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Chev Carmel Bonello
Jurisdiction Commander  2015 - 2020

Chev Carmel Bonello followed a long career in public relations at BPC International, handling numerous campaigns and projects for leading Maltese and international clients. He was instrumental in the setting up of the Institute of Maltese Journalists in 1989, served on its Council for 17 years when, among others,he coordinated the first 16 editions of the Malta Journalism Awards.Furthermore, in 1994, he successfully lobbied Parliament to introduce, among others, the principle of confidentiality of the source for journalists in Maltese law.

He joined the Order in 1999, was appointed on Council in 2008, first as Information Officer, then as Deputy Commander in 2014 and finally as Commander on 1 st August 2015. Together with his Council Officers, he continued to build on the solid foundations established by former Commanders. During his term as Commander, the GCC Council created a new statute, the Grand Commandery was officially registered as an NGO (VO/1558), and the 45 th anniversary of Castello Lanzun as the Home of the Grand Commandery of the Castello was duly celebrated with a special event in 2018. The Jurisdiction’s calendar of events, coordinated with successive Chancellors, namely Confrere Alex Azzopardi and Confrere Alan Miller, made the Grand Commandery one of the most active jurisdictions in terms of social events, and more importantly in fund-raising for our select Charities.

The crowd-funding initiatives to raise thousands of euros in short spans of time to purchase the iBreast device (2018) and the Ambulance (2020), both for Women In Need (W.I.N.) in India, stand out as testimonies to the mission and results obtained by the Grand Commandery’s membership. The Kagando 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 2016, a sub-committee of female members designed and developed the Grand Commandery’s branded scarf to match the GCC ties worn by male members.

In October 2018, the newly appointed 50 th 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,and later presided over a Joint Investiture Ceremony organised jointly by the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands and the Grand Commandery of the Castello at St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral in Valletta..

Three annual spiritual services, namely the participation in the Malta Ecumenical Service every January, the Lenten Devotion and the Advent Reflection, were introduced, while record attendances were registered for Christmas Eve Holy Mass in the Castello Chapel.

Unique cultural events included a recital at the Castello as part of the national festivities celebrating Valletta as the European Capital of Culture (2018) and the new Castello Lanzun Lecture Series delivered by various academics.

Assisted by respective Custodians, namely Chev Jeff Poulton, Chev Anton Valentino and Confrere Lino Camilleri,he endeavoured to maintain the 18 th century Castello Lanzun in the best condition possible through ongoing maintenance. A planned restoration programme was embarked upon which included the Entrance Hall (2016), the Kitchen (2017), the Restroom facility (2018), the Knights Hall (2019) and the Council Chamber (2020) on the first floor.

In 2017, 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 and now Council is waiting for the go-ahead from the Planning Authority to build a suitable boundary wall designed by our Architectural Consultant Perit Chev Anton Valentino for this piece of land called Giardinetta. Since 2008, he increasingly raised the media profile of the Grand Commandery and, not least, through the ongoing Hospitaller work carried out by the current Commander Paul Warren in India and Uganda.

In the latter part of his tenure, Chev Carmel also assisted the Mensija core group in their dispute against the approval by the Planning Authority of the monstrous development that was being planned for the same street as Castello Lanzun. That application was refused by the Planning Authority (PA) in December 2019.

While attracting several new Members to the Order, in 2017, following on the advice of H.E. Gerry Maidens, Carmel launched the “Friends of the Grand Commandery of the Castello” consisting of persons who, although not Members of the Order, support the ideals and aims of the Order.

Together with his Council Officers, he endeavoured to further develop this unique ecumenical and international jurisdiction in Malta to ensure that the Grand Commandery is well positioned to thrive for the long-term.

In August 2020, he passed the Commander’s baton to Chev Paul Warren who during recent years served as Hospitaller. As from 1 st January 2021, Chev Carmel rejoined Council as Former Commander and Public Relations Officer. For his service to the Order, H.E. the Grand Master Don Francisco de Borbon von Hardenberg bestowed upon Chev Carmel Bonello the Gold Cross of Merit.