Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 29, 1999
Knights ensure Christ not forgotten
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
The annual Knights of Columbus' Keep Christ in Christmas campaign got much brighter this year.
Along with its usual billboard display and television commercials encouraging people to remember Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ and not simply the arrival of the jolly big guy in the red suit, the Knights have added a nativity display in Hawrelak Park.
The 38-metre-long light display, which is part of Epcor's Bright Nights display, portrays the traditional nativity scene with the Holy Family, Wise Men and shepherds.
It was initiated by two Knights, Boniface Markowski and Randy Yatscoff, after last year's inaugural Bright Nights.
"The archbishop (Joseph MacNeil) said he was getting all kinds of phone calls from people asking why there wasn't a nativity scene (in Bright Nights)," Markowski said.
MacNeil didn't have to say any more. Markowski made some phone calls and found out who was in charge of the event. He rallied his fellow Knights and raised the $32,000 needed to sponsor a nativity display at the event for three years.
"Our nativity scene is really beautiful," said Markowski of the display made of metal framing lined with multi-coloured lights.
The Keep Christ in Christmas campaign is a push to bring back the real spirit of Christmas, said Markowski. "We are all getting away from what Christmas is all about."
When the campaign, sponsored by Father Bonner Council with funds contributed by several other councils, took flight five years ago, Markowski said it was a task convincing advertisers to put up a religious billboard.
"The first reaction we got was that it might offend some people," Markowski said. "I said if we didn't have it, it would offend more people."