The Knights of Malta Dogwood Chapter is a fraternal society that lives by the motto: "Raising money for charity while having fun doing it!"

The first order was known as the Knights of the Order of St. John, and today it is known as St. John Ambulance Canada. Thus, the first nurses in modern times were actually men and not women. We believe in the guiding principles of the Knights of Malta in helping the needy and less fortunate, and caring for the sick and wounded.

In the early 13th century, a more modern type of secular hospital was founded by Pope Innocent III in Rome, when nursing care in these medieval hospitals were performed almost entirely by men. During the Middle Ages, male nursing orders were formally organized to provide care to soldiers during the Crusades. These military knights, known collectively as the Knights Hospitalliers, were responsible for providing care to wounded soldiers on the battlefield and protecting those who could no longer defend themselves. They also cared for individuals suffering from leprosy, a socially stigmatizing disease of the time. During this same period, religious orders of monks undertook nursing duties as they cared for individuals who were afflicted with incurable diseases, such as the plague. The plagues of modern times now include HIV/AIDS, leprosy, West Nile virus, the Hanta virus, etc.

Originally, the Knights Hospitalliers of St. John were a celibate, fraternal order devoted to the protection of their fellow Crusaders. After the end of the Crusades, the Knights served as a military buffer between Christian Europe and Islamic Turkey, basing themselves on the Greek island of Rhodes. They held the island for two centuries, but by the early sixteenth century were forced to retreat to Malta. There they adopted the name for which they were best known, The Knights of Malta.

While our modern knights have abandoned celibacy as a guiding principle, we maintain strong fraternal bonds between our fellows in the United States and Canada.

The modern incarnation of the Knights of Malta were founded in Seattle, Washington in 1973. They are considered the Mother chapter of the society. We also have a brother chapter in Fresno, California. The Dogwood Chapter was founded in 1980 in Vancouver, British Columbia, thus making us a truly international organization. The Knights of Malta Dogwood Chapter is a non-profit society which raises funds in the community for charity organizations. We are the honour guard for the Empire of Canada, Dogwood Monarchist Society, Rhinestone Phoenix Charity Foundation, the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society, Vancouver Pride Society, and the Empire of the Peace Arch (Surrey).