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Inauguration of the Otago Commandery
(June 6, 1998)

Inauguration Ceremony:

On 6th June 1998, the Grand Bailiff, Chancellor, and Council of the New Zealand Grand Baliwick approved the formation, in Otago, of a new Commandery. H.E. the 48th Grand Master approved and decreed that the first Commander would be Chevalier Brian Prescott Connor KLJ, SMLJ, OStJ, JP.

On the 22nd May 1999, a ceremony of the Order of Saint Lazarus was held in Saint Joseph's Cathedral in Dunedin for the purpose of commissioning the Otago Commandery, the admission of a postulant, and promotion of members.

The Grand Bailiff, Dame Gweneth Halford-Bell RRC, GCLJ, GCMLJ, BMLJ, and the Chancellor, Confrere James Gowans CLJ (of the Malta Obedience). He officiated before a large appreciative congregation and well-wishers.

As usual, the music was outstanding, thanks to the choir of Saint Joseph's Cathedral and its choirmaster, Mr. Michael McConnell, the organist. Mr. Kemp English, the soloist Mrs. Maureen Smith, and the fanfares by the Westpac Trust/Saint Kilda Brass. The procession was impressive, with 33 members of the Order (18 from Canterbury, 4 from Wellington, and one from Auckland) and with five guests from the Venerable Order of Saint John. The address, a historic overview of the Order and its activities. in New Zealand, was given by Brigadier the Chevalier Dr. Brian McMahon CBE, KStJ, KLJ. The postulant Mr. John R. Broughton ED, BSc, BDS, Dip Grad, JP was invested into the Order, the Reverend David Cooke was confirmed, in his rank of ChLJ, and Confrere Kevin Tansley was promoted to CLJ.

Following the ceremony, photographs were taken, for which Mr. Melvin Littlejohn is to be warmly thanked. A final expression of goodwill came in the form of a fine afternoon tea provided by the choristers.

Vigil Ceremony:

On the preceding Friday evening, there was a warm gathering in the Chapel of the Otago Hospital (Healthcare Otago). The service was conducted by our two Chaplains, the Reverend David Cooke and the Reverend Gavin Yates. The organist was Mr. Donald Moorhead.

First the new regalia was consecrated: two swords, green cushion, collection bags (donated by Brian and Margaret Connor), Processional Cross, altar candle, sword rest, and stand for flags (donated by Kevin and Ruth Tansley); New Zealand Ensign (donated by Robert de Joux, along with an index book for membership), a banner (donated by Jim and Maida McCready), Bible (donated by David Cooke), the shield of the Office and scroll of Kowhai Herald of Arms.

The postulant, Mr. John R. Broughton, ED, BSc, BDS, Dip Grad, JP was introduced and received the Vigil Candle. Supper followed.

The Order's Dinner:

The Dinner which was held at Wains Hotel in Dunedin city on Saturday evening was well attended by sixty-eight (68) members and guests. A southern flavour was added by the Haggis Ceremony, hilariously performed by Mr. Tom Cardy and piper Mr. Garry Gill, with assistants press-ganged on the spot (all of whom conducted themselves with great animation). The Grand Bailiff passed the greetings of the Grand Master, and spoke briefly of the Grand Council Meeting, which she had just attended in London, England.

The last matriculation of Arms, in the Green Book, was explained and the Certificate of this was presented to Confrere John Scott BEM.

Thanks to:

Many well-wishers contributed to the promising beginning of the Otago Commandery.

Finally the generosity and support of the Southern Commandery has enabled the Otago Commandery to commerce with freedom from immediate financial concerns.


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This page was last updated in March 23, 2004