Governor-General, Dame Sandra Mason, received yet another honour as she was presented with the Order of St. John in a short ceremony this afternoon at Government House.
The Order of St. John, formally known as The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, is a British royal order of chivalry first constituted in 1888 by royal charter from Queen Victoria. The order is found throughout the British Commonwealth, Hong Kong, the Republic of Ireland and the United States of America, and is best known through its service organisations, including the St. John Ambulance Brigade and the St. John Eye Hospital Group.
Lord Prior of the Order Sir Malcolm Ross who presented Dame Sandra with the insignia associated with the organisation said, “It is a privilege to be in Barbados to present the honour on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and I found your Governor-General very gracious and very kind.”
Given her status as a Dame, Sir Malcolm added, “This is the second highest position within the order. Other Barbadians have held the post of patron before her, and the insignia goes with the appointment, which changes either after a length of time or because of death.”
The Lord Prior added that the St. John Ambulance Brigade had just concluded a two-day conference for the Americas region in Barbados, which included representatives from the Commonwealth Caribbean along with the USA and Canada. “I came to find out what was happening with our sister organisations in the region, to determine how we in the International Office in London can help them, and encourage them to help each other. These islands are not far apart, but they are all independent as far as St. John is concerned, so if we find one can help another, we can facilitate that,” he concluded.