Past Commanders of the Acadia Commandery

Dame Dennice M. Leahey, CM, DCLJ (2006 - 2019)

Dennice was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, received her BA from Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia and studied at various institutions including Harvard. She started in banking, working for two banks before joining RBC Financial Group. From a junior clerk, she rose through Human Resources, Corporate Banking and Independent Business to be Regional President of Manitoba, Nunavut and North-western Ontario, retiring as Senior Vice President and Ombudsman for the organization's employees and customers world-wide. Volunteering throughout her career, she sat on Hospital, University, College, Aboriginal, Government, Cultural Institution and Community Boards. In June 2005 she was named a Member of the Order of Canada, in 2012 she received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and in May 2014, she was honoured with Honorary Doctorate in Human Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University, her alma mater.

D/Comm. Anthony E. MacAskill, CD, Ph.D., KLJ, MMLJ (2005 - 2006)

Anthony E. (Tony) MacAskill Major (Ret’d) CD, OStJ, KLJ of Bedford, NS. He passed away on September 8, 2016 in his 91st year. He was a career soldier who served Canada Provost Corps from April 1942 to August 1974 in Canada from coast to coast. He also served in Germany, Italy and Cyprus with United Nations where he was CO of the United Nations Military Police Company, The Force Provost Marshal and The President of the HQ Officers Mess. He was a Veteran of The Second World War. He also served with The Unemployment Insurance Commission as an Investigation Control Officer and for a time he was Action Manager of Finance, Administration and Personnel. He served with Nova Scotia Division, The Canadian Corps of Commissionaires as the Colonel Commandant. He attended Saint Mary’s University (1967-74) where he specialized in Management and Administration. He also attended The Canadian Police College of RCMP at Regina, Sask. He was a former member of The Board of Governors of NS Div., CC of C. The Knights of Columbus Rockingham Council, The Order of St. Lazurus, St. John Ambulance, Bedford Branch. The Last Post Fund, The Annual Remembrance Church Service Association, and The RCMP Veterans Association. Anthony had been a member of the Order since 1990, becoming the Acadian Commandery's 11th Commander in 2005.

Chev. Richard Smyth, CLJ, MMLJ (2004 - 2005)

He was admitted to the Order of Saint Lazarus in 1991, and was a devoted member. He had a very successful career in industry, and gave valuable service to a wide variety of voluntary organizations. Seven Commandery Members (Supt Clare Dent, Col Anthony MacAskill, Dr Brian Newbold, Mrs. Katharine Robinson, Rev. Dr Marc Smith, The Hon. Ruth Stanley, and Rev. David Staples) joined the mourners at the Funeral Service held in the home parish, St. Anselm's, in West Chezzetcook, NS. Mrs Una MacAskill was also present. Rev. Marc Smith concelebrated the Mass and preached a most appropriate Homily.

Chev. Edmond E. Landry, CM, KCLJ, CMLJ (2002 - 2004)

Edmond, was a member of the Order of Saint Lazarus since 1978 was elected as alderman of Caraquet, NB in 1961. Later, the establishment of Grande-Anse as an incorporated town, he became its first mayor holding that office from 1968 to 1988. He had initiated the construction of the village's fire station and municpal warehouse in 1968, a sports centre in 1981 and a home for the elderly and low-income housing. The sports centre in Grande-Anse is named in his honour. Edmond was also the founder of the Pope's Museum in the Village of Grande-Anse, NB, North America's only musuem dedicated entirely to the papacy. He was awarded member of the Order of Canada in 1983.

Supt.(Ret'd) Ronald G. Bourne, KLJ, MMLJ (1998 - 2002)

Ron became a member of the Order of Saint Lazarus in 1994. As a retired RCMP Superintent and officer, he continues to deliver security consultation taking him on numerous travel destinations.

Chev. Brian T. Newbold, GCLJ, GOMLJ, D.Sc., CChem., FRSC(UK), FCIC, FRSA (1992 - 1998)

Brian, born in Manchester,UK, gained an Honours B.Sc. from the University of Manchester. He graduated from Universite Laval,Quebec, with a DSc(magna cum laude) in chemistry. After a post-doctoral year there, he had a 45-year teaching,research,and administrative career at Universite Saint Joseph and Universite de Moncton. He also taught biochemistry at Mount Allison University. He was visiting professor at five universities in Canada, France, Brazil, and Japan, and holds numerous honours including: Founding member, National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada,Emeritus Professor(Universite de Moncton), Union Carbide Chemical Education Award and Knight of the Order of the Academic Palms of France. Brian is author of three books and over 150 research publications.

Mr. William Kenneth (Boots) MacLeod, B.Sc. (1990 - 1992)

William was born in Port Elgin, New Brunswick, and graduated from Stanstead College, Quebec., a school well known for its excellent ice hockey programs. He later became a geologist and worked in the field of asbestos for many years in Quebec. He became a successful business man, establishing turkey, dairy, and christmas tree farms; and also founded a Seniors' home in Thetford Mines, QC.

Supt.(Ret'd) Clarence J. Dent, KCLJ, GOMLJ (1986 - 1990)

Supt. Clarence James Dent, RCMP (Ret'd) originally from Toronto, joined the RCMP at age the age of 18 experienced numerous career transfers from coast-to-coast-to coast in Canada, resulting with 20 physical relocations - 8 Provinces and NWT with last posting as the Officer in Charge of Criminal Operations in and for the NWT in Yellowknife. It was Commissioner (NWT) Stuart Hodgson who encouraged me to become a member of the Order, which he did in 1979. Our final move to NS (1981), when, unpacking in Dartmouth, NS, a telephone call was received from Commander RCN RTD, Bruce Oland, Halifax, Commander Acadia, inviting me to an Acadia Commandery meeting in Halifax, two days thence, as they were in the initial states of organizing an International OSLJ. Clare has been privileged to be a member ever since.

Comm. Bruce Sidney Culverwell Oland, ED, CD, CM, KCLJ, GOMLJ (1985 - 1986)

Born in Halifax, NS, for more than 60 years, Bruce Oland has served his community with outstanding dedication and leadership. He is a veteran of the Second World War having served with Royal Canadian Artillery (1939-1945), and later, with the Militia following World War II, a retired master brewer and a successful businessman who has championed initiatives in support of youth, people with disabilities and heritage preservation. The Canadian Association for Community Living, the Sir Frederick Fraser School for the Blind and several universities in Atlantic Canada have benefited from his guidance and generosity. In addition, he helped to establish the largest naval reference library in Canada. Located at the Maritime Command Museum, this library is named in his honour. Oland is a former president of Oland and Son Ltd., a family brewing company that was founded in 1867 which later was sold to Labbatt in 1971. He also served as Honorary Consul General of Japan in Halifax.

Chev. Stuart A. Smith, Ph.D, KCLJ (1984 - 1985)

Stuart Smith, born in Dalhouse, NB was professor of Visual Arts at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.

Chev. J. Robert Pichette, ONB, AIH, FRHSC (1979 - 1984)

Robert Pichette, born 7 August 1936, was the son of Honourable J. A. Albert Pichette, Judge of the Queen’ Bench of New Brunswick. Designer of the flag of New Brunswick, it was adopted by proclamation on February 24, 1965. At the time, Pichette was Assistant Principal Private Secretary to the Premier of New Brunswick. The distinguished Canadian heraldist Alan B. Beddoe, drew the official design of the flag created in under two weeks. Political pressure to proclaim the Red Ensign as the new provincial flag with the New Brunswick Coat of arms on one side, prompted the quick design. Pichette, has been involved in heraldry for much of his life, and currently holds the title of Dauphin Herald Extraordinary with the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Chev. Dr. John Alexander MacPherson (1974 - 1979)

John Alexander MacPherson was born in Windsor, Ontario, obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario (1953), a Master of Arts from the University of Windsor (1955) and a Doctorate in Philosophy in English cum laude from the University of Ottawa (1967). John began his teaching career at Xavier College, Sydney (1955-61), and then enjoyed a long association with St. Francis Xavier University as an Associate Professor (1961), and then as a full Professor in the Department of English (1968) until his retirement in 1995. He specialized in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. Outside of the University, he took a very active part in civic and cultural affairs, notably with the Dominion Drama Festival, the Canadian Red Cross, Nova Scotia Division, and World University Service, to mention only a very few. He had a particular interest in gerontology - writing, lecturing and contributing volunteer services to many charitable organizations devoted to this discipline. A devoted Roman Catholic, John was admitted to the Sovereign Military Hospitaler Order of Malta as a Knight of Magistral Grace in October 1973, becoming a Knight of Grace and Devotion in 1976 and a Knight in Obedience in 1982. He became a Novice Knight of Justice in 1992 and professed his simple vows in 1993. John became a professed Knight of solemn vows in 1996 and was promoted to the rank of Grand Cross of Justice in 2001. In June 2004, he was promoted a Bailiff Grand Cross of Justice and, in 2009, he was awarded the Order’s Grand Cross Pro Pio Melitensi.