A black full length ceremonial Order of St John Commander of the Order robe with a gathered neck, high collar and cord neck ties and tassels. A large white fabric and a thread embroidered Amalfi Cross has been stitched onto the right facing breast area.
This Commander of the Order robe belonged to Jesse Somerton. Commander of the Order was the highest ranking position in Taranaki during its time. It is below only the rank of of Knight. This robe was worn at investitures where members of the Order were admitted for life. The Governor General as the representative of the crown and members of the Priory, who wore these gowns, officiated at the ceremony. Jessie Somerton was made a life member of St. John in 1973. She was promoted to a Serving Sister in 1977 and was the commissioner of St. John in Taranaki from 1982-87. She was the first Chairman of the New Plymouth Area Committee on its inception in 1987. In her professional life she was a Nursing Sister and Midwife.
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