H.E. The Chevalier Stephen Lautens GCJ, Lord of the Manor of Priors Hall, Lindsell – Grand Master

On November 28, 2007, H.E. The Chevalier Stephen Lautens GCJ, B.A., J.D., was elected Grand Master of The Equestrian, Secular and Chapterial Order of Saint Joachim by a vote of Grand Chapter. He was formally installed as Grand Master on June 20, 2009, the 254th anniversary of the founding of The Order. He previously served as Coadjutor Grand Master of the Order to the late previous Grand Master, His Excellency the Chevalier Helmut Braundle-Falkensee GCJ, and regent and Grand Master Elect of the Order from his death in 2007 to his installation in 2009. H.E. The Chevalier Lautens is the first Grand Master of the Order from the New World.

Born in 1959, The Chevalier Lautens is a barrister and solicitor with an extensive background in communications and business. He is the Lord of the Manor of Prior’s Hall, Lindsell, which is in Essex. This Manor has had only four previous “Lords” – including New College, Oxford, and Edward III’s Lord Chancellor – since its creation following the Norman Conquest in 1066 AD.

The Grand Master is a lawyer who was called to the Bar in 1988. He had his own litigation practice in Toronto for ten years where he appeared at all levels of court including the then Supreme Court of Ontario, the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal. In 1997 he served as president of The Lawyers Club. Prior to the practice of law, H.E. The Chevalier Lautens worked for two years as a Special Assistant to a federal Cabinet Minister in Ottawa, Canada, which included work with the Prime Minister’s Office.

He has served for over 10 years as a Governor of The National Newspaper Awards and two terms as president of the Toronto Press Club. A freelance journalist, he wrote a weekly column for the Calgary Sun for 16 years. His articles have also appeared in numerous other publications, including the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, and as a regular feature in The National Post, The London Free Press and Toronto Sun.

His charitable work includes having served as a public member of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, a teaching hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. He is also past Vice President of the East Toronto unit of Canadian Cancer Society. The Grand Master devoted a year to assisting the Greater Toronto Community Clearinghouse, a registered charity that acted as an umbrella organization for a number of charitable ventures, including training the unemployed in computer repair and refurbishment and redeploying the computers to schools, low-income families and charities, and sponsoring community-based social programs. He is founder and director of the Order of Saint Joachim’s registered charity in Canada, The Noble Hearts Foundation.

H.E. The Chevalier Lautens is Past President of Toronto’s National Club, and previously served three non-consecutive terms as President of The Ontario Club. He served two terms as Worshipful Master (2000-2002) of Harry L. Martyn Lodge (AF&AM G.R.C. No. 696).

In 2008 he received the Freedom of the City of London (UK). He is a supporting member of the Officers’ Mess of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louises’s), and served on the board of the Canadian International Military Tattoo. He was made an Honourary Colonel and Aide de Camp to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2006. He is also a Grand Officier (GOTJ) of The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem and a Commander 1st Class of The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. He was also awarded the Große Verdienstkreuz 1st Class with Swords of the Order of Merit of the Freundeskreis Hoch- und Deutschmeister, and the Foundation Cross of the CSLI, where he holds the rank of major general. In 2013 he was presented with Honorary Royal Lao Airborne Wings on behalf of the General Staff and the CO of the 35th Mountain Regiment. In 2020 the Register of Humanitarian and Stabilisation Professionals (RoHSP) presented him with their Grand Companion of the Order of Humanity.

The Grand Master is an armiger, with personal arms granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority of the office of the Governor General of Canada. His arms contain a coronet with crosses pattee, which alludes to his position as Grand Master of the Order of Saint Joachim. He is listed in the Canadian edition of Who’s Who. In 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his volunteerism and community service.

H.E. The Chevalier Lautens earned a J.D. degree from Queen’s University, Kingston, and a history B.A. degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto. He is married to wife Rhea and lives in Toronto, Canada.

The Grand Master may be reached at: grandmaster@stjoachimorder.org.