The recent catastrophic flooding in West Germany affected various areas, causing widespread disruption and many deaths and injuries.

On Thursday July 15th, the Lazarus Haus Wuppertal was hit with full force by the storm. The Wupper overflowed its banks and flooded the cellars. The electricity in the house went out, the ground floor had to be cleared and preparations had to be made for another impending tidal wave. The fire brigade and the Technisches Hilfwerk (THW) helped with sandbags and emptied the cellar. The electricians went out of their way to restore power.

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Once again, the Western Cape Commandery of the Grand Bailiwick of South Africa used the symbolism of NELSON MANDELA DAY to show a different kind of caring.

The idea of Mandela International Day was inspired by Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008, when he said, "It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now." A unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly launched this event on his birthday on 18 July, 2009, to recognise Mandela’s ‘…values and his dedication to the service of humanity’ and acknowledged his contribution ‘….to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world’.

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At a National Investiture Service held recently, a special Grand Bailiwick Award for Courage was given to a youngster who selflessly risked his life to save people from drowning.

This is the first time that such recognition has been given by our Order in this country.

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At Easter, the members of the Grand Priory of Italy were mindful of the needy, the suffering and the little ones. The Dames and Knights of the Grand Priory distributed Easter doves to them as a sign of solidarity and friendship. The colomba di Pasqua, or “Easter dove” is recognised across Italy as a sign of spring and is Easter’s counterpart to the Christmastime panettone and pandoro.

The attached photos illustrate the donation made at the home for the relief of suffering located in S.Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia - Puglia). This important and advanced Hospital (health facility) was created and inaugurated in 1956 by Saint Pio of Petralcina, thanks above all to the contributions of the faithful.

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