HOSPITALLER 2015 Australian
The Annual Review of the Australian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
1565 The Great Siege
elcome to the Annual Review of the Australian Associaton of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the 2015 Australian Hospitaller. Along with our traditional annual reports on the activities of the Australian Association’s branches and delegations, this year the Order of Malta commemorated the 450th anniversary of the Great Siege of Malta and Frà Richard Divall has written our cover feature; a captivating history of the Great Siege as it unfolded between 18 May to 11 September 1565. This year we pay tribute to two outstanding members of the Australian Association, Consoeur Professor Tess Cramond and Confrere Ambrose Galvin who passed away during 2015. We’ve also sought to bring you new and interesting information on the Order of Malta. This year’s edition of the Australian Hopsitaller includes a new section covering the history of the development of the Order’s military style uniforms, its heraldry and flags, and an article on the Auberges of Valletta. For the first time the Chancellor of the Australian Association has contributed a report and we have also included reports from the Australian Association’s offshore delegations in Hong Kong, Thailand and New Zealand. I hope you enjoy reading this year’s edition.
Scott Samson Editor
Meet our Contributors
Photo Credit: Vatican Pool, June 25, 2015
Sir James Gobbo
The Promise of Obedience is taken by members of the Order who enter the second class. As Regent, the members of the Subpriory I supervise engage in a special dedication to the needs of the poor, the sick, the elderly, the handicapped, the outcast and the refugee. I encourage all members to consider the Promise. Read more on page 30.
Frà Richard Divall
As a professed Knight of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, I feel a deep affinity with the defenders of Malta when in 1565 the islands were attacked by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I the Magnificent. I have enjoyed pulling together the history of the siege to share with members of our Association. Read more on page 52.
FEEDBACK We want to know what you think. After all, the more we know about what members want to see in their annual publication, the more we can provide you with branch reports, interesting articles and reseach on the events and history of the Order of Malta. Send your feedback to email@example.com
When historical institutions like the Order of Malta want to rebrand, the process can often be more difficult because they are steeped in history while trying to stay relevant and new. That’s why I’m sharing my exploration into how the Order of Malta has become “Modern by Tradition”. Read more on page 25.
The history of our Order faciniates me. Whether it’s the development of the Sacred Liturgy, the planning of the city of Valletta or the evolution of the dress and uniforms of the Knights of Malta there’s always something new to discover. The Order’s uniform has been the recent subject of my research. Read more on page 11.
Cause for the Beatification of Frà Andrew Bertie opens in Rome: The first time in the modern era that canonisation has been proposed for a Grand Master of the Order of Malta; seee page 20.
Annual Reports 6 7 8 10
President Chancellor Subpriory REGENT Hospitaller
34 37 39 40 44 47 47 48 50
New South Wales Queensland South Australia Victoria Hong Kong New Zealand Northern Territory Thailand Western Australia
5th Asia-Pacific Conference
11 Dressed to Impress
Scott Samson and Anthony Health research the Order’s uniforms during the Napoleonic period.
Knights’ baroque home now President’s office
13 The Auberges of Valletta, Malta
Auberges served as accommodation for Knights of the Order but also for pilgrims and visitors from away from home, but what are they being used for now?
How we deal with the “Age of Advertising”
We say farewell to two legends of the Australian Association, Consoeur Professor Tess Cramond and Confrere Ambrose Galvin.
16 Response to the Plight of Refugees The Order of Malta is on the front line offering assistance to refugees and displaced people around the world.
25 Modern by Tradition
A look at the Order in the Age of Advertising.
48 Membership in the Order’s Second Class Sir James Gobbo explores the Promise of Obedience in the context of our charism of Obsequium Pauperum.
What it mean’s to take the Promise of Obedience
The Orderâ€™s activities at the front line of the worldâ€™s Refugee Crisis
Dressing the Order for War and Peace
The history behind the Orders and Decorations in auction catalogues?
The Battle for Malta: the Grand Master who turned the tide to victory and had a city named in his honour 5
In this year’s President’s Report Dr Ian Marshall AM AE KC*SG KGCMG(Ob) highlights the work and achievements of the Australian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta at home and abroad, including the establishment of a new group in South Korea.
The National Assembly, 20 New Members and Pilgrims to Lourdes
he major event in the life of the Australian Association is the General Assembly held biennially. The 2015 General Assembly was held this year in Adelaide. Thanks from all members of the Australian Association to Confrere Greg Crafter, Chairman of the South Australian branch and his hardworking organising committee: Consoeur Gabrielle Waters and Confreres Andrew Evans, Ivan Shearer, Philip Wyld, Ian Leitch and their ever willing, ever patient families for their organisational skills. Many thanks to all those who participated in the Assembly and contributed to its success. Confrere Simon Grenfell, Member of Government Council flew from London to facilitate a general discussion on the proposed new Statutes for the Australian Association. Congratulations and welcome to the seventeen new Members invested into the Order in Adelaide and the further three new members invested during the Fifth Asia Pacific Conference in Bangkok. We all hope you have a stimulating and satisfying life in the Order. It is an old truism that what we derive from the Order is entirely dependent on what we personally invest in the Order. I urge all the new members to immerse yourselves in the life of the Australian Association, especially your local activities. A report by the Chancellor, Confrere Paul Hoy, on the Assembly is also presented in this year’s Hospitaller. We record our thanks to the members of Executive Council and in particular the Office Bearers, the Chancellor; Confrere Paul Hoy, the Treasure; Confrere David Hall AM and our Hospitaller; Confrere Dr Ian Leitch RFD for their contribution during the year. It is the Branches and their members which drive the activities of AASMOM and once again I record our appreciation to the Branch Chairmen; in Queensland Confrere James Varghese AM as Acting Chairman;
in New South Wales Confrere David Hall AM; Confrere Dr Damian Benson in Victoria and in South Australia Confrere the Hon Greg Crafter AO and also the Convenors of the smaller groups, Confrere Dr Michael Shanahan in West Australia, Consoeur Dr Frances Booth AM in the Northern Territory and our sole Australian member in Timor Leste, Confrere Collin Yap for their enthusiasm and support They drive a wide range of charitable activities which are also highlighted in their individual branch reports. Our appreciation also needs to be recorded for the activities of our overseas members in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Thailand, all currently under the umbrella of the Australian Association and for their progress in self-development in their own countries. Various reports on their highly commendable activities also appear elsewhere. In April 2015, Sovereign Council formally approved the establishment a new group in South Korea. They will also initially be under the auspices of the Australian Association as they progress to self–sufficiency. Australia hosted the Fifth Asia Pacific Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Its smooth running and successful outcome were largely due to the skillful and enthusiastic organisation of our Thai Confreres. It was an historic event in our part of the world, assessing the current state of Catholicism and the Church, assessing possible involvement of the Order in the future and any leadership role Australia may assume. I go into further detail in my report on this year’s Asia Pacific Conference later in this publication. One of the great events in the international life of the Order is the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes and the 2015 Pilgrimage was under the very capable leadership of our Hospitaller, Confrere Dr Ian Leitch RFD. Our communications activities deserve
a special mention as they becomes more sophisticated and we embrace modern technology, including social media. Membership continues to build; we have a record number of members and we now have two families with third generation members. Our fundraising has never been more successful; the Coats for the Homeless Project goes from strength to strength with coats now being distributed well outside the capital cities. Local charitable works projects also continue to expand, for example the Advocacy Centre run by our confreres in the Northern Territory. We have a record number of Chaplains and they have never been more involved in the life of the Order. I also publicly thank them; in the midst of their extraordinarily busy lives they still find time to minister to our spiritual needs. It is very much appreciated by all we members and I assure them of our constant prayerful support. Increasing numbers of malades attend the annual Lourdes Masses and record numbers attend Lourdes itself. The Ambassadors have never been so active and the regional presence and membership of the Order grows: in Hong Kong, Thailand and Cambodia, Timor Leste and now South Korea. In recognising the vibrancy and dynamism of the Order in our part of the world that both the Grand Chancellor and the Grand Hospitaller have unhesitatingly decided to hold the Sixth Asia Pacific Conference in Seoul in September 2016. All of this is achieved by the commitment of many of our members and the investment of their personal time, knowledge and enthusiasm for which we all must be grateful. The final and most important note of approximation is to our family members who patiently support us in our endeavours.
Our biennial General Assembly was held in Adelaide this year. In his first report, Paul Hoy KMG summarises the Assembly’s important Business Session, including Simon Grenfell KMG(Ob)’s address to attendees.
New National Statutes aligned to the Constitutional Charter and Code
his year the Business Session of the National Assembly was particularly important as the Order in Australia works towards drafting new Statutes for the Australian Association. The President opened the Business Session by reiterating his earlier advice to the Membership that following the receipt of a directive from the Grand Master, the election of office bearers would be deferred until the Statutes of the Association had been amended. He also advised a vote would not be sought on the previously distributed draft Amended Statutes prepared by a Commission that had been nominated and approved by the Grand Magistry. As a consequence, the President together with the Chancellor and the Treasurer, requested that their reports, all of which had been tabled, be accepted so as to allow ample time to discuss the Association’s Statutes. The Hospitaller delivered his report in full All reports, including the Minutes of the General Assembly held in Melbourne in 2013, were duly accepted without query by the meeting Following the reports, Confrere Simon Grenfell was invited to inform the meeting on the progress of the new Statutes of the Australian Association. Simon began by highlighting to the Assembly that the essence of Membership in the Order of Malta is that on being admitted, a Member solemnly commits to be bound by its Constitutional Charter and Code and the directives of the Grand Master and the Government Council in Rome. Confrere Grenfell advised Members that to grant the necessary approval of a redraft of the Statutes, Rome requires that they clearly define a mission and purpose, and document its governance in a manner that is fair, open and transparent. Following the 2014 Visitation it was found that this was not the case in Australia. The Association’s Statutes are outdated,
the roles of some office bearers are not defined, the terms of office of others are not consistent with the Constitutional Charter, the role and constitution of Branches is unclear and as a whole, the Statutes need revision. Confrere Grenfell advised that the Grand Magistry requires that the Australian Association provide a structure that, while subordinate to Rome, vested authority in its assembled membership who delegates responsibility to formally established branches. Branches are to be responsible for the proper conduct of their respective charitable works and liturgical observances, as well as the assets and finances raised by them for their works. The conduct of these works and observances are to be always subject to the oversight and direction of a national governing body elected by the assembled Membership. The governing body is to comprise such office bearers that are consistent with the requirements of the Association, all elected to fulfill defined roles by the assembled Members resident in Australia, plus (as now proposed) two Members nominated by each Branch (rather than one as previously proposed), each elected respectively by the Members of a branch. Branches are to comprise members resident in a State/region and administered by a board of appropriate office bearers, elected by the branch to defined roles, able to co-opt others as necessary. The structure is to provide for the governing body of the Association to convene committees, including an executive committee, to deal with matters of urgent and national importance of the Order in Australia and the other regions in which it is engaged. Confrere Grenfell compared the existing unincorporated structure and a fully incorporate structure (such as using) Australian Association of the Order of
Malta Limited, the corporate trustee of the Association, saying that provided each satisfied the above, either would be acceptable to Rome but that a hybrid structure would not be accepted. Much discussion followed on a possible structure and as it appeared the meeting favoured a corporate structure, the issue was put to a “straw vote” whereby the meeting overwhelmingly voted in favour of the incorporation of the Association. Discussion was also had on the status of the Victorian Branch being an incorporated association and how that could be accommodated in the contemplated incorporated National Association. Confrere David Jackson QC AM KMG, Chair of the Drafting Commission, addressed this issue and Confrere Grenfell requested that he and Confrere Sean Farrell KMG as the drafters on the Commission take this into account when they move to the next step in preparing the documentation. Confrere Grenfell said he saw no inconsistency with branches having corporate entities (e.g. to joint venture with third parties) so long as they were always subject to the oversight and direction of the national governing body. Simon concluded his remarks by advocating that an independent firm of solicitors experienced in corporate and institutional reconstructions be engaged by the Drafting Commission, on behalf of the Association, to prepare an appropriate company constitution to be put to the branches for consultation and comment. Deep appreciation was expressed and acknowledged by the meeting for Simon’s most helpful comments and the work of Confreres Jackson and Farrell and the Drafting Commission.
The Knights and Dames in Obedience form the second of the three classes of the Order of Malta. Unlike the members of the first class (the Knights of Justice) who make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, the Knights and Dames of the second class make a promise of obedience. Sir James Gobbo AC CVO KGCSG KGCMG(Ob) GCMM, as Regent, reports on the Australian Subpriory’s activities.
Members in Obedience live out the Spirit of our Order
he Australian Subpriory of the Immaculate Conception is one of six Subpriories of the Order of Malta. The other five are located in the United States (two), Spain, Germany and Ireland. The Subpriories are represented in the most important meeting of the Order, namely its Chapter-General, which takes place every five years. The Australian Subpriory is the most recently established, having commenced in 2008. It observes the customary tradition that the Associations have the sole responsibility for administration of works of the Order. This does not mean that members of the Subpriory are not expected to meet their obligations as members of the Order to continue to carry out the works of the Order. Indeed, some of the most active in the works of the Order in Australia belong to the Subpriory. At the same time, those who make the Promise of Obedience also assume new and weighty obligations in the spiritual area. In this endeavour the Subpriory has been blessed by having as its Principal
Chaplain Rev Professor Gerald O’Collins SJ AC, rightly acknowledged as being in the first rank in the world as a theologian. His experience of teaching theology for three decades in Rome at the Gregorian University, the official home of theology, is combined with a warm pastoral sympathy. Fr O’Collins has all his life been a prodigious writer and is well into his sixtyfifth book including some five books on the Resurrection. The Subpriory has had his unfailing guidance and service for some seven years. Most memorable are his direction in the Subpriory’s Annual Retreat each year. In addition, there is a steady distribution to the Subpriory of messages and copies of some of his homilies. This year saw us lose Confrere Ambrose Galvin KGCHD(Ob), one of our most devoted members and at 99 and a 1 /2 years of age at his death without doubt our elder statesman. Part of my eulogy at the Requiem Mass for Confrere Galvin is reproduced elsewhere in this year’s Australian Hospitaller.
Grand Prior Giovanni Domenico Mainardi by Antonie de Favray (1758) Regent Sir James Gobbo AC CVO KGCSG GCMM Vice-Regent Frà Prof Richard Divall AO OBE Principal Chaplain Rev Prof Gerald O’Collins SJ AC Knights and Dames in Obedience Dr Damian Benson CMM Dr George Boffa OAM Adrian Borg-Cardona Kevin Croagh AO James Dominguez AM CBE KCSG Dr Jennifer Dunlop Ralph Gordon Edwards Prof Mary Galea Leonie Gallagher Ambrose Galvin GCMM Simon Grenfell Paul Grew OAM Col Anthony Heath Prof David Kissane Anthony J Macken AM Dr Ian Marshall AM AE KC*SG Lady Murray
Australian Hospitaller Dr Ian Leitch RFD KMG reports on the increase in the number of coats handed out by Australian Association’s branches and the expansion our distribution network to help more people than ever who find themselves on the street during winter.
Our Coats Program reaches more than ever at home and now abroad
ince the last Australian Hospitaller there has been much to report. The news has been inundated with world events and the Order of Malta’s international humanitarian relief agency, Malteser International, has been responding to these natural disasters and refugee crises. (More on the Order’s international efforts to support the global refugee crisis later in the pages of this publication.) Closer to home, Members and Supporters were very busy throughout 2015 raising funds for our national Coats for the Homeless campaign. This year we have increased our distribution volume and expanded our distribution network so that we can help more people who find themselves on the street this winter. A list of the distribution points around the country can be found on our website. It is with great pleasure that I can confirm that in 2015 we distributed 3,000 of our Coats for the Homeless across the country this year’s winter. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project and that enables us to help so many of “our Lords, the sick and the poor.” In our region, Members have been working on a number of projects in Timor-Leste and on individual local branch projects, including local Lourdes Masses around Australia, palliative care assistance in Victoria and New South Wales, purchase of medical supplies in South Australia and community care in New South Wales through the branch’s new Community Care Van. This year, Australians again returned to France on pilgrimage to Lourdes. On the first weekend in May, Members of the Order from all over the world make the pilgrimage to Lourdes to accompany ‘malades’ (the sick) who pray to Mary the Immaculate Conception and bathe in the healing waters. For those who are unable to make the arduous and expensive trip to France, Members of the Order host Lourdes Day
Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel, the Order’s Grand Hospitaller, joins volunteers on a soup van run though the streets of Rome where they distributed Coats donated by the Australian Association.
his Christmas, 1,000 of our Coats for the Homeless were distributed to the rough sleepers of Rome. The donation was requested by a Member of the Order in the UK, Confrere Simon Grenfell, who on learning about this Australian project thought it would be the ideal Christmas gift from the Order of Malta to Rome’s homeless during their cold winter. Confrere Simon, contacted the Australian Association to place an order
with our manufacturers for our specially designed Coats. The coats were quickly manufactured, shipped directly from the factory and arrived at the Vatican just before Christmas. The Coats are being distributed at a soup station run by the Grand Priory and Military Corp of the Order in Rome. The spread of this Australian initiative continues to grow in momentum with both the Portuguese and Scandinavian Associations looking to adopt the project.
Mass celebrations around the country. A Blessing of good health takes place during the celebration of the Liturgy with water brought from the Shrine of Lourdes. Those receiving the Blessing are also provided with a bottle of Lourdes Water for their personal use. These annual Masses are open to all, but those who are sick, facing health challenges and wanting good health are particularly encouraged to attend and our
Members and volunteers go out of their way to help and support them throughout the day. All of these projects make a real difference to the lives of so many people and are only possible thanks to the commitment of Members and the generosity of our supporters. Thank you for your continued support.
Pieces of History
In September, well respected auction house Hermann Historica MĂźnchen took to their international auction of Orders and International Historical Collectibles a fine example of a Cross of Profession and a Grand Cross of a Bailiff Grand Cross conferred on Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria (pictured left). Ferdinand I, born Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Maria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was the ruler of Bulgaria from 1887 to 1918. The crosses were purchased by a private buyer who plans to provide them on loan to a number of European galleries for exhibition.
Adding to your knowledge of the Order of Malta
Image courtesy of Bertand Malvaux, 2 rue Drébillon, 44000 Nantes, France
DID YOU KNOW...
Image courtesy of Hermann Historica oHG, Linprunstraẞe 16, 80335 München, Deutschland
Dominique Ferdinand Marie Lefevre de Lattre d’Heillye, Seigneur de Ligny, Vicomte de Duremont: Dress codes, particularly something so heavily regulated as a uniform, are historically significant. Illustrated above, the Seigneur de Ligny is dressed in the scarlet uniform of the Order with collar, cuffs and white lapel facings piped in scarlet. On his left shoulder is an epaulette in white gold, trimmed with gold fringe, with large twisted fringes called spinach seeds. The Vicomte is decorated with the neck Cross of a Knight of Honour and Divotion and the breast Cross of Solemn Profession.
Dressed to Impress: the Order’s uniforms during the Napoleonic period
“They consoled themselves with the conviction that no greater military splendour, bound up as it was with the charism of Order of St John, had ever been seen in Europe...”
he uniforms of the continental European armies of the Napoleonic period can be considered as works of art in their own right. Huge sums of money were spent by monarchs, princes and local rulers on cut, colour and cloth. The colourfully dressed troops made a pretty picture on the parade ground and a devastating target on the battlefield for muskets and cannon. Commissioned officers were as conspicuous as claret stains on a new tablecloth. The uniforms worn in the lead
up to and during the Napoleonic Wars represent the most elaborate display of pomp in the entire history of military dress. Contemporary observers regarded the Order of Malta’s uniforms with unreserved astonishment. The luxury of the professed knights’ uniforms was overwhelming and the very veterans of Mediterranean corsairing, Knights of the Order themselves, writing their memoirs in their old age, mourned the passage of such magnificent uniforms.
Images courtesy of the New York Public Library.
Heraldry of the Order of Malta: arms & emblems
Uniforms worn on Malta: (L-R) The Governor of Fort Tigné; a Knight Officer of the Grand Master’s Guard of Honour; the Governor of Fort Ricasoli; a Knight Grand Cross or a Balli in civilian dress; the Standard Bearer of the Grand Master’s Guard of Honour in parade dress; and a Colonel of the Order’s Regiment of Chasseurs.
They consoled themselves with the conviction that no greater military splendour, bound up as it was with the charism of the Order of St John, had ever been seen in Europe or would ever be seen again. The uniforms of the Order were the ornamental peak of military dress in Europe. The Order had long held its Members to wearing a form of uniform. And in comparison with other European powers, the Order of Malta had a long established code of dress dating back to the foundation of the Order in 1113. The Augustinian canons, whose rule the Order adopted, historically wore a black mantle or cowl and a hood, along with a black fur-lined cassock or pellicea. The Order also wore a white fullsleeved tunic (a surplice or rochet), square cap, and leather girdle. A black surcoat was worn by Knights after 1248. From 1259, the Knights were allowed a red surcoat while on campaign; a loose knee-length woollen outer coat without sleeves, split to the waist at front and back, and bearing a white cross. A red pall, a loose woollen outer coat without sleeves, was worn in place of the black mantle. In peacetime they resumed their black habits. The uniforms introduced in 1748 developed in part out of a need to provide a clear visual identification of rank and status within the Order and to
society at large. This stemmed from growing concerns, especially amongst the lower ranks of the Order, that the appearance of a higher social status was easier to obtain within the growing mercantile classes of Valletta. Definitions of class, particularly of the term gentleman were rapidly changing in the second half of the eighteenth century. The concerns about social mobility were expressed in period literature and were apparent in the Order, where the subtleties of rank and status were extremely important to Knights whose families held significant standing within the Old Regime and were not as clearly delineated through dress as some would prefer. The new uniform, enforced throughout the Order and its commissioned officer ranks, featured a dress and undress coat, helped to codify rank and status. The dress uniform, which took its inspiration from the court dress of France’s King Louis XV, highlighted the presence of the Knights stationed throughout the islands of Malta and across the European Continent. It provided a solid identity to the Knights while on land, as well as when on campaign on-board the Order’s ships in the Mediterranean. This was to be known as the uniform of the Great and the Good.
The Order of Malta’s arms display the eight-pointed Latin cross on a red oval field surrounded by a rosary and surmounted by the princely mantle and crown (as described in Article 6 of the Order’s Constitutional Charter). It is the emblem of the Sovereign Order’s Grand Magistry and its Institutions: the Grand Priories, Subpriories, National Associations and Diplomatic Missions.
The Grand Master
The arms of Grand Master Frà Matthew Festing are quartered with those of the Order. At 1 and 4 gules (red) a cross argent (white); at 2 and 3 azure (blue) an eagle or (gold) displayed erminois between three castles argent. The arms are surrounded by the Collar, symbol of the Grand Master, within a princely mantle and surmounted by a closed crown.
The emblem is the symbol of the Order of Malta’s medical and humanitarian activities worldwide. It is a red shield with a white, eight-pointed cross (as described in Article 242 of the Order’s Code).
The Auberge de Castille et Leon, by far the most magnificent of the eight Auberges, today houses the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta.
The State Flag
The red rectangular flag with the white Latin cross is the State flag of the Sovereign Order of Malta. Called the flag of St John, it has been used since ancient times. Giacomo Bosio’s “History of the Order “ (1594), records that in 1130 Pope Innocent II had decreed that “…Religion in war should bear a standard with a white cross on a red field.” Following Pope Alexander IV’s Bull of 1259 permitting the Knights in war to wear a red mantle bearing a white cross, the Order began to make systematic use of the Latin cross as its emblem. In 1291, the Order left the Holy Land, the knightly standard was flown over their ships for the next six centuries. Today the State flag flies over the Order’s Magistral Palace in Rome and accompanies the Grand Master and members of the Sovereign Council on official visits.
The Flag of the Order’s Works
The red flag with eight-pointed white cross is the flag of the Order of Malta’s works. The eight-pointed cross has been used in the Order as long as the Latin cross, and stems from the Order’s ancient links with the Republic of Amalfi. Its present form dates back over 400 years; the first clear reference to an eight-pointed cross was its representation on the coins of Grand Master Frà Foulques de Villaret (1305-1319). This is the flag flown by the Order’s Grand Priories and Subpriories, its 47 National Associations and over 100 diplomatic missions around the world. It also flies over hospitals, medical centres, as well as wherever the Order of Malta’s ambulance corps, foundations and specialised units operate.
The Auberges of Valletta, Malta
eing away from their country of birth, many Knights of the Order would probably have felt homesick without their hostels in Malta, the Auberges. Each of the eight European territories that were present in the Order – the langues – built their own Auberge, which served as accommodation for its Members but also for pilgrims and visitors from its home country. Moreover, the hostels were used for meetings, dining and other social activities. Erection of the Auberges in the ancient City of Birgu commenced shortly after the Order arrived in Malta in 1530. The two French langues of Provence and Auvergne shared one building, meaning seven hostels were built in Birgu, of which only three have survived: the Auberge de France, the Auberge d’Angleterre and the Auberge de Provence and Auvergne. After the foundation of Valletta in 1566, the langues chose to relocate their Auberges to the new city. New hostels were constructed for each langue with the exception of the English one, which was forced to disband due to the Reformation of 1534. The Maltese architect Gerolamo Cassar was commissioned to design the seven new Auberges. Each langue was responsible for the financing of the building, and was required to build the Auberge in a certain part of Valletta, near the section of the fortification where the langue was responsible for the defence of the new city. At the same time, the Auberge had to have a central location.
The Auberge was administered by a senior knight of the langue known as the bali, also known as the Grand Conservator, who was responsible for the purchasing of food and clothing and for the provision of transport and everything necessary for both the hospitals and the troops. Life at the Auberge was, to all intents and purposes, monastic with regular holy Masses to attend and Offices to be said. Obedience was practiced and fasting was obligatory. Thursdays and Sundays were slightly different and the residents used to dine in the refectory, the largest room in the building. Cassar’s predecessor and teacher, Francesco Laparelli, had already planned to build each Auberge with a piazza in front. Eventually, at least three Auberges were built with an open space in front: the Auberge d’Aragon, the Auberge d’Auvergne and the Auberge de Castille et Leon. Unfortunately, only three of Cassar’s seven Auberges have survived. The German Auberge was destroyed in 1839 to make space for the island’s Anglican Cathedral. Sadly there is almost nothing known about this Auberge. The Auberge d’Auvergne and the Auberge de France were both completely destroyed by German bombs during the Second World War. The Auberge de Castille et Leon underwent the most extreme change – it was totally rebuilt and redesigned in 1744. The Auberges are definitely the best representation of how Valletta has changed throughout the centuries.
OBITUARIES Consoeur Professor Tess Cramond AO OBE 1926 - 2016
onsoeur Professor Tess Cramond AO OBE MB BS, DARCP&RCS, FFARCS, FFARACS, Hon FFARCSI, FRCA, FANZCA, FFPMANZCA, MD(Hon), FAChPM(Hon) RACP, D.Univ(ACU), FAMA, Dame of Magistral Grace of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Cross pro Merito Melitensi with Crown of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Exceptional woman, exceptional doctor and exceptional Australian clinician, academic, humanitarian of literally towering international repute, it is difficult to summarise the vast range of her professional and civil achievements in a short tribute like this. Her stellar career includes the first woman president of AMA Queensland; Dean of the Faculty of Anaesthetists; the first Queenslander to be enrolled on the Court of Honour of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons; the first woman to be appointed to the rank of Colonel in the Defence Health Service; and Foundation Professor of Anaesthetics at the University of Queensland. Her many achievements were recognised nationally and internationally with numerous professional and civilian honours and awards including the Order of the British Empire (1977); Red Cross Award for Community Service (1978); Fellow of the Australian Medical Association (1982); Gold Medal of the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons UK (1983); Officer of the Order of Australia (1991) and the
Women in Medicine Award (1999). Her pioneering work in introducing Expired Air Resuscitation to the Surf Life Saving movement in Australia, which we now know as ”mouth-to-mouth” was revolutionary. Later in her career Tess was an international pioneer in pain relief and palliative care, an interest ideal for her gentle persona and perfect for her genuine commitment to obsequium pauperum. Her permanent memorial is the Professor Tess Cramond Multidisciplinary Pain Centre at The Royal Brisbane Hospital. Her legacy will be her knowledge and research disseminated throughout the world by the great number of international doctors she trained. Her vision, passion and commitment to serving the community are legendary and her mentorship inspired generations of doctors to embrace new challenges. Tess was a founding member of the Queensland Branch, joining the Order on 18th January 1979 and attended the first Mass of the Order held in Queensland on Sunday 1st April 1979 wearing robes which had been made in Ireland. The Mass was concelebrated by Bishop John Gerry who was always a great supporter of the Order and Fr Peter Gillam who played such an important part in Tess’s personal life and in the life of the Order as the inaugural Queensland Magistral Chaplain, a role he fulfilled for twenty-two years. The Order was a very important part
of Tess’ life and Tess was a very important influence in the life of the Order in Australia at both State and National level. She was the Australian Hospitaller from 1991 to 2009, a remarkable eighteen years. During this period she oversaw a wide range of charitable works. Characteristically she applied the same rigorous high standards she used in her professional life. There are two outstanding projects she personally initiated: the Order of Malta Mt Olivet Hospice Home Care Service (now St Vincent’s, Brisbane) and the Mt Sion Eye Project in PNG, a project still ongoing and highly successful. She was friend, mentor, confidante and inspiration to many of us who were privileged and fortunate to know her. Tess was woman of intense spirituality. Her patients truly were her Lords the Sick and the Poor.
Below: Consoeur Prof Tess Cramond with Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, while former Governor of Queensland (circa August 2003), at the opening of The Multidisciplinary Pain Centre named after Prof Cramond.
This year the Australian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta mourns the loss of two influential figures in the history of the Australian Association, Consoeur Prof Tess Cramond AO OBE DMG and Confrere Ambrose Galvin KGCHD(Ob) GCMM. Both contributed so much over their years of membership. Association President, Dr Ian Marshall AM AE KC*SG KGCMG(Ob) and Regent of the Australian Subpriory Sir James Gobbo AC CVO KGCSG KGCMG(Ob) GCMM pay tribute to the two seminal members of the Australian Association who will be dearly missed.
Confrere Ambrose Thomas Galvin 1915 - 2016
onfrere Ambrose Galvin was born in Hobart on the 14th of October 1915. He was the seventh child of Charles Galvin and Frances Galvin nee Sweeney. Charles and Frances Galvin, and their family, moved to Melbourne in 1927. Ambrose, then aged 12, did most of his schooling at De La Salle College, Malvern. Upon leaving school, he was a seminarian in St Colomba’s Seminary in Essendon but it was a brief experience, probably because he was too slightly built to be trained for the arduous life in the overseas missions. Eventually he turned to Pharmacy whilst working at the Alfred Hospital and graduated in 1942 at the height of the Second World War. In 1962, with financial help from his older brother John, Ambrose and his brother Montague purchased a four story building, the ground floor of which was converted into a pharmacy at 27 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. All went well until 1963 when the ANZ Bank purchased the building next door and the Bank’s builders, Costain, began
to demolish it. This caused Ambrose’s building to begin to collapse. Ambrose when to see Peter Norris of Corr’s who briefed Richard Newton QC and Newton’s junior, James Gobbo. It was here James Gobbo first met Ambrose. The defendants had deep pockets, but Ambrose with his characteristic grit rejected all their enquiries about selling. Eventually he won out and the defendants paid up. Ambrose and his brother engaged a well known church architect who designed and had built a new two story building with a narrow frontage for them. Ambrose and his brother did not, however, continue the pharmacy and sold the property. The premises were thereafter rented by the new owners to Pellegrini’s, a well known religious bookshop. The building is still there, a small white building on a very narrow site. It still has the sign Galvin House on the facade. Ambrose’s brother John was the first of the Galvin’s to join the Order of Malta, while in Ireland and was to later become the Order’s Grand Hospitaller. Ambrose and his sister Mary also joined the Order of Malta, as was to be the case with many members of the family over successive years. John’s influence within the Order in Rome led to the eventual establishment of the Australian Association. Ambrose, along with Ernest Kirby, played important parts in assembling in 1974 the group of some 14 founding members of the Australian Association of the Order of Malta. Ambrose was its first Vice-President. He was a Knight of Honour and Devotion and our first Knight in Obedience. With Ambrose’s passing, only three members of that founding group
remain, namely the Hon Dennis Mahoney, Paul Fitzgerald and Sir James Gobbo. After Ambrose retired, he gave much of his time to the Order of Malta, both by his many Pilgrimages to Lourdes and in Australia by his involvement in the Australian Association, especially in Victoria. Ambrose had a thoughtful faith. While composing a set of Intercessory Prayers for the Australian Association, Ambrose asked if there could be a prayer for Australia, which he helped compose. It was: “Bless our homeland Australia, may she always be generous and free”. Sir James Gobbo was so taken by the prayer that while Governor of Victoria he used the line to conclude a number of his speeches. Ambrose and his sister Mary formed an early link with Caritas Christi Hospice, conducted by the Sisters of Charity. They were very much hands-on and visited patients at Caritas. Ambrose and the Galvin family, through John helped create a permanent base for the Order by their generous support towards the new building in 1987. This resulted in the Victorian Branch being given the lease or license for a Board Room and offices for the Order and also a Library and Archives. After the death of his sister Mary in 1998, Ambrose lived alone in the apartment they had shared for so long. He was then aged 83. He lived a further 16 years, for almost all of that time in good health. Part of the credit for this must go to the Order of Malta and part to the Athenaeum Club of which Ambrose had been a long time member. He visited his Club at least three times each week and members enjoyed his interesting recollections and admired his always meticulously chosen clothes and appearance. Ambrose often said that John had told him when he first came to London that he had to be well dressed, which was code for being clothed by Savile Row. Ambrose was always a good conversationalist, with great charm and a whimsical wit which was engaging to both young and old. Throughout his long life Ambrose was a devout Catholic which went naturally with his being always good mannered, and thoughtful of others. He was sustained by his active role in the Order of Malta, his pride in his family’s history and his affection for the Galvin family. He truly enriched the lives of all those who met him.
The Order of Malta’s O Response to the Plight o Refugees
The number of refugees and displaced persons worldwide since the end of World War II. The Order of Malta’s relief ag Order’s 47 National Associations and teams of health profe out the Order’s 900 year old mission to help Our Lords the
Ongoing of the
has reached levels not recorded gency, Malteser International, the essionals and volunteers are living Sick and the Poor.
n Syria, over four years of conflict now mean that a family is forced to leave home every 60 seconds. It is calculated that every 3 seconds a person becomes displaced in some part of the world. 52 million people are in flight from disasters, wars and famine. Half of them are children. Some 17 million are refugees, over 33 million are internally displaced – that is, forced to leave their homes although staying in their country – and about 1.5 million are asylum seekers. In 2014, there were 866,000 new asylum applications in the industrialised countries – the majority were Syrians followed by Iraqis. Present in 120 countries with 80,000 volunteers, 33 Rescue Corps, a worldwide relief agency – Malteser International, 57 Priories and national Associations and an established diplomatic network with over 100 countries, the Sovereign Order of Malta is on the front line offering assistance to refugees and displaced people, both in the countries involved in the conflicts and in the final destinations of asylum seekers. In his 2015 statement on the ongoing work of the Global Fund for Forgotten People, the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta, H.E. Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager said: “We are present in some countries of origin like Iraq, Lebanon and when possible through mobile clinics in Syria, as well as some African countries. We also have a presence on Italian coast guard ships providing medical services. In Germany we run reception centres
and last year, more than 50% of the 200,000 asylum seekers in Germany went through our facilities where they spent their first ten days to two weeks. In France we offer legal advice to refugees and asylum seekers and in Hungary we provide first aid services”. “We have to decide on several practical steps and must be aware that we will be faced with the influx of migrants for the foreseeable future. From the perspective of the order, the first problem is language perception. We should never talk about illegal people. Nobody is illegal, we were all created by God and live equally. The difference is in the status to stay within a country. We have to deal with these people with dignity”. “With the crisis in the Middle East it has become more important for organisations based on Christian faith and the Muslim community join forces to counter terrorism and also to deal with the human tragedy. We have initiated a number of efforts where, for example, in Lebanon the Order runs ten clinics, five of which are run in close cooperation with members from different religions, such as Sunnis, Shiites and those of Jewish faith. We even have a clinic in the South where Shiite nurses wear our cross. In preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit next year, we organised a symposium in Geneva with the title ‘Faith based Organisations, together for Humanitarian Action’. Where we spoke about special services and the added value of faith based organisations in crises. We held it together with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists. We believe that such organisations are better placed to link with the religious infrastructure of countries and organise support, while having better access to information as to how to implement such aid”.
“The Syrian crisis has become one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time. 16 million people in the region are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance,” says Oliver Hochedez, Malteser International’s emergency relief coordinator. “Medical infrastructure and health care in Syria have nearly collapsed, and the neighbouring countries, where hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled, are close to the limit of their capacity. Humanitarian aid workers within Syria face the most difficult, dangerous conditions.” Together with local partner organisations, the Order provides medical assistance to refugees and displaced persons in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. Medical teams, operated from Turkey in cooperation with Turkish and Syrian partners, provide medical assistance for internally displaced people in northern Syria. In 2014, the Order provided medical care for around 15,000 Syrian refugees and displaced persons in its field hospitals, health centres and mobile clinics. Nearly 110,000 people additionally received survival packages, food, household and hygiene items as well as winter clothing.
The displacement process of Syrian refugees to Lebanon started with the beginning of the Syrian crisis in March 2011. According to the UNHCR, the official number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon had reached more than 1.5 million people by the end of 2014, representing the third of the national population. The Order of Malta Lebanon has been attending to Syrian Refugees since August 2011, by providing medical consultations and medicines for free in all its Socio-Medical Centres The Lebanese Association has been distributing humanitarian kits in its SocioMedical Centres located in proximity of the most concentrated areas of Syrian refugees, in partnership with Malteser International The Association has also implemented a Mobile Medical Unit in the Northern border region of Wadi Khaled, in partnership with Malteser International. The clinic has been chosen to be mobile in this area in order to treat both the local population, which is one of the poorest in the country, as well as the Syrian refugees. It covers 10 surrounding villages and achieves an average of 1.200 medical acts per month. It provides services not covered by any other organization in this area.
more than three million people in Iraq have fled from the so-called ‘Islamic State’ terror group. The United Nations estimate that a further 1.7 million will be added to this number before the end of the year. Malteser International is planning to expand its mobile medical aid in the country. The Order is providing around 800 families with clean drinking water in cooperation with the Danish Refugee Council. The Order has been working in northern Iraq since August 2014, in cooperation with its local partners has provided medical treatment to around 45,000 sick, wounded and displaced people, as well as distributed emergency aid and hygiene kits with essential aid supplies to almost 10,000 people.
In the year or so since the mass exodus of Iraqis from Mosul and the Sinjar Mountains,
In 2014, approximately 207,000 refugees and migrants sailed across the Mediterranean
to reach Europe. UNHCR estimated that 3,419 of them drowned while making the journey - an average of almost 10 people every day. Most of those who made it to Europe were rescued by the Italian Navy, Coast Guard or merchant ships. The medical teams of the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps have been aiding migrants on board the vessels of the Coastguard and Customs Officers’ patrol boats in the southern Mediterranean since 2008 and on board the vessels of the Italy Navy since 2014. From 1 January to 31 July of this year, 81,408 hours have been spent at sea with the dedication of those conscious of their duty to help their fellow creatures. 124 men and women have worked shifts in all weather conditions, facing miles and miles of sea day and night, to assist those who have faced a much more difficult journey. 29,889 migrants have been given first aid and taken to safety
on Italian search and rescue vessels.
Since September 2014, the French Association has been supporting Iraqis who have sought refuge in France. 155 asylum seekers – 62 children among them – benefit from this help across five départements. Teams from the French Association make visits to refugee families to distribute food and hygiene kits. To facilitate their integration into society and help them to start a new life in France, migrants are given help to find jobs and homes, supplied with French language and culture courses, and given support in judicial and administrative proceedings to help them to gain legal protection as refugees. French Association is also defending the rights of other migrants in three administrative detention centres.This task primarily consists of giving legal counseling: informing detainees of their rights and the course of proceedings, legal assistance: preparing a defense, drafting appeals, submitting applications and complaints; and Human Rights monitoring and reporting. If and when migrants are released, they are given help with orientation during their return to the outside world. In 2014, the French Association helped 213 detained foreigners seeking asylum in detention centers. Most of them were from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kosovo, Georgia, Guinea, Congo and North Africa.
Since 1989, about one million refugees from 75 countries have been given a place to
stay by the Order of Malta’s organisations in Germany. Many of them were also helped to find jobs, homes and deal with administrative procedures. Migrants without health insurance can receive medical care at some of the Order of Malta’s medical facilities. Since 2001, more than 90,000 sick migrant people have been treated, and given birth to around 1,500 children at Order of Malta medical institutions in Germany. In 2014, 50,000 refugees were given shelter by the Order of Malta in Germany, while around 150 asylum seekers per day received help while they moved into a first house of their own: their first step towards a fully independent and socially integrated life in Germany.
Over 32,000 people fleeing conflict, violence and poverty have requested asylum in Hungary in the first quarter of this year, the second highest number of applicants in the European Union after Germany in this period of time. The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta has launched an emergency medical and relief programme to address the plight of refugees in three major cities across the country. At the Eastern Railway Station in Budapest medics and social workers operate a mobile clinic, treating 52 people for injuries and illnesses in the first week of operation and distributing food, water and clothes, with the number of recipients quickly doubling as the daily service becomes better known. In addition to running a daily mobile
clinic, the Order of Malta in Hungary is working in Szeged with the civic agency to patrol the surrounding woodlands, distributing water and food. Between 20-30% of the 150 people assisted in the first week are children from newborns to 6 years old. In these early days of the project, the Order of Malta’s Hungarian Charity Service is gathering information and evaluating progress made so far to develop further recommendations. In response to the current humanitarian crisis the service is ready to intervene to wherever the need is greatest.
Over the course of one day thousands of people have crossed the Austrian border on foot. In cooperation with many other organisations the Austrian Association provides emergency aid on the border. In Tyrol the Order has taken over the medical care of more than 300 refugees housed in a tennis hall, and in the areas of Salzburg, Vienna and Burgenland the Maltese Hospital Service are fully stretched. The Austrian Association also spends each day with local medical teams (Red Cross, Samaritans, St John, and professional rescue Vienna MA 70) to provide protection to asylum seekers, as well as medical care and night quarters at the Vienna Westbahnhof. Ove rthe course of a single weeknight, assistance is often given to more than 1,000 refugees.
Indonesia and Myanmar:
Thousands of members of the Muslim Rohingya minority from Myanmar, as well as people fleeing from poverty in Bangladesh, have attempted to flee by sea to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. A great number of those have found themselves in distress at sea in dangerously overcrowded boats, often for weeks. According to estimates by the United Nations, over 120,000 Rohingyas fled from religious persecution in Myanmar in the last three years alone. During the first three months of this year, at least 25,000 sought refuge by heading for South-East Asia. In Banda Aceh in Indonesia, the Order of Malta, through Malteser International is providing 433 refugees in a small camp with hygiene kits, mosquito nets, feminine hygiene articles, as well as special food for children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. In Maungdaw, Myanmar, the Order of Malta is also providing emergency medical relief at a camp containing 228 refugees, mostly from Bangladesh. For more information on the Global Fund for Forgotten People visit the Order’s dedicated website : www.forgottenpeople.org
THE CAUSE OF BEATIFICATION OF FRĂ€ ANDREW BERTIE For the first time in the modern era canonisation has been proposed for a Grand Master of the Order of Malta. The opening session for the diocesan inquiry into the Cause of the Beatification and Canonisation of the Servant of God, FrĂ Andrew Bertie, 78th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, took place on 20 February 2015 , in the Roman Vicariate at St John Lateran. The diocesan inquiry was presided over by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome. The inquiry was preceded by a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Cardinalis Patronus of the Order of Malta.
n February, some 1,300 Members came to Rome from all over the world to participate in a Mass and opening of the diocesan inquiry on the Cause of Beatification and Canonisation of Frà Andrew Bertie. A very significant event for the Order of Malta, as it is the first time in its 900 year history that a Grand Master has been proposed for sainthood. Given the number of devoted present the official opening of the process for beatification took place in the Basilica instead of the Vicariate’s Palace. This has only ever happened once before when the process for the beatification of John Paul II was opened. The ceremony began with a procession
inside the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the first of the four papal basilicas of Rome and the oldest in the West. Members in religious habit and volunteers, filed along the nave of the Basilica to take their places for the celebration of Holy Mass, officiated by the Cardinalis Patronus of the Order, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke. Relatives of the late Grand Master – his brother and family – were present with many friends and faithful followers for whom he was a humane and spiritual guide, as well as the entire Sovereign Council, many presidents of the Order’s Associations worldwide and ambassadors of the accredited diplomatic corps. “You’ve arrived from 35 different
countries to join us in expressing our affection and our great respect for an exceptional man of profound spirituality and I would like to thank you all,” said Grand Master Frà Matthew Festing in his official speech. “It is a mark of special devotion towards this Grand Master, so beloved by the Order and by each of you individually. A valid testament to vox populi”. In his address, Frà Matthew recalled the intense spiritual life and great love of learning that had always motivated Frà Andrew Bertie, a brilliant student and teacher, a multilingual journalist and later a literature professor. “But it was above all his dedication to the service of God and to the poor and the sick that illuminated his path,” said the Grand Master, describing his predecessor as a “reformer” and a “moderniser” and recalling Frà Andrew’s constant commitment to involving young people in the life of the Order. During his Grand Mastership from 1988 to 2008 Frà Andrew oversaw great changes in the life of the Order, from the development of its humanitarian work to the reform of the constitutional charter. His legacy also includes a new emphasis on the spiritual life of the Order’s members. These are the reasons why the request for initiating the procedure for his beatification and canonisation was presented only five years after his death – the minimum term specified by canon law. The formal opening of the inquiry was presided over by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome. The process will now continue in camera.
Frà Matthew on Frà Andrew The address by His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and Grand Master, Frà Matthew Festing, to the Diocesan Inquiry.
he Order of Malta is gathered in this magnificent Archbasilica to celebrate a historic occasion: the opening of the diocesan enquiry into the Cause of the Beatification of Frà Andrew Bertie, 78th Grand Master of the Order. It is a fitting place for such a celebration – this is the oldest of the four great papal basilicas of Rome, consecrated in the fourth century (324 A.D.) as ‘Domus Dei’, House of God, and Frà Andrew was head of one of the oldest Orders of the Catholic Church, dating from the eleventh century. I wish to thank His Eminence Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, for his generosity in welcoming over a thousand of the Order’s members and volunteers here today. And I wish to thank His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, our Cardinalis Patronus, for his celebration of Mass, which we have heard with great joy. Today is a proud day for Frà Andrew’s family – for his brother Peregrine and Susan, his wife, for their children, grandchildren and extended family – and for us, too. As I look around this congregation, I note how many members of the Order of Malta have come together from many parts of the world, to acknowledge and celebrate this event. You have traveled from 35 countries to join with us to express your affection and respect for an outstanding and deeply spiritual man, and I extend my gratitude to you all. It is a sign of special devotion to Frà Andrew as Grand Master who meant so much to the Order and to each of you personally.
Frà Andrew Bertie served the Order of Malta with great distinction for almost all his adult years – and twenty of them as Grand Master, the first time an Englishman had been elected to the position since 1258. He was a reformer and moderniser for an Order which has existed for nearly a millennium. He was a polymath and a multilinguist. After a Benedictine schooling, and then Oxford and London universities, he was in the army, then a journalist, and a teacher. But above all, in all his endeavours, he was dedicated to the service of God and to the service of the poor and the sick. These qualities shone through everything he undertook. Frà Andrew was one of the founders of the young British group of volunteers of the Order, known as the OMV, and he maintained his engagement in the welfare of young people and their concerns all his life. At his home in Malta, summers were passed happily tending his orange grove, but also teaching local children judo. He was a black belt, excelling in that, too. Even in his declining years, former students would come to visit him, never forgetting the kindness and wisdom they had experienced at his hands, as a teacher, as a coach, as a wise friend. He inspired many of the young to join the Order and work for the poor and the sick and he inspired, too, many to consider the vocation to become a professed member of the Order. Indeed, I am one of those. Frà Andrew’s confessor, Mons. Azelio Manzetti, recalled in his last illness the strength of the faith of this 78th Grand Master, of his love of the Rosary, in
particular the glorious mysteries, his love for the Church and the Order, his piety, but above all his devotion to Our Lady of Philermo, saying: ‘She is the Madonna of the Order’s Grand Masters.’ And he recalled his serenity in returning to the Lord. Pope Benedict XVI, in mourning his passing, described Frà Andrew as a ‘man of culture’ and recalled his generous commitment to those most in need, and his ‘love for the Church and his shining witness to evangelical principles.’ His personality was quiet –that famous British reserve! – But he had a natural authority and a serenity deeply rooted in his Christian beliefs. He also had a fine sense of humour – a quiet amusement at the ridiculousness of much of life. Those who were privileged to have worked around him were always aware of his calmness and his profound faith. It was very uplifting. Frà Andrew carried out his official duties with great commitment, but it was in his communications one-to-one that he was more comfortable. In those moments he was probably at his most expansive and those who had this privilege will never forget his modesty, his wide-ranging knowledge of things both spiritual and temporal, his generosity of spirit and his understanding of what commitment to caring for those in need means. He practised this charity all his life, he inspired so many of us, and he has left us a shining example: tuitio fidei, obsequium pauperum. The one with the other. Thus it is with great joy that the Sovereign Order of Malta acknowledges and honours Frà Andrew Bertie, an exceptional servant of God.
The Order in the Age of Advertising
In recent years, many discussions surrounding brand and marketing have been circulating throughout the not-for-profit sectors. Not-forprofits, like the various National Associations of the Order of Malta, have been working to slowly dismantle the conservative attitudes of charity and religious institutions towards marketing and advertising. Mark Switkowski KMG discusses how the Order is leading the charge.
ebranding is a process reached through various avenues and has to take a number of different perspectives into consideration. When historical institutions like the Order of Malta want to rebrand, the process can often be more difficult because they are steeped in history, while trying to stay relevant and new. People are often afraid of (and upset by) change. The public eye can often be focused on organisations like ours and the reactions can be emotional because of the personal connections with the brand. The fact that the 900 year history of Order of Malta is so diverse and covers the period of the middle ages to the modern era, creates a challenge for any advertising agency. Its continual use of a single brand, the eight pointed cross, is itself a piece of history. The Order’s use of the eight pointed cross to promote its hospitaller and humanitarian works has been used in advertising campaigns for well over a century. As a result, what is referred to as the Order’s Emblem, or more colloquially as a logo, has become visually associated to particular activities by members of the public who identify with it. The eight-pointed cross which symbolises the Order represents the eight Beatitudes and is thus a visual memento of the Order’s spirituality. From an advertising perspective, however, it has some inherent problems. Historically, it has been quite difficult to reproduce it reliably across various media. It also doesn’t scale particularly well. Some would also argue the Emblem relies too heavily on symbolism, although an organisation like ours shouldn’t shy away from its past. Previously advertising by the Order’s national associations shared common elements, including use of the Emblem, but fonts and positioning of text weren’t uniform. This has created a few problems. It’s important to keep in mind that the purpose of a rebrand is to create a new, more unified appearance, and to make a promise to both members and the public who will embrace and act upon it. With the advent of the internet and
he Malteser Ambulance Service (Malteser Hilfsdienst), an expression of the Sovereign Order of Malta and Malteser in Germany, launched an awardwinning campaign against drink driving named Typo Crashes. The campaign used letters from famous liquor bottle labels to spell out the risks of driving under the influence – from whiplash to skull fractures and paraplegia. One in nine traffic deaths in Germany is caused by a drunk driver, often a teenager. The ads appeared on billboards in parking lots next to popular nightspots, as posters in toilets and as banners on party websites.
An animated version of the ads ran in local cinemas and run in both German and English. Results in English are Crushed Spine, Paraplegia, Whiplash and Skull Fracture. In German we get Schadel trauma (Cranial Trauma), Wachkoma (Coma) and Splitterbruch (Fracture), each appear on page 26. The Typo Crashes campaign was developed pro bono at international creative agency Ogilvy & Mather, based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and won awards at the Cresta International advertising awards and the Grand Award for print at New York Festival of Advertising.
social media, the Order’s audience is no longer limited to traditional mediums, such as viewing a flag bearing a white Maltese cross against a red field. The Order now has to deal with an increasingly digital audience. This is an exciting chapter in the history of the Order of Malta. Audiences change and each new generation of interested parties is different. Their expectations and desires on how they experience and understand the role of the
Order of Malta in the world around them is different. By ignoring this fact, we could run the unavoidable risk of excluding certain demographics. However, it’s important to also not exclude our Order’s current membership, those we currently provide services to and the public audience watching the Order from afar. This is a great challenge that any brand and advertising faces.
To bring in a new and contemporary spin to the Order’s visual brand, many national associations are including a nod to our past with a new twist. With greater competition in the charities marketplace, the Order’s national associations have had to develop their advertising campaigns with a focus on growing their demographic; they have had to listen to how the Order is perceived locally and then produce campaigns that speak volumes to their local audience. The merits of each campaign to date has been their ability to generate public interest and get the public talking about the Order of Malta. And each has created a reaction and conversation that many brands – good and bad – fail to achieve. As the Order continues to strengthen its communications strategies to ensure the Order is looking towards the future, continued success in local advertising campaigns will be essential to moving an iconic institution like ours forward – and to writing the next chapter in the Order’s history. Many of these issues were considered during this year’s Global Communications Summit in Rome. This special Summit of more than 40 European, Middle East and North American Communication Directors, representing many national associations, met at the Villa Magistral in Rome between 20 - 22 March. The Summit was chaired by Eugenio Ajroldi di Robbiate, the Grand Magistry’s Director of Communications. During the Summit, the Order’s Communications Directors engaged in discussions on topics that have a shared interest across the Order worldwide, including: a) informing and uniting the communications practices of the Order of Malta worldwide; b) brainstorming ideas for an international communications
campaign to raise the profile of World Refugee Day in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul 2016; and c) to update the national associations on various communications projects being led by the Grand Magistry. The Order of Malta, with 180,000 members, employees and volunteers contributing to humanitarian projects in 120 countries, relies on multiple channels of communication. Any future strategy must balance the needs of generating donations and recruiting new members and volunteers, as well publicising its works. The Order has developed a Global Communications Strategy with which all national associations will work to align their communication plans and activities. Rebranding exercises by many national associations are aligning with the new Global Communications Strategy and are working to introduce a single, uniform brand using the emblem, standard text font and positioning of the brand on collateral material. The advertising campaigns featured in this article each display the use of this new uniform brand. Further improvements in local uptake of the Order’s global brand will be enhanced by regular contact and exchange of information between each national association and the Grand Magistry. This process will also offer the Grand Magistry greater understanding of the activities and needs of the national associations. Finally, the next steps for the national associations include: • Development of a National Communications Plan that includes the development of a risk assessment framework and a crisis management plan / procedure; • Development of a national association Style Guide that will drive consistency of brand across the organisation and across various initiatives; • Audit of the National Association’s website to determine areas for improvement and collect estimate(s) for making structural changes that will eventually come from Grand Magistry; • Assign members to support to communications throughout the National Association; and • Development of a brochure that will assist members engaging with stakeholders and communicate with potential aspirants. There are plenty of opportunities for members to participate in this process. If you think you have an idea or skills in communications, why not contact the Australian Association’s Communications Office.
Above: The Swiss Association of the Order of Malta has successfully merged the traditional colours of the Order within a specifically targted modern and dramatic depiction of homelessness. Below: The Order’s young volunteer movement in Berlin, Germany, has also opted for a modern nod to tradition.
warmth& comfort this winter
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The Promise of Obedience in the context of our charism of Obsequium Pauperum requires of the members of the Second Class special dedication to the needs of the poor, the sick, the elderly, the handicapped, the outcast and the refugee. The explanation of obedience as it follows provides an important insight into obedience and how it can lead to our own sanctification and fulfillment of our other distinctive charism of Tutio Fedei.
â€œIn Obedienceâ€? Members of the Second Class 30
he Order of Malta is divided into three classes: the first is made up of those who have professed vows of poverty, chastity and obedience; the third class (the one to which most Members belong) consists of men and women who seek to live according to the norms of the Church and commit themselves to the Order. In between we find a second class, Knights and Dames who have not taken religious vows but who make a promise of obedience. The Constitution of the Order describes the obligations of this second class as follows: By virtue of the Promise, Members of the Second Class oblige themselves to strive for the perfection of Christian life in conformity with the obligation of their state, in the spirit of the Order. (Art 9, par 2) While the Code spells out in detail the meaning of the vows taken by professed Members of the Order, it is less specific about how the obligations of the Second
Class are to be fulfilled. Fundamentally, a Knight or Dame in obedience is called to a more intense spiritual life. To enter into the Second Class of our Order should thus be understood, not as a step up, but as a step down. Preeminence in a Christian context is tied to deeper humility and greater generosity. It is important to keep this in mind in an Order which has a long and distinguished history, and which enjoys a certain worldly prestige in Catholic tradition. The scapular worn by religious represents the yoke which Christ invites His faithful disciples to assume (Mt 11:29). Therefore the scapular which is symbolic of the Promise of Obedience is not an honorific decoration, but a visible reminder that its wearer seeks to be of great service to others. More importantly, to be in obedience means that one is committed to an everdeeper conversion of heart, and a desire to embrace the will of God in imitation of the great saints, Our Lady, and above all Christ Himself. In speaking of the virtue of obedience, the Code explains that this moves a person “to the imitation of Jesus Christ who became obedience even unto death on the cross” (Art 61). When a Knight or Dame makes the Promise of Obedience, he or she is given a crucifix and holds it up for all to see. A simple but powerful gesture: in effect the person is saying, “This is what I want.” To imitate the total obedience of Christ is to strive for perfection, and our Constitution specifies that this is sought according to one’s state of life and the spirit of the Order, although in practice there can be a tension. At times we may find ourselves stretched by demands of family, community and service in the Order. Our state of life is an expression of our fundamental vocation, unique to each of us but given for the good of the whole Church in our baptism. Membership in the Order of Malta should enhance this fundamental vocation. For example, married Knights and Dames ought to be better spouses and parents because they belong to the Order and all members should be actively involved in the life of their parish and community. Here is where it is most important that we be clear about what it means to make the Promise of Obedience. Those who seek this are motivated by a desire to devote themselves more
completely to the Order, and they may ask the pragmatic question, “So, what do I have to do?” The ‘obligations” are deceptively simple; deceptive, because the essence of the call to obedience is an invitation to a deeper spiritual life. It is not so much a matter of what we do, but how we do it. It represents in a way a desire to enter into the “contemplative” branch of the Order; but that contemplation takes place in the world. As you are aware, the eight-pointed Maltese Cross symbolizes the beatitudes. In our service to the sick and the poor and in our defence of the faith, we express the outward thrust of the cross: God’s love in Christ reaches out to the four corners of the world. To be in obedience is to seek to enter into the heart of the One who proclaimed those beatitudes. This can only be done by intense prayer, which is why the year of preparation for taking this Promise begins and ends with a five-day retreat. Article 101 of the Constitution spells out the spiritual duties assumed by those in obedience. Let us consider each of them: A) collaborate with fellow Members in prayer and works and to this end is bound to recite daily the Credo and one Pater, Ave and Gloria; The fundamental requirement here is collaboration with other members in prayer and works. The specific prayer called for are the “ABC’s” of Catholic spirituality and their meaning is brought out by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (32-34). Any of us who pray the Rosary recite these prayers daily. What is distinctive here is that hose in obedience offer these prayers for the needs of the Order. More broadly, Knights and Dames in obedience should frequently renew their intention to pray consciously and specifically for other Members of the Order. B) attend Holy Mass frequently, diligently approach the Sacrament of Penance and the Eucharist according to the advice of their own spiritual director, and participate in parochial life; We Catholics enjoy a unique privilege: we can take part in the celebration of the Eucharist every day. While not all of us are able to do so, it is certainly incumbent on any in obedience to receive Holy Communion as often as possible. This brings us into communion with Christ Himself and all the members of His Body. If it is true that “an arm marches on its stomach”, then we who are sick and poor need to be nourished by frequent
and fervent reception of the Bread of Life. Christ present in the Eucharist strengthens us to serve Christ present in the poor. Since to embrace obedience means a desire for deeper conversion of heart, it should come as no surprise that those who make this Promise are called to approach the Sacrament of Penance “diligently”. Those in obedience commit themselves to do the will of God, no matter the cost; our experience of sin reminds us that each of us falls short of this. Contrition, confession and amendment to do better equip us to enter the battle of discipleship again, with renewed strength which comes from the grace of God. This section also refers to “their own spiritual director”, in addition to spiritual direction in a formal sense, this could also include a regular confessor or scheduled conversations with one of the chaplains of the Order. Such direction is one of the principal responsibilities of chaplains, who can offer guidance from the perspective of the traditions and purpose of the Order. What is essential is that each member in obedience meets regularly with an experienced guide to discuss the progress of his or her spiritual life. Taking part in retreats, days of recollection and other spiritual exercises are helpful here as well. However, these communal gatherings are no substitute for meeting individually with one’s spiritual director. A fundamental axiom of Philosophy is: “an unexamined life is not worth living.” This is even truer of our spiritual life. Finally, those in obedience should be distinguished by their involvement in the life of their parish. Knights and Dames should participate in the life of the wider Church. In addition to the exercise called for in this section of the Constitution, we should also note that a document published by the Order in 1993 (Spiritual Recommendations for Members of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta) recommends that all in obedience pray some part of the Church’s Liturgy of the Hours (Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline, or the Little Office of Our Lady) and recite daily five decades of the Rosary. While most lay people are familiar with the Rosary, the Psalter is a jewel which many need to rediscover. Although the praying of psalms was a universal practice for many centuries, in more recent times it came to be viewed as a matter to be left to monks or to clergy obliged to recite the Breviary.
he Australian Subpriory of the Immaculate Conception formed in 2008 is one of only six Subpriories of the Order of Malta in the world. The other Subpriories are in Germany, Ireland, Spain, San Francisco and New York. The Principal Chaplain of the Subpriory is the Rev Professor Gerald O’Collins AC SJ and the Sub-Regent is Australia’s only professed Knight of Justice, Frà Prof Richard Divall AO OBE. Knights and Dames of the Third Class who have been active in the Order for over five years can petition to make the Promise of Obedience. Entry into the Second Class is not a promotion in the Order, it is a commitment to a deeper personal spirituality within the Order. Sir James Gobbo AC CVO KGCSG KGCMG(Ob) GCMM Regent of the Subpriory of the Immaculate Conception..
The Second Vatican Council reformed the Office and urged that all Catholics pray Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer when possible. It is most fitting that Knights and Dames who seek a life of greater holiness join in the daily sanctification of time by praying the psalms inspired by the Holy Spirit. C) take part each year in a course of spiritual exercises of at least three full days in an approved place, and take part in courses and meetings for formation and instruction called by the Superiors. The spiritual emphasis of the Promise of Obedience is highlighted here. Those preparing for obedience take part in two retreats; once the Promise is made, they also commit themselves to an annual retreat together with others who have made this promise. They also take part in other formational meetings called for by their superiors. These retreats and meetings have as their goal the continual deepening in zeal and prayerfulness which should mark all who are in obedience.
D) follow the spiritual rule of life approved by the Grand Master, with the deliberative vote of the Sovereign Council. This spiritual rule has yet to be developed, but when it is approved it will provide a structure for the spiritual life of those in obedience and underscore how Knights and Dames in Obedience share a common purpose with all those throughout the world who have made the Promise. While awaiting the development of this spiritual rule, it would be helpful to consider additional points to be found in Spiritual Recommendations. Knights and Dames are exhorted to take an active part in the charitable works of the Order. Furthermore, although they do not take vows, those in obedience are called to embrace the Evangelical Counsels: (chastity, poverty and obedience) according to their circumstances. After speaking of the spiritual qualities called for by those in obedience, the next article in the Constitution considers the criteria to be used in assigning those in obedience to various duties. These should be suited to a person’s
state in life, abilities and so on. The fact that this article follows the one dealing with spiritual duties is very significant, especially in our day. We tend to be a very pragmatic people, but the Constitution of our Order highlights that what is essential to obedience is deepening of spiritual life. Specific tasks cane be undertaken with generosity of heart when a Knight or Dame is striving to embrace a more intense life of prayer. Those who desire to enter the Second Class of the Order of Malta seek above all this more profound life of prayer. This prayer is their greatest service to other members of the Order and to our Lords the sick and the poor.
This is an edited excerpt of Part 8 of Spirituality and Formation of Members, Future Members and Volunteers of the S.M.O.M. by Monsigneur John Dimech, Grand Cross Conventual Chaplain Ad Honorem to the Maltese Association of the Order of Malta.
ORDER OF MALTA AUSTRALIA
THE STATE OF THE ASSOCIATION
2015 IN REVIEW
New South Wales Vice-President and Branch Chairman David Hall AM KMG applauds the activities of the NSW Branch in his report, including the Branch’s continued support of Gorman House and the establishment the new NSW Community Care Van.
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he NSW Branch completed a very pleasing 2015 in undertaking the Missions of our Order; being Defence of the Faith and care of Our Lord’s the Poor and Our Lord’s the Sick.
DEFENCE of the FAITH The Defence of the Faith Working Group, led by Confrere Peter Van de Velde has been progressing various aspects of our Defence of the Faith mission, including our Lecture Series. Because of the commitments of Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Conventual Chaplain ad Honorem, surrounding his appointment as the Ninth Metropolitan Archbishop of Sydney, the lecture to be delivered by him on “Bioethics” was postponed. At his request the rescheduled topic of his lecture was the contemporary issue of “Same Sex Marriage”. His Grace delivered an excellent presentation, strongly supporting our belief in “Traditional” marriage and rebutting the opposing views. This took place on Wednesday 22nd July 2015 to an audience of around 500 people in the hall of St. Mary’s Cathedral High School. As a consequence of this outstanding event, the Branch has determined that the topics and lecturers of future lectures reflect key issues which are on the agenda of the Archdiocese and the Church. To this end a constructive meeting was held with His Grace on Thursday 10th December 2015. A recommendation has been made on a lecturer for the next lecture, with a target date for March/April 2016. Additionally a protocol was established for the Branch to undertake an active and coordinated role in supporting the Archdiocese on various communication challenges which may arise from time to time. We extend our appreciation and gratitude to His Grace.
MEMBERSHIP REGULATIONS and COMMENTARY Rome 2011 It is pleasing that our Branch Postulants have been actively undertaking their Preparatory Year in compliance with the Order of Malta REGULATIONS and COMMENTARY, Rome 2011 implemented and adopted by the NSW Branch Members. Confrere Mark Boffa’s excellent leadership, as our Branch Master of Postulants, should guide these Postulants to being successfully admitted to membership. Seven (7) NSW Branch Postulants were invested as Members at the 2015 National Assembly. NSW COMMUNITY CARE VAN A new initiative by Members of the NSW Order of Malta delivers much-needed community healthcare, homeless coats (in winter), water and sun hats and screens (in summer) to the city’s poor, sick and homeless from a fully-equipped and volunteer staffed mobile van on a weekly basis. The Order of Malta NSW Community Care Van project has been in planning for almost a year and was developed by the Branch as an extension of its continuing charitable activities to care for the homeless, poor and sick in the community in accordance with the Order’s Mission. While many of Sydney’s homeless and those living in poverty have access to hot food, soups and hot drinks through long-running initiatives there is little in the way of community care for those doing it tough. There is a significant need for healthcare and first aid, in the CBD and areas that are currently not well serviced such as Parramatta and Western Sydney. The newly-equipped Order of Malta NSW Community Care Van was unveiled on 20th May, 2015 at a special presentation when the big-hearted generosity of Greg Sanderson and the Sanderson family, who donated the van, the cost of its fit out and its maintenance, were thanked.
The mobile van visits different parts of Sydney on a regular basis, to distribute the Order’s Coats for the Homeless and provide assistance to those needing care, advice or first aid. For those who are ill or whose health problems need further specialised care, the Van ensures their transport to the nearest hospital emergency centre. The NSW Branch provides drivers and volunteers for the new service and St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, as our Partners in Healthcare, generously provide trained nurses and healthcare workers to bring healthcare to those struggling and on the margins. The NSW Branch thanks the Sanderson family, our partners in healthcare St Vincent’s Hospital and all volunteers for ensuring the success of this greatly needed service. GORMAN HOUSE, DARLINGHURST Since 2006 the Order of Malta NSW Branch, working in partnership with St Vincent’s Hospital, has been the lifeline for Gorman House. Through the generous support of our Members, volunteers and benefactors, this vital around-the-clock service remains as a beacon of hope, offering respite and shelter to some of Sydney’s most needy and vulnerable people. In nine years, the Order of Malta NSW Branch has raised $1.6 million to support Gorman House thereby enabling this critical residential drug and alcohol detoxification centre to continue a 7 day/24 hour-a week facility. Members and friends of the NSW Branch also volunteer their time to host barbeques at Gorman House three times a week. This support gives residents an opportunity to socialise without alcohol and drugs and teaches them skills in preparing meals. Our Members and volunteers also attend their Christmas lunch with appropriate presents for all residents.
Gorman House is acutely aware of the disparities in health that are evident for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders. To address this, Gorman House staff have undertaken government approved Aboriginal Cultural Training. This program is aimed at increasing cultural competencies and improving the delivery of health services to disadvantaged groups within our community ST JOSEPH’S HOSPITAL, AUBURN PALLIATIVE CARE UNIT The St Joseph’s Hospital, Auburn Palliative Care Unit in western Sydney is located in a lower demographic area of Sydney and its patients are largely Muslims, Koreans and Chinese. The Branch commitment was initially to provide volunteers and financial support. Sometime after 10 Branch Members and volunteers undertook and completed the volunteer
orientation course at the Hospital, the Hospital discontinued the weekend volunteer programme. However, our funding commitment continues and the Branch has renewed the offer to provide weekend volunteers should the Hospital reverse its present policy. The Branch has donated over $80,000 for the purpose of providing facilities and equipment that the Hospital’s budget cannot afford with a continuing annual commitment of $25,000. These include refurbishing Family and Quiet rooms and supplying morphine pumps, medical beds, medical equipment and aids etc. all of which have affixed the Order of Malta’s charitable works shield depicting the donor. The NSW Branch ongoing relationship with this important Western Suburbs non- denominational Palliative Care Unit continues with the Branch working on projects to improve the facilities and operations of this Unit.
LOURDES DAY MASS Bishop Terry Brady, celebrated, at St Mary’s Cathedral, the Lourdes Day Mass and Blessing of good health on 5th December, 2015 and concelebrated by Magistral Chaplain. The excellent attendance included 40 robed Knights and Dames who processed and assisted the malades and with readings, Offertory gifts, distribution of Lourdes Water and the collection. The Mass also achieved a record attendance of malades and robed members of the Venerable Order of St John who processed with the robed NSW Branch members. The attendance and contribution of the YOOM members, as volunteers, was again appreciated. All malades were offered and received a personal Blessing, ministered by each of the celebrants, and were presented with Lourdes Water kindly bottled by our volunteers.
New South Wales Branch Chairman, David Hall AM KMG out with the Branch’s Community Care Van distrubuting the specially designed and manufactured all-weather coats for sleeping rough, along with bottled water to assist in hydration during Sydney’s winter heat wave.
New South Wales Branch member and National Director of Communication’s, David Scarf AM KMG providing Sydney’s homeless and rough sleepers with bottled water to assist with hydration.
We thank Bishop Terry Brady, the Concelebrant and all at St Mary’s Cathedral for making this Mass such a memorable occasion. AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN PALLIATIVE CARE The NSW Branch continued during the year to sponsor the University of Notre Dame, Australia and the Australian Catholic University annual awards, to reward students who have demonstrated outstanding knowledge and interest in the area of Palliative Care.
always in the prayers and memories of Members . Their names are listed on a bronze plaque, in honour and memory of NSW Branch deceased members, installed in the Sacred Heart Hospice Chapel that is also the Chapel of NSW Branch Members.
YOOM MENTORING NSW Branch Members volunteered as mentors to two Young Order of Malta Mentoring evenings being for careers in Business, Law, Media and Medicine. The evenings were well attended by the young and branch members attending as mentors.
SPIRITUAL ACTIVITIES Established Branch spiritual activities continued as monthly First Friday Choral Vigils at St Mary’s Cathedral, Holy Mass before each of our quarterly Branch Members meetings, Holy Mass on the Feast Days of both of our Order’s Patrons, Holy Mass in Memory of Deceased Members and their families and the annual Branch Lourdes Day Mass. The NSW Branch Day of Reflection was excellently led and inspired by Fr Gerry Gleeson, whom we again thank, and attended by more than 30 members and guests.
DECEASED MEMBERS Deceased Members and their families are
GENERAL Other Branch activities during 2015 also
included: • Clothing the homeless of Sydney and a wider NSW geographic area with 2000 specially designed and manufactured all-weather coats for sleeping rough; • Assisting the executives of the Young Order of Malta whom we thank for their support of our Branch activities; • Advancing our Admissions Programme to enhance Branch membership. The success of 2015 is attributable to the significant continuing contributions of the NSW Branch Chaplains, Members (including NSW provincial and country cities and towns and especially our Confreres and Consoeurs in the ACT), and Postulants, YOOM, Volunteers, Friends and all with whom our Branch has worked to advance the Missions of our Order.
Queensland’s Vice-President and Chairman Jim Varghese AM KMG reports on the Branch activities, including the branch’s activities to promote the work and encourage a greater understanding of the Order of Malta amongst Catholic Queenslanders.
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was again a fulfilling and busy year for the Queensland Branch,.
LOURDES HEALING MASS On Saturday 2 May, the Queensland Branch celebrated its annual Lourdes Healing Mass at St Paschal’s Church, Wavell Heights. This special Mass of Reflection is celebrated for those who are in need of comfort, care, healing and hope, and for their carers. It is an expression of the Order’s mission to defend the Faith and give comfort to the sick and the poor. We are again indebted to Rev Fr Gerard McMorrow for his generous support and provision of St Paschal’s, a beautifully refurbished church which was recently rededicated by His Grace Archbishop Mark Coleridge on 17 October last year. St Paschal Church now features a large Maltese Cross in the centre of the nave of the church and was again a fitting location for our Mass and Blessings.
COATS FOR THE HOMELESS The Branch held our 4th annual fundraising event, this year the Archbishop’s Dinner on 15 May and with a focus on raising funds to support the victims of the Nepal earthquake, as well as our own Coats for the Homeless initiative. The Queensland Branch would like to thank everyone who supported this event. Support for our Coats for the Homeless Program has increased, with local communities and citizens rallying to support and help distribute coats to Queensland’s homeless. This year two feature articles appeared in the media highlighting the Coats for the Homeless Program; one in the Brisbane’s Catholic Leader newspaper and another in the Stanthorpe Boarder Post. (A copy of the article that appeared in the Catholic Leader is reproduced on page 40). OTHER ACTIVITIES In recent years Members of the Queensland Branch have been very keen to promote the work and encourage a greater understanding of the Order of Malta
Members of the Queensland Branch and President of the Australian Association, Dr Ian Marshall AM AE KC*SG KGCMG(Ob),visiting St Mary’s Parish of Gatton and Laidley, the home parish of Derek Pingel KMG and Chris Pingel DMG.
amongst Catholic Queenslanders. Members have looked to visiting parishes within the Archdiocese of Brisbane as part of this program and this year members visited St Mary’s Parish of Gatton and Laidley; which just happened to be the home parish of Confrere Derek and Consouer Chris Pingel. Members were warmly welcomed by Rev Malachy Onuoha PP and the parishioners of St Mary’s and the branch is very appreciative of their support. As in previous years, the Queensland Branch continued our commitments to supporting relief and medical care activities in Timor-Leste and our northern neighbour, Papua New Guinea. The branch has also continued our financial support of local and regional seminaries as well as the Australian Military Vicariate. In 2015, Members of the Queensland branch once again sponsored, as they have for many years, an Order of Malta Prize in the ACU School of Nursing to be awarded to Palliative Care student. The Prize is awarded to the Bachelor of Nursing and Paramedicine student who obtains the highest mark in a written assignment in a Nursing unit focusing on the nursing care of patients receiving palliative care. The recipient must also demonstrate a high level of competence, responsibility and concern in their caring for palliative care patients I would like to take this opportunity to again express the Queensland Branch’s gratitude to His Grace Archbishop Coleridge for his support of the works of our Branch, and our Magistral Chaplains, Very Rev Ken Howell and Rev Fr Morgan Batt, for their devoted ministry to our Branch and their spiritual and practical assistance for the work of the Order. I also personally thank all Members of the Queensland Branch for their support and help throughout the year.
Practical charity: Judge Michael Rackemann (left) and Derek Pingel at a barbecue at The Digger’s Rest Park, Goodna, with Ipswich councilor Paul Tully.
hen Judge Michael Rackemann hands out coats to the homeless there are no judgments attached. “Anyone can finish up living on the streets,” the Brisbane District Court judge said. “It is heartening as I walk around Brisbane to see, from time to time, people making good use of the coats. “But to be perfectly frank, I find that in this ministry with the homeless I get as much or more than I can give.” Judge Rackemann has been working with the Order of Malta’s Coats for the Homeless project in south-east Queensland for five years. He and another Knight of Malta Derek Pingel are co-ordinating the Queensland distribution of 1000 coats between Caboolture and Coolangatta and as far west as Stanthorpe. About 3000 coats will be distributed nationally. Simon National Carriers provides assistance with the storage and interstate transport of the coats. Because the ancient order has only 50 members in the Queensland branch, it implements the distribution of coats in partnership with existing Catholic networks such as the St Vincent de Paul Society, Rosies and various school initiatives.
These include Eddie’s Van, run by students from St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace, and Paddy’s Van, operated by St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe. Members of the order have a hands-on involvement in that distribution. On July 17, Judge Rackemann and Mr Pingel attended a barbecue at The Digger’s Rest Park, Goodna. Councilor Paul Tully has provided substantial funds to the order for the purchase of coats on behalf of the Ipswich City Council to give coats to the homeless. “We’ll be bringing nine boxes of coats with us, which means more than 100 coats for the homeless,” he said. “Feedback from the homeless is extremely positive about the usefulness of the coats. “The coats are new, individually wrapped in plastic and purpose-designed. “They are one-size-fits-all, threequarter length, quilted, warm and showerproof. “They have hidden internal pockets, to conceal what few valuables the homeless have.” Every day almost 20,000 Australians sleep rough on the streets in towns and cities. Half of all the people who request accommodation from the homelessness service providers are turned away each day
due to lack of beds. Judge Rackemann said handing out the coats “would not solve the homelessness problem”. “But the reality is that people are on the streets and do have need of coats for comfort and protection from the elements,” he said. “Also the physical giving of these coats person-to-person provides an opportunity for empathetic human interaction and fellowship, which is important.” The Coats for the Homeless program is an Australia-wide project of the Order of Malta, one of the oldest charitable institutions on the globe, dating back to about 1048, with the building of a church, convent and hospital in Jerusalem, to care for pilgrims of any religious faith or race. It now operates in more than 120 countries. The goal in Queensland is to double the distribution of coats within the next 12 months. “That can only be done if donations to the program also double,” Judge Rackemann said. “A $100 tax-deductible donation will fund three coats.” Donations can be sent to “The Order of Malta coats for the homeless – Queensland appeal”, PO Box 104 Gatton 4343 or via the order’s website orderofmalta.org.au.
The South Australian Branch hosted this year’s National Assembly in Adelaide, but this was only one aspect that kept the Branch busy this year reports the Hon Greg Crafter AO KMG, Vice-President and South Australian Chairman.
ORDER OF MALTA AUSTRALIA
outh Australians have had a busy year and I wish to congratulate all of the Order family in our Branch for their sterling work in the service of those in need. Our Branch Members continue to play an active role in the world around them, in Adelaide, throughout the regions of South Australia and beyond. Members and volunteers continue the Order’s association with the Adelaide Day Centre for Homeless Persons providing evening meals to the homeless in Adelaide. We have also continued to raise funds for the purchase of coats for the homeless. Coats purchased were distributed through three charities dedicated to providing care for the homeless. Members, volunteers and friends also participated in the annual Lourdes Day Mass, celebrated at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on 11th February. Each year the congregation at this special Mass continues to grow; as does its support amongst the South Australian community. A highlight on the South Australian Branch’s spiritual calendar is the annual retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House La Storta at Sevenhill, in the Clare Valley. The retreat provides an opportunity for Members to strengthen and deepen their faith. One of the South Australian Branch’s ongoing projects is the delivery of pharmaceuticals to small clinics in TimorLeste which provide primary medical care for significant numbers of Timorese in underprivileged urban and isolated rural areas. These clinics run by local congregations are dependent on shipments such as ours to provide treatment to the patients that visit them. The South Australian Branch, through the efforts of Confreres Alick Haddad and Dr Ian Leitch RFD, purchase the medicines at discounted or wholesale prices and freight has been generously supported by Jebsens Shipping, ensuring that all donations are optimised. The first pharmaceutical shipment
for 2015 comprising of seven cartons of medicines was dispatched in the first week of January. The Order’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Confrere David Scarf AM and colleagues are transporting the consignment as they travel to Timor-Leste on an official visit. The frequency of the deliveries to the clinics is largely dictated by the funds available to this project. Our aim in 2015 is to ensure that the clinics have sufficient supplies to ensure that they are able to provide treatment to their patients throughout the year. 2015 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY In July over 130 members converged on the Hilton Hotel Adelaide for the 2015 National Assembly of the Australian Association of the Order of Malta. At the opening, the Australian Association’s President, Dr Ian Marshall welcomed everyone. He was followed by an address from Keynote Speaker, Fr Denis Edwards, who guided those present through the key messages and themes of the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium – “The Joy of the Gospel”. During the Assembly, Members and aspirants were given an opportunity to reflect on these matters and to consider how, as members of a lay religious Order, we can continue to contribute to the works of the Order, both at home and abroad. As I previously noted in my report last year, the text if not the very intentions behind the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation could have been written specifically for the Order of Malta and Rev Dr Edwards helped members to understand Evangelii Gaudium and its application to the works of the Order Attendees then broke into small discussion groups to consider the parts of the Pope’s Exhortation that most resonated with them and what reflections these prompted in their personal lives as Christians and Members of the Order. After a casual lunch, several
representatives from local Catholic charities addressed the Assembly, bringing home how Catholic charities can be an expression of the Pope’s Exhortation and in the evening a Vigil Ceremony was held at the historic Dominican Church of St Laurence in North Adelaide. The first day of the Assembly concluded with a casual evening of food, wine and convivial fellowship at the National Wine Centre in North Adelaide. Day two comprised the more formal business of the Association, including reports from Office Bearers to the Membership and a Solemn High Mass during which Confrere Dr Ian Marshall invested 19 new Members. The Mass was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral and was celebrated by Archbishop Coleridge. The day concluded with a formal gala dinner in the evening, where the Keynote Speaker, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO, Governor of South Australia was invested with the Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi. The final day of the Assembly was topped off with Members, family and friends celebrating Solemn High Mass at St Ignatius Church, Norwood. Special thanks must go to the SA Organising Committee, especially Confrere Andrew Evans, for arranging such a successful and inspiring Assembly. New Dames of Magistral Grace: Catherine Costa, Margaret O’Donnell and Nicole Johnson. New Knights of Magistral Grace: Mark Dorney, Stephen Christie, Justin Gardener, Robert Sainz, Anthony Baldasso, Joseph Chiera, Michael King, Gerard O’Donnell, Anthony Brosnan, Patrick Giam and Noel Mifsud. New Donats of Devotion: Rachael Boffa, Jordan Grantham, Jacob Chacko, Christopher Howse and Edward Finn.
Vice-President and Chairman of the Victorian Branch, Dr Damian Benson KMG(Ob) CMM, reports on the numerous events and busy activities unndertaken by members in Victoria throughout 2015.
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he year has kept us all very busy as Victoria continues to expand our care for those in need and to involve more of our Members and volunteers in these endeavours.
Coats for the Homeless Between April and September, the Victorian Branch, through the auspices of the Order of Malta Volunteers (OMV), personally handed out 450 coats to homeless individuals in the Melbourne CBD and the outer suburbs of Berwick, Clayton and Dandenong. Members of the Victorian Branch continue to follow the practice of accompanying the OMV when out supporting the coats campaign. Each winter week, well over 50 OMV participants from Newman College, Mannix College and ACU’s Nursing and Law Schools were joined by Members of the Order and one of our Chaplains on the road, alongside soup van organisers, joining them to meet with homeless on Melbourne’s streets. The OMV began the year’s coats campaign with a reserve stock of coats and purchased a further 400 coats. The OMV have a number of coats remaining and are again raising funds to purchase further coats for the 2016 campaign. Over the course of the year, the OMV participants from Mannix College have grown their program at the Cornerstone Centre in Dandenong into a yearlong commitment which is very promising for the future of the OMV relationship with Mannix. It is heartening to see these projects continue to grow and note that so many members, aspirants and volunteers are on hand to continue the Order’s mission. Thanks go to Confrere Sir James Gobbo, Consoeur Alicia Deak and Ms Isobel Carmody for managing the coats program throughout the year. It is heartening to see these projects continue to grow and note that so many members, aspirants and volunteers are on
hand to continue the Order’s mission. Palliative Care The Order, through its legal vehicle, Order of Malta Hospice Home Care (VIC) Inc. is one of the three partners in Eastern Palliative Care (EPC). EPC is one of the largest Home Palliative Care providers in Australia, serving the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Its catchment area contains more than 1.2 million people and currently provides inhome care services to over 600 terminally ill persons. Established in 1991, EPC is the product of an original partnership between the Order of Malta in Victoria and Caritas Christi, then conducted by the Sisters of Charity. The Order has a board room and offices, adjacent to the EPC centre at Caritas Christi.
Members are active in the governance of EPC and some 20 Members and spouses are trained volunteers in EPC’s work. Because of this participation, the Order of Malta continues to be the most active of the three partners in EPC’s vital work. Confreres Stuart Rowland, Bernard Teague AO, Professor David Kissane and Consoeur Professor Anne Hunt OAM currently represent Order of Malta Hospice Home Care (VIC) Inc. on the Committee of Management and Confreres Antony J Macken AM, Peter Gill and Paul Santamaria are general members of EPC. It operates out of two coordination centres, namely Caritas Christi Hospice, Kew and at Mitcham. Lourdes Masses 2015 culminated with the Branch’s largest spiritual exercise for the year, namely the Annual Lourdes Mass for the Sick
The Victorian Branch continues to strengthen its association with ACU’s St Patrick’s Campus. The Branch’s Monthly Mass is held in the University’s Chapel. ABOVE: Members Peter Gill KMG, Margaret Gill DMG and Scott Samson KMG attend the University’s annual awards event.
leaders and members of the Maltese community in Melbourne. Members, their families and OMV participants also celebrated the Mass for the Deceased Members of the Order in November, again celebrated by Rev Gerald O’Collins AC SJ. Our regular first Friday of the month Vigil Mass continues and I invite any Members visiting Melbourne to join us. Support Activities Another successful Film Premiere supported by Members and friends resulted in funds being raised for EPC and support for charitable works in TimorLeste. This year the Order in Victoria was able to secure another magnificent image for its Christmas cards, always an image of Our Lady, the infant Jesus and his cousin, our Patron Saint John the Baptist.
2015 Order of Malta Award was presented to Australian Catholic University nursing graduate Gabrielle Grant by Scott Samson KMG.The award is presented to a graduate student of Faculty of Health Sciences specialising in Palliative Care.
and Infirm at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne. Once again the congregation filled Australia’s largest Cathedral and were led in prayer by Archbishop Denis Hart, the Archbishop of Melbourne. Rev Prof Gerald O’Collins AC SJ, Magistral Chaplain and Chaplain to the Subpriory of the Immaculate Conception, delivered a memorable homily on the service of the Order to Our Lords the Poor and the Sick. AAt the conclusion of the Mass, Archbishop Hart moved along the aisles blessing the congregation of well over 2,000, including many sick, infirm and poor, with Holy Water brought to Melbourne from the famous Grotto at Lourdes. Our Order’s Chaplains, including Most Rev Terry Curtin and Very Rev Brian Boyle EV, joined Rev Prof Gerald O’Collins AC SJ and the Archbishop in concelebrating this special Mass. Each year the Mass is organised with precision by the Organising Committee, ably led by Confrere Sauro Antonelli AM. Throughout the year Confrere
David and wife Consoeur Terry Blackwell continued with their dedicated work arranging Lourdes Day Masses at a number of Catholic Nursing Homes during the year, bringing Lourdes to the sick. These extraordinary Lourdes Masses continue to draw support from members of the Victorian Branch, which is especially satisfying as so many of them are held on weekdays. The work of David and Terry has been more personal this year, following Terry’s diagnosis with cancer. I know that members across the National Association have kept both David and Terry in their prayers. Spiritual Activities The Branch’s spiritual activities this year commenced with our Annual Retreat in February at the Carmelite Monastery in Kew. We were again led in this Retreat by the Principal Chaplain of the Subpiory, Rev Prof Gerald O’Collins AC SJ. A major spiritual occasion for the Branch was the Philerme Mass at Newman College Chapel where Victorian Members and their families were again joined by
Thanks I wish to thank the Victorian Branch Members, the Board of Order of Malta Hospice Home Care (Vic) Inc and OM Volunteers. The Victorian Branch welcomed new Members to our ranks following this year’s investiture at our National Assembly in Adelaide and their commitment to the works of the Order is already apparent. I also thank Confrere Scott Samson for his further continued design, editing and authoring of the many articles that appear in our National Association’s annual Hospitaller magazine. On a recent visit to Rome comment was made on its success as a very readable publication deserving of far wider distribution. I wouldn’t wish to even guess the amount of volunteer hours that goes in to each year’s publication. I would also like to make special mention of all the secretariat assistance Scott’s wife, Alisia, has provided to me throughout the year. Members will remember when Alisia first commenced with Confrere Sir James Gobbo in 2007. I am blessed to have Alisia’s continued help and valuable corporate knowledge continually available to me. I thank too our Chaplains; Bishop Terry Curtin, Very Rev Brian Boyle and Rev Prof Gerald O’Collins SJ AC, as well as Mother Prioress and the Carmelite Sisters at Kew for their warm hospitality and prayerful support. Their commitment to the Order of Malta and the activities of the Victorian Branch serve as an inspiration to us all.
ORDER OF MALTA AUSTRALIA
Queensland Western Australia South Australia New South Wales Australian Capital Territory Victoria
New Zealand Tasmania
05 -0 10 9 -1 4
90 -9 95 4 -9 00 9 -0 05 4 -0 10 9 -1 4
85 -8 90 9 -9 95 4 -9 00 9 -0 05 4 -0 10 9 -1 4
73 -7 80 9 -8 85 4 -8 90 9 -9 95 4 -9 00 9 -0 05 4 -0 10 9 -1 4 15
2015 Membership Demographics
First Class (Knights of Justice and Conventual Chaplains)
Second Class (Knights and Dames in Obedience)
Third Class - First Category (Knights and Dames of Honour and Devotion)
Third Class - Second Category (Conventual Chaplains ad honorem)
Third Class - Third Category (Knights and Dames of Grace and Devotion)
Third Class - Fourth Category (Magistral Chaplains)
Third Class - Fifth Category (Knights and Dames of Magistral Grace)
Third Class - Sixth Category (Donatus of Devotion)
1 15 2 7 1 20 215 19
Knights, Dames and Donats of the Order are members of a unique family within a religious lay order committed to the charism of the Order; to serve the sick and poor and to witness the Faith. When considering the composition or memberships within the Australian Association of the Order and the Order internationally, Members should refer to the Regulations and Commentary which were published in 2011. Key points of the Regulations can be summarised as follows: The Order of Malta is a religious lay order. The term “religious lay order” is to be understood as stating that members of the First, Second and Third Classes are all members of a “religious lay order”, but each in a different way:
The Third Class consists of those members who live according to the norms of the Church and “commit” themselves to serve the sick and the poor and witness the Faith within the Order and the Church. Each of us will make this Commitment.” Members of the Second Class make a “Promise” of Obedience to the Church through their religious superiors in the Order to lead a life of Christian perfection in the spirit of the Order. Like Members of the Third Class, members in Obedience are “lay” – not religious. They occupy a middle place between the Third Class and First Class. Members of the First Class are “religious” but are neither “clerical” nor lay. As religious, they lead a consecrated life. Members of the First Class profess and live by the religious vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, the so-called “Evangelical Counsels.” The canon law of the Church uses the term “institutes of consecrated life.” This refers to religious orders and congregations whose members profess religious vows. This includes our Order of Malta since our First Class Knights of Justice profess religious vows.
* Demographics sourced from the Roll of Members as at St John’s Day, 24 June 2015. ** 10 members are resident in countries outside of the Australian Association and have not been allocated to a branch or delegation.
2015 has been a busy year for Hong Kong members, as Delegation Chairman Dr Denis Chang KMG reports on the work of the Order to establish a partnership with Caritas Hong Kong and Cardinal Health to provide much needed medicine to Che Gen Village.
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he focus of this report is on the principal activities of SMOM Hong Kong Delegation since the 4th Asia Pacific Regional Conference (APC) which we had the privilege of hosting in Hong Kong on 16-19 October 2014 under the auspices of the Australian Association. The first task since the 4th APC, apart from assisting with the compilation of the final report of the proceedings of the 4th APC and reflecting on the insights gained at the 4th APC, is to renew and strengthen our efforts, modest though they may be, to give concrete expression of the Order’s spirit and motto of “Tutio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum”. The Chair has been keeping close contact with the President, Dr Ian Marshall with regard to Delegation‘s affairs generally. The importance that the Order places on its presence in Hong Kong and rest of China is of great encouragement to our Members. Members of the Council together with such other members as are invited, meet regularly usually at least once a month and preferably on the first Friday, preceded by Holy Mass said by our Chaplain the Most Rev Michael Yeung, who has continued to give the Hong Kong Delegation his unfailing support. In consultation with Bishop Yeung, Msgr Ante Jozic and Msgr Andrea Francia and others, we are actively identifying suitable candidates to recommend for admission. Confrere Dr Thomas Wong stepped down as Hospitaller after completing his term, to devote more time to his permanent diaconate studies but remains a Council member. CHA GEN VILLAGE A village near Maoming in China, about 80 people live here with the after-effects of leprosy. Principally the residents are healed but they all suffer from the consequences
of this illness. These are amputated limbs, deformed limbs, eye diseases and infections due to the destruction of the nerves. The majority is stigmatized and abandoned by their families. A French Priest from the Order of the Beatitudes (Father Jean Gabriel Moyen) lives among them and takes care of this village as well as of 8 others as well as exploring further villages with similar underprivileged people on Hainan Island. Confrere Alfons and Consoeur Sophie Mensdorff-Pouilly took over the lead of this project generally, whilst Confrere Justin Harkiewicz took the lead in supporting the Village in the rebuilding of the kitchens. This year focus was given to • New kitchens for part of the village • Organise and source a regular and consistent flow of medicines and visits to the Village • Exploring possible expansion of project to neighbouring villages. KITCHENS Through the generous contribution of Caritas supplemented by contributions from individual Members, new kitchens were built for some of the inhabitants of Cha Gen Village. As can be seen in the photographs, the village is built in such a way that each party has a unit in a building and vis-à-vis a kitchen for their sole use. The old kitchens were unhealthy since the inhabitants cook with wood and the fumes did not escape the room. MEDICINES A comprehensive list of all medications needed in the village(s) was established and Cardinal Health one of the largest distributors of medical supplies globally and the leading supplier in China was contacted. They have kindly agreed to offer
these medicines at cost price to the Hong Kong Delegation as well as organising the logistics of the transports. Through the generous participation of the Members of the Hong Kong Delegation, the medication was financed for the year mid 2015 to mid 2016. We have entered a long-term partnership with Cardinal Health and they confirmed their willingness to support us in the years to come. The Chairman of Cardinal Health and members of the Senior Management will join us at our next visit. With the completion of the kitchens and the annual flow of medications assured, the most urgent needs have been met. We are planning to slowly step up our efforts and support additional villages. The plan is to include an additional 6080 lepers under the Hong Kong Delegation care and to start in the second half of 2016. We are establishing a regular visitingschedule of Cha Gen to ensure that at least every three months a Member of the Hong Kong Delegation visits the village and spends time with Father Jean-Gabriel to get an update on progress and work on key actions and support needed. We have successfully made contact with Professor Christian Ohrloff, Chairman of the German-Chinese Medical Association. He has confirmed to join us in a visit in January 2016. Professor Ohrloff is a world renown expert on eye disease and his advice on some of the eye conditions of the villagers This will help us to further increase the exposure of the village to international doctors and allow regular visits of healthexperts to Cha Gen and neighbouring villages. The leprosy village in Cha Gen will remain one of the major projects of the Hong Kong Delegation and we are confident to contribute to this initiative in a sustainable and meaningful way.
Members of the Order have formed a partnership with Caritas Hong Kong to give regular support to 12 families chosen by Caritas. The purpose is to give the children the chance to speak English and to give the families as a whole a different experience.
CARITAS LOK JUN SCHOOL The Hong Kong Delegation under the leadership of Confrere Peter Lee continued to support a school for mentally handicapped children. A number of volunteers mostly young men from Europe living in Hong Kong were recruited to help with monthly visits. The school organises one evening to celebrate all the birthdays of the children who have their special days in that month. During that evening games and singing are organised and the volunteers are invited to help with these activities. The children are encouraged to communicate with “the strangers” so that they get used to interacting with people who are not necessarily in their close environment. Although there were language obstacles as most of the volunteers did not speak Cantonese, this was a huge success.
The school after consultation with the project leader decided after two years to give a break to this program and to expose the children to a different experience. “FLYING YOUNG” PROGRAM A new project was started in the course of the past year. Hong Kong introduced a poverty line in 2013. Although some measures were introduced there are still 1 million people in Hong Kong living below the poverty line. The most important reasons for this are the high property prices and the lack of public housing. The Hong Kong Delegation decided to develop a project out of this cause. Consoeur Teresa Lam with the help of Caritas Hong Kong established a program in which volunteers are recruited to give
regular support to 12 families chosen by Caritas. The purpose is to give the children the chance to speak English (which they only have in school with their teachers) and to give the families as a whole a different experience. Two outings with these families were organised. The first one on the 19th of April to an island in the Bay of Sai Kung, which incidentally is the nucleus of Christianity in Hong Kong. In total 90 people joined this outing. 41 people (among them 30 children) and 43 volunteers. Starting with games to familiarise both groups, followed by lunch and the trip to the island of Yim Tin Tsai. In the St. Joseph Church everybody said a prayer. Then there were guided tours on the island. One observation on the sidelines to illustrate the impact: When
the ferry returned on shore one little boy did not want the leave the boat because he never had been on a boat before. The second event took place on 21st June 2015. Since June is a very hot and wet season in Hong Kong, it was decided to organise an indoor event where the children would do a treasure hunt through the Caritas Building and the mothers and father would learn to cook a new dish.. This time we had 23 people from 7 families and 23 volunteers. The parents learned to cook an Austrian dish and the children were busy running up and down the stairs solving their puzzles. Volunteers and families further bonded. We are planning further events similar to the ones above. The aim is to get more and more volunteers involved and ideally to establish a relationship between volunteers and families so that they bond even beyond these events and the volunteers undertake outings on their own. RICE PROGRAMME (PILOT PROJECT) Under the leadership of Confrere Baldwin Cheng we are organising a rice distribution program under the slogan “Every Grain with Love”. The Hong Kong Delegation has been offered 1 tonne of good quality rice free of charge for the pilot project. Bags of rice of half a kilogram each will be distributed at selected parishes in
Hong Kong and recipients are free to make a donation to the Hong Kong Delegation in the knowledge that for every bag of rice distributed here, an equivalent bag of rice (donated by local suppliers across the border, some of whom have already been identified) will be given to needy people at selected locations in Mainland China.
of them are good platforms to expand and carry the mission of the Order of Malta to help the poor and the sick into the community. We are looking at consolidating our current projects and build a strong volunteer base. One priority will be fundraising so we can finance our projects. From June 2016 onwards the funding for the medication of our existing leprosy village needs to be secured and we are currently working on a plan to raise 100,000 HKD – 150,000 HKD on an annual basis to guarantee a sustainable and regular delivery of all necessary medical items.
LOURDES Four Members and 11 volunteers joined the 2015 Lourdes Pilgrimage this year. As usual they helped with the Irish organisation see attached report. The next steps and schedule for the coming years to look into the possibility in bringing malades to Lourdes in 2017. CONCLUSION Without doubt the Hong Kong Delegation has some very established projects and all
Knights and Dames of the Order’s New Zealand delegation were extremely active writes Peter Wood KMG, Chairman of the Delegation.
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embers continue to acknowledge our most important Feast Days and the World Day of the Sick, through sponsorship of meals at the Wellington Soup Kitchen. The Soup Kitchen is operated by the Sisters of Compassion located in Wellington’s Tory Street, where breakfast and dinner are served six days a week. Members assist by serving the meals or clearing away, doing dishes or cleaning up afterwards. We are privileged to be asked to lead
the Grace, and to sit with guests as they await their dinner sitting. Members come away pleased that they have been able to support the Sisters and to live our Mission of caring for the sick and the poor. We believe our contribution (and that of our Order) meets in some small way one of the Archbishop’s priorities for the Archdiocese - reaching out to those who live in poverty and are vulnerable. We are asked to see the suffering Christ in the homeless, addicted, in
refugees, indigenous peoples, the isolated and abandoned elderly, victims of human trafficking, women in situations of exclusion and domestic violence. In November, Members of the Delegation were invited to attend the Investiture ceremony for the admission of members of our Sister Order, The Venerable Order of St John. This event was also attended by the Chancellor of the Venerable Order of St John in Australia who spoke most favourably of the work of the Sovereign Order in Australia.
Chair of the Northern Territory’s Delegation, Dr Frances Booth AM DMG, reports on the continuing grown and development of the activities of the Order throughout the Northern Territory, Timor Leste and Northern Australia.
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9 Members 4
robed Mass with Confere Dr Ian Marshall in attendance was held in the Cathedral of St Mary Star of the Sea during the September 26-27th weekend. This formal introduction of the Order of Malta to Darwin and the Northern Territory was notable for being a first in the Order’s 900 years of existence. Vicar General, Fr Malcolm Fyfe, our new Magistral Chaplain, was the Celebrant at the well attended Mass which was followed by a Retreat. A new silk vestment with stole was organised for the purpose. The National Assembly of the Order in Adelaide, June 19-21 was attended by NT members Sean Parnell, Paul Maher and Nicole Johnson. Nicole is congratulated and welcomed as our newest Member. The Advocacy Service deals with some quite complex matters. Two examples: a persistent drug addict from Queensland was incarcerated in the Wickham detention Centre prior to being deported to Italy. Unfortunately through his lack of cooperation, all efforts to assist through
consular means were derailed. The second example involves an almost derelict boarding house in Smith Street with 20 mostly Indigenous boarders weekly coerced into parting with funds by the owner - clearly another complex and sensitive matter. 300 Mass Books with stickers with SMOM Logo and donor names were given to the Primary School at St Mary’s Cathedral by Maria and Carlo Randazzo. Three of us visited Dili in January 2015 with Confreres David Scarf, Ian Marshall, and Robert Costa with wife Kathy. Items later collected for the Convent Sisters of St Paul of Chartres and Regional Superior Sr. Marie Bibianne Prado arrived safely mid-year. The proposed visit to Lourdes by Tina from Wadeye in wheelchair with cerebral palsy should be possible in 2017. Her sister as carer will accompany her. Both have their passports and are saving hard. Some of us met them in October and both parties were encouraged as a result. The Dili Scholarship Program was the
purpose of Maria Randazzo’s visit to Dili in November in association with Confrere Honorary Ambassador David Scarf. Additionally there may be a possible opportunity for collaboration with ICARE – a Christian child sponsorship organisation based in Australia - feelers have been put out on behalf of a group of 21 orphans (6-17 years old) under the supervision of the Congregation of Franciscana Sisters, in the St John Bosco Parish, Laga. Members continue to submit regular articles to the NT Diocesan magazine, ‘Unity’, every couple of months under banner of the Order of Malta. We welcomed Editor of the Australian Hospitaller Confrere Scott Samson to our group towards the end of 2015. He will be working closely with the Queen’s representative in the Northern Territory, His Honour the Honourable John Hardy OAM, the Administrator of the Northern Territory.
Northern Territory Members Carlo Randazzo KMG, Paul Maher KMG, Maria Randazzo DMG, Dr Nicole Johnson DMG, Séan Parnell OAM KMG, Dr Frances Booth AM DMG and Magistral Chaplian Fr Malcolm Fyfe MSC are joined by Association President Dr Ian Marshall AM AE KC*SG KGCMG(Ob) at the Territory’s first formal Order Mass in Darwin.
The past year in Thailand has been an exceptionally busy one, reports Adrian Borg-Cardona KMG(Ob). The nine members of the Order in Thailand were involved in activities from organising a medical clinic, providing food packs to asylum seeks and hosting the Asia-Pacific Conference.
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he Members and aspirants of the Order in Thailand held their first meeting for 2015 calendar year, on Thursday 5th February. The bi-monthly mass was followed by an Evening of Reflection which was hosted by our Magistral Chaplain Rev Carlo Velerdo SDB at the Krung Thep Kretha Church, Bangkok. The subject of the evening was in keeping with the theme of the National Assembly, which derives from Pope Francis’ Exhortation Evangelii Gaudiuu The Joy of the Gospel. During Holy Week the Members and Friends of the Order visited three centres for asylum seekers in Bangkok, mostly from Pakistan. During our visits we began to understand the problems facing the Asylum Seekers in Thailand. Although this a huge problem and the Order has limited resources, nevertheless we undertook to help to the best of our ability. During Holy Week we delivered 750 kilos of rice, 150 cooking oil, 1008 UHT milk, 600 water bottles and 30 trays of eggs. Bags of used clean clothes were also delivered. On Wednesday 3rd June, at the request of Fr. Dominico of the Sapan Mai Church, the Members returned to deliver 2,400 milk cartons, 1,000 packets of instant noodles, and 50 kilos of rice to the asylum seekers. We also discussed with them their medical needs and offer assistance where possible. FR CARLO VISITS LOURDES & ADELAIDE Our Magistral Chaplain Fr Carlo during his sabbatical leave to Italy undertook the pilgrimage to Lourdes during the Order of Malta weekend in May and later was invited to attend the Australian Association’s National Assembly in Adelaide where he received the Cross of a Magistral Chaplain at the Investiture Mass. On 12th August, being Mother’s Day
Members responded to the request of Fr. Dominico of the Sapan Mai Church, by delivering 2,400 milk cartons, 1,000 packets of instant noodles and 50 kilos of rice to the Asylum Seekers. Members also discussed providing their medical needs and other assistance.
in Thailand, Members and friends visited the Communita Incontro, a home for children from the hill tribe and broken families. There are 190 children who are looked after by Fr. Don Pierrino Gelmini, who apart from looking after the children, opened a school within the institute for the elementary students in order to increase their chances of a success in life. 140 children attend elementary school and 50 are in secondary level attending the Holy Family School which is next door to the Children’s Home. The Members and friends of the Order of Malta donated 30,000 baht (AUS$1,200) plus food. On the same day Members and Friends visited St. Clair Hospice which was established by the Franciscan priests and brothers in 1993 for AIDS patients. There are currently 27 patients and each month new patients arrive. In the early years, mostly were brought into the hospice as they were abandoned by their families and due to lack of medicines many died. Today with improved medicines and being well cared for, many live longer and
have returned home to a productive life. As there are more patients than the hospice can accommodate, a new wing is being built. The Members and Friends once again contributed with food and a donation of 20,000 baht (AUS$800). It is our wish that in the near future the Members of the Order of Malta will return to both centres to give moral and financial support. In September 2015 Members and Postulants met with the staff of Anantara Siam Hotel, Bangkok where it was generously agreed that Anantara Hotel will donate every other day bread and pastries left over from breakfast to the Order of Malta. In return Members of the Order will collect and deliver to the Holy Redeemer Church where the bread and pastries will be given out with tea and coffee for anyone who drops at the Centre looking for some nourishment. This has proven to be a great success with homeless and the poor.
Members of the Order together with other welfare organisations organised to provide assistance to 25 families within the Holy Redeemer Parish who lost their homes in a fire that broke out in the neighbourhood.
SERVICE TO THE POOR AND SICK On the 4th November, Postulants Dr. Anan and Mrs. Anjarat started the first Medical Mission at St. Michael’s Church, Saphan Mai. Approximately 200 Pakistani asylum seekers gather at the St Michael’s Church every first Wednesday to receive food supplies from the church, donated by many organisations including the Order of Malta. As in the past some of the asylum seekers asked for medical assistance the Order was encouraged to start a basic Medical Mission with Postulants Dr. Anan and his wife Khun Anjarat volunteering to set up the Medical Mission. On Friday 6th November, Fr. Carlo, our Magistral Chaplain held an evening retreat to prepare the Postulants for the investiture with members of the Order attending the evening. DEVELOPMENT FUND TRAINING THE HANDICAPPED In the same evening Rev Picharn Jaiseri of Redeemer Centre for HandicappedPattaya came to present an effective way to raise funds for setting up more training centres in the North East. One recent piece of legislation requires companies to hire one handicapped for each 100 employees. Alternatively companies pay B 100,000 into government fund (Section 34) or contribute the same directly to a qualified centre for the handicapped (Section). Father Picharn’s centres have been qualified to receive funds directly. We have agreed to accept this as a new project for Members to assist in raising this compliance fund.
Anantara Hotel generously donates bread and pastries left over from breakfast to the Order of Malta who collects and delivers it to the Homeless and Poor Drop-In Centre at Holy Redeemer Church, Bangkok.
5th ASIA PACIFIC CONFERENCE The 5th Asia Pacific Conference was held in Bangkok from 20th to 22nd November, 2015. After months of preparation, the Australian Association with the assistance of the Thai Members were able to host and welcome members of the Order to Bangkok. The Grand Chancellor, the Grand Hospitaller, Ambassadors from Thailand, Timor-Leste, USA, Philippians and Roving Ambassador H.E. James Dominguez, Presidents from the Australian, Singapore, Philippines, and Members from Thailand and Hong Kong, with observers from Korea attended the weekend conference at the Chatrium Hotel. The conference dealt with the members’ activities during the last twelve months, discussed at length where the Order is heading and gaining strength in Asia. On Saturday 21st November, three Thai Members were invested into the
Order at the Holy Rosary Church, with Bishop Pilbum as the main celebrant. Apart from the heavy workload that members undertook at the conference, there was also some leisure time on Friday night with a River Cruise and a Gala Dinner on Saturday evening after the investiture. The conference weekend ended with Sunday Mass at the Holy Redeemer Church. REBUILDING PROJECT On the evening of 6th December, just a few weeks after Members attended the Sunday mass at the Holy Redeemer Church, a fire broke out in the vicinity of the church, where 25 families lost their homes. Members of the Order together with other organisations were able to give assistance to the families the following Wednesday through moral and financial support to the families who lost everything.
Magistral Chaplain Fr. Carlo during his sabbatical leave to Italy undertook a pilgrimage to Lourdes, joining members of the Order of Malta.
Western Australian Delegation Chairman, Dr Michael Shanahan KMG, brings to light the work of the Order in Western Australia. With just six members, the Order is successfully delivering the Order’s mission to serve the Sick and the Poor of the West’s community.
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estern Australian Members have continued to represent the Order within our community.
COATS FOR THE HOMELESS Our volunteers and Members have again participated in the national Coats for the Homeless program and we were busy throughout winter distributing coats to the homeless at the Shopfront, Maylands and the Holy Spirit of Freedom Community Outreach Ministry. We commenced our distribution with an earlier start as soon as the cooler weather set in. The Shopfront, an agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth working to relieve poverty and suffering in an environment that offers practical assistance, fellowship and hospitality. Helping organisations like the Shopfront, a service run predominately
by a team of volunteers, gives the Western Australian Members of the Order great encouragement that the Coats for the Homeless program continues to make an impact. We will continue to generously support this program, knowing that each coat has been warmly accepted and that they are well worn. HEALING MASS The Mass for the Sick, which again cosponsored with the Catholic Doctors Association of Western Australia. The Mass was celebrated for the third time in St Mary’s Cathedral by Archbishop Timothy Costello and the Cathedral clergy on 25 May. The Mass was very well attended and included the anointing the sick and the distribution of bottles of Lourdes Water to the members of the congregation.
With an increase in the numbers now attending the Mass, this year we actually ran out of bottled Lourdes water. Members of the Order in Western Australia sponsored the Prize for Best Student in Philosophical & Ethical Studies in Medicine. Each year students from the Fremantle Campus of the University of Notre Dame who excel in a particular component of their degree are recognised. The Prize Giving Ceremony for the 2014 Academic year was held on Tuesday 14th April 2015 in the Tannock Hall of Education. Students and families attended the ceremony with 15 prizes and 13 students taking out those prizes. Member of the Order, Confrere the Hon Kevin Hammond AC presented the award to the winner, Olivia Elieff.
The Hon Kevin Hammond AC KMG presented the Prize for Best Student in Philosophical & Ethical Studies in Medicine to the 2015 winner, Ms Olivia Elieff, in the University of Notra Dame’s Tannock Hall of Education.
5th Asia Pacific Conference The President of the Australian Association, Dr Ian Marshall AM AE KC*SG KGCMG(Ob), reports on the 5th Asia Pacific Conference held this year in Bangkok, Thailand. The Conference, hosted by our Association, offers an opportunity to forge closer ties in our region.
he 5th Asia Pacific Conference was successfully held in Bangkok in November with the theme “Maintaining the Momentum” to follow up on the groundwork of previous conferences. A record number of delegates attended - 46; a far cry from the numbers attending the first conference held in Singapore. The Conference was presided over by Their Excellencies the Grand Chancellor and the Grand Hospitaller. Other representatives from the Grand Magistry included Confrere Simon Grenfell, Member of Government Council; H.E. Countess Isabella Salzburg, Head of Cabinet Grand Chancellery; Consoeur Lisa Simpson, Director of the Global Fund for Forgotten People; and H.E. Count Eugenio di Robbiate, Director of the Order’s worldwide communications. All regional Ambassadors of the Order participated. The attendance of Confrere H.E. Tom Condon, AmbassadorDesignate to Micronesia, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands broadened the regional scope of the discussions. Delegates were starting to look as far afield as India when discussing the state of the Church and possible future regional roles for the Order. Representatives of the regional Associations (Philippines, Singapore, Australia) and regional Delegations (Thailand and Hong Kong); representatives of countries of interest (South Korea; Timor Leste); the operational regional entities of the Order, Malteser international and CIOMAL all made major presentations. It is quite inspiring to learn what all these groups collectively achieve and challenges any sense of complacency we might have; it made us all reflect how much more we could achieve with greater dedication and effort. The Conference concentrated on analysing on what has been achieved since the previous conference in Hong Kong, with an emphasis on continuing future development and maintaining the momentum in the Asia Pacific region. Fr Carlo Velardo, Magistral Chaplain, delivered an illuminating address on the
Official group photo of the attendees at the 5th Asia Pacific Conference, including Their Excellencies the Grand Chancellor and the Grand Hospitaller and the President of the Australian Association.
history of Catholicism in Thailand; then at the Gala Dinner, the Guest of Honour H.E. Archbishop Paul Tschang In-Nam, Apostolic Nuncio to Thailand gave us a fascinating insight into the problems facing Christianity in Asia. Australia as the host Association chaired the Conference but our thanks and gratitude go to our Thai Confreres, under the chairmanship of Confrere Virachai Techavijit, and the keen Organising Committee. Our thanks to Confrere Chartsiri Sophonpanich for providing the venue and facilities, as well as the invaluable secretarial help for the Conference by Mrs Patima Chavalit, Secretary of the Organising Committee. Their organisational skill and inherent hospitality were two key ingredients in the Conference’s success. Australia was well represented with very active participation and significant and important contributions to the proceedings. All present were conscious of the historic significance of the locality and timing of the Conference. We were privileged to be briefed on the attitude to religion and the regional status of Church in China and the possible future role of the Order by Most Rev Michael Yeung, Bishop of Hong Kong, Conventual Chaplain ad honorem and Msgr Ante Jozic, Conventual Chaplain ad honorem, Head of the Holy See Study Mission in Hong Kong. This was invaluable to the regional Ambassadors. We were delighted to welcome three new Thai Members invested during the
Conference; Consoeurs Orawan and Anjurat and Confrere Anan. We hope they derive great satisfaction from their involvement with the Order. In April 2015, HMEH the Prince and Grand Master and the Sovereign Council approved the formation of a group in South Korea, a country where Catholicism has such a fascinating history as Pope Francis recently emphasised. The aspirant Members were very well represented in Bangkok. Following the Conference the Grand Chancellor, the Director of the Global fund for Forgotten People and the Australian President traveled to Seoul to meet the prospective new member and to develop a program of formation. The delegation was warmly welcomed by His Eminence Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-Jung, Archbishop of Seoul, members of the Diplomatic Corps, South Korean politicians and clergy involved in the long process of working for Korean unification. For the first time the Conference adopted a collaborative approach to specific regional projects for regional cooperation. The major regional commitment is to support the proposed medical clinic in Timor Leste; a project in which Australia has taken an active lead. This is a major, ongoing project which will require considerable regional coordination. The Order of Malta will provide volunteer medical, first aid teams for St Peters during 2016, the Year of Mercy. We in the region have been asked to provide a team for the week 13-20 August.
THE GREAT SIE
Throughout history, Malta has been considered an important piece of land to possess. In fact, in 1530, M the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in order to defend his Empire in Western Europe from Ottoman atta The Knights, led by Grand Master La Valette, were constantly threatened by the Ottomans, and a few ye Ottoman fleet of 40,000 men arrived in Malta â€“ the Order was once more under atatck and siege writes
EGE OF MALTA
Malta was offered to the Order by acks coming from Eastern Europe. ears later, in May 1565, when an Frà Richard Divall AO OBE.
A silver and bronze bust of Grand Master Frà Jean Parisot de Valette and an engraving of the Siege of Senglea on the 28th of June 1565. The engraving is one of a series by Antonio F. Lucini, based on the Frescos of Matteo Peres d’Aleccio.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
In 1546 Barbarossa died, and the Sultan appointed Greek born Dragut, known as “The Drawn Sword of Islam,” in command of the increasingly powerful Ottoman navy. In 1550 the Knights defeated his fleet at Mahdia. For revenge, Dragut attacked Malta. The island was still relatively unfortified, but the few defenders put up such a stiff resistance that Dragut had to abandon the attack. However, both sides knew that the Ottomans would come back to Malta. In 1557 Grand Master Frà Claude de la Sengle died, and Frà Jean Parisot de la Valette became the new Grand Master of the Order. Highly educated and from an old noble family from South-western France, La Valette had once been captured by the Ottomans and
Sultan Suleiman I the Magnificent was the tenth and longest-reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire
from 1520 to his death in 1566. Under his reign, the Ottoman’s ruled over 15 to 20 million people. Suleiman personally lead Ottoman armies that conquered Rhodes in 1522, Belgrade and most of Hungary until he was defeated in 1529 at the Siege of Vienna.
made a galley slave for four years. He was 63 years old when he became Grand Master, and he would prove to be a great leader like L’lsle Adam and d’Abusson before him. Although Dragut’s first raid on Malta was beaten back, it was a sure sign that the Knights had again made themselves abhorrent to the Sultan. He was not happy about having to deal with the Knights again, but they were creating such havoc with his lines of supply that they could not be ignored. Suleiman dispatched two of his most trusted leaders, General Mustapha Pasha and Admiral Piali. Joining them shortly after the siege began was the most trusted pirate and political leader next to the Sultan himself, the now eighty-year-old Dragut. The Sultan’s orders were that if there were any disagreement, Dragut’s orders took precedence. On May 18, 1565, the Ottoman fleet
under Admiral Piali was sighted by the watchman in Fort St. Elmo on the edge of Malta.
THE BATTLE FOR MALTA
The Ottoman fleet approaching Malta was a mighty one indeed. It appeared as if an entire forest of spars was moving across the sea. With them came seemingly endless multitudes of the Sultan’s finest Janissaries, regulars, and more than 4,000 layalars religious fanatics who sought death over life. This Ottoman force came to attack 540 knights, 1,000 foot soldiers, and a little more than 3,000 Maltese militiamen. Almost immediately, the Order’s cavalry began attacking and harassing the Ottoman foraging parties. This became a major distraction for the Ottomans, whose previous experiences with the knights were now causing them to overreact to almost every
Austria / Bridgeman Images
Image Credit: Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566), Sultan of Turkey (oil on canvas), Italian School, (16th century) / Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna,
ollowing the devastating siege of Rhodes in 1522 the Ottoman Empire had successfully expelled the Knights and their followers from their island stronghold on Rhodes and had become for the first time in 200 years temporarily homeless. After first moving to Sicily, the Order was offered the islands of Malta and Gozo and the North African port city of Tripoli in fief from Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. At the time Malta was considered a small, relatively inhospitable island in the middle of the Mediterranean, yet with no other options offered to them, the Order accepted it, and immediately started turning the sleepy little sheep fields into a fortress that the future of Europe would soon depend on. As soon as the Order arrived on Malta, they began building fortifications and ships from which they could again raid Muslim shipping. It was at this time that the famous Ottoman corsair, Barbarossa, had been appointee High Admiral of the Ottoman fleet by the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. He built the Ottoman navy into a force, and great sea battles began to rage from one end of the Mediterranean to the other. Most of these battles were indecisive, but they kept the world on the edge of its seat. A significant Ottoman naval victory would almost certainly be the beginning of the end for Christian Europe. Again it was the tenacious seafaring Knights of the Order of St John who stood in the path of such an Ottoman victory. Again, the Knights were making themselves odious to the Ottoman high command. With Rhodes in his possession, Sultan Suleiman now seemed free to sweep across Europe with little opposition. It must have seemed most improbable to anyone that the battered Knights would again bar his path. However the severely reduced Order of St John would not only rise to challenge them, they were yet to strike the blow that would actually begin the unraveling of the entire Ottoman Empire.
HISTORY Image Credit: Jean de la Valette (1494-1568) Grand Master of the Knights of the Order of Malta (oil on Canvas), Dupre, Francois Xavier (1803-71)/ Château
de Versailles, France / Bridgeman Images
shot. The price paid for St. Elmo had been too great. As he looked up at the larger St. Angelo, whose guns were already pouring a deadly fire into his advancing troops, he cried out, “Allah! If so small a son has cost so dear, what price shall we have to pay for so large a father?” General Mustapha then had the bodies of the knights who had died so bravely at St. Elmo decapitated, bound to crosses and floated out into the harbour in front of St. Angelo. This was a brazen insult to the religion of the defenders. La Valette also understood that this meant that there would be no quarter given - this was to be a fight to the death. In retaliation, La Valette had a number of the Ottoman prisoners executed and their bodies hung on the walls. Their heads placed in canons and blasted over to the Ottomans now at St Elmo.
A SURPRISING RETREAT
Frà Jean Parisot de Valette was a French nobleman and 49th Grand Master of the Order of St John. He joined the Order as a Knight within the Langue de Provence when he was 20 years old and fought with great distinction during the Siege of Rhodes. He accompanied Grand Master Philippe Villiers de L’Isle-Adam from Rhodes after Suleiman expelled the Order from the island. situation.
ST. ELMO’S FIRE
General Mustapha directed the main part of his force toward capturing St. Elmo, the small fort which overlooked the Grand Harbour. This played into the hands of the knights as it gave La Valette time to make improvements in his other fortifications. Soon much smoke and fire was rising from St. Elmo that it looked like a volcano spewing out of the rock. It seemed impossible that anyone in it could still be alive, but the young Knights in the little fort were holding their ground, repulsing every attack to the astonishment of both sides, and the outright dismay of the Ottomans. Then the famed Dragut arrived with a fresh squadron of ships and even more reinforcements, many of them handpicked fighting men. If General Mustapha was
courageous and brilliant, Dragut was even more so. His presence raised the morale of the entire Ottoman force, which was badly needed at the time. Dragut assumed personal command of the forces. He directed even more batteries to pour their deadly fire into St. Elmo, which the tiny fort was now receiving from three sides. He continued this barrage without stopping for three entire weeks.
ST. ELMO’S VICTORY
The little fortress that no one believed could hold out for more than a day or two had held out for over a month. This had bought the rest of the Order the precious time that was needed. Little St. Elmo had also deprived the Sultan of thousands of his best fighting men, including many of his leaders, among which was the master gunner, the Aga of the Janissaries, and most importantly of all, Dragut himself who was felled by a cannon
General Mustapha then even escalated his bombardment to the point where it seemed that the barrels of his cannon would melt, and kept it up for seven more days. The knights fought bravely, but they were simply far too outnumbered to stand against so great a tide of raging humanity. Just when the citadel itself was within reach of the Ottomans, and it appeared that the end of the knights had finally come, the Ottoman trumpets rang out a call for a full-scale retreat! The defenders could only believe that the continent had finally sent them relief, but this was not the case. What had actually happened was that a small force of the Order’s cavalry had attacked the Ottoman base camp at Marsa. The little detachment had struck with such fierce determination and raised so much havoc that they were mistaken for a much larger force. Fearing an attack from the rear, General Mustapha had been forced to call a retreat of his assault troops. La Valette received a dispatch from Don Garcia of Sicily, promising to send a relief force of 16,000 men. La Valette was unimpressed. Having received many such promises before, he did not put his trust in the prince. He simply vowed again to fight until victory or death came.
FIRE FROM BELOW
On August 18 a mine exploded under the Post of Castille and a great breach was made. The Grand Master himself, now seventy years old, grabbed a helmet and sword and rushed out to meet the assault. The knights and the townspeople, encouraged by his example, picked up any weapon they could find and flung themselves into the breach with him. La Valette was wounded, but refused to retreat. He pointed his sword at the Ottoman banners and declared, “Never will I withdraw as long as those banners wave in the wind.” Somehow
16 July - 7 August. Viewed from the South. Surrounding the garrison on all sides with their artillery train, the Ottomans being to systematically pound it in preparation for the coming final assaults. However, the planned Ottoman attacks falter amid the carnage of St Michel and Heights of St. Margaret Birgu and their near success is thwarted by a surprise attack from the Mdina garrison who destroy the Ottoman camp just at their moment of triumph. Mount Salvador 17 July: To increase his 24-hour bombardment of the Order, General Mustapha orders three new artillery positions to be erected on the Heights of St. Margaret.
Birgu Town Kalkara Bay
Castle St. Angelo Gallows Point 20 July: Mount Salvador is occupied with 16 guns, including two 300 pounders, in preparation for the final confrontation. General Mustapha believed he now has the Order in a vice-grip from which there is no escape.
Fort St. Elmo
15 July â€“ 7 August: Ottoman artillery position on
Gallows Point is redirected and strengthened; a constant cannonade is now directed towards the Order. 19 July: Once the debris has been partially cleared, the Ottomans also position artillery in St. Elmo itself. They now enforce a deadly cross-fire from all points surrounding the Order. 16 July: Siege works and artillery placements facing Fort St. Elmo are now completely abandoned. 17 July: Camouflaged artillery positions situated on the edge of Mount Sciberras to pound the defences whilst the Ottoman sappers do work around St. Angelo and St. Michael.
2 August: The fiercest bombardment of the whole siege takes place, so loud that it is heard over 100 miles away. Every point of the defences come under fire. St. Angelo itself is in a deadly cross-fire from Mount Salvador, Gallows Point, Mount Sciberras and the captured St. Elmo. This is followed by a major all-out Ottoman assault which lasts for six hours until they are driven off. General Mustapha Pasha responds by ordering a 5-day bombardment of the Order in preparation for the next attack.
THE GREAT SIEGE 1565 56
HISTORY 20-31 July: Anticipating a seaborne attack on Birgu, La Valette orders the sinking of stone laden barges along the Kalkara Creek and links them together with a chain. This would protect its north-eastern side as had been achieved with the water barricade at Senglea. 21-28 July: Ottomans erect a bridge over the lower end of the galley Creek to enable reinforcements to be funneled into attack quickly. 7 August: La Valette also sets about constructing barricades across several streets in Birgu should the Ottomans break through. The work was exposed and many Ottoman prisoners were used in the project, who were then targets of the Ottoman snipers who were prepared to kill heir own rather than allow the Order to construct more barricades to fight through. 7 August: The bombardment stops and the attack goes in. Admiral Piali’s infantry succeed in breaching the walls of the Bastion of Castille but are then thwarted by a second wall which they cannot take. Halted at the front and pressed in the rear by reinforcements they are trapped and slaughtered in their hundreds as they try to escape. 22-27 July: Following General Mustapha’s plan to attach the fort on all fronts to prevent reinforcements being ferried across the bridge of boats Senglea Harbour The Marsa from one pressure point to, the Ottomans extend their entrenchments almost to the Kalkara islet in Senglea preparation for the main attack.
Heights of Corradin Grand Harbour
Mount Sciberras 7 August: A small raiding force of cavalry from Mdina, commanded by the French Knight De Lungny, reach the area south-west of the Marsa then attack the virtually undefended Ottoman camp. They massacre the sick and wounded, steal or hamstring the enemy’s horses and burn the tents. 26-28 July: The Ottomans put their sappers towards Fort St. Michael and a forward entrenchment is excavated for the coming attack. 7 August: As Admiral Piali attacks Castille, General Mustapha’s troops break into Fort St. Michael as the Knights fall back under the sheer weight of numbers the Ottomans are pushing forward. La Valette stems the tide personally by leading a successful counter-attack which holds due to the surprise recall the Ottomans suddenly hear. Their HQ and camp appear to be under attack. General Mustapha believed this to be the long awaited European relief force and retires to meet them. 16-21 July: After the carnage of the previous day, General Mustapha continues with his bombardment of the fort from the Heights of Corradin to keep the garrison’s heads down while he contemplates on another plan of attack.
the knights again prevailed, and the Ottomans once again bitterly retreated. On September 8 1565, the feast of the Birth of Our Lady, Don Garcia’s fleet arrived with 8,000 reinforcements. Even though 8,000 was not a significant number compared to the still-huge army of the Ottomans, their impact on the morale of both sides was much greater than the strength of their numbers. If a few hundred knights had cost them so dearly, and they had still only captured the little fort of St. Elmo, how could they possibly prevail against so many more? The great army of the mighty Ottoman Empire struck camp and sailed away. This was to be their high water mark, and the tide of this great empire would now begin to recede like every empire before it. The Order of St. John had stood against the seemingly innumerable hordes of Islam, and they had turned them back.
In one of the greatest examples of courage and endurance the world has ever witnessed, the Knights of St. John prevailed. Only 250 knights survived at Malta, and almost every one of them was wounded, maimed or crippled. Europe, however, was now free of the Muslim threat that had appeared so invincible.
In England, Queen Elizabeth I acknowledged that if Malta had fallen to the Ottomans, England itself would probably have fallen. She ordered the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a special form of thanksgiving to be read in every church in the land each day for three weeks. The rest of Europe also celebrated, paying their respects and acknowledging their debt to the Order that had long before been written off as having no real value.
BUILDING OF A NEW CITY
Scarcely had the last of the Ottoman sails sunk below the horizon before La Valette decided to build a city on Mount-Sceberras, the strategic point of the Island. He announced his intention to the Sovereigns of Europe and Pope Pius IV and the Kings of France, Spain and Portugal contributed money, foodstuffs and materials. Funds were collected under the Authority of a Bull from Pope Pius IV who had also sent his engineer Francesco Laparelli da Cortona to help the Grand Master in his project. He drew up a plan and discussed it with the local engineers Gerolamo Cassar and Baldassare Lancl d’Urbino. The plan, when finally approved, was sent to King Philip II of Spain, the Order’s
suzerain. By a decree of the 22nd March 1566, the Venerable Council of the Order formally approved of the building of the new city which was to bear the name of “The Most Humble City of Valletta” Humilissima Civitas Vallettae. Six days later, the first stone was laid with great pomp and ceremony. La Valette survived until August 1568. He saw, with just pride and well deserved pleasure, the laying of the first stone of the memorial city and the erection of some of its fortification. While the Christian nations of Europe had turned their armies against each other, the Knights of St. John never lost sight of who their real enemy was. Even though the Order was composed of the noble sons of those Christian nations that were fighting each other, they never allowed doctrinal or political divisions to enter their own ranks. Because of their unity, focused vision, and determination never to retreat before the enemies of the cross, they changed forever what had appeared to be the inevitable course of history. For their extraordinary exploits, the standard of the Knights of St. John, now called “the Maltese Cross,” was for a time saluted by every nation in the world.
The battle sword of Grand Master Jean de Valette being carried by Frà John Critien at the conclusion of a Pontifical High Mass at St Johns Co-Cathedral, Valletta, which is the conventual church of the Order of Malta. Legend has it that the Grand Master laid down his sword and hat at the altar of the Chapel of Our Lady of Damascus in Vittoriosa, as a votive offering. The Chapel was home to the icon of Our Lady of Damascus, which was brought to the Island with the Order when they arrived from Rhodes. The Grand Master was said to have prayed to the icon during the siege.
Above: The Grand Commander Frà Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein, Archbishop of Malta Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Imam Mohamed El Sadi lead a service of prayer during the 450th anniversary commemoration activities. Right: Australians who attended the events (L to R) Consoeur Deidre Page and Confreres Mark Dorney, Frank Testa, Frank Zipfinger, Richard Palk, Brian Kilmartin and Anthony Gerada.
Australians join the Maltese in the 450 Anniversary Commemorations Queensland Member Anthony Gerada KMG joined a number of Knights and Dames of the Australian Association, along with family members, to attend the 450th anniversary activities being held on the islands of Malta. Throughout his tour, Anthony kept a record on his adventures and shares them with the Australian Hospitaller.
450 Processing through the streets of Valletta.
Queensland Members of the Order of Malta and partners while attending a dinner hosted by the President of Malta.
Taking in the Verdala Palace, Malta.
years have passed since the momentous historic event, when Jean de Valette led his troops, the Maltese militia and local populace in the defence of the islands of Malta and, indeed, Europe’s southern borders, against an armed invasion. To commemorate the occasion, Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta worldwide were invited to attend a programme of events held over three days in early September 2015. On 6 September, the Archbishop of Malta, Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Imam Mohamed El Sadi, who heads the Islamic community in Malta, led a procession from Couvre Porte in Vittoriosa to the city’s parish church of St Lawrence. There, an interfaith service was held with the two religious leaders praying for peace. Before the construction of St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, the Church of St Lawrence operated as the Order’s conventual church at the time of the Great Siege. Archbishop Scicluna and Imam El Sadi were joined by 300 Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta from around the world. The prayer service was followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the victory monument in Misrah ir-Rebha in Vittoriosa.
In the evening the President of Malta, Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleriro Preca, hosted the Knights and Dames of the Order to a dinner at the Verdala Palace. The palace was built in 1586 by Grand Master de Valette and used by the Knights as a hunting lodge. Today it serves as the official summer residence of the President of Malta. The next day members of the Order were hosted by the Prime Minister of Malta, the Hon Dr Joseph Muscat, for a lunch at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta. In the evening members of the Order were hosted at the village of Mellieha on the north-west of the island to partake in the village’s “Festa” of Our Lady of Victories. On Sunday, the third and final day of Commemoration activities, members of the Order attended a Pontifical High Mass at St Johns Co-Cathedral, the conventual church of the Order of Malta. Archbishop Scicluna spoke about the importance of peace and how the Order and Malta, as well as small communities, have much to give to the world. The Archbishop described the Order as the first European Union. Knights from the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and the Venerable Order of St John also attended the service.
Recent books on the history, art and music of the Order of Malta available for you to look out for.
Malta’s fascinating music heritage
Image Credit: Altered portrait of Marcantonio Zondadari (1494-1566), Grand Master of the Order of Malta (oil on canvas), Italian School, (18th century)
The names of composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert and Ludwig Van Beethoven will surely ring a bell, but what about their contemporaries Giuseppe Arena, Girolamo Abos or Francesco Schira? Chances are many have never heard of the latter composers despite them being Maltese. Raising awareness about and reviving the local music heritage is the aim of Joseph Vella Bondin’s latest book, The Great Maltese Composers: Historical Context, Lives and Works, writes Frà Richard Divall AO OBE.
The Great Maltese Composers – Historical Context, Lives, and Works by Joseph Vella Bondin. 850 pages, $23.55
n 2000 the Maltese singer and academic, Joseph Vella Bondin wrote a two-volume set of books outlining Malta’s most interesting music history. It was a ground-breaking publication, exploring not only the history of music on the Islands, but also the feast of interesting works in the operatic repertoire that had been composed by Maltese-born composers. This musical activity was enlarged by the seminal publication and catalogue, under the editorship of Mgr John (Gwann) Azzopardi, about Malta’s national composer, Nicolò Isouard (1773-1818). But the largest contribution came from the enlightened patronage of the APS Bank, which around 2000 began a series of concerts and associated recordings (sixteen to date), of Malta’s musical heritage, ranging from sacred works from the Baroque period to contemporary commissions by local composers.
Fortuitously, the Bank chose the author of this new study to be their Artistic Advisor for the concerts and recordings – and this decision by the APS Bank has further resulted in this study - the most important publication about the composers of Malta to be issued. It is to be welcomed. The study is a magisterial 850-page volume entitled The Great Maltese Composers – Historical Context, Lives, and Works. The third in a series of books, the first two being devoted to studies of Maltese Visual Arts, the book is, as the title explains, not a history of music on Malta, but a study of their native-born composers and their output. Therefore it is not a musicological study of works and an overall history of music on Malta, but a biographical outline and assessment of the works of individual Maltese-born composers. These were musicians who worked in the times of the rule of The Order of St John, during the British Period, and today, in an independent Malta. The length and detail of this study is a tribute to the amount of activity that took place there during these three periods. From the time of the arrival
of the Knights in 1530, the Order was the principal patron of music on Malta, not only in the great Church of St John in Valletta, but also through operatic activity at the baroque architectural gem, the Manoel Theatre. Opened in 1731, the Manoel was the centre of secular music making, and also facilitated the patronage of music by culture loving members of the Order. In the field of sacred music, it might come as a surprise to know that St John’s in Valletta hosted a musical establishment of singers, orchestral players and composers, as large as that that operated under the Prince-Archbishops in Salzburg, and so well known to Mozart. Completed in 1577 by Grand Master Jean de la Cassière, the then Conventual Church of the Order was a treasuretrove of paintings and frescoes, including the two masterpieces by the Knight Caravaggio, the Beheading of St John the Baptist, and St. Jerome. And it was the home of many of Malta’s cosmopolitan musical establishment, including the Rome trained Frà Michelangelo Falusi and the Maltese cleric Don Michel’Angelo Vella. Although some published music by Falusi has survived,
much of Vella’s music has disappeared. But six of his works for string trio and continuo, and twentyfour sonatas for three traverso flutes are known and recently published. Vella’s important Six Sonatas for Strings was published in parts in Paris around 1768 – the first published music by a Maltese born composer. Being so close to Rome and Naples, it was natural that the musical styles and influences of those two cities would have a major impact on the liturgical music at St John’s. The was another capella di musica at St Paul’s, the seat of the Bishop of Malta in Mdina, situated on a high position in the centre of the main island. Whilst the majority of the music directors at Mdina were Maltese born, those based at St John’s were mostly Italian. Of the Maltese composers of sacred music examined in this study, artists such as Aloysio Mataron (b. c1610), and the brothers Giuseppe (b. 1616), and Domenico Balzano (b. 1632), are prominent. In the eighteenth century it became tradition to send Maltese born composers to Naples to study at the various Conservatoria, and three of them had significant musical careers not only in Italy, but also in the opera houses of
Vienna, London and Paris. Where Vella Bondin makes a significant contribution is in examining these individual composers. They are Giuseppe Arena, Girolamo Abos and Nicolò Isouard. Whilst performed around Naples, Arena (17071784) was the first to achieve some prominence outside of Malta. After his studies in Naples Arena was first appointed organist at the Church of St Philip Neri. In 1738 the first of his seven operas – Achille in Sciro was premiered in Rome at the Teatro delle Dame (or the Teatro Alibert), which at the time was under the management of the Grand Priory of Rome of the Knights of Malta. Like many other Maltese composers, the Order played a role in supporting their subsequent careers in other parts of Europe. Vella Bondin makes a good point in supplying the sources of these stage works, as well as their liturgical music. The second Maltese who made a significant contribution, albeit mainly in his homeland, was Don Michel’Angelo Vella (1710-1792). Vella was a superior composer, but on his return to Malta from studies in Naples in 1738, Vella was placed under the
musical strictures of the Bishop of Malta, Apheran de Bussan. This restrained the musical flamboyance that Vella could have exhibited in his music, but as the Bishop rigidly adhered to the new banning of excessive secularism in music performed in the Liturgy, then Vella obeyed. He spent his liturgical life at the Collegiate Church in Cospicua, and his ‘castrato’ organ, or rather organetto in the Oratory of the Church has recently been restored. In my opinion the finest of the eighteenth-century Maltese composers is Girolamo Abos (Valletta 1715-1760). Trained at the Conservatorio dei Poveri Gesù Cristo in Naples, Vella, despite being of a religious inclination, composed fourteen operas, and these were premiered in Rome and Naples, whilst being revived in Vienna, London and other places. He had a fine association with one of the greatest of castratos, Caffarello (Gaetano Majorano), and composed for him the opera seria Alessandro nell’ Indie and the major cantata L’arca del testamento atterra l’Idolo Dagone for Ancona in 1747. The virtuosic coloratura in the vocal writing in both of these majestic and dynamic works is extraordinary, and shows Abos to have been a master of writing both for the voice, but
also for the operatic orchestra. Abos’ final years were devoted to composing a striking and talented series of sacred works, and these are being increasingly performed. Abos had a remarkable career and his music is of brilliance - likened by one authority as ‘Vivaldi on steroids’. Vella Bondin closely examines two other liturgical composers. They are the Maltese based Benigno Zerafa (17261804) and Francesco Azopardi (1748-1809). A considerable amount of both Zerafa’s and Azopardi’s music survives in both the Mdina Cathedral Collection and the Wignacourt Museum, where it was lovingly collected by the outstanding Maltese scholar Mgr John Azzopardi. Malta owes Mgr Azzopardi the greatest debt in his having assembled and preserved Malta’s music and artistic inheritance. In this book the author gives particular prominence to the sacred music of Nicolò Isouard, the musician who is regarded as the country’s national composer. After studies in Naples, Isouard compiled a dossier of sacred music to submit to Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan, for consideration for his appointment as either organist or maestro di capella of St John’s, but he did not succeed to either position.
BOOKS Like his family, Jacobin by persuasion, Isouard collaborated with the French occupation authorities, and had to flee to France at the cessation of hostilities. But the career that he followed after his arrival in Paris in 1800 was quite an astounding one. Although none of his seven Maltese-period operas survive (and only sections of the two composed for Italy), Isouard further consolidated his position with Parisian audiences with a series of a further thirty-six works, many of them spectacular successes. Some of them remained in the
international repertoire, especially in France until the 1930’s. Isouard needs to be performed in his homeland Malta, where his significance and dramatic stage brilliance as a composer can be truly recognised. One of Vella Bondin’s real achievements is the clarity and analysis that he brings to the various families of composers who resided on Malta in the nineteenth century. These include the estimable Pietro Paolo Bugeja (1772-1828), and the dynasty of composers from the Nani family. Also those who followed them - Giuseppe Spiteri Fremond, Giuseppe Vella, Francesco Schira
(a Maltese who did considerable work in eastern Russia – in Odessa and elsewhere), and Paolino Vassallo. The composers of the last century, especially the fine Carmelo Pace (d.1933), who is accorded the prominence that he deserves. With their forebears, they all continued to compose in the fields of opera, secular music, but also sacred music, including sacred oratorios. In a few words, this is a magnificent contribution to the musical history and the artistic heritage of Malta, and the author, Vella Bondin deserves the finest of recognition for his
achievement. Similarly the APS Bank, its Directors and Chairman must share in this, for their unstinting and enlightened philanthropy and patronage of the Music and the Arts of Malta. Fittingly the book is dedicated to all Maltese Composers, past and present. As a book production it is of the highest quality and design, with numerous illustrations. It is to be recommended for all lovers and collectors of Melitensia, often volumes that generally come out of print early and increase in value – one only has to look at Stephen Spiteri’s recent study on the Great Siege.
An Eyewitness to the Order’s Victory Why settle for books written by academics and historians on the history of the Great Siege of Malta, when you can read an eyewitness account of the siege from the personal account kept by Francisco Balbi di Correggio, writes Frà Richard Divall AO OBE. The
Siege of Malta 1565
Francisco Balbi di Correggio
The Siege of Malta, 1565
by Francisco Balbi di Correggio (Translated from the Spanish edition of 1568 by Ernle Bradford) 224 pages, $22.34
n eyewitness account of one of the greatest-ever battles as a few men under the Knights of St John took on a huge Turkish armada. This is the history of one of the great battles of the world, written by a private soldier who was an eye-witness. The siege of Malta was a crucial moment in the long struggle between Islam and Christendom for domination of
the Mediterranean, fought out by unequal forces on the small island which commands the sea-routes at the centre of that sea. The Knights of St John were a survival from the medieval world, the largest of the surviving crusading orders, and they had been driven out of their base on Rhodes in the eastern Mediterranean after a great onslaught by the Turks in 1522. Now, forty-three years later, the Turkish ruler, Suleiman the Magnificent, who had been the victor at Rhodes, was determined to finish them off. He sent out a huge armada, carrying the pick of his army, under two commanders. Against this powerful force, the Knights could only raise a handful of men
and mercenaries, and had to depend on the fortifications they had raised in the thirty-five years since they first came to Malta, which bore no comparison to the massive walls and ditches on Rhodes. Francisco Balbi di Correggio was a humble soldier of fortune who enlisted under the charismatic command of the Grand Master of the Order, Jean de la Valette. The extraordinary drama that unfolded after the first appearance of the Turkish fleet in the summer of 1565 is told in his own words, giving equal credit to the courage and leadership of the Knights and the grim determination of the ordinary people of Malta.
MALTA: THE LAND OF HEROES Packed with history and culture, Scott Samson KMG and his wife Alisia Romanin discovered the beautiful Maltese islands and the key role they have played in Europe throughout the centuries.
ollectively, Malta and its sister islands, Gozo and Comino, are substantially smaller than Tasmania’s King Island. At 316 km² the islands are actually closer to being one third the size of King Island (1,098 km²). But as they say, size doesn’t matter and in Malta’s case, the islands’ size belies their history. Travel around Malta and its rich past becomes evident – traces of prehistoric man, Neolithic burial sites, Bronze Age dolmens and Roman villas. And Gozo has the oldest known free-standing temple in the world. Archaeological evidence points to the first humans settling in Malta between 5,500 and 4,500 BC, and there’s no shortage of ites to explore. The temples in Ggantija, for instance, are thought to be the world’s oldest free standing monuments and are so big that people later believed them to be the work of giants. They are now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, as is the Hypogeum in Paola, a huge subterranean complex within which excavations have uncovered bones, pottery and carved human figures. The years of Roman rule in Malta were stable and prosperous. Villas and temples have been found throughout the islands, including a house near the town of Rabat known as the Dormus Romana which features detailed mosaics. The era is also notable for the arrival of Christianity, with the Bible recording that the apostle Paul was shipwrecked on Malta and converted the Maltese to the new religion. The Feast of St Paul on 10 February is celebrated as a national public holiday and is marked throughout the islands by street
Mdina is one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture. Like Mdina, Rabat played a major role in Malta’s past and is a prime source of its cultural heritage. Rabat is a large provincial township that was originally part of the Roman city of Melita and archaeological sites dot the landscape. For many centuries religious orders have established themselves within the precincts of Rabat and Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinians still flourish here in their spacious convents and monasteries, catering for the religious needs of parishioners in their churches. In visiting Malta’s beautiful capital city, Valletta and the adjoining ‘Three Cities’ - Città
processions and a festival atmosphere. According to tradition, St Paul is said to have lived in Mdina after being shipwrecked and hid in a grotto known as Fuori le Mura, which is actually outside the city walls and located in the neighbouring town of Rabat. Lamp lit by night and referred to as ‘the silent city,’ Mdina is fascinating to visit for its timeless atmosphere as well as its cultural and religious treasures. Mdina has had different names and titles depending on its rulers and its role, but its medieval name describes it best - Città Notabile, the noble city. It was home then, as now, to Malta’s noble families; some are the descendants of the Norman, Sicilian and Spanish overlords who made Mdina their home form the 12th century onwards.
TIMELINE: 3,500-2,500 BC
The Maltese Islands went
St Paul was shipwrecked
The Order ruled over
Napoleon Bonaparte took
through a golden Neolithic
on the island while on his
period with construction of
way to Rome and brought
the islands and left an
Malta, bequeathed to them
over Malta from the Order
important mark on the
by Emperor Charles.
Christianity to Malta.
on his way to Egypt.
Malta joined the
Malta gained independence from
During WWII Malta’s position
During WWI Malta was known as
Britain and became a republic a
in the Mediterranean made it
the ‘Nurse of the Mediterranean’
a key stronghold.
as most British soldiers injured at Gallipoli were sent there.
TRAVEL Vittoriosa (Birgu), Senglea (Isla) and Città Cospicua (Bormla), another key part of the island’s history is revealed. The Three Cities offer an intriguing insight into Malta and its history. Left largely unvisited by most tourists, these cities are a slice of authentic life as well as a glimpse into Malta’s maritime fortunes. The Three Cities can rightly claim to be the cradle of Maltese history, as Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua have provided a home and fortress to almost every people who settled on the islands. Their harbour inlets have been used since Phoenician times. The docks have provided a living for locals, but also have also left the populace extremely vulnerable when Malta’s rulers were at war. As the first home to the Order, the Three Cities’ palaces, churches, forts and bastions are far older than Valletta’s. Valletta, on the other hand, was built after the Great Siege of 1565 by the Order first as a replacement for the defences destroyed by the Great Siege and later as a cosmopolitan city that attracted the world’s greatest artists and architects. Embellished at the height of the baroque period, it grew into an economic, political and cultural hub. Valletta was built by gentlemen for gentlemen – it was the original gentlemen’s club on a Nation-State scale. Wandering through their palaces, courtyards and gardens, you’ll certainly sense the Knights’ presence. In fact, all across the Maltese islands you’ll find more evidence of their military engineering and architectural feats: forts, bastions, watch towers, aqueducts, churches and cathedrals. Not to mention the rich patrimony they bequeathed the islands with works of art, furniture, silverware and sculpture. Less evident, but no less important is the place they gave the islands in the history of medicine. The Order’s Sacra Infermeria in Valletta was the foremost hospital of Europe in its day. Malta’s more recent history is also intriguing. During World War II, the island was a key strategic asset for the Allies to sustain their North African campaign, and which they could launch their eventual attack on mainland Italy. A bit earlier in the war, the islands were subject to severe bombardments. In view of this, the entire population of Malta was awarded the George Cross, Britain’s highest civilian honour for bravery. The end of the war saw the islands economically and physically devastated. It took several decades and further restructuring to rebuild the islands’ economy. Today, Malta is a blooming flower in the Mediterranean – a perfect blend of hospitality, history and heroes.
Malta’s Top Annual Events 29-30 April - Mdina Medieval Festival
Two days of re-enactment and pageantry that evoke Malta’s late medieval period (1200 - 1500 AD). Several re-enactment groups perform in various battle scenes and other actions in various points of the town.
21 September – Independence Day
Enjoy the festivities as Malta celebrates gaining political independence from Britain in 1964.
1-2 October – Birgufest
Lit by thousands of candles, the ancient city of Birgu (also known as Vittoriosa) comes alive with concerts, exhibitions and stalls offering delicious Maltese food.
8-9 October – Malta Military Tattoo
All ages will enjoy the pomp and ceremony of this military parade with its gathering of international bands.
SOVRANO MILITARE ORDINE DI MALTA
SOVRANO MILITARE ORDINE DI MALTA
SOVRANO MILITARE ORDINE DI MALTA
€ 5,40 Albrecht Durer: Adorazione dei Magi. Firenze, Gallerie degli Uffizi. ©2015. Image Credit – courtesy Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Florence.
ORDER OF MALTA AUSTRALIA
The Order’s website in Australia: www.orderofmalta.org.au The Order’s international website: www.orderofmalta.int The Malteser International website: www.malteser-international.org