Governing Council: Commanders

A Commandery is a regional sub-unit of the Grand Priory in Canada, established under the auspices of the Grand Priory in Canada. A Commandery is an organization of no less than 10 members. The Commander is an elected officer of a Commandery. This individual will hold office for a term of one (1) year and is determined at the Commandery's own Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The following are members of the Order of Saint Lazarus, Grand Priory in Canada, currently serving as Commanders / Heads of their respective Commanderies:

Acadia Commandery Chev. David M. Cvet, KLJ(J), FRHSC (Hon)


David, originally from Welland, ON, is a graduate of the University of Toronto with majors in biology and computer science. He began his work career conducting six years of diabetes research at the Banting and Best Institute, which spurred further interest in computing. He then pursued a career in technology spanning 25 years developing expertise from IBM mainframes, supercomputers to archtecting advanced network computing environments. David's interest in history was a catalsyt in the founding of the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts in Toronto in 1998, which now has schools in Guelph, Stratford, Digby and Halifax. This interest expanded to include heraldy and after becoming a member of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, he later became its 23rd President. He is an Honorary Fellow of that Society, awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and is a recipient of a grant of arms in 2004 from the Canadian Heraldic Authority, Ottawa.
Arctic Commandery: Mr. Michael Kalnay, CLJ, OMLJ


Michael has recently retired after 25 years as a senior manager with the Government of the Northwest Territories. He most recently served as the Director of the Program Review Office where he worked on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government program and services. He previously served as Director of Pipeline Readiness, Community Governance, Strategic Change, Land Claims and Self Government Negotiations, and as Advisor to Cabinet. Michael received the Premier’s Award for Excellence in Public Service in 2009 for his role in the negotiation of the Tlicho Land Claim and Self-Government Agreement. He is presently working on a number of alternative energy projects, and is engaged in the development of a new enterprise, Arctic Sustainable Harvesting, with a view to establishing local food sources that will provide employment, import substitution, tourism and export opportunities. Michael is a member of the Northern Lights Council of Scouts Canada, the True North Rotary Club,, and actively involved in several other community groups. He has received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Scouts Centennial Medal, and the NWT Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of his voluntary activities. Michael served as Vice Commander northwest Territories for the previous three years. He also serves as Scrivener of the Grand Priory in Canada, and has attended every Chapter General since joining the Order.
British Columbia Commandery: Chev. John W Neill, KLJ, MMLJ, MPhil, MRTPI, FRHSC(Hon)


Originally from Dublin, Ireland, John joined the Order in 2006 on the invitation of the late Graham Anderson KCLJ GOMLJ, then Vice-Bailiff for British Columbia and Cowichan Herald at the Canadian Heraldic Authority, after moving to British Columbia the previous year. At the time, the then Grand Bailiwick of BC was primarily involved with raising money for palliative care initiatives at hospitals in Saanich and Duncan, on Vancouver Island. A chartered town planner by occupation and a herald of arms by inclination, John served as the Grand Bailiwick’s Judge d’Arms after the demise of Chev. Anderson and, subsequent to British Columbia’s readmittance to the Grand Priory of Canada, holds the position of Vice-Commander for Vancouver Island and serves as the Grand Priory’s Deputy Principal Armorist.

John’s other interests include the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, where he served as the BC/Yukon Branch President for six years and currently edits the Society’s newsletter Gonfanon as well as the Branch newsletter The Blazon. He is honorary Shenachie to the Fort Victoria Garrison, 78th Fraser Highlanders; a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, to whose Journal he has contributed on heraldic matters. For his services to heraldry at the Provincial level, John was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and was elected an honorary Fellow of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada in 2017.
Calgary Commandery: LCol (Ret'd) Richard Goebel CD, KLJ, OMLJ


Richard Goebel was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario and studied at Wilfrid Laurier University in next-door Waterloo, Ontario. He began his working life in corporate sales with BFGoodrich in Kitchener and transferred with that company to Calgary, Alberta. He later changed careers to the travel industry where, after concentrating on the technical and financial side of the business, he eventually retired as a partner in the largest privately-owned travel agency in Alberta. In parallel to his civilian career, he served thirty-one years in Canada’s Army Reserve as an Infantryman and an Infantry Officer including one year of peacekeeping in former Yugoslavia. His final job in the military was as Commanding Officer of The Calgary Highlanders where he hopes he helped to foster the culture of service that resulted in the unit sending more than twice as many volunteer soldiers to Afghanistan as any other reserve unit in the Canadian Forces. He has worked with a variety of charitable and non-profit organizations primarily related to the military and the church.
Edmonton Commandery: Chev. A.E. (Tony) Ratcliffe, M.Ed., KLJ, OMLJ


Tony joined the Order of St. Lazarus in 1982. He became Commander of the Edmonton Commandery in March 2020. Tony owns and operates an investigation agency focusing on professional standards complaint investigations. His academic credentials have evolved around distance learning, receiving a Bachelor of Administration, Advanced Graduate Diploma in Distance Education Technologies, and a Master of Education in Distance Education from Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University.
Manitoba Delegation: Cdr. Dennis Richard A. Schultz, CLJ


No biography available.
Montréal Commandery: M. Marc-Philippe Vincent, OMLJ


Marc-Philippe Vincent is an elementary school principal in Montréal. Born in Montreal, he did his theological and pedagogical studies at Université de Montréal where he got his M.A. He also completed a diploma in school administration. Ordained a deacon and then a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada, he has served as a non-stipendiary priest in the diocese of Montréal in various communities and parishes. Member of the Order of St Lazarus since 2008, he has served on the Montreal Commandery’s Executive as Hospitaller and Director of Communications. He has also helped in the translation and adaptation from English into French of liturgical material for the Grand Priory. He was elected Commander of Montreal in June 2016.
Newfoundland & Labrador Commandery: Chev. Lewis W. Stoyles, KLJ


Lewis is a Certified Management Consultant with 40 years of experience building strong business relationships throughout Newfoundland & Labrador. He is also active in the community including past Chairman of the Humanitarian Awards Committee, Canadian Red Cross - NL Division, and was recently inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Volunteer Hall of Fame.
Ottawa Commandery: Col (Ret'd) Ronald A. Davidson, CD, CLJ, MMLJ, MD


Dr. Davidson received a BSc degree at the University of Guelph in 1973 and a MD degree at McMaster University in 1980. He came to duty with the Canadian Forces Medical Services in 1981 and served for over 28 years in increasingly responsible clinical, research, teaching, operational, managerial, and command roles in both the air and maritime environments. In 1985, he received a MPH degree at the University of Texas with special interest in malariology and leprosy and then completed a residency program in Aerospace Medicine with the United States Air Force in San Antonio. His last military assignment was as Medical Advisor to the Chief of the Air Staff and Aviation Medical Advisor to the Minister of National Defence. After retirement, Dr. Davidson joined his federal Member of Parliament as a Policy Advisor for two years before founding his own occupational medicine consulting company. He describes his attraction for the Order of St. Lazarus as a logical step in a long process; an opportunity to leverage his military medical experience, his interest in leprosy and tropical diseases, and his desire to serve the disadvantaged in our society. Dr. Davidson is married to Janet Davidson and has five wonderful children.
Québec Commandery: Chev. Maj (Ret'd) E. Alexander Cooper CD, KCLJ, MMLJ, MD, CCFP


Alec joined our Order of St Lazarus in 1995.  In 1998 he became the Grand Priory’s first official webmaster. From 2006 until 2015 he served on the international grand council Public Relations Commission until stepping down as webmaster.  Originally from Victoria, BC he is a UBC graduate in medicine with undergrad degrees in French and Psychology. He served nearly two decades as a Canadian Forces Medical officer at bases across Canada, and on active duty in Bosnia and Afghanistan. He met his wife Sylvie while stationed with 5 Field Ambulance outside Quebec City.  Retired from 25 years of Emergency Medicine in Ontario and Quebec, his community service includes a term as Vice President of the English community group Voice of English Quebec with six years of service as board member on the Jeffery Hale Hospital and Hospital Foundation boards, as Board Secretary and technology advisor to the Association des Médecins Omnipraticiens de Québec and delegate to the Fédération des Médecins omnipraticiens du Québec in Montreal.  Alec now divides his time between family practice and professorial work at Laval University with his wife.
Thunder Bay Commandery: HCol. P. Edward Meijer, CHA, MIH, MStJ, KLJ, MMLJ


Edward is a graduate of the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, a member of the Institute of Hospitality (UK), and a Certified Hotel Administrator (North America). He has been employed in various capacities in the Hospitality Industry and has held hotel management positions throughout Europe and North America, including Toronto, Ontario (Hyatt Regency/Four Seasons, Hotel Plaza II), as well as with the Valhalla Inn in Toronto, Kitchener, and Thunder Bay. Edward has been an active member of a number of tourism marketing organizations including the Tourism Thunder Bay Advisory Committee and the Northern Ontario Tourism Marketing Association. Edward is Honorary Colonel of the 18Fd Ambulance (Thunder Bay) and the Manitoba & NW Ontario Regional Director of the CFLC (Canadian Forces Liaison Council). He is currently on the Board of the NWO St. John's Ambulance (6 years) and has served as Treasurer for the past five years.
Toronto Commandery: Richard J. Firth, OLJ, OMLJ


Rick Firth is President and CEO of Hospice Palliative Care Ontario. Rick came to hospice care in 1991 as a board member and then joined the staff team in 1997. Rick is the immediate Past-President of The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association where he serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, and chairs both the Organizational Development and Membership Committees. Rick is a member of Executive for the Ontario Palliative Care Network, the government’s principal advisor for palliative care planning in Ontario. He is a past-president of the Rotary Club of Markham Sunrise and a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. Rick received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 in recognition of his contribution to palliative care in Canada. In 2017, Rick received the Ontario Medical Association’s Centennial Award in recognition of outstanding achievements in serving the health and welfare of the people of Ontario. Rick joined the Order of Saint Lazarus in 2013.
Western Ontario Commandery: Chev. Scott A. Saunders KCLJ


Scott is a passionate about family, church, career and the Order of St. Lazarus. Introduced to the Order in the 1990’s by the then Chaplain General and other members, predominantly through the Anglican Church, Scott was admitted as an Officer in 1997. Recognized for his energy he was drawn to serve the Marshall’s Corp from 1998 – 2014; served as Chair of the Ecumenical Commission 2013 – 2017; elected Vice Commander of Western Ontario 2017 and Commander in 2019. A member of the Order of Huron, Scott’s passion for the Anglican Church is demonstrated by his appointment to Diocesan Council & Executive, the Episcopal Election Committee, a Synod Representative, Paymaster and Member of Council for the Regional Ministry of Saugeen Shores, Tara and Chatsworth as well as Head of the Altar Guild in his home Parish of St. Paul’s. A self-motivated individual Scott had a fast tracked career with Canadian Tire store management from 1987 – 2001 and then began a successful real estate career in 2002. Scott is married to his wife Trish and is step-father to Elyse and devoted uncle to Serenity and Andre.