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:
|Commander||Chev Alan Miller|
|Deputy Commander, Chancellor and Scrivener||Chev David Jaccarini|
|Hospitaller & Deputy Keeper of the Castello||Chev Paul Warren|
|Receiver General (Treasurer)||Confr George Saliba|
|Custodian of the Castello||Confr Keith Calleja|
|Marshal (Ceremonial)||Confr Terry Roberts|
|Deputy Marshal||Chev Simon Walker|
|Public Relations Officer/Outreach Officer||Confr Tony Zammit|
|Insignia Officer||Consr Rosienne Farrugia|
|Almoner||Chev Jeff Poulton|
|Keeper of the Torri and Privy Seal
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.
Notable senior members of the Grand Commandery are:
Chev Alan Miller KLJ BCrLJ - Commander 2023 to date
Having served as Chancellor for six years, Chev Alan Miller succeeded Chev Paul Warren as Commander of the Grand Commandery of the Castello, on 1st August 2023.
His six years as Chancellor were very intense but rewarding. Social events kept the GCC together. The main objectives were the financial donations to leper sufferers and people in need. Among the major achievements were donations of an ambulance to Women In Need in India and a housing block in Kagando, Uganda.
Chev Miller is grateful for Chev Warren's total support. It has been a learning experience all along. H.E.Gerry Maidens was also a pillar of support when required. The future beckons and the new Commander thanks the new Council Members for accepting their respective roles and for the excellent work they have been doing in the first few days. Thank you also to H.E. The Grandmaster, Don Francisco de Borbon Graf Von Hardenberg for approving the appointment.
Chev Paul Warren KCLJ SCrLJ - Commander 2020 - 2023
Paul Warren spent 25 years of his 45 years on the sea as Shipmaster holding ultimate command and responsibility for specialist merchant vessels mostly employed in the worldwide oil industry. After leaving overseas employment he ran a marine services and yacht brokerage company in Malta before retiring in 2011. He joined the Order in 2007 and became Hospitaller in 2011. In 2020 he became Jurisdiction Commander whilst retaining his Hospitaller responsibilities.
The Covid pandemic which took hold in 2020, his first year as Commander, meant that access to the Castello Lanzun, the home of the Grand Commandery and its fund raising events, had to be restricted severely. In response, the Commander with his Council developed a set of policies to ensure the Jurisdiction’s forward momentum during this testing period.
Charitable giving continued unabated. The Commander /Hospitaller’s hands-on knowledge of both charities has enabled the targeting of Members’ monies to best benefit Women In Need (India) and Kagando (Africa) during the pandemic. Emphasis was given to the provision of food parcels.
Paul oversaw the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Castello becoming the historical heqdquarters of the Order, including the launch of a flagship charity projects.
Paul stepped down as Commander in 2023 but retained his responsibilities as Hospitaller of the Grand Commandery of the Castello.
Chev Carmel Bonello KCLJ GCrLJ KMLJ - 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 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. As a long standing member, during which he sat on Council under four successive Commanders, he 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.
Colin, as he was known to everyone, passed away peacefully on the 26th September 2022 at Mater Dei Hospital. His interment took place at Ta’ Braxia Cemetry on Tuesday 4th October following a funeral attended by many of his friends all of whom are going to miss this quite wonderful man greatly.
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.