Nearly 1,000-year-old order donates to Bahamas Feeding Network
With nearly 1,000 years of service to the sick and poor around the world, the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller (Malta) through the Commandery of the West Indies made a donation to the Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) during an investiture of new members recently held in The Bahamas.
Founded in 1099 by Gerard Thom or Blessed Gerard, the religious order, the third oldest in the world and dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was built on the foundation of defending and providing aid to humanitarian, social and medical causes globally.
Newly-appointed Commander of Grace, Chevalier Owen Bethel, CGSJ shared, “During every period in which an investiture is held in a given country, the membership of the Order of St. John actually goes one step further and makes a donation to an organization which they deem to be worthy of either helping the poor or the sick. This year the Bahamas Feeding Network was the organization chosen to receive the $10,000 donation.”
The regional order consists of 45 members while the worldwide order is made up of 900 knights, dames and chaplains.
On hand to accept the donation were BFN Chairman Felix Stubbs – who was there in a dual capacity as he is also a member of the Order of St. John – and BFN Executive Director Philip Smith.
“To be recognized by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, an organization that literally has hundreds of years’ experience in being a source of comfort and a well of resources for the shut-in, sick and hungry amongst us, reinforces the work we undertake on a daily basis at the network,” said Smith. “We aspire to be like our brothers and sisters in the order for many years to come. Additionally, the funds will assist us in continuing our feeding program that provides nearly 3,200 weekly hot meals to the local communities through distribution by our members consisting of approximately 120 churches, feeding centers and soup kitchens.”
Bethel added, “We are very much active and involved with what we see happening into the future in the development of the BFN and its role in The Bahamas of helping the sick and the poor.”
Founded in 2013 as the brainchild of Frank J. Crothers, ambassador of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta, the Bahamas Feeding Network’s directors are among the leading civic and business persons in The Bahamas. The non-profit organization has distributed more than $450,000 in food vouchers over the last four years to its members, in addition to the hot meals it distributes weekly.