Good Works of the Acadia Commandery

The Order is both a Military Order of Mercy and a Hospitaller Order. As a Hospitaller Order and modern charity, it is dedicated to the care and assistance of the poor and sick, and for the advancement and advocacy of palliative and hospice care. This work is through activities which include but not limited to advocacy, assistance, education, publications and facilitating the development and evolution of hospice and palliative care in Canada. As a Military Order of Mercy in today’s world while preserving its historical mission, it continues to promote, preserve and maintain its ecumenical mission.

Today, Acadia Commandery strives to facilitate the original missions of the Order, however, in the 21st century, the missions have expanded the hospitaller mission to include the support, promotion and advocacy of hospice and palliative care. Since 1974, the Acadia Commandery has been active in the Maritime, providing aid and assistance to those in need, in particular, to those people who need our help in hospice or palliative care. Through the efforts of the Acadia Commandery, the Order has helped numerous people and health/care organizations and continues to focus on hospice and palliative care today in service to humanity.

Hurricane Fiona Relief Efforts, Red Cross Canada (October 2022)

In September 2022, parts of Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec were hit with a devastating hurricane that destroyed homes and caused power outages across five provinces in Canada. Thousands have been left without power and hundreds of people have been displaced from their homes. Citizens affected by Hurricane Fiona are facing a long road to recovery, many still without power two weeks after Fiora, but we were able to help those who have been impacted by the storm. The Canadian Federal Government had launched a government-match program in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross. More than 285,000 individuals across Atlantic Canada were without power and over 200 people were displaced from their homes. The Acadia Commandery invoked the matching grant request to the Grand Priory in Canada to the tune of $2,500. This amount matched by the Grand Priory in Canada forwarded $5,000 to the Fiona Relief Effort, and this amount will be matched by the Federal Government of Canada resulting in a $10,000 donation.
Accompanying image: Photograph sourced from the Canadian Red Cross Fiona Relief Efforts.

Red Cross Humanitarian Appeal for Ukraine (March 2022, NB, NS)

A "call to arms" was made to the members and Friends of the Acadia Commandery on Friday, March 11, 2022 for contributions towards the Red Cross Humanitarian Appeal for the Ukraine/Russia conflict. The current situation is poised to becoming Europe's greatest refugee crisis this century. The Canadian Red Cross had initiated a humanitarian crisis appeal and through the generousity of Friends and Members of the Acadia Commandery, by the end of Sunday, March 13, we were able to raise $1,000. This was matched by funds from Acadia Commandery allowing the Commandery to contribute $2,000 to the Red Cross Humanitarian Appeal. The Commander wishes to extend a collective thank you to those who contributed to this worthy cause.
Accompanying image: Photograph sourced from the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Quest for Fundy Hospice (September 2021, NS)

The highlight of 2021 was the 250km awareness and fundraising campaign which was the kickoff for the Quest for Fundy Hospice. The Grand Priory in Canada showed their support with a generous donation, and members and Friends of the Order came together through volunteering to make this event a great success. With the help of the volunteers, and the 12th century knight on horseback, the knight ride was able to raise nearly $25,000! The medieval knight "on loan" from the Coistrel of the Acadia Commandery, Order of Saint Lazarus rode his horse for 5 days at 50km per day. The kickoff of the ride was graced with the presence of a number of dignitaries including the Warden, Digby County, Counsellor, Annapolis County, the Mayor of Digby, the CEO of the Annapolis Basin Conference Centre, a local MP and a representative representing the newly minted Conservative MLA.
Accompanying image: Chev. David M. Cvet KLJ(J), Commander of Acadia Commandery rides his steed "Nya" 250 km raising nearly $20,000 in funds for the Atalanta Hospice Project.

Bringing family/friends in virtually (July 2020, NS)

The Acadia Commandery underwrote the costs associated with an internal project to develop and assemble a pair of “proof-of-concept” units comprised of iPads, goose-necked floor stands, wiring and accesses designed to allow patients easy and convenient access to a virtual portal to allow family and friends to visit during the pandemic. These units were installed at Tideview Terrace in Digby, NS (a home for special care) in July 2020. The objective for these units is to allow the staff to setup the Zoom/Skype/Facetime session with the patient’s family/friends and position the tablet close to the patient without the need for the patient to operate the devices. These also frees up the staff to focus on their tasks of the day by not having to be physically with the patient holding the device for their access. The units provides the convenience to the staff to simply turn on the device, activate the app and position the unit appropriately with the patient, even if bed-ridden. By all reports, the staff claimed that the devices were easy to use, easy to move about from one room to another, and that the patients clearly enjoyed the interface with their loved ones.
Accompanying image: One of the residents of Tideview Terrace, Digby, NS reacting with joy at connecting with relations virtually via one of two iPad configurations donated by the Commandery.

Emeg tan tleaooltieg (We are home where we belong) (March 2020, NB)

This is the mantra of the Elsipogtog First Nation Elders with respect to the elderly requiring health care services in New Brunswick. Dr. Jennifer Dobbelsteyn OLJ, Principal Researcher and her consulting group was awarded $1.2 million grant from the Public Health Agency of Canada in late 2019 to conduct a community-driven study to determine and identify the needs and requirements needed to enable First Nation Elders to live independently at home as they age. According to Statistics Canada, the number of Aboriginal seniors is growing more rapidly than the non-Aboriginal senior population in Canada. The study will have three components: conduct the research study, implement and evaluate new programs, design and test a home support services assessment tool for First Nation and Inuit Communities. The Order of Saint Lazarus also supported this project with their contribution of funding towards this project.
Accompanying image: The banner representing the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick.

Saint Lazarus Knights visit a home for special care (September 2019, NS)

The Saint Lazarus Knights captured the hearts of both the patients and staff with the thrill of their visit at the Tideview Terrace in Digby, NS (a home for special care). Working with the staff, each Saint Lazarus Knight took a wing in the facility and visited each and every patient in their rooms. The visit invoked great interest and provided great opportunities for photo opps with the patients. Working with the facility’s Recreation Therapist, worked out the timing of the visit, and each knight was accompanied with a staff member throughout the walk and visit. The patients enjoyed the attention they each received by such a knight dressed in 12th century accoutrements. Further discussion is planned on visiting the same facility but on horseback, in which the horse/horses would also be decked out in 12th century accoutrements.
Accompanying image: Chev. David M. Cvet KLJ(J), Commander of Acadia Commandery and Mr. Joe Van Heerden, Friend of the Order decked out in 12th Saint Lazarus knights' accoutrements of the Acadia Commandery Coistrel, visit the residents at Tideview Terrace, Digby.