled and completed her combined four-year Arts-Social Work program. She held various welfare positions both here in Australia and in Loddon. In 1959 Barbara moved with her naval officer husband (later to become Senator David Hamer AM) to Canberra. She worked with Naval wives raising money to establish Barnardo’s Homes in Canberra and Sydney. In 1979, Barbara returned to the University of Melbourne to upgrade her Diploma of Social Studies to a BSW. Barbara not only made a significant contribution to the Order of St Lazarus, but was extensively involved in many other organisations and causes including:
Campaigning for the establishment of a naval social work service to provide welfare services for naval personnel and their families.
- Chairman of Southern Family Life, an agency that was exploring the use of volunteers to deliver services in the Sandringham-Beaumaris area of Melbourne.
- Member of the Board of Social Studies at the University of Melbourne, and on the Board of Moreland Hall.
- A member of the Council of the University of Melbourne and supported the “Copelen Cares” appeal to support family welfare initiatives.
- She was a greater support of the parish of Christ Church South Yarra.
The Order was represented by a few Victoria Commandery members (Chev Roger Blythman RFD KLJ OMLJ, Dame Ros Lawrence DLJ OMLJ, Chev Dr Robert West KLJ, Chev Anthony Kennedy OAM KHS KLJ and the Rt Rev the Hon Dr Peter Hollingworth AC OBE KStJ ChLJ GCMLJ) at Christ Church South Yarra and formed a processional behind the Hearse and onto Toorak Road. The family’s notice in the Age reflected many people’s sentiments in that she was “a force of nature who will be greatly missed by the many whose lives she touched”.
Victoria’s Welcomes Its Newest Commandery Member
Victorian Commandery members were delighted to be able to celebrate its newest Commandery member’s arrival to Victoria with the installation of his Grace, the Most Rev Dr Peter A Comensoli DD KC*HS ChLJ.
On the evening of 1 August 2018, St Patrick’s Cathedral was over-following with many people from across the Archdiocese of Melbourne and beyond. Approximately, 20 Victorian Commandery members attended and commented on the many positive aspects of the evening, including the wonderful choir, the insightful homily and the rich symbolic and magisterial ritual of the ceremony, which was based on more than 1,000 years of tradition, solemnity and celebration.
There were many bishops and Archbishops from around Australia in attendance. Victorian Commandery members specifically noted the attendance of the Australian Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Pope Francis’ representative in Australia, the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana.
As an ecumenical Order it was deeply encouraging to see leaders from Christian denominations including Greek and Coptic Orthodox, the Anglican, Lutheran, and Uniting Churches, and leaders from the Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh communities of Melbourne.
Following the moving service an evening supper was served at Australian Catholic University’s Central Hall, where members (and many others) were able to meet the newly-installed archbishop.
John Molnar KLJ OMLJ
Dr Peter A Comensoli DD KC*HS ChLJ with Chev John Molnar OAM KLJ OMLJ
Dr Peter A Comensoli DD KC*HS ChLJ with Robin Richard CLJ (left), Mary Armstrong OLJ and Chev John Molnar OAM KLJ OMLJ
COMMANDERIES’ REPORTS FOR 2019
|President||Chev John Molnar OAM KLJ OMLJ|
|Secretary||Mr Anthony Kennedy OAM KHS KLJ|
|Accountant||Mr Keith Beecher OAM|
|Almoner||Mrs Robin Richards CLJ|
|Hospitaller||Mr Richard Lodder OLJ|
|Herald||Mr Michael Kirwan CLJ|
|Chaplains||Rev Mons Stuart Hall EV RAN ChLJ
Rev Dr Ray Cleary AM ChLJ
The Very Rev Dr Michael Protopopov OAM ChLJ
|Custodian of the Chapel of
Our Lord and Saint Lazarus
|The Very Rev Dr Hugh Kempster|
The Commandery of Victoria provides financial supports the following Hospitaller Works:
The Lazarus Centre and the Drop-in Centre at St Marks
The Lazarus Centre at St Peters Eastern Hill and the Drop-in Centre at St Marks (Fitzroy) supports homeless men and women aged over 25 in Melbourne’s central business district. The program is operated by Anglicare (with important financial contribution from the Order) as it provides breakfast for homeless people seven mornings per week. In addition, it provides food parcels and an outreach and referral service offering advice, links to other services, assistance with accommodation, assistance with pharmacy/medical costs and urgent travel needs, internet access, essential hygiene items and toiletries, blankets, and clothes washing facilities.
For more information please visit: http://web.stpeters.org.au/other/lazarus.shtml
The Wellington Centre Inc. (the Wellington) provides various services and facilities to the marginalised in its local community. It is a community outreach and drop in centre meeting basic needs among local people mostly in the high rise flats opposite. The Wellington engages in partnerships with other health and community services to deliver care and support programs such as hands on health – a chiropractic clinic, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, outreach services to homeless youth, diabetes education, financial aid and relief as well as counselling services.
For more information please visit: http://www.thewellington.org.au/
The Spafford Centre
The Spafford Centre (located in Jerusalem) is a charitable institution that aims for a holistic approach to child health through the provision of medical and preventative care, as well as psychological, social and educational support. The Order’s contributions are provided to Anglican Overseas aid. Other facilitates and services offered by the Spafford Centre, include:
For more information please visit: http://www.spaffordcenter.org/
Street swag initiatives
Recently the Victorian Commandery funded two small but successful initiatives – street swags for the homeless in Melbourne and regional Victorian. Twenty eight high quality swags were purchased. These swags were purpose designed and manufactured for people who are living on the streets.
- 16 street swags were distributed via the Lazarus Centre. The swags were provided to Anglicare, which helped ensure that only genuine individuals were provided with a street swag.
- 12 swags were purchased for the homeless in the Echuca region (northern Victoria). The swags were provided to St Luke’s Anglicare (Echuca) – another organisation that works closely with the disadvantaged members of the local community.
In previous years the Victorian Commandery also provided financial support to the Catholic and Anglican bishops whose dioceses were affected by natural disasters, including:
- Tasmanian Bushfires in 2013; and
- Floods in northern Victoria and Queensland 2011.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA – 2019
SA Members at St. Lazarus feast day service at St. Peter’s Cathedral – Grand Prior was present – 2018
Since our last report, we have had one more member seek Emeritus status and thus we now have 27 active members, eight emeritus members and one inactive member. Encouragingly, we will almost certainly have at least two postulants for the Melbourne Chapter next May.
Fundraising activities have included a further “Shine and Show” day at the National Motor Museum, again on a beautiful March Sunday. Our film night will take place on Sunday July 28th and feature “Yesterday” as the film. This year, the chosen beneficiary is “Cure4CF”. Our Almoner’s committee is planning further activities including possible bowls night, BBQ, Quiz night, wine bottling and formal dinner – signs of an active committee.
The Hospitaller’s committee continues to identify worthy beneficiaries for fundraising and has included “St’ John’s Youth Service – Next Step” programme for donation this year.
Our celebration of the Feast of St. Lazarus was held at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter last November, with a lunch afterwards. We were pleased to host our Grand Prior and Sue at these events.
We congratulate Dr. Angela Evans OLJ on being made a Member of the Order of Australia in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours list.
Our Chaplains continue to deliver strong, thought-provoking messages at the beginning of each Commandery meeting and have been very supportive of members in difficult times. All our thoughts have been particularly with Ian Chesterman, and Meredith over the last eight months.
At our AGM in February, all office bearers were returned for 2019. These should be listed on the web-site.
Our congratulations to the Hobart Commandery for hosting a memorable Chapter meeting in May. We were delighted when Chev. Don Sarah was awarded the OMLJ in Hobart.
Chev Dr Ross Sweet AM KLJ
President, SA Commandery
COMMANDERIES’ REPORTS FOR 2018
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Winter has been a quiet time for the ACT Commandery with a significant number of our membership escaping for a while from the almost daily frosts. Our Winter service was held on August 31statThe Carmelite Monastery and was conducted by our chaplains Rev. Gregor Henderson and Rev. Dr. John Cohen with Gregor preaching the significance of our two texts for the evening-The Song of Solomon and a reading from James. Dinner afterwards was held at The Royal Canberra GolfClub. The Retreat was on September 8that The Carmelite Monastery and was conducted by Eileen Glass who has been a member of the L’Arche community for 40 years and was in fact second in charge of L’Arche International, under Jean Varnier, living in France for five years. Although we didn’t have large numbers attending the retreat was inspirational. Eileen talked of the family Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Bethany and the relationship with Jesus. We were told that Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus and such a relationship was built over time and through faithfulness and showed a sign of Jesus’s preference for the poor. We heard of the extraordinary reality of the resuscitation of Lazarus who in “ this “ life was invisible to many. Eileen also associated the needs of the small family in Bethany with those of the core members of L’Arche who tend to be marginalised in our society. In some ways the poor man Lazarus is a sign to poor man Jesus of the all encompassing love of God who will call forth his beloved son from the tomb.
The L’Arche barbeque and cricket match was held in Telopea Park on October 7th which was a beautiful spring day. It is one of the highlights of the year for us as we host, entertain and play cricket with the L’Arche core members and their helpers. The barbeque was prepared by Heather and Peter McDermott and as usual the L’Arche team won the Heather Leedman trophy. It was a joyous occasion.
In early November we visited the two new L’Arche homes that have been established in suburban Canberra in 2018. L’Arche for the moment is the only charity that we support and our $21,000 proceeds from the annual L’Arche dinner have been used to partly furnish these homes.
The Patronal Day Service was held on December 14that the Wesley Uniting Church, Barton, and afterwards dinner at The Commonwealth Club.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Bill Killinger has now completed five years as President (broken service) with the past consecutive three years being served in response to a request form the Grand Prior and Chancellor at the time to get the NSW Commandery “sorted out”. Financial recovery has been achieved with increases and stability in fundraising, giving and profitability. We need to progress and that means new leadership with a new approach and fresh ideas. There are long standing Commandery members who embody the traditions of the Order and while they are present, those traditions will be respected but that will not limit the new leadership from implementing new ideas. John Hitchen has performed magnificently as Almoner for seven years now and a new Almoner will be sought. Very Reverend Peter Williams VG EV ChLJ was invested in the Order this year in Perth and has been appointed Roman Catholic Chaplain of the NSW Commandery joining Rev Canon Colin Aikenthe of the Commandery.
Membership of the Commandery consists of 39 Active Members and 12 Emeritus Members. Of the Active Members, six are clerical members, one member is so remote (Darwin) as to be unable to attend regularly, two long standing members are non-financial, leaving a pool of only 30 persons being both financially and physically active. This is of concern to the Executive and needs to be addressed.
Postulants and Advancements 2018: our only Postulants this year were Very Rev Peter Williams VG EV ChLJ invested as a Chaplain and Mr Alexandre Ladreit de Lacharriere CLJ invested as a Commander. Mr Bill Galvin OAM was scheduled for Investiture in Perth but sadly passed away just prior to the National Chapter. Dame Colette Cowle DLJ OMLJ received a Bronze Meritorious Medallion.
The following events were conducted in 2018:
- Annual Cocktail Party (not a fundraising event) was hosted by Councillor Peter Cavanagh CLJ Mayor of Woollahra at the Council chambers with a magnificent view overlooking Sydney Harbour in February with an aim of introducing prospective postulants who attended as guests.
- A Commemoration Service was held in April celebrating the foundation of the Order in Australia at St John’s Anglican Church Gordon, where the Order in Australia first conducted a service.A Raffle and Theatre Night was conducted in August 2018. The raffle was drawn at a theatre night of Pymble Players where we booked the whole of the theatre and provided dinner and drinks. The play was an old favourite “Dial M for Murder” resulting in a profit of$13,105.
- A successful Quiet Day was held in August at the Shrine of the Holy innocents at Kellyville.
- A very successful black tie dinner was held at the Australian Club in Sydney on 26 October. Guest of Honour was Tony Abbott MP and the Chancellor Chev David Slater attended by travelling from Brisbane. A profit of $11,231 was achieved.
- The Patronal Feast was held in late November 2018 at St James, King Street followed by a formal dinner at The Masonic Club.
Charitable Donations made in 2018 were:
- Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa Nuns) – $7500
- The Company of the Good Shepherd – $7500
- Country Hope – $7500
- Bush Children’s Education Foundation – $7500 This resulted in a total of $30000.
Proper planning, procedures and commitment (especially by the members of the Executive) are now in place in the NSW Commandery and such disciplined leadership is now resulting in a successfully performing Commandery. To achieve real growth though, we need a build up of numbers of active members and an increase in membership appropriate to the aims and objectives of the Order – this will be a longer term process and is being addressedcurrently.
Well it’s all fun in the sun up here….during 2018 we have had 6 Ordinary General Meetings including the AGM ….2 Fundraisers and a Patronal Day.
The July 2018 Lazarus Letter edited by Secretary General Peter Bennison set a benchmark to beat with it ’s reportage on the Perth National Chapter. A dozen Queensland Members and Spouses made the journey to attend. The July 2018 Lazarus Letter did justice to three important stories from the QLD Commandery namely The Very Reverend Arthur Grimshaw CLLJ CMLJ celebrated his 60th year of Priestly Ordination. Fr Arthur joined the Qld Commandery in 1989. Capt David Ellis MNSC CLJ In his 10th year as President of the Brisbane Mission to Seafarers accepted the award at the UN in Geneva for the World Seafarer Centre of the Year for his Brisbane Centre and then being whisked off to London to have lunch with The Princess Royal, Princess Anne the World Patron of the Mission’s. David was promoted to Commander this year. Capt Tom Stodulka OLJ released a book of poetry called“Storm Clouds & Silver Linings” MyJourney it is already into a 2nd printing. Tom has donated 10% of book sales to the Commandery…we have already gratefully received hundreds of dollars.
Due to a distinct lack of lepers in Queensland our Members now support and labour tirelessly on behalf of the following charities donating to them annually between $2000 to $7000
- SPP (Suicide Prevention Pathways)… Prevention of youth suicide
- Anglican Trinity Pantry… Support for the hungry and homeless
- Catholic Psychiatric Care
- Community…Refugee support
- Wedgetail Retreat…Palliative support
- Second Chance…Lutheran Community support preparing the underprivileged for job interviews
There are also other charities we give varying one off amounts in times of need.
The QLD Commandery major fundraising events in 2018 were the ”Movie and Morning Tea” at The Old Museum in Fortitude Valley. The movie was “Sudden Fear ”a 1952 American “film noir” styled thriller starring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance…it was a crowd pleaser and contributed nicely to the coffers despite the Commonwealth Games going on around it. The other major fundraiser was “Brunch on the Green” held in the beautiful grounds of St Augustine’s Church Hamilton where 125 plus guests under a giant marquee on the church lawn listened to our guest speaker Roly Sussex (ABC Radio Personality) and enjoyed trays endless trays of food all cooked and prepared with love by our Members… it was an outstanding success in every way thanks to Pamela Casagrande our Almoner, Diane Andrews our Hospitaller and Gina McGuire Chief of Everything and many other Members andSpouses.
Our Roman Catholic Chaplain of 5 years Fr Dudley McMahon has resigned from the Order due to ill health and has moved to “them thar hills” of Maleny – Montville on the Sunshine Coast to be nearer his family. We shall miss his unassuming ways and pray for his peacefulretirement.
Was held at St Thomas’ Anglican Church High Street Toowong Brisbane on Sunday 9th December at 8.30am…a Communion Service was celebrated by Fr Tom Sullivan followed by a reception for Members and Guests at the beautiful home of Chancellor Chev David and Anne Slater at 120 Annie Street Auchenflower. This year we were doubly honoured to celebrate Patronal Day in the presence of the Grand Prior Chev Gavin and Mrs Susan Fielding especially flying in from Perth and His Excellency The Governor of Queensland the Hon Paul de Jersey AC and Mrs Kaye de Jersey attending the church service.
At the beginning of my last report I identified three issues challenging our Commandery. I am pleased to say that these have been addressed with various degrees of success. The difficulty of younger members remains a challenge but we have been delighted to welcome Dr. Angela Evans to our fold. The membership committee continues to review younger potential members for proposal as potential postulants.
The annual General meeting in February resulted in some changes to the Office bearers. My thanks to those who have served so well in the past, including Sue Brennan DLJ as Almoner and Robert Clyne OAM CLJ as Membership chairman.
Innovation in fundraising became a reality with the inaugural “Show and Shine” day held at the National Motor Museum at Birdwood in the Adelaide hills. Sunday the 22nd of April dawned bright and remained that way throughout the day. Some 32 veteran, classic and modern cars were on display at the picnic ground at the museum. The range of vehicles was outstanding. The members and guests attending enjoyed a pleasant picnic, added to by donated gourmet ice cream. All drivers received a certificate of participation and prizes were awarded to the car judged to be best by a panel of judges and to the car judged to be the most popular by the attendees. Our sincere thanks to member Michael Neale for organising the major aspects of the event. Funds raised swelled the charitableaccount.
The annual film night was held on Sunday the 26th of August at the Capri cinema. This venue is managed by a group interested in the preservation of theatre organs and has a wonderful Wurlitzer organ, enjoyed by the attendees as a prelude to the film. The event was again most successful, with some 370 people present and raising over $8,000. Thanks are due to the Almoner’s committee (and others) for arranging the venue, the raffle and the post-film refreshments. The traditional barbecue remains to be held, probably early in the New year.
Our Commandery continues to donate to various charities as identified by the Hospitaller committee and agreed by the Commandery members. All donations are considered according to the Order’s Hospitaller guidelines. This year we have donated $10,000 to the Epilepsy Centre for overnight monitors for children, allowing their parents to sleep nearby, but not in the same room as their child. We have also donated $5,000 to the St. John’s Youth Services “Next Step” programme for previously homeless youth.
The spiritual segment opening Commandery meetings remains central to the following deliberations and has been a success. The responsibility for these segments is shared between our Chaplains and Assistant Chaplain. A moving “Quiet Day” was held in March at, and around, the Church adjacent to the hall in which Commandery meetings are held. Our gratitude is extended to our Chaplains for the words and the music. The Feast of St. Lazarus was celebrated at St. Peter’s Cathedral, in the presence of our Grand Prior on Sunday the 25th of November, followed bylunch.
It would be remiss not to say a few words about the Chapter meeting in Perth in May, for several reasons. The presence of the new Grand Master was greatly appreciated by all present. The Installation of our new Grand Prior, The Hon. Gavin Fielding was a highlight, not least because it was performed in the presence of the GrandMaster. The Investiture of our new member Dr. Angela Evans was a pleasure to the strong South Australian contingent who travelled West for themeeting.
Finally my thanks to all Office bearers and all members for their assistance in the activities of the Commandery and for their support.
The Tasmanian Commandery presently has 17 Active members, 2 Emeritus members and 2 Inactive members. We continue to retain Secretary General Chev Peter Bennison as a member of the Tasmanian Commandery. Rod Scurrah and Chev Jim Grant were re-elected as National Treasurer and National Hospitaller, respectively, at the 2018 National Chapter. Chev Ron Banks also continues in the important role of Chairman of the St Lazarus Foundation, with Chev Jim Grant serving as a Director.
Advancements and Awards
Tasmanian Commandery member and Secretary General Peter Bennison was advanced to the rank of CMLJ (National), his investiture being held in the course of National Chapter meeting in Perth in May 2018. In addition, Secretary Don Macleod was advanced to the rank ofCLJ.
Cancer care Coordinator Support – Gibson Ward
On 19 September 2018, members of the Tasmanian Commandery were hosted by the staff of the Gibson Ward, St John’s Campus, Calvary Health Care at a morning tea. The occasion marked the handing over of a cheque by the Tasmanian Commandery to the Gibson Unit in support of the Cancer Care Coordinator role on the ward. Over the past three years, the major fund raising activity of the Tasmanian Commandery has focussed on providing ongoing support to the position of the Cancer Care Coordinator at the GibsonUnit.
Mid Year- Dinner – June 2018
Will Carter was a guest of the Tasmanian Commandery at its June 2018 meeting. Will is Commander of the Western Cape Commandery of the South African Grand Bailiwick and is also a National Council member and holds an international role in public relations for Africa, Asia andAustralasia. In an informal address, Will shared some ideas and experiences from his own Commandery:
- Broadening the reach of communications within the Commandery with a local newsletter and use of internet and mobile technologies to reach a wider audience
- Directing efforts at the wider Christian community in order to develop a wider support base and for engagement in projects and prospective membership (including Friends)
- Holding a number of social events linked with projects as a means of introducing prospective members, new sponsorships, participation with community organisations and media coverage
- Forming partnerships with business and community organisations to enhance projects and fundraising.
The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, overlooking the illuminated yacht club marina and harbour, was the venue for a dinner following the June 2018 meeting, attended by members of the Commandery and their spouses. The occasion was one of good fellowship and lively discussion.
Cocktail Function – October 2018
The former Hobart Savings Bank, established by Quaker George Washington Walker at 26 Murray Street, Hobart, was again the venue for the Tasmanian Commandery’s annual cocktail function for 80 members and guests. The Order was privileged to have access to the former bank and now home of Warwick and Helen Rule. They have turned the four story heritage former bank building, including basement dungeons, into a gracious home, above the pre-existing blackwood and cedar panelled banking chamber. The original plasterwork and a large leadlight skylight above the chamber are a magnificent reminder of its pasthistory. The atmosphere within the bank was greatly enhanced by the metre high floral displays arranged by Annabelle Grant and Heather Macleod. The contribution of flowers by members of the Order and friends is gratefully acknowledged. Fine Tasmanian wines and canapés were enjoyed throughout the evening. As Hospitaller, Chris Merridew seeks to identify new and appealing locations for Commandery functions, in order to generate interest and support from guests whomight enjoy the uniqueness of unusual venues. Events of this nature continue to provide the Order with exposure to a growing support base. It is also an opportunity to expound on the work of the Order in Tasmania. Chev Kerry Bowerman, a former senior manager of the Savings Bank of Tasmania, provided a summary of the background and history of the Bank which opened on this site in 1859. The Bank continued operations at this location for 103 years and on its closure, Kerry collated records and artefacts and presented them to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. He also recounted a number of interesting and amusing personal experiences of life, working as a young bank employee at 26 Murray Street Later in the evening, Neeta Oakley, Senior Social Worker and Cancer Care Coordinator spoke about her role at the Gibson Unit. This which included the development of treatment plans in conjunction with the oncologist and the medical team, complex patient dis- charge planning, counselling and family support. The work of the Coordinator has greatly increased the quality of services delivered to patients, decreased staff burden and lifted morale for staff and patients.
Dame Sister Juliana Coulson Celebrates
“Perseverance, prayer and friendships” – these are what Dame Sister Juliana Coulson AM LCM DLJ CMLJ is grateful for after 60 years of religious profession as a Sister of the Little Company of Mary. A celebratory Mass was held to mark the milestone at her community’s house in Lenah Valley on Thursday, 11 October 2018, and, on the following Sunday, Sister Juliana invited friends and guests to help her celebrate her diamond anniversary at an afternoon tea held at her home. Sister Juliana entered the Little Company of Mary in 1956, where she took the name of Juliana. The congregation had a strong focus on professional training, with Sister Juliana gaining a tertiary qualification in health administration. In 1988, she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to hospital administration, as a senior administrator and Director of Calvary Hospital,Hobart. She has served on advisory boards to Calvary hospitals in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart and as Director of Nursing in Hobart, as well as on her community’s provincial council. In May 1991, Sister Juliana joined the Tasmanian Commandery of the Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem. She was Tasmanian President from 1998 to 2001 and rose to the rank of DLJ in 2001. In 2007, she received the award of CMLJ.
First of all I would like to thank a number of Commandery members who have made a significant contribution during the year as outlined in this report.
Our fund-raising team led by Mrs Robin Richards CLJ are particularly deserving of acknowledgement. Our Gala Dinner on 13 October 2018 was the best yet, with approximately $31,000 raised. It was particularly heart-warming to see the significant cheques from the Freemasons of the Victoria providing $5,000 which was presented on the night (and a subsequent matchingamount).
This effort would not have been possible without the strong support of the members of the Victorian Commandery and the Gala Dinnersub-committee.
With all the hard work of Almoner’s committee (and the Finance Committee) this year the following amounts have been made available from the Victorian Commandery:
- The Lazarus Centre at St Peter’s Eastern Hill and St Marks Fitzroy, received $17,000
- The Wellington Centre in Collingwood received $12,000
- The Spafford Centre ($18,000 payment made to Anglican Overseas Aid)
- Green Cross Project Inc received $750.
Thanks are due again to Mr Will and Mrs Camille Edwards for again opening their home for new member’s information nights which has led directly to an increasing number of potential postulants coming forward.
Also I would like to acknowledge the Rt Rev the Hon Dr Peter Hollingworth AC OBE to co-hosting an information lunch at the Savage Club in August this year. Again this initiative not only generated a wonderful discussion but also a number of applications.
At the time of writing this report the Victoria Commandery is on-track to have ready at the National Chapter meeting in Hobart at least six new members, coupled with three postulants that were not able to make Perth this year is another strong result.
My thanks to Michael Kirwan who has very effectively managed this process with great efficiency and professionalism.
A solid number of Victorian Commandery members were able to attend the National Chapter in Perth. We were treated to an excellent event and even better weather. Victorian Commandery members were delighted to be able to meet and interact with the new GrandMaster.
The year started with a challenge. We were well advanced in the planning stages for the National Conference to be held in Perth, but inevitably there were several threads needing to be woven together in order to create a conclusive and attractive whole.
In the event, the Conference proved to be a great success. Amongst the highlights were the visit from the new Grand Master and the installation of a new Grand Prior of Australia – our own Chevalier, The Honourable Gavin Fielding AM GCLJ KMLJ. With the light streaming through the beautiful stained glass windows assisting in creating a deeply spiritual and peaceful atmosphere, St Georges Cathedral proved to be a superb setting for the St LazarusInvestiture.
We extend our thanks to all those who travelled to Perth for this splendid occasion, and our feedback has been exceptionally positive. Judging by the letters of thanks, many members greatly enjoyed themselves.
There is a gratifying sense of energy in the WA Commandery as we actively seek new charities where support of the poor, homeless, needy and marginalised is mostneeded.
This support has extended to the missional work of the Anglican parish of Christ Church Claremont, where one of our chaplains, Fr Peter Boyland is the Rector. We have awarded a substantial donation in support of this parish’s hardship fund. The Catholic parish of Morley, where Father Greg Burke, a member of the Order, is parish priest, has established a connection with the organisation L’Arche, and we are looking to support thisproject.
In Mandurah we are directing our charitable contributions and working strongly with a Christian group supporting women in crisis at Mum’s Cottage, and once again have supported the invaluable work ofDiversity South. This group assists handicapped people of all ages, helping them to participate in lifestyle and community programmes, and creates opportunities to develop skills, and access recreational, learning and social activities in the community. This high level of care and rehabilitation has a strong Christian base.
The commitment to these charities has amounted to $18,000 to date, with another $10,000 waiting to be allocated. This is a continuation of the work begun by our former Commandery president, Chevalier Kevin Edwards, whose wisdom and advice we continue to find invaluable. The Commandery is committed to increasing its charitable giving in 2018.
Our annual service of Evensong was held at St George’s Cathedral in October. As usual, this was an uplifting and moving service, accompanied by splendid music from the Cathedral choir. The address was given by the Right Reverend Kate Wilmot, the Anglican Assistant Bishop of Perth, the prayers were led by Bishop Donald Sproxton, and the lessons read by the Grand Prior, The Honourable Gavin Fielding and Dame BeverleyCharlton.
We are actively seeking new Members. During the year we welcomed The Reverend Fr Peter Boyland, Rector of Christ Church Claremont, as Anglican Chaplain, and Dr Christopher Wortham, formerly Professor of English at The University of Western Australia, and lecturer in English at Notre Dame University. We look forward to seeing you all in Hobart in May 2019 and discussing new ways to help those in need on an efficient and relevant manner.