- Whitefish Bay, WI
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Members of the Midwest Commandery have worked on a Medical Mission team on St. Vincent’s Island in the Caribbean, taught at the Leprosy Hospital in El Rincon, Cuba and have decorated Christmas trees to send to deployed military members. Members dedicate time and talent in serving the least, the last and the lost.
Hansen’s Disease Clinic
Donations are made to the Hansen’s Disease Clinic at the University of Illinois, under the direction of Dr. Carlotta Rotman. The clinic serves clients with leprosy living in the Midwest. Money is also available for staff to attend programs pertaining to Hansen’s disease (Leprosy).
The Midwest Commandery was most generous in donating a large amount of toiletries and a check to ECHO (Edgar County Homeless Organization). Many of the Board members of ECHO were present to receive the donations. The monetary donation constituted 10% of their annual budget and will be used to replace floors in an upstairs apartment and the front door to the shelter.
The mission of ECHO is to provide temporary shelter to homeless persons in Edgar County – a depressed area in central Illinois – who do not have the resources or support systems to obtain shelter on their own. ECHO provides education, training and coordinated service options in an effort to help the homeless develop skills, knowledge, and financial resources needed to reach a higher level of independence. ECHO provides services regardless of age, race, creed, sex, or color.
Trees from Home Project
In the fall, several members of the Midwest Commandery in Wisconsin participated in a “Trees from Home” project and helped decorate small Christmas trees that were shipped to Wisconsin Troops serving in the Middle East. The Commandery plans to explore other charitable efforts that are directed towards serving our Troops and Veterans.
In 1971 under the leadership of COL. Harrison Williams Gill of Tennessee, an independent Grand Priory of America was established. The Central Delegation was designated in 1972 under CDR. George R. Balling, USNR, with the investiture being held in St. Peter’s Church in Chicago. In 1978 the Central Delegation, the third delegation to be promoted, became the Commandery of the Midwest.
Many members of the Commandery of the Midwest have held and/or continue to hold high offices in the Grand Priory of America. Of major importance to the Order was the contribution of the Green Book, published annually by Scrivener Raymond O. Wicklander and presented to every member. H.E. The Chevalier John E. Goggin, CPT, AUS (Ret.) GCLJ, GCMLJ, SCrLJ, an original member of the Grand Priory of America served as Bailiff; Chevalier Stephen S. Crane, MAJ GEN, AUS, GCLJ, served as Vice-Chancellor; and Chevalier Ronald L. Moschel, KLJ, and Mme, Mary E. Moschel, CLJ, served as Capitulars. Today the Custodian of Insignia, Chevalier Albert P. James, LTC, USA (Ret.), KCLJ; the Herald, Chevalier Ernest E. Aitchinson, KCLJ (J); the Archivist, Dame Anne M. Rice, DCLJ, EdD; and the Stationer, Dr. Carlotta Rotman, CLJ, serve the Grand Priory of America.
The Commandery of the Midwest has enjoyed the leadership of numerous commanders. These include the following individuals: Jack Goggin, Steve Crane, under whose direction the Midwest became a Grand Commandery (1996-2002): Dr. Anthony Yonkers; Albert James; Dr. Robert Rice, and the current Commander, Dr. Anne M. Rice.
The extremely large geographical area of the Commandery of the Midwest means that members are scattered far and wide, across many states, making it very difficult for all members to get together on a regular basis, so we have pockets of local functions, and we fraternize well at the annual meetings. We hold a traditional St. Lazarus Feast Day Celebration in either Milwaukee or Chicago. The Commandery also periodically holds retreats for the spiritual benefit of our members. All gatherings have a charitable collection attached, and many include speakers from the organizations supported.
Frequent “Commander’s Blast” emails keep members, affiliates and friends advised of news, gatherings, significant birthdays, those in need of prayers and other assistance.