Having only been elected and installed in Madrid as the 50th Grand Master of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem a few days previously it was a great privilege for the Grand Priory of Australia to welcome His Excellency Don Francisco de Borbon Graf von Hardenberg GLCJ (J) GClrLJ to the 2018 annual National Chapter, which was held in Perth, Western Australia between 10 and 13 May. 135 participants attended the National Chapter this year.

The new Grand Master attended the National Council meeting and was introduced to national office bearers and Commandery Presidents by the outgoing Grand Prior, HE the Chevalier Willoughby Bailey AO GCLJ GCrLJ CMLJ.

Don Francisco presided over the Investiture ceremony held on Saturday evening, 12 May at George’s Anglican Cathedral in Perth, where he knighted and advanced senior members. He installed and promoted the incoming Grand Prior, HE the Honourable Chevalier Gavin Fielding AM GCLJ CMLJ.

At the formal dinner afterwards, held at the Weld Club, the Grand Master told members how glad he was to be amongst us and to see the Australian Grand Priory in such good heart. Don Francisco announced further honours for senior Australian Grand Priory members including: - a KMLJ for the new Grand Prior, Chevalier Gavin Fielding; a DCLJ and SCrLJ for the Referendary, the Honourable Dame Margaret White AO DLJ CMLJ; and the GCMLJ and Grand Prior Emeritus for the outgoing Grand Prior, Chevalier Willoughby Bailey AO GCLJ CMLJ. The Grand Master has also appointed the new Grand Prior to the Grand Magistral Council and outgoing Grand Prior to the Grand Master’s Advisory Council. These appointments were warmly received by the gathering.

The presence of the new Grand Master and his ADC Don Sergio Fernandez de Cordova resonated with all members and guests but particularly with younger members. All Australian Grand Priory members wish our new Grand Master well in his great new endeavour as our leader.

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