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Issue 328 – Prestigious honour for St John volunteer

Local resident Roy Prager has been recognised for his contribution towards first aid with St John Ambulance by being invested into the Order of St John.

The honour was bestowed at a special ceremony in the Order’s historic 12th century Priory Church in London’s Clerkenwell.
People can only become members of the Order of St John if they have shown exceptional service to its key foundations – one of which is St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity. The Order of St John is a Royal Order of Chivalry and Her Majesty the Queen, its Sovereign Head, approves each recipient.
Up to 150,000 people die each year in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live. St John Ambulance believes no one should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it and the work of volunteers such as Roy is crucial in being the difference between lives lost and lives saved.
Roy joined St John Ambulance in 1959 and during his long association with the charity has been an assistant area staff officer, assistant commissioner operations and child and vulnerable adults officer as well as being recruitment and retention officer for volunteers across the county. Roy is now Somerset’s deputy commander.
He was presented with the Order’s insignia by Rodney Green, the Prior of the Priory of England and the Islands. The Prior is the Chairman of the Priory of England and The Islands (part of the Order of St John).
Roy said, “It’s a real honour to become a member of the Order of St John and to receive it for doing something I love makes it even more special. I joined St John Ambulance so that I could learn first aid and be the difference between a life lost and a life saved but I never thought it would lead to something like this. I’m humbled.”
The Prior, Rodney Green said, “I’m delighted to invest Roy into the Order of St John. He was honoured in recognition of his dedicated service to St John Ambulance, which is committed to making sure no one dies through a lack of first aid training. As one of the charity’s 40,000 volunteers, his work is integral to its work in communities across the country.”
The investiture ceremony takes place three times a year. Around a hundred people from communities across the country are invested on each occasion, the majority of whom are St John Ambulance volunteers. This ceremony took place on 14th April.
The Order of St John is one of the world’s oldest charities and traces its origins back 900 years to the Knights Hospitaller and the first Hospital of St John in Jerusalem in 1078.

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