One of Fountain Hills’ very own has recently joined the ranks of an order that predates the Knights Templar.
On Feb. 29, 2020 in Studio City, Los Angeles at the St. Anne’s Cathedral, Dr. Grant Smith of Smith Family Chiropractic was knighted as part of the Orthodox Order of St. John.
Smith originally heard about the order months prior at a Hall of Fame event from another guest who is a dame in the order.
“I expressed interest (in the order) and I did some research on the Orthodox Order of St. Johns,” Smith said. “My friend ended up playing the role of my mentor and it took about 10 months of background checks and putting things all together.”
Along with all of that background work, Smith also assembled a 14-page document in which he laid out his qualifications and history, as well as the order’s history and code.
“I wrote this and gave it to them as, not really a dissertation, but more like an application on going into the knighthood,” Smith said. “I wrote about their history, which goes back to 1035, and my specializations.”
When the day finally came to be knighted Smith said the ceremony was steeped in tradition.
“The ceremony was extremely formal, all the knights and the dames were there and they all wear the cape with the Maltese Cross,” Smith said. “The church itself was very ornate. There were no blank walls, the whole place is a mural.”
Smith received his knighthood in a manner he said is exactly what you would expect.
“We have a service, which the head captain priest led, and then they have a throne set up with a pillow in front of it and Nicole, my mentor, is there with a sword and performs the actual knighting,” Smith said.
Unlike in the older days of the order, when a knight might be called to arms on the battlefield, Smith receives a different call.
“What this order does now is basically, if the Red Cross is there, we’re there,” Smith explained. “We do all we can for medical supplies, blankets, food and whatnot for relief efforts. So as a knight, I thought I’d be slaying dragons. But I’m not slaying dragons, I am helping the poor.”