Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 15, 2000
Knights going all out
First convention of millennium comes as Alta. Knights on the move
By GLEN ARGAN
The Alberta-Northwest Territories Knights of Columbus are going all out for their first convention of the third millennium.
They're encouraging more Knights to bring their families to their 90th annual state convention at Edmonton's Ramada Inn and have added an extra day to the event.
They've had the city declare May 15-22 as Knights of Columbus Week and they'll have displays on the fraternal order in shopping centres around town. Those displays will highlight special projects from several K of C councils.
"Our intention is to tell the public what the Knights are all about," says convention chairperson Ed Matheson.
"We're also taking more time for fraternity," Matheson said of the extra day tacked on to the convention.
The convention comes at a time when the Knights in Alberta are on the move. The order expects to recruit more than 700 new members by the time the Columbian year ends on June 30.
And its insurance program is growing by leaps and bounds. The order issued more than $100 million in insurance in Alberta last year, the first time any Canadian jurisdiction has achieved that mark.
Of the 168 Knights of Columbus insurance agencies spread across North America, Alberta was ranked sixth and hoping to climb higher.
The order's state deputy, Julito Reyes of Leduc, is proud of the accomplishments of the contributions made by the order - most of them unsung.
"The presence of the Knights of Columbus in the Church community and in the civic community is really being felt. It's a positive presence," said Reyes.
The convention begins Friday evening, May 19, with a social evening. On Saturday morning, a Mass and pancake breakfast cooked by the Knights will be held at St. Joseph's Basilica.
Lt. Gov. Lois Hole will speak to the ladies luncheon while government, Church, Shriners and Catholic Women's League representatives are invited to the Knights' annual civic luncheon. At that luncheon, an award will be presented to the knight of the year in the province.
The main social event of the convention will be the formal state ball on Saturday evening.
On Sunday, the Knights and their families will take part in the regular morning Mass at the basilica before retreating downstairs for another pancake breakfast.
That afternoon, wives will be able to go on tours of local tourist attractions while the convention delegates continue their business sessions.
A Sunday evening banquet at the basilica will include skits, light entertainment and awards for leading councils. Councils will also have displays set up to show off their good works.
"The Knights are involved in so many different things," said Matheson. "It's all done quietly in the background. Nobody is out there blowing his own horn. They just do it."
The final business sessions of the convention are held on Monday morning as is a memorial Mass to remember those knights who have died in the past year.
The main convention business will be resolutions, dispersal of money, reports and the election of the state executive. The latter is expected to be a minor matter this year with Reyes of Leduc standing for a second one-year term.
Other state board members are state secretary Leo Klein of Calgary, state warden Ernie Sehn of Lac La Biche, state advocate Mickey Casavant of St. Albert, state treasurer William Smith of Calgary, past state deputy Dennis Castellino of Calgary, and the long-serving state chaplain, Father Michael Troy of Edmonton.
The convention, Matheson noted, is also important because of the opportunity it provides for informal meetings among the brother knights.
Some districts in rural Alberta cover such a large territory that leaders of various councils don't get a chance to meet during the year. "Many times the only time that happens is at the convention."