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Provincial Prior's Malta Address - October 2009

“One of the most heartening facts about our Province has always been the wholehearted generosity of its members. Our support for the Ophthalmic Hospital in Jerusalem over the years has been nothing short of magnificent.

In addition you have readily supported and are still supporting local charities and Craft and Mark Festivals.

But now I am going to appeal to your hearts (and wallets) still further. The Most Eminent & Supreme Grand Master has embarked upon a project to provide two pieces of medical equipment for a clinic at ANABTA for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy in the area of the North West Bank. This condition is the most common cause of blindness in working age populations across the globe and its spread has reached pandemic proportions.

The provision of these two pieces of equipment, which are A DIGITAL FUNDUS FLUORESCEIN ANGIOGRAPHY SYSTEM and an OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY SYSTEM , would help to alleviate blindness and impaired vision in those communities throughout the area concerned and to those who are prohibited from travelling to Jerusalem.

The total cost of this equipment is £115,000 and the Grand Master hopes to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to present them to the Hospital in 2011. The Appeal is to be called the ANABTA PROJECT.

A rough calculation has revealed that this sum equates to about £10 per member of the Order over two years. Now I am not asking you for this now. But I am asking you all to consider supporting this appeal in your own way. I appreciate times are hard, but please try.

Try to come up with some fund raising schemes that will produce contributions. You will remember that in my Priory address in July, I urged you to innovate and to sometimes try something different, although I suspect that more of you remembered the quote - that its was amateurs that built the Ark; Professionals built the Titanic. Someone out there in Team KT and now Team Malta will have a scheme in mind I have no doubt. We have already received almost £250 in direct donations and I would like today's alms collection to be donated to the appeal, so let us start it off with a bang.”