In accordance with the rules of the Constitution, the Grand Magisterial Council Meeting called together by the Grand Chancellor takes place every second year. For 2007, the Grand Priory of Italy was chosen to prepare and organise the meeting. The venue for the event was the Palace Hotel, located at Viareggio, a traditional hotel well known for its comfort and meeting facilities. Viareggio was one of the first seaside resorts in Europe and is still enormously popular today, both with Italians and foreign visitors, particularly those in the yachting community. The coastal strip of Versilia (from Forte dei Marmi to the north and Torre del Lago Puccini in the south) has over twenty kilometres of beaches with countless ‘bagni' (bathing establishments), nature parks, pine woods, natural lakes and some splendid countryside.
The meeting was presided over by the President of the Supreme Council, H.E. Chevalier Vittorio Galoppini di Carpenedolo, GCLJ. The following Senior Grand Officers have participated in this international meeting: H.E. Chev. Dr. Friedrich Schuberth, GCLJ; H.E. Dame Helen Meli Attard, GCLJ, and H.E. Chev. Björn J. Pettersson, GCLJ. Also H.E. Dame Liliana Attard, GCLJ, widow of our late Grand Vicar Chev. Reginald Attard, has travelled to Italy.
Five countries have been represented by either the Heads of Jurisdiction, other representatives or members: Austria, Belgium, Italy, Malta, and Sweden. Other jurisdictions and individual members unable to attend because of different reasons have sent greetings.
From the United Grand Priories of the Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus its Master General, Fra John Baron von Hoff von Sydow, GCLJ, and other guests of honour as well as a large number of Italian members and guests attended the Investiture ceremony and the Gala Dinner.
Meetings of the Supreme Council took place on Friday and Saturday. Those not attending the meetings participated in the sightseeing programme. Friday morning they went to Lucca, a most wonderful small town; its famous walls enclose a place that can be wandered or pedalled with ease yet remains full of secrets. One of Italy's finest mediaeval treasures, the centre is relatively unspoilt and is sprinkled with palazzi, towers and almost countless splendid churches. The surrounding hills produce some excellent wines and arguably the finest olive oil anywhere. Same day later afternoon all participants went again to Lucca to participate in a ceremony of the House of Carpenedolo at the Church of St. Paolino.
Saturday morning most participants visited the famous city Pisa located near the mouth of the river Arno into the Ligurian Sea. Regardless of the cold weather they visited the Plazza del Miracoli and admired both the Cathedral and the landmark of this place, the world wide well-known “Leaning Tower”. We also learned that Pisa was the birth place of e.g. Galileo Galilei and Pope Eugenio III. Our guide told a lot about the great history of this place.
After a pleasant common lunch, all attending the Investiture departed at 3 p.m. by bus for the Church of St. Paulinus (Chiesa dei SS. Paolino e Donato) in Lucca. Once the guests were seated, the procession of members entered the church. The divine service (Roman-Catholic rite in Latin) was celebrated by H.E. Monsignor Ronald Philippe Bär, O.S.B., emerited bishop of Rotterdam and Netherland’s military ordinary, assisted by the Chaplain of the Grand Priory, Most Reverend Monsignor Giovanni Ferrando, SChLJ, and other priests. During the Investiture Ceremony the Grand Vicar a.i. admitted nine new Members from Belgium, Italy and Sweden, promoted three others, and a further two were awarded decorations of Merit.
Returned to Viareggio cocktails were served in the hotel’s representation rooms, the time being used both for conversations and photo opportunities. The Gala Dinner Dance which followed was well attended. During the excellent and typical Italian menu of six well-chosen courses, participants were presented with their diploma and the Commemorative Medal. H.E. Chev. Galoppini di Carpenedolo, GCLJ, also honoured a number of Members who have served the Order for 5, 15 or 25 years presenting them the diploma of the new established Long Service Decoration of the Order, and on behalf of the Grand Priory of Italy and together with H.E. Dame Lily Attard he presented the “Premio Reginald Attard 2007” to H.E. Chev. Dr. Friedrich Schuberth. The Grand Vicar a.i. as well as H.E. Dame Helen Meli Attard and Baron von Hoff addressed those present. Toasts have been proposed to the Order and to the Grand Priory of Italy. The last guests left the dining hall at 1 a.m. in the morning.
Commemorative Medal "Malta 2005"
On the occasion of the Grand Magisterial Council Meeting 2007 the Grand Priory of Italy, duly authorised and approved by the Grand Chancellor according to part 2, chapter 8, section 8a of the Constitution, Statutes and General Regulations, has issued a special Commemorative Medal. Each participant has received the decoration, miniature and certificate.
This Commemorative Medal has been issued as a white enamelled and golden edged medal.
Obverse: The green eight pointed cross badge of the Order circled by the inscription "MAGISTRAL MEETING 2007”
Reverse: The coloured arms (shield) of the Grand Priory of Italy, circled by the inscription "GRAN PRIORATO D’ITALIA - OSLJ".
The ribbon is white with green-white-red stripes (national colours of Italy) in the centre.
Last Updated 02 12 2007