It all began early in the 1970s. Lt. Col. Gayre of Gayre and Nigg, Laird of Lochore arrived in Malta from the U.K. to spread the noble and chivalric values of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem.
He first, successfully, formed the Jurisdiction of the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands and separately he created the Commandery of Lochore in Malta. This was an arm of his Commandery in Scotland.
Whilst still recruiting new Members for the Order, he purchased a derelict so-called ‘fortified farmhouse’, namely “Torri Lanzun” in Mensija (see Architectural Appraisal). Between 1972 and 1973, Lt. Col. Gayre painstakingly restored the derelict building bringing it back to its original state and further improving on it.
In May 1973, the Commandery of Lochore in Malta, as it was then called, officially became a Jurisdiction of the Military & Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem inaugurated by the then 47th Grand Master, H.E. Don Francisco Enrique de Borbon, Duke of Seville, at a ceremony held in the Courtyard of the renovated “Torri”. Initially, the Jurisdiction was known as the Commandery of Lochore, but later it became known as the Commandery of the Castello. Eventually as membership and charitable-giving increased the Jurisdiction was elevated to the level of Grand Commandery by the 49th Grand Master H.E. Don Carlos Gerada y Borbon, who became its first Grand Commander.
Before leaving Malta, Col. Gayre sold “Torri Lanzun “ to the newly-formed Jurisdiction. It is now solely owned by the Grand Commandery of the Castello, with the Order being the Beneficiary Owner. The Castello Lanzun is generally acknowledged by all Members of the Order as the historical Worldwide Headquarters of the Order.
The Grand Commandery is not a member of any national Jurisdiction, but is one of the Grand Master’s Grand Commanderies and as such is open to visits from the Order’s national Jurisdictions. It is Christian-ecumenical and has an international membership. The current Grand Master, H.E. Don Francisco de Borbon von Hardenberg is the 50th Grand Master.
In 2023, Castello Lanzun marks its 50 th anniversary of being the home of the Grand Commandery of the Castello.