Murray Bridge ambulance volunteer Bob Menadue made Commander in Order of St John

Honour: His Excellency the Governor, Hieu Van Le, congratulates Bob Menadue on his appointment as a Commander of the Order of St John. Photo: St John Ambulance SA.
Honour: His Excellency the Governor, Hieu Van Le, congratulates Bob Menadue on his appointment as a Commander of the Order of St John. Photo: St John Ambulance SA.

A Murray Bridge man has been admitted to a royal order of chivalry in recognition of his almost 45 years of volunteer service.

St John Ambulance volunteer Bob Menadue was recently made a Commander in the Order of St John, an honour conferred by Governor Hieu Van Le.

Mr Menadue said his admission had widened his viewpoint from caring for sick and injured people in Murray Bridge to thinking of those across the world - a far cry from what he might have imagined himself getting into in 1975.

He first joined St John as a young farm worker who wanted to pick up some first aid knowledge through an ambulance transport nursing course.

St John ran the local ambulance service at Karoonda at the time.

"Being in a small community, there was a need for local people to work on the ambulance to cover field duty," he said.

He went on to spend 20 years as a first aid trainer and still provides first aid at events - all voluntarily.

"The best payment is when you get a card in the mail with a big thank you for what you've done," he said.

The Murray Bridge division of St John Ambulance SA has only four volunteers: Mr Menadue, Christine Thompson, Rebecca Colangelo and Nathan Reeves, who between them have 101 years of experience.

They attend multiple events every week, from skate park and motocross competitions to markets, some of which would not be able to run without them.

Mr Menadue hoped more community members would consider joining.

"It's a great way for people to maintain first aid skills and help the local people," he said.

The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem was made an order of the British Crown by Queen Victoria in 1888, and Queen Elizabeth II remains its head.

Its thousands of members abide by the mottos pro fide, "for the faith", and pro utilitate hominum, "in service of humanity".

It had its origins in the mediaeval Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, founded in about 1070 to care for sick, poor or injured pilgrims in the Holy Land.

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