From our newsletter of August 1996 (invitation to the inauguration)

The Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard is honoured to invite you to the dedication and opening of Blessed Gérard's Care Centre in Mandeni, South Africa on the feast day of Blessed Gérard, Tuesday 3 September 1996.

The Bishop of Eshowe, His Excellency the Most Reverend Bishop Mansuet Dela Biyase will inaugurate the Centre. The Grand Commendator of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMRO), His Excellency the Venerable Bailli Frà Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein will present us with a relic of Blessed Gerhard.

To our Associate Members

The Chairman of the International Committee of the Federated Association of SMRO in the U.S., Mr. Daniel E. Meehan, K.M.
The Representative of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard in Germany, Mr. Johannes Lagleder, Studienrat
Mrs. Albertine Sprenzinger-Sporer, senior teacher, and
Mr. Johann Sporer, senior student councillor
are awarded Honorary Membership 1st Class in recognition of their exceptional and outstanding dedication to our Fraternity. The new Associate Members are solemnly inducted.


13.00 - 15.00
We welcome our guests, members and the public with a performance of our wide range of cultural traditions

Pontifical service for the dedication and opening of the
Blessed Gérard's Care Centre

Principal Celebrant:
The Most Reverend Bishop Mansuet Dela Biyase

7.00 p.m.


The dedication and opening of Blessed Gérard's Care Centre is truly a miracle of sorts. Many most extraordinary events have taken place without which the Care and Social Centre would never have come into being. One of these is the wonderful support of our members and other donors who have enabled us financially to carry out the construction. Another wonderful event is the willingness of our active members to be trained as nurses and/or teachers in home nursing in order to be able to fulfil the tasks of the Nursing and Social Centre. The most unexpected phenomenon is the international recognition of our activities, culminating in the unprecedented fact that the Sovereign Military Order of Malta will present us with a relic of Blessed Gerhard, which will be presented personally by the Deputy Head of State of the Sovereign Military Order, the Grand Commander, at the dedication and opening of the Centre. There has never been such an honour in the 900 year history of the Order. We thank the Grand Master, His Highness and Eminence Frà Andrew Bertie, the Prelate of the Order and the Sovereign Council of the Order from the bottom of our hearts for the honour bestowed upon us.


Fr Gerhard, the Executive Committee and all the members take this opportunity to welcome Sister Elaine Taylor to Mandeni. We are confident that you, Elaine, will enjoy being with us and that your work in Mandeni will bear rich fruit.


to the German Malteser-Hilfsdienst - for making it possible for Sister Taylor to come and help us. We will do our best to learn as much as we can from her.


Hello everyone! Yes, I have arrived now; the "lady from Ireland" has finally arrived. I am from Dublin and am an instructor with the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps (the Irish Maltese), a voluntary organisation that serves the public through a first aid service and social work. I am a registered nurse specialising in community nursing. I arrived in South Africa on 28 June and I am very impressed by the friendliness and warmth of the people I deal with. I am proud to be able to make a small contribution to the big project in Mandeni. After a tour of the care and social centre, I can imagine how much time and effort it took to organise the financing of such a big project. It is very nice to see the building grow and to know that this has become possible. I started the training in Home Nursing in the middle of July. The aim of the project is to familiarise you, the nurses, with the basic skills needed to care for the sick or disabled at home or otherwise outside a hospital. I look forward to working with you.


We are pleased to announce that the following dates have been set for our courses: There are several alternatives so that everyone can find a suitable date, namely:

Monday & Wednesday - 7.00pm - 8.30pm over five weeks ;
Tuesday & Thursday 7.00pm - 8.30pm over five weeks;
Saturday 10.00am - 1.00pm and 2.30pm - 4.00pm every fortnight over three weekends.
Tuesday, Thursday 10.00am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 4.30pm and Fridays 10.00am - 2.00pm for one week.
Younger members will be given the opportunity to join the course on a Friday afternoon from 3.30pm - 5.00pm.
Please, contact our office for the start date of each course. These courses will run for the six months that Sister Taylor is in South Africa. Candidates will be selected from among the successful course participants to be trained as trainers. There will be an advanced course for this; and those who qualify will receive a certificate.


The opening is getting closer and closer. 3 September 1996 is near. In our last newsletter we reported on the laying of the foundation stone. Now, a few months later, the construction is in its final phase. Mandeni and especially Anderson Road has been transformed for good! Although there is still a lot to be done, we are happy to say that the construction is progressing well. The active members are helping to ensure that everything is completed on time. With God's help and all the encouragement, cooperation and help we are receiving, we are very confident that we will reach the goal soon.

The roof is finished, most of the windows and doors are installed, the painting has started, the installation work is underway; and despite the usual frustrations, we can say : "A dream has become reality!"

Another dream became reality - with the purchase of an ambulance for Blessed Gérard's Care and Social Centre.

Before the last price increase, the board decided to take advantage of the market situation and improve our equipment. The vehicle will help us transport patients to and from Blessed Gérard's Care and Social Centre.


to all our donors who made this purchase possible. Without all of you we could not continue. May God bless you for your generosity!


A special welcome to our Executive Director, although it sounds a bit contradictory to welcome her because she has been firmly part of our Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard from the very beginning. We are proud that our Vice-President, Mrs Clare Kalkwarf, has been with us full time since 1 July 1996. Previously, together with Yvonne Renaud and Fr Gerhard, she was a volunteer part of our management committee; i.e. she continues to work as wonderfully as before, but now as an employee of our organisation. The vast amount of daily management tasks in our rapidly growing organisation has simply become too much even for three volunteers; and Yvonne Renaud will leave Mandeni soon anyway: Therefore, such a step was more than necessary.

We are extremely happy to have been able to get such a highly qualified and very efficient administrator, to whom our fraternity is truly a matter of the heart.

May God bless you, your family and your service to our community!