The Sovereign Order of Malta, known in Guyana especially for the St John’s Association, which carries out First Aid training and medical care in poor communities, Thursday evening marked its 20th anniversary in Guyana.
It hopes that with the wealth from oil and gas, Guyana will in the future be able to assist other lands in need of medical care.
“We wish Guyana success as it develops its oil industry and hopes that one day Guyana may be instrumental in assisting the poor and the sick of other less fortunate lands,” said Viscount Roland Donin De Rosière, Ambassador of the Sovereign Order of Malta.
He was speaking at the Georgetown Club where celebrations were held to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Guyana and the Order.
The Order is a global institution operating medical, social and humanitarian projects in 120 countries. It has bilateral diplomatic relations with over 100 states and the European Union and permanent observer status at the United Nations.
The foundation of the Order is in the Catholic Church.
In Guyana, the Order is primarily known by its Alliance, the St John Association, of which President David Granger serves as patron.
Minister of Foreign Affair Carl Greenidge said that since its establishment in 1953, the Association has trained thousands of Guyanese in first aid, nursing, patient care and disaster preparedness.
“The training provided by the Association has made an invaluable contribution to the health sector of Guyana, often serving as a foundation for the many Guyanese that have pursued careers in nursing and other elements of the medical field,” said Greenidge.
The Order’s Ambassador to Guyana pointed out that its contribution to Guyana has been modest, because of having no national association here. He pointed to the Order’s work with the Mercy Hospital and the interior community of Port Kaituma and assisting orphan children to attend school.
Minister Greenidge said that at the heart of the St John’s Association is the value of giving, providing care to those in need and doing so without the expectation of receiving a reward, and that is something worthy of imitation.