An initiative by the Western Cape Commandery in Cape Town at the southern tip of Africa has – during these ongoing, devastating Covid-19 times - greatly improved the visibility of our Order in many jurisdictions around the globe.

Using WHO specifications, striking masks bearing our green cross on the left cheek have been hand-crafted on order and dispatched to Commanderies in Canada, Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales, Germany, the Netherlands, Malta and elsewhere in Europe.

To date, a total of 730 masks have been produced, with more in the pipeline.

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Over many years the Queensland Commandery of the Order of St Lazarus has been a significant supporter of the work of the Mission for Seafarers at the Port of Brisbane. This support by Commandery Members, through hands-on volunteering there on Sundays plus ongoing financial support, has been a feature of Commandery activity.

With the onset of the world-wide Covid-19 pandemic this work has taken on a new and more urgent importance. The seafarers' plight has worsened over the first months of 2020 as their strict onboard isolation, poor communication opportunities and inability to travel home has exacerbated already strained working arrangements. There have been significant international efforts to address deficiencies in the seafarers working and travel conditions and the Commandery is glad to be associated with recent opportunities for relief and hope for those in need.

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Australian Capital Territory Commandery

The Australian Capital Territory Commandery has launched an online appeal to its loyal regular supporters for the L'Arche Foundation in lieu of the traditional dinner, which is usually held in late May. All Commandery charitable financial reserves have recently been expended in support of L’Arche. The nature of the lockdown has meant that Members have been incapable of getting out into the community to raise funds in the normal way. 

Elizabeth Scrivener OAM CLJ
President

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We are encouraged to note that despite the Grand Priory of Zimbabwe being woefully short of members through a significant number who were not being able to return to the country after an international lockdown, the remaining few have managed to hold ‘social distanced’ prayer meetings and also to distribute food parcels to elderly folk.

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In line with our centuries-old mandate as Hospitallers, the Western Cape Commandery has allocated significant funding and had a direct hands-on involvement (insofar as legislation allows) to provide desperately-needed humanitarian aid in the form of protective masks and food parcels to people made vulnerable to the pandemic or its devastating backlash on already impoverished communities.

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