The Grand Commandery of the Castello is an ecumenical Christian jurisdiction of the Order of St Lazarus in Malta which has more than 80 members and is administratively managed by a Council of Officers. Council meets once per month and discuss the business of the Grand Commandery and its present and future charitable donations to those in need worldwide. Its primary focus is on alleviating the suffering from the scourge of Leprosy, but other worthwhile causes are also considered.
The Crest above incorporates, in the top left quadrant, the Armorial Bearings of the Grand Commandery of the Castello.
The Council Officers of the Grand Commandery are:
|The Commander and Hospitaller||Chev Paul Warren|
|Deputy Commander & Chancellor (Events)||Confr Alan Miller|
|Receiver General (Treasurer)||Chev Vincent Bonello|
|Custodian of the Castello & Marshal (Ceremonial)||Confr Lino Camilleri|
|Almoner||Confr Terry Roberts|
|Deputy Marshal (Ceremonial)||Chev Simon Walker|
|Insignia Officer||Confr David Roberts|
|Scrivener (Secretary)||Confr David Jaccarini|
|Public Relations (Former Commander)||Chev Carmel Bonello|
|Keeper of the Torri and Privy Seal
Honorary Member of Council & Member of the Grand Magisterial Council
|H.E. Chev Gerry Maidens|
Raising money for philanthropic donations and also to manage the upkeep of the content and fabric of the Castello is an ongoing task spearheaded by the Commander and Chancellor of the Grand Commandery. From past experience, a very successful way of raising funds for charity is to run a programme of social events throughout the year. These events range from formal dinners, fun barbeques, buffet receptions, talks and presentations, wine tasting evenings and music recitals, all held in the beautiful surroundings of the Castello courtyard or in the Knight's Hall. The cost of each of these functions always has a percentage added which goes directly into the philanthropic fund. When a donation is allocated to a worthwhile charity, every effort is made to ensure that every single penny or cent goes directly to the cause concerned, without the huge administrative costs as is often the case with many other well known charitable organisations.
Other notable senior members of the Grand Commandery are:
His Excellency the Chev Gerry Maidens - Commander 2011-2015
During this period, the Grand Commandery has forged ahead both in its membership numbers, which are at their highest ever, but more importantly in its philanthropic activities.
An ambulance was donated to our favoured cause in India namely Women In Need (WIN) and a number of small houses were built in Amblo, Ethiopia, in which lepers are offering decent housing. “We are totally committed to helping those people who through no fault of their own have been inflicted with either a virus or disease which alters the whole course of their lives. They become outcasts in society and what can generally be only described as a ‘life in hell’. This is certainly true of many of the Third World countries and certainly those people suffering from leprosy which, despite being curable if caught in its early stages, unfortunately still carries the horrible stigma of the ‘Untouchables’.” As from August 2015, he holds the title of 'Keeper of the Castello and Privy Seal' of the Order. He is a member of the Grand Master's Grand Magisterial Council.
His Excellency the Reverend Colin Westmarland MBE EGCLJ GCrLJ
In the late 1970’s, our Emeritus Chaplain was invited to become a Chaplain of the Order of St Lazarus specifically within the then Commandery of Lochore. Now, as a long standing member, during which he sat on Council under four successive Commanders, he has witnessed the evolving development and story of the Grand Commandery of the Castello with our deep commitment and resolve to assist the poor and the sick and needy. It was Fr Colin who brought Women in Need (India) to the attention of the Commandery and began what has been a long and fruitful association.
Chev Carmel Bonello KCLJ GCrLJ KMLJ Jurisdiction Commander – 2015 - 2020
Chev Carmel Bonello became Commander on the 1 st August 2015 having joined the Order in 1999. During his time as Commander Carmel was responsible for creating a new Statute and gaining recognition as an NGO (V/1558). He inspired crowd-funding initiatives to raise thousands of euros in short spans of time to purchase the iBreast device (2018) and the Ambulance (2020 for Women In Need (W.I.N.) in India. The Kagando (Uganda) mission continued to be supported with the sponsoring of the construction of a new much-needed building for male and female nurses, adjacent to Kagando Hospital.
In 2017 he launched the ‘Friends of the Grand Commandery of the Castello’’. Then in October 2018, the newly appointed 50th Grand Master H.E. Don Francisco de Borbon von Hardenberg, paid his first visit to Malta, during which he was installed as Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of the Castello in a solemn ceremony at the Chapel of Castello Lanzun. A planned restoration programme was embarked upon. Chev Carmel opened a court case to reclaim the land next to Castello Lanzun which property belongs to the Grand Commandery. The case was won in 2019. Having passed the baton to Chev Paul Warren in 2020, he rejoined Council in January 2021 as Former Commander and Public Relations Officer. In that position he continues to raise public awareness of the GCC. For his service to the Order, H.E. the Grand Master Don Francisco de Borbon von Hardenberg bestowed upon him the Gold Cross of Merit.
His Excellency the Chev Geoff Fosberry GClrLJ GCLJ GCMLJ GCrLJ MSDLJ - Commander 2004-2011
Commander of the Grand Commandery for seven years, H.E. Cdr the Chev Geoff Fosberry handed over the reigns of the Grand Commandery to Chev Gerry Maidens in June 2011. For several years he was in the forefront of the Order’s affairs. He held the title 'Grand Chancellor Emeritus' of the Order and was formerly the 'Keeper of the Castello and Privy Seal'. We are honoured that Chev Geoff Fosberry was a member of the Grand Commandery of the Castello, where his experience and advice were of great benefit.
H.E. Geoff Fosberry passed away peacefully after a short illness on 30th April 2021 at the age of 92.