Knight­hoods awarded to lo­cal paramedics

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SHEN WU TAN

THE PRIORY for South Africa of the Or­der of St John cel­e­brated its her­itage as a 133-year-old civil or­gan­i­sa­tion with the knight­hood of two Cape Town paramedics at St Ge­orge’s Cathe­dral last night.

The Or­der of St John is a royal or­der of chivalry con­sti­tuted by a royal char­ter is­sued by Queen Vic­to­ria in 1888. Bri­tain’s Queen El­iz­a­beth is the sov­er­eign head of the or­der and au­tho­rises knight­hoods to those who fur­ther the cause of St John, also known as the Apos­tle of Char­ity.

Last night Rev­erend Cannon Ger­ard Sharp, on be­half of the queen, hon­oured Craig Hart­ley and Ricky Klein­hans, both long- stand­ing St John Bri­gade mem­bers who have ded­i­cated their lives to vol­un­teer work.

“I feel ex­cited, hon­oured, and be­lieve that this has been a way of life,” Hart­ley said ahead of the event.

“I hope that this event will en­cour­age my broth­ers and sis­ters in St John to also strive for this hon­our.”

Klein­hans said that, since join­ing the Or­der, he had al­ways hoped to be­come a knight.

“But never in my wildest dreams did I ex­pect it to hap­pen now,” he said.

“We do what we do in the ser­vice of mankind, and when we do this self­lessly, we reap the re­wards daily: that of ap­pre­ci­a­tion and the sat­is­fac­tion of aid­ing our fel­low man.”

As knights, both Hart­ley and Klein­hans will be fea­tured in the Lon­don Gazette and re­ceive signed cer­tifi­cates from the Grand Prior, on be­half of the Queen, the Duke of Glouces­ter, and the op­er­a­tional head of St John.

Hart­ley said he joined the St John Bri­gades in 1980, and started vol­un­teer work at the age of nine. He is now the cen­tre di­rec­tor for St John-Cape Town. “We teach com­mu­ni­ties to take charge of their own health and well­ness,” he said

St John in Cape Town pro­vides a wide range of health ser­vices, in­clud­ing first aid train­ing, youth de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes, hos­pi­tal trans­fers and eye-care fa­cil­i­ties.

Klein­hans joined the St John Bri­gades in 1988 while he was still in pri­mary school, and has worked as a para­medic for 28 years.

Start­ing as a di­vi­sional of­fi­cer in the Bon­te­heuwel Cadet, he moved on to be­come the com­mis­sioner of the Cape of Good Hope Dis­trict, head­ing all the vol­un­teers. He is now the as­sis­tant chief com­mis­sioner and over­sees the de­vel­op­ment of St John youth mem­bers.

In 2014 and this year, Klein­hans was also the con­tin­gent man­ager who took South African cadets to the in­ter­na­tional cadet camp and com­pe­ti­tions hosted in Syd­ney and Hong Kong. shen.wu­tan@inl.co.za

Craig Hart­ley

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