Il Premio Internazionale «Per la Dignità degli Anziani» istituito dalla Fondazione Melitense Matilde Maresca di Serracapriola, presieduta dal Ricevitore del Comun Tesoro, Conte Don Carlo Marullo di Condojanni.
The International Prize "For the Dignity of the Elderly" awarded by the Matilde Maresca di Serracapriola Foundation, presided over by the Receiver of the Common Treasure, Count Carlo Marullo di Condojanni
British Association - the Cavalry and Guards Club, London - 27 November
Your Royal Highness, Your Excellencies, Confreres, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all I should like to thank you very much for your kind invitation to be here with you tonight. It is always a great pleasure for us in the Grand Magistry to visit the Associations, as in this way we can much more easily appreciate the good works you are doing for Our Lords the Sick and Poor. A five minutes face-to-face talk is worth fifty letters and reports.
As you know well, there have been dramatic moments in the last two or three years, which have given us a lot more to do. First there was the terrible earthquake in Armenia, for which you responded so generously to the Grand Master’s appeal. As a result, we were able to send teams to Erevan and to arrange for children who had been injured to go abroad have artificial limbs fitted.
More recently there has been the trouble in Northern Iraq which meant that thousands of Kurds became refugees. There again we were able to send a team out, which set up temporary camps and arranged for water-purifiers, something very important and which probably prevented the outburst of serious diseases among the refugees.
In Central Europe, following the collapse of Communism we have been able to step up our work in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, countries where for the last forty-five years a few of our members had courageously continued to do what they could for their co-nationals in extremely difficult circumstances. In those three countries now the Grand Priory and Associations are building up their hospitaller work and organizing ambulance corps, clinics and care-centres. What is even more interesting is that we have extended our work into Russia itself probably for the first time in over one hundred and fifty years. We are starting ‘soup-kitchens’ in Kiev and St. Petersburg, and bringing aid to Lithuania. We have also sponsored children who suffered in the Chernobyl explosion to spend a few weeks in Italy, where they were able to eat and drink uncontaminated food and water and milk and to breathe clean air. You should have seen the difference in them, when they left.
Speaking in my capacity as the Receiver of the Common Treasure, I can tell you that the Order’s financial standing is fairly satisfactory in view of the work carried out. It may also be noted that the Grand Magistry has made contributions directly to several charity works among which the Bethlehem Hospital, the ‘Piccolo Cottolengo’ in Montevideo, the aid to Eastern Europe Countries, etc.
Furthermore, I also wish to mention the ‘Future Strategies’ programme. I can assure you that by the set date (next Spring) the various working groups will send their final reports to the Grand Magistry for examination before the next Chapter General. In the meantime, the first results of the programme are being realized. You have already seen our efforts in the communication field and will shortly also see the ‘report on the activity of the Order in the world’. As far as the internal structure of the Order is concerned, the automation of administration services is being introduced, in particular, the Land estate, Chancery and health services. In conclusion, the ‘Future Strategies’ programme has already seen very good results and it looks very promising for the future.
I will not keep you any longer from enjoying this evening, so will conclude by thanking you all very much indeed for your generous hospitality, and saying how pleased I am to have had the opportunity of meeting so many of you again and being able to talk with you.
Thank you so much.