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The Grand Priory of Serbia Consecration and Investiture: February 2015

Plans for the consecration of the Grand Priory of Serbia have been on the top of the agenda of the Supreme Grand Priory of the Order of Saint Lazarus since the summer of 2014, with a dedicated team of Serbian philanthropists and doctors of medicine being in the forefront of the creation of yet another jurisdiction in this country. Liaison was also being kept with the neighbouring Grand Priory of Montenegro and the Order's delegation in Bulgaria so as to ensure the smooth execution of such an important milestone in the Balkans.

The investiture date was set for Saturday the 7th of February 2015 in the important city of Nis, in the south of Serbia. It is the administrative center of the Nisava District. According to the 2011 census, the city has population of 183,164, while urban area of Nis (with adjacent urban settlement of Niska Banja included) has 187,544 inhabitants, and population of the administrative area stands at 260,237 people.

It is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans and Europe, and has from ancient times been considered a gateway between the East and the West. It was named Navissos by the Scordisci in 279 BC, after an invasion of the Balkans. The city was among several taken in the Roman conquest in 75 BC; the Romans built the Via Militaris in the 1st century, with Naissus being one of its key towns; it is also the birthplace of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor and the founder of Constantinople, and Constantius III and Justin I. It is home to one of the oldest churches in Serbia, dating to the 4th century, located in the suburb of Mediana.

The consecration of the new Grand Priory of Serbia was undertaken by the Grand Chancellor of the Order, the Chev. Max J Ellul, who was assisted by his aide de camp, the Chevalier Stefan Andras. A delegation from the Grand Priory of Montenegro was in attendance and the new Grand Prior of Serbia, the Chevalier Dragan Milic was duly installed to reign over the Serbian Grand Priory. Confrere Dragan Milosevic was installed as Chancellor of the Grand Priory, and Confreres Predrag Cvetkolic and Milan Petrovic were installed as Secretary General and Marshal respectively of the new Grand Priory.

Ten postulants were admitted into the Grand Priory and a superb investiture lunch was organised by the newly elected officers. The Grand Prior informed all the members and their guests of the extensive work which has already been executed by the officers-elect of the Grand Priory in order to create synergy with the Serbian Orthodox church and to aid and assist in the latter's projects. Even though this jurisdiction is in its infancy, it is very obvious that the Grand Priory know precisely where they want to go with regards to the Order's presence in Serbia and their ambitious plans for the future will definitely be an added plus for all the initiatives that the Order undertakes world wide.



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