About the British Columbia Commandery

Welcome to the British Columbia Commandery. The Commandery is part of the Grant Priory in Canada of The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem (OSLJ) or simply the "Order". The OSLJ is one of the orders of chivalry to survive the downfall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the attempts by the Crusader knights to win control of the Holy Land. In theory the Order remained a military one, but with the exception of a brief period in the 17th century it played no military role after 1291. The Order of Saint Lazarus is one of the most ancient of the European orders of chivalry. At the very least it dates back to the time of the Crusader knights. From its foundation in the 12th century, the members of the Order were dedicated to two ideals: aid to those suffering from the dreadful disease of leprosy and the defense of the Christian faith.

The British Columbia Commandery came into being in 1981. At that time a few members of the Paris Obedience, knew each other and kept in touch. They discovered that a member of the Malta Obedience had formed a small Commandery which was controlled from Edmonton. After some negotiation, a British Columbia Commandery was formed. During the years there has been a constant fluctuation in membership. Members have come and gone, and a few have remained for the long haul. There has been an Executive elected every year since the formation of the Commandery. After the Oxford Conference in 1986 the Canadian Grand Priory became part of the Paris Obedience. In the year of 2002 the members in British Columbia started to discuss the idea of transferring to the Malta Obedience since several of them had originally joined in that Obedience. After several general meetings it was decided that individual members would apply for membership. On 1 October 2002 the Grand Chancellor H.E. Chev. Reginald Attard, GCLJ. created the Bailiwick of British Columbia and the transfer of allegiance became effective. The Bailiwick was granted a Certificate of Incorporation under the Society Act of British Columbia on 26 November 2002.