This has been a busy weekend. I'd heard in the late summer that I had been promoted to the rank of Officer in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (read more at the Saint John website). The investiture was yesterday, and the snap above (grabbed by Millard Cook) is just after the Prior "pinned" me and I stepped aside, assisted by Confrère Barbara Hayward). The Order is all terribly British (revived by Victoria, now led by Elizabeth II, active in England primarily in support of St John's Ambulance). We sang God Save the Queen as part of the celebration, which took place at the recently refurbished Cathedral Church of St John the Divine (not the John of the order, who is the Baptist.) The American Priory, which is growing in numbers (and invested not a few new members, officers, commanders, knights and dames yesterday) has taken the St John's Eye Hospital in Jerusalem (and its branches in the area) under its wing as a particular project, which gives us a strong connection to the original foundation of the Hospitallers. (And, as Americans, we sang The Star Spangled Banner, too, as well as Jerusalem, My Happy Home).
The Englishy bits give me something to look forward to when I am next in London, as the St John's Museum in Clerkenwell (at the site of the medieval foundation, dissolved by that other English monarch Henry VIII) should be open once more after some additional recent renovations. Meanwhile, the events of the weekend surrounding St John's were a treat, and it was a delight to see old friends and meet a few new ones.
Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG