Gerard Campbell |

An investiture ceremony recognising the contribution of St John staff and volunteers was held in Christchurch over the weekend at the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral.

The Order of St John honours system confers membership on those who give back to St John and the community and act conspicuously to fulfil the mission of St John New Zealand.

St John is the only organisation in Aotearoa outside of Government with its own royal honours system, and admission and promotion in the Order is based solely on exceptional service, not age or length of service.

The Christchurch Investiture ceremony recognised both paid and volunteer St John people, with a number of those undertaking volunteer work in addition to their paid roles. One member was promoted to Knight of Grace, three promoted to Commander, four to Officer and 15 admitted as Members of the Order.

St John Head of Order Matters and Priory Secretary, Christine Benson, DStJ, says this is one of the biggest events in the St John calendar, where staff and volunteers are honoured for their outstanding contribution and dedication to the organisation.

“The individuals being promoted and admitted to the Order of St John in Christchurch have given much of their time and energy to serving their communities on behalf of St John and it is a very special privilege to be able to recognise them through these awards.”

Former South Island Region Trust Board and St John Priory Trust Board member Peter Young was promoted to Knight of Grace, one of the highest honours conferred on members of the organisation, at Saturday’s ceremony in recognition of his 15 years of dedication to St John.

As a professional director, with a finance, risk and Health & Safety background, Mr Young has been a valuable source of knowledge and expertise to St John. He was admitted to the Order in 2009.

St John General Manager Community Engagement South Craig Stockdale was promoted to Commander. Mr Stockdale was honoured for his enduring work for St John, which has included as former South Island General Manager, executive manager of the Christchurch Area Committee and as a highly respected clinical manager and intensive care paramedic.

Jan Houston, from Woodend, and Tracy Simonsen, from Nelson, were also promoted to Commanders. Ms Simonsen was a co-ordinator for the National Youth Festival in Nelson in 2018 and has been an active member of the Nelson Area Committee, appointed Chair in 2019, where she has been a strong supporter of local projects and focused on member welfare and support.

John Whitehead CNZM, KStJ, Chancellor of St John in New Zealand, presided over the Investiture Service ceremony in Christchurch and invested the Members who had been honoured with Admission to or Promotion within the Order of St John with the insignia of their grade.

- ENDS –


Gerard Campbell

M: 027 5672083


Subscribe to our RSS FeedLook after the teams who look after you.St John First Aid TrainingFeel Safe with a St John Medical Alarm