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Knights of St. John of Jerusalem to Hold Investiture on St. Croix

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Jan. 14, 2005 – The Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, this weekend will invest 12 prominent men and women from the United States and throughout the West Indies into the order's Commandery of the West Indies.
The solemn ceremony will be held, on Sunday, January 16 at 5:00 p.m. in historic St. John's Episcopal Church on King St. The Chev. Rev. Wilbert Daniel, KSJ, rector of St. John's, H.Em. Bailiff Grand Master Robert G. Brodie, GCSJ, CMSJ of Barbados and Chev. Fr. Thomas F. Dowling, KGSJ of San Francisco, will officiate.
The Commandery of the West Indies was established here and held its first investiture here January 2004. Dame Dawn E. Prosser, DSJ of St. Croix, is the vice commander of the Commandery of the West Indies. H.E. Prior Bailiff Joyce Piersanti, DCJSJ, West Palm Beach, Florida, is its commander and also prior for the commanderies of the Eastern United States.
The Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, is among the oldest order of chivalry still in existence, the third oldest religious order in Christendom and is directly descended from the Crusades in the 11th Century.
Among those who will be knighted as dames and chevaliers for their service to faith and humanity will be seven residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Those who will be invested are:
Virginia Angus, St. Croix, vice president and corporate secretary for St. Croix Marine Corporation and Island Marine Outfitters. She has been active in fund raising for several civic and service organizations. She and her husband, Laurence M. Angus, have lived in the Virgin Islands for 38 years.
Clive Banfield, St. Thomas, former executive for Delta Airlines with nearly 50 years of senior management experience with airlines in the Caribbean and chairman of the Airline Reporting Services Corporation. He is active in numerous civic, professional and community organizations in the Virgin Islands.
Hon. Sam Terrence Condor, St. Kitts, an economist and Minister of Education, Youth, Social Community and Gender Affairs for the government of St. Kitts. He is the former chairman of Bradshaw Youth and Community Centre.
Christopher E. Finch, St. Croix, who has been executive director of Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands since 1992. He supervises a staff of 140 and budget of $5 million and first joined the organization in 1982. Born in New York, he came to St. Croix in 1978 as a social worker for the Virgin Islands Department of Social Welfare.
Canon David Silva Howell of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, since 1995 the rector of St. John's Episcopal Cathedral in San Juan. His grandparents moved from the Azores to California where he was born and raised. He became involved in church activities as a youth and following an assignment in Panama fell in love with the Caribbean. He has touched many lives through coffee house ministries, hospital visits and the ministry to seafarers with the International Seafarers Center.
Duncan L. Hurd formerly of St. Croix and now Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, an executive in international education. He was raised in St. Croix where his family moved when he was five years old. He is a doctoral candidate in educational leadership at Florida Atlantic University where he is responsible for the 2006 conference of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement.
Floyd J. Malveaux, M.D. and Ph.D., Washington, D.C., physician and dean of the College of Medicine at Howard University. He served as an assistant professor at Howard, four years at the Washington, D.C. Public School System and at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center before returning to Howard in 1994 as chair of the department of microbiology. The following year he was named dean.
Michael P. Potts, M.D., St. Croix, who has been chief of cardiology at Gov. Jean Luis Hospital in St. Croix since 1991. He has been active in numerous community activities and organizations and in 2002 was named the ""Person of the Year"" by the Mid Isle Rotary of St. Croix.
Rev. C. Warren Smith, M.D. St. Thomas, physician and Episcopal priest. He began his distinguished medical career in 1944 in the Virgin Islands and for 25 years was chief of pediatrics at Knud Hansen Hospital. He was director of public health for the Virgin Islands, served as a physician for the U.S. Olympic team and became a priest in 1971 after attending the El Seminaro Episcopal de Caribe.
Hon. Charles W. Turnbull, Ph.D., governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1998 and is now in his second four-year term. He also is a professor emeritus of history at the University of the Virgin Islands. He has served on numerous of boards and advisory committees and received scores of awards and citations for leadership and service.
Oswald G. Warner, M.D., Potomac, Maryland, M.D., was born in Jamaica and is a medical physician and surgeon specializing in cardiovascular diseases at the Howard University Medical Center.
Sonia Moore-Williams, St. Croix, a volunteer child advocate. Born in Guyana, she is married to Laurie L. Williams. Since 2000 she has been a full time parent/volunteer child advocate for CASA, the Home Association, the Parent Council Association and the Cub Scouts of St. Croix.
According to historians, in 1661, Governor De Poincy of St. Kitts, bought St. Croix as his private estate. He later deeded it to the Knights of Malta, a group then known as the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
The knights, who came to the Caribbean from Malta, sold the islands to the French West Indian in 1665. In 1772, the French Government sold St. Croix to the Danish West India and Guinea Co. for approximately $150,000. Denmark sold the Virgin Islands to the United States in 1917 for $25 million.
The knights of St. John are renowned for their heroism and valor during the great siege of Malta in 1535 when less than 700 knights, with the help of 8,000 peasants and farmers, fought back and defeated more than 38,000 Turks who arrived on 138 ships.
The international headquarters of the Sovereign Order of St. John is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Grand Priories are in Europe, and the Americas. The Commandery of the West Indies is headquartered in St. Croix.
The members of the Order are known for their charity. The Commandery of the West Indies has provided support to build a fresh water well in a village in Haiti and fund efforts to stop child slavery in Haiti. The commandery also has provided funding for the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands and CASA.
The Commandery of the Palm Beaches (Florida) this last year was responsible for raising $2 million for the Children's Home Society facility in West Palm Beach, which now bears its name. It also provided funds to construct and furnish permanent housing for 12 families in Nicaragua.
The Commanderies of New York, Cleveland, Nicaragua, Washington, D.C., West Indies and the Military Commandery of the Order of St. John also support local programs to care for the sick and poor. The Commandery of Nicaragua is providing 250 electric hospital beds and other needed medical supplies for Nicaragua. The Military Hospitaller Commandery of the Eastern United States of America supports effort for our troops in the military service deployed throughout the world.
The San Francisco Bay Area commanderies in California established and now support a cancer care facility for children. The Vancouver and Victoria Commanderies in Canada support the Palliative Care, Hospice and In-Home Care in British Columbia. Their book ""A Caring Community"" is used in every hospital in Canada, and was just accepted by the World Health Organization.
In Europe, members work with and support Countess Mountbatten in her hospice work, and in the past three years have donated hundreds of thousands of dollar
s to children's hospitals.
An effort of four commanderies has just been completed that will deliver 80,000 liters of pediatric electrolyte solution for the relief effort in Southeast Asia. This is a $375,000 donation from the Priory of the Eastern United States of America.

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