Celebrating 140 years of saving sight

  • 12 Jul 2022

On the 24th June 2022 we celebrated the 140th anniversary of the Order of St John founding an Eye clinic in Jerusalem, an Eye Clinic that would later become a hospital. To mark this monumental anniversary, we celebrated with a garden party and a book launch.

We held the event in the historic building The Charterhouse, a beautiful building that was once a Carthusian monastery. The book launch and speeches were held in the historic Great Chamber, our Chairman of the Board Sir Andrew Cash, introduced the event thanking staff both in Jerusalem and in London and introducing the book commissioned by the Board of SJEHG about the hospital’s rich 140 year history. Dr Matthew Glozier, OStJ, one of the co-authors of ‘A Beacon of Hope: 140 years of eye care in the Holy Land, 1882-2022’, spoke on the process of writing the book and how it book came together with his two other co-authors. Sadly both Dr Ian Howie-Willis OAM KStJ and Professor John Pearn AO RFD GCStJ, the other two co-authors of ‘A Beacon of Hope’,  could not make the event to speak. Thankfully, Paul Gwillian, OStJ stepped in and read Dr Howie-Willis’ OAM KStJ speech.

Dr Ahmad Ma’ali, CStJ PhD MPH BSN PGCE ENB, CEO of SJEHG spoke about the current workings of the Eye Hospital and their operations. He praised the staff of the Eye Hospital for their diligent work during the pandemic and their continued positive impact on those they help. They even increased surgeries and outreach by 25% during the COVID-19. Dr Ma’ali continued to explain the daily running of the hospital and their outreach goals.

Dr David H Verity, KStJ MD MA FRCOphth, the Hospitaller for the Order of St John took to the podium and spoke on the innovation, research and the future of the Eye Hospital as well as about the history of the first hospitallers. The Lord Prior concluded the presentations by thanking staff, authors and various supporters before ushering guests to enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea.

The afternoon garden party was held in beautiful 14th century The Norfolk Cloister where guests enjoyed sandwiches, cakes, tea and prosecco. Guests also had an opportunity to view an array of fantastic historical items and displays pertaining to the Hospital with a stunning architect’s model of the Jerusalem Hospital taking centre stage.  As the guest departed, they were gifted the book ‘A Beacon of Hope’ to read.

The Garden Party was a wonderful day celebrating the Eye Hospital’s history, its achievements and toasting to its future with the many steadfast and passionate supports and staff.