The Seventh Order of Malta Asia Pacific conference: 9th to 12th November 2017
The Seventh Asia Pacific conference was held in Singapore from 9th to 12th November 2017, the same venue of the historic first Asia Pacific Conference held in 2010. The Asia Pacific Conference is now a fixed event, in fact the only annual international event in the calendar of the Order and the importance attached to the conference is emphasised by the diversity and seniority of the delegates and the range of topics canvassed.
In 2010, 27 delegates attended over three days . In 2017, 53 Delegates attended over an expanded conference of four much busier days. It is obvious the Order continues to make steady progress in our region..
The delegates included their Excellencies the Grand Chancellor HE Albrecht von Boeselager and the Grand Hospitaller HE Dominique Prince de la Rochefoucauld –Montbel, Confrere Simon Grenfell ,Government Council , HE Eugenio Ajroldi di Robbiate the Director, Communications; and Ms Daniela Bonucci, Head of the Department of Internal Affairs , the Grand Magistry
The regional Ambassadors HE Mr Jim Dominguez AM CBE KCSG ,Ambassador for Development in SE Asia;H E Dona Odelia Oroyo ( Philippines) ; HE Mr Michael Mann AM ( Cambodia and Thailand ) and HE Mr David Scarf AM ( Timor-Leste ) represented the Diplomatic Corps as well as HE Msgr Anté Jozic , Conventual Chaplain of the Order and Head of the Holy See Study Mission in Hong Kong.
Their Excellencies the Presidents of the regional National Associations headed by the Conference Host Consoeur Rose Lu, President of the Singapore Association. HE Confrere Dr Leopold Lazatin (Philippines) and Confrere Dr Ian Marshall (Australia) headed the national delegations including representatives of the Order’s subgroups in Hong Kong, Thailand and Korea and for the first time visitors from Taiwan together with Chaplains Fr Ariston Sison Jr (Philippines), Fr Edward Lim (Singapore) and Fr Carlo Velardo (Thailand)
Attending also were Ingo Radtke, Secretary General of Malteser International (the international disaster and humanitarian relief arm of the Order) and Bruno de Marin de Carranrais CIOMAL (The international Committee of the Order of Malta Against Leprosy).
Wide ranging discussion included communications, a topic of high priority in the Grand Magistry and reports on national activities, youth, and regional projects. One important aspect was vigorous discussion on planning for the future, maintaining the regional momentum of the Order, Various Members with special regional interests have enthusiastically committed their time and personal resources to further this development
The Asia Pacific Conferences have been seen as essentially hospitaller in content but with the persistent underlying theme of the inseparability of obsequium pauperum and tuitio fidei, with the overriding emphasis on our service to Our Lords, the poor and the sick being an essential core of our spiritual existence in the Order. Whilst charitable works are worthy in their own right, importantly for us, they are also our means of strengthening our own faith and spirituality, our own personal exercise in tuitio fidei.
One very strong message arising from the conference is the necessity to concentrate on the involvement of volunteers and youth in the activities of the Order