9 November 2011
The first investiture held in New Zealand for a member of the Order of Malta was held in Wellington on Sunday October 9.
Maurice Dodson was invested into the Order as a knight by the Chancellor of the Order’s Australian Association Brian Wilson, the first time an investiture has been held in New Zealand rather than Australia in the order’s 1,000 year history.
The investiture was held at the Chapel of the Sisters of Compassion at Island Bay.
The order’s New Zealand organiser Peter Wood said, ‘We were honoured by the sisters allowing us to hold the investiture during their Sunday community Mass because both have a special focus of caring for the sick and the poor.’
The order dates from before the first Crusade in 1098. A lay order of the Catholic Church, it has national associations all over the world and a total membership of more than 12,500.
Maurice Dodson joined the order after retiring as head of the New Zealand Army. He also serves on the board of directors of the Suzanne Aubert Compassion Centre Wellington.
The celebrant of the Mass, Father John O’Neill SM, reminded members of their obligations to bear witness to the Catholic faith, lead Christian lives and to care for the sick and the poor.
‘As we are part of the order’s Australian Association, investitures have always been held over there. As we move to expand our membership in New Zealand we look forward to further investitures being held here next year,’ Mr Wood said.