The Commandery of Avalon at Plymouth Armed Forces Day - 2017

On Saturday 24th June 2017, members of the Commandery of the Avalon attended the Plymouth Armed Forces Day. Our stand was hosted in the Veterans Village, at the entrance to Plymouth Hoe, surrounded by a range of our charities, community groups and a small selection of commercial entities, all of whom support our veterans.

Having arrived at 07:00Hrs, our Commander Keith Johnson set up the foundations of our stand, and was joined at 10:15Hrs by our Chancellor, Philip Hutchens, our Hospitaller, Averil Hutchens, and our Secretary, Paul Borrow-Longain. Our stand was covered in marketing material of the Order of St Lazarus, and of the range or local, national & international charities that the Commandery currently make financial donations. The stand was fully manned until 17:00Hrs.

Our Commander was engaged throughout the day organising the entire Veterans Village.

During the day we were visited by the great and good of Devon society. We were truly honoured to have the opportunity to introduce the Commandery and the Order of St Lazarus to H.M.'s Lord Lt for the County of Devon, the Chief of the Air Staff (the operational head of the Royal Air Force), the Deputy Lord Mayor of Plymouth, the Mayor of the Town of IVYBRIDGE, as well as a selection of Flag Rank officers from the Royal Navy.

To enable us to better engage with youth, and their parents, we designed and build a shield / sword in the colours and arms if the Order of St Lazarus, to go with two helmets from the Crusades which was donated to the cause by our Commander. Our Secretary was keeping count of the youth whom dressed up as Knights, to have their photographs taken by their parents, until he reached 250 and lost count. Almost all of the marketing material available was given out to interested adults, and approximately 35 individuals engaged in positive discussions regarding the history, beliefs and current activities of the Order. Of particular interest was our activities and events around continental Europe.

While the event was a huge success, lessons were learned, which will allow us to achieve even greater results the next time we're in the community. We will be investigating having items for sale to the general public, giveaways such as pens / key rings and the like branded as the Order of St Lazarus, as well as a branded display stand. Once costs are known, it's hoped a suitable donation can be secured to assist with the costs. We also found that our membership attraction, and Order promotion, plan which utilises social media was having a huge success. Within 2-months of launch, we have achieved 200 followers, with many posts being seen by well over 100 individuals. We are excited to see how this grows over the coming months, and wonder what could be achieved if our plans were deployed across the Grand Priory of England & Wales.








Paul Borrow-Longain CLJ

Commandery Secretary


Avalon Charitable Trust & Chernobyl Children's Lifeline - 2015

At the end of July and the start of August, thirteen youngsters had a four  week recuperative break in Devon provided by Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline Plymouth.   They come from Belarus, an area still feeling the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear explosion in April 1986, from which up to 70% of the radioactive material released settled on Belarus.   The land remains contaminated, and as a result, thousands are born every year who may go on to develop  cancer of the thyroid,  bones, or  leukemia.

The Commandery of Avalon has supported the Lifeline for the past eleven years, and has now established a tradition that one of the highlights of the children’s visit is the walk on Dartmoor and a Devon cream tea at the Two Bridges Hotel, Princetown.  The Commandery pays for the guide, Tony Burges, the hotel provides the tea free, and the children  enjoy it greatly.

Each year there is a different group of children from all backgrounds, and it is said that four weeks in our clean air with uncontaminated food can prolong their lives by two years.

The photograph shows the children, their carers, Avalon members, and Tony Burges, the Dartmoor Guide.

The Revd Louis Baycock ECLJ, Commander


Tavistock Times & Gazette, August 2014

The Commandery of Avalon has through its Avalon Charitable Trust supported ‘Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline’ for several years, and at our last meeting, Chevalier Ted Burnell suggested that we might do something practical when a group of children from Belarus came to Plymouth for what can only be described as ‘Rest and Refreshment’. These visits are an annual event, and give a different group of children each year a four week stay that enables them to see the sea, probably for the first time, Belarus being land-locked, to breathe fresh clean air, and eat uncontaminated food; their stay in this country is said to prolong their lives by two years and more!

We chose to entertain them on the 8th August at the Two Bridges Hotel at Princetown on Dartmoor, for whom nothing was too much trouble. We were blessed with good weather, and the afternoon started with a guided walk by Mr Tony Burges, a qualified guide, who, with the help of Anastasia the interpreter, told the children some of the ‘scary, and not-so-scary’ tales of the Moor.

When they returned to the hotel, they were entertained to a dairy-free tea, specially arranged by the hotel’s chef – children in Belarus have had it impressed upon them that they must not eat dairy products for fear of radioactivity, and they bring this fear with them, even though they are re-assured about our food. The afternoon ended very happily, with the children, their carers, hosts and the members of the Commandery enjoying a Devon Tea together. If you would like to know more, please visit the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline website: , and also the ‘Tavistock Times and Gazette’ and go to Archives: search for ‘Belarus’ and August 2013.

The Revd Louis Baycock ECLJ, Commander


 Avalon Commandery entertains children from Chernobyl



Annual investiture of the Avalon Commandery, Saturday, June 15th, at Exeter Cathedral

The Precentor of Exeter Cathedral, The Revd Canon Carl Turner (next to the Bailiff), was admitted as a Chaplain of the Order.



















Commander of Avalon, Chevalier John Fewings KCLJ, at an Avalon Charity gathering on 2nd October 2009, handing over a donation for £700 from the Avalon Charitable Trust.

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