2007 – BYZANTINE Ball – Columbia

The historical and very beautiful Hotel Santa Clara in Cartagena Colombia received last February Members of our Orders arriving from Europe, Principality of Monaco, Latina America, U.S. and many others Countries to attend the Convention and Investiture.  Everybody was enthusiastic and of course the weather in the 90°f’s or 30°c had something to do with the enthusiasm of the guests of this fascinating town of the Caribbean Sea.

We have been privileged to visit la POPA at the time of La Candeleria, the favorite Saint and Mother of all inhabitants. The processional were awesome to see how young and old be so excited that they could even climb to the top.

The dinner we had at the restaurant La Vitrola, was delicious and going out we were all surprised to see carriages with candlelight, driving all the guests through the old City with musicians singing the ancient moving song of Cartagena. The evening was followed by the spectacular one, offered by our hostess at her gorgeous penthouse overlooking the bay. The guests were all aristocratic leaders of all walks of life, in their favorite city, Cartagena where the next day they would be invested into the Order.

During the Ceremony at the Ancient Toribia Church, H.I.R.H Prince Henri Paleologo, in presence of Monseigner Jaramillo, gave a special homage to the memory of the late Padre Rafael Herrero, who during many years was representing the Order in Colombia.  He was one of the most famous and active personalities of the Catholic Church.  Going out from the Church, all the participants where surprised to be conducted by trumpets to the Hotel Santa Clara where the Imperial Byzantine Ban took place at the Capilla Del Covento de Las Monjas built in 1617.  The photos taken were admired during the two days in the different editions of the news papers and magazines which made a beautiful presentation of the Order.

Our Sunday was very special because we sailed across the waters to the Rosario Island which is the perfect place for every one, especially honeymooning couples.  It is private and perfect with colorful building and thatched roofs with all first class amenities included. Other visits shared were the cathedral, the historical Plaza de la Aduna, the San Pedro Claver Church and the Inquisition Palace.

Our last night was spent near the sea in a unique restaurant, the Club delle Pesca where the Governor was saluting Countess Adriana, the Prince and Princess, dear Nicole and all the guest. After telling goodbye to Cartagena, Lady Arlene was singing in this beautiful ambiance, leaving the Club the carriages where waiting for us and proceeded towards the old town on the attractive four seater coaches, followed by the musicians till two o’clock in the morning when once again we all sang “ Goodbye Catgena….”

In conclusion, while some of us could not stay longer, having professional engagements the few who could delay their departure were invited to spend extra days with our lovely hostess, living the casual but important Cartagenian life, sharing the friendliness and happiness with the most happy people of the world.

The South American Chapter of our Order has already plans for the 2008 Investiture where we shall all be invited to that unique colonial beach city!

Hasta Luego Cartagena!