St John Brigade members honoured by Queen Elizabeth




African News Agency


THEY have not only made a difference in many lives, but have also transferred their knowledge to the next generation of brigades. Kim Lee Harland and our very own Weekend Argus reporter Murphy Nganga were recently honoured by Queen Elizabeth with Membership to The Order of St John for exceptional, dedicated and devoted service to humanity. St John Brigade offers a platform for volunteering within the organisation, which is a certified health care provider in emergency medical services (EMS). Some of the work the pair do includes conducting and training the St John Brigade cadet division. During these sessions volunteers will learn how to perform CPR and how to treat bullet and burn wounds, among many other types of medical emergencies. Harland said words could not describe how honoured she felt. “This was truly one of my life achievements which encourages me to do more good in this world. I enjoy practising my first-aid skills on duties, competing in first-aid and home-care competitions (when I was a cadet), engaging with youth of all ages. “However, the best part is when I can make a difference in someone’s life and in society. “I have met many new friends that have turned into family through St John Brigade. If you have a passion for caring for others then I would recommend becoming a volunteer at our organisation,” she said. Nganga said he never thought this would be possible. “The day I got the news, I could barely think straight. I pinched myself to check if it was real because even saying to myself ‘you’ve been honoured by Queen Elizabeth’ feels surreal. “This motivates me to continue to do more and help build a generation of more compassionate people in our communities. “I enjoy giving my time to inspire young minds to live purpose-driven lives. Having grown up in the organisation myself, I’ve participated in many camps and competitions that taught me to be resilient, disciplined and compassionate. “I carry these values with me everywhere I go, and it feels good to be able to teach young people like myself, these values. “Being part of St John Brigade is more than just volunteering. Through time, you get to learn a lot about yourself, your abilities and your purpose. The organisation is also a good platform for a career in the medical field, such as being a paramedic or nurse,” he said. Chief communications officer of St John Brigade South Africa Francis Sands said: “They have not only helped countless injured patients, but have also transferred their vital knowledge and experience learnt in medical matters to the next generation of young volunteers in the St John Brigade. “They have done this with no expectation of reward, but for the love of service and kindness to others. I am immensely proud of both of them and I think it is so wonderful that the queen has personally recognised them and others from across our country for their exceptional service to humanity,” he said. “The first record of St John in South Africa was in 1883 when first-aid training classes were provided to the public in Grahamstown. It grew rapidly and the Cape Town centre was formed in 1891 where volunteer divisions were formed in nursing and first aid,” he said.