Minutes of the Convocation
of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem  and
the Sovereign Orthodox Order of Knights Hospitallier of St. John of Jerusalem.

Source: The Archives of the British Grand Priory.

Minutes of the Convocation of the Bailiffs, Grand Priors. Priors, and Independent Commanders of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem and the Sovereign Orthodox Order of Knights Hospitallier of St. John of Jerusalem.

The meeting was held at the New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South, New York City, U.S.A on Friday March 31, April 1 and 2, 1978.

The Opening session of the convocation was proceeded by an invocation by Brother Anthony Zammit at 10 o’clock A.M. those present were the following:

Prince Serge Troubetzkoy, Lt. Grand Master- presiding
General Frederick Friestadt - Grand Chancellor
Bailiff Anthony Zammit - Grand Prior of the United Kingdom and
Count Nicholas Bobrinskoy - Grand Prior of the Orthodox Order
Baron Eric de Kolb-Wartenburg
Chevalier Peter Bonnell
Chevalier William Lee
Prior Roland Maillard-Roose - Prior of the Law Countries
Commander Richard D. Murray- Acting Secretary to the Conference

Represented by Proxy: Count Christian Orssich represented by Grand Prior Anthony Zammit, Prior Emeritus Maurtis de Wolf represented by Prior Rolland Mailliard, Bailiff Roland Podesta represented by Count Nicholas Bobrinskoy, Bailiff A.G. Homble represented by Dr. Richard Murray, bailiff Donald Weber represented by Lt. General Frederick Friestedt.

A motion was made by Brother Zammit and seconded by brother de Kolb to promote Prior Rolland Mailliard to Bailiff. The motion was unanimously passed.

Chevalier Peter Bonnell began an explanation of the new incorporation of the Grand Magistracy, which helped accomplish in Ohio with the approval of Lt. Grand Master. This was objected to by Lt. General Frederick Friestedt and Bailiff Anthony Zammit. It was suggested by Bailiff Anthony Zammit, and generally agreed to, that an incorporation in the United States of America was useful for only tax purposes to American members and was otherwise unimportant to the general operation of the order. No definite decision was reached as to the new incorporation of the order. It was, however, agreed that the order should proceed to reorganise the Grand Magistracy or supreme Council with a view to greater harmony between Europe and America.

Chevalier Peter Bonnell read a letter from Bishop Emil J.Mihalik D.D., Bishop of Parma, Byzantine Bishop of the whole of the United States, extending the blessings of the bishop and offering the Protection of the Byzantine Catholic Church to the whole order. This protection was accepted by the Supreme Council, and it was recommended that the Grand Cross of Honor be bestowed upon Bishop Emil J.Mihalik D.D., Byzantine Bishop of Parma and of the United States.


The original constitution of King Peter of Jugoslavia of 1964 was agreed to the proper constitution under which the order would operate. It was agreed that women are entitled to vote-in accordance with the human rights portions of the Constitution, and under no circumstances should this right be denied to them. It was also agreed to that proxies could be used to represent members of the Supreme Council except in instances where Constitutional questions were involved. In these instances no proxies would be possible, but a referendum could be used if deemed necessary.

There followed a discussion of the S.M.O.M. and the possibility of recognition of out order by the S.M.O.M., which insists that the Order be involved in charitable enterprises. The S.M.O.M. does not like the use of the word “ Sovereign”, and they also object to the inclusion of the word “Malta”, and to a Grand Master.

Count Nicholas Bobrinskoy described the organisation of the Sovereign Orthodox Order of Knights Hospitallier of St. John of Jerusalem. He described this order of being a revival of the Orthodox Priory, which had been established by the Emperor Paul I of Russia in St. Petersburg, rather than a new order. They are not the same thing, he explained. Count Bobrinskoy was assisted in his presentation by a member of his Board of Directors, Chevalier William Lee, Assistant Attorney General of the State of New York. Count Bobrinskoy has obtained the blessing and protection of all of the Russian Orthodox Churches and also the protection of the Imperial House of Romanoff through Prince Andrew of Russia, now living in England. Brother Lee emphasised the importance of an outside accountant for financial transactions, and stated that the orthodox Order is a truly sovereign order. At the present time the Board of the Orthodox Order consists of Count Nicholas Bobrinskoy, Countess Tanya Bobrinskoy, Prince Andrew Volkonsky, Prince Vladimir Galitzin, Chevalier Paul P. Rodzinko III, Chevalier. William J.Lee, Chevalier John Davis Lodge, Prince Ivan Sziatopolik-Mirsky, and Prince Belosselsky- Belossersky

It was then moved by Baron de Kolb and seconded by Bailiff Zammit that the two orders be amalgamated and solidified. This motion for unification of the two orders was unanimously passed and officers were elected as follows under the protection of prince Andrew of Russia of the Imperial House of Romanoff, the Russian Orthodox Churches, and the Byzantine Catholic Church.

Lt. Grand Master- Prince Serge Troubetzkoy
Grand Bailiff- Count Nicholas Bobrinskoy, Asst. Lt. Grand Master and Grand Prior of the Orthodox Order
Grand Commander- Bailiff Anthony Zammit
Grand Secretary- Bailiff Donald Weber
Grand Treasurer- Bailiff Frederick Friestedt
Grand Hospitallier- Bailiff Dr. Urosh Seffer
King at Arms- Commander Gerard Simons
Chief of Protocol Bailiff Count Christian Orssich Council General- Chevalier William J. Lee
Secretary of Foreign Affairs- Commander Baron Eric de Kolb-Wartenburg
Registrar- Commander Dr. Richard D. Murray
Commander Murray would also be the editor of the Journal and would be assisted by Commander Walter Pinkett.


While the Registrar would be a member of the Supreme Council, the editors of the journal would not be. Prince Troubetzkoy would continue to act as his own Chancellor with the help of Count Bobrinskoy. Each unit was requested to notify the Lt. Grand Master of events within the unit such as weddings, births, funerals etc., so that a letter could follow from the Lt. Grand Master to the individuals concerned. Count Bobrinskoy would select several members of his Board of Directors to serve on the Supreme Council. Offices would be given to the people he selected and members of one order would automatically become members of the other. Count Bobrinskoy would approach the Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia, who is a Bailiff in the S.M.O.M. to sample his feelings, and Baron Eric de Kolb was authorised to approach his S.M.O.M. neighbours on Capri to sample reaction to recognition by the S.M.O.M. and the M.V.O. All Bailiffs, Grand Priors, and Priors are to be automatic members of the Supreme Council (trustees). The members with units behind them, i.e., Grand Priories and Priories and Independent Commanderies cannot be removed form the Supreme Council without a Knights Court of Honor.

It was then decided that the title of Grand be applied only to officers on the Supreme Council, i.e., Grand Treasurer, Grand Hospitallier, Grand Chancellor etc.

In the Grand Priories only Grand Prior and Grand Vice Prior would be used. Otherwise the titles would be simply, Chancellor, Hospitallier etc.

In the Priories the titles would be Prior, Vice Prior, Vice Chancellor, treasurer, Asst. Hospitallier, Judge at Arms etc. In the Commanderies, Commander, Vice or Deputy Commander, no Chancellor but a Secretary, no Hospitallier but an Almoner, Treasurer, Asst. Judge at Arms, Master of Ceremonies.

The proper names of the two orders are the following: The Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitallier, and the Sovereign Orthodox Order of Knights Hospitallier of St. John of Jerusalem.

A quarterly Bulletin would be published under the co-editorship of Commanders Richard D. Murray and Walter Pinkett.

The various offices on the Supreme Council must be re-elected every five years except for that of the chairman (Lt. Grand Master) who is elected for life.

It was agreed that the accounts should be submitted to an annual audit by an outside independent accountant. To finance the administrative expenses of the Supreme Council, it was decided that a passage fee of $25.00 for each new Donat and $50.00 for each new knight would be sent to the Grand Treasurer of the Supreme Council by each independent unit with a minimum of $350.00 per year. These monies would be used to defray the administrative expenses of the Supreme Council as well as the expense of a quarterly bulletin. All applications for the new knights are to be sent to the Registrar, and all promotions to be sent to the Lt. Grand Master. All diplomas, to be valid, must contain a signature of the Lt. Grand Master. To initiate funds for the Supreme Council it was agreed that each member of the Supreme Council present send $200.00 on to the Grand Treasurer.


The account of the Supreme  Council in Chicago is #0840010500 Bailiff Frederick Friestadt’s address is the following: Apt. 217, 1301 North Western, Lake Forest, Illinois. 60045, U.S.A.

A motion was made by Brother Zammit and seconded by Brother de Kolb to promote Chevalier Peter Bonnell to Commander of Grace in Lieu of his obtaining blessing of the Byzantine Bishop of Parma for the whole order. This appointment would take effect on St. John’s Day of this year. Brother Bonnell was made an assistant to the registrar, but he will not be a member of the Supreme Council.

Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia id not acceptable as Grand Master to any of those present. The Lt. Grand Master was asked to write a letter to the dissident Bailiff of Malta indicating to him that a reconciliation was possible but without Prince Andrej. In this letter he should also be informed that women also has the right to vote and that we have agreed to accept proxies at meetings for matters other than constitutional questions, where referendums are necessary. Professor Tonna- Barthet on Malta is to be given three months to reconsider his separation form the Order, and then a new Priory on Malta is to be initiated next door to him.

The Supreme Council recognised the Flemish speaking Commandery of the Low Countries and the French speaking Commandery of Hainaut Pieton. It was agreed to promote Adolph Bois d’Enghein to Commander of Justice, provided that he is willing to accept the statutes and authority of the Supreme Council. Commander Roebaes must also obey the mandates of the Order. The Lt. Grand Master was instructed to write a letter to Commander Roebaes stating that because of the small size of Belgium only two independent units are possible, and that the unit of Roebaes must adhere to one or the other, or they must drop out of the Order. They have 30 days to make a decision. Should they elect to join the Commandery of Hainaut Pieton Commander Roebaes would be subject to Commander Bois d’Enghein. The Lt. Grand Master was also instructed to write to Bailiffs Homble and Bockstal, informing them that they were now appointed Grand Hospitallier Emeritus and Roi d’Armes Emeritus, both positions are honorary and without specific office.

It was recommended and passed that Gilbert van Heule be promoted to Commander of Justice and that Gilbert Jansseune and Robert van Clapdurn be promoted to Chevaliers of Grace.

Identity should be made up with passport photos for the entire order.

A discussion of decorations was entertained. In the United States, most of the phony orders use red ribbons, and to differentiate from the phony orders it was suggested that the colour of the ribbons be changed from red to black. It was felt that a referendum vote should be used in this matter.

Dames of the Order should wear a black satin cape with a white cross, and chaplins should wear a short black cape with a Maltese cross.


The meeting was adjourned in midafternoon on April 2, 1978.

The next meeting of the Supreme Council will take place on St. John’s Day, 24 June 1979 at Lt. Trudo Abbe, Kale Brugge, Belgium. Everyone was asked to mark his calendar for this event. In 1980 the Supreme Council would meet in Chicago, and in 1981, the meeting would take place in London.

Respectfully submitted

Richard D. Murray M.D., M. Sc. (med.)
Commander of Grace O.S.J.H.
Registrar and Acting Secretary to the meeting

Created 19th December 2004.

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