Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 29, 2002
Alberta's most active council
Brooks council also had province's best grand knight
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"We encouraged our members to participate in the activities they enjoy doing."
- Joe Novakowski
He said when he took on the position of grand knight with the Alphonsus William Curran Council 5116 he looked upon it as a challenge that he was up for and spent a lot of time at it.
"Whenever I had a project that I undertook with the Knights of Columbus, I really made a huge effort to ensure that it would succeed. I guess it comes from my business background too. It's very important for me that if I take a project on that I make it succeed."
Novakowski, a father of four, is regional manager of an oilfield service company in Estevan, where he is active in the local Knights of Columbus council.
"Joe exemplifies the typical leader" and deserves the recognition, said Jim Brack, membership chairman for the Brooks council.
"He is very active in the parish and the community. He is the kind of driving force that gets everybody else going. He comes up with a lot of good ideas and he seems to have the ability to get people on board to do them. He is deserving of the honour without a doubt."
The council of the year award was awarded to the Brooks council in recognition of "a successful council year," Novakowski noted. That includes recruiting more than 20 new members that year, establishing the Squires Circle with 13 young boys and successfully hosting some 15 events and activities throughout the year.
One thing the council did which Novakowski thinks allowed it to be named council of the year was hosting the Knights' provincial state curling bonspiel, an event which gathered 30 teams from across Alberta. They also hosted the Flying Fathers hockey team and raised hundreds of dollars for charity through the event.
Other events mentioned by Novakowski include the annual council campout, the hosting of the Canada Day celebrations where they cooked for 600 people, the preparation of a monthly supper for the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the October annual turkey supper where they cooked for about 700 people.
They raised over $1,200 through their Octoberfest Dance and over $5,000 through their Mardi Gras Party in November.
"There was a whole long list of things that we did as a council that gives us the distinction of being council of the year," Brack said. "We like to walk the talk."
Novakowski likes the fact he and his council got both awards at the same time, a rare case. "That was an accomplishment that isn't common."
The secret to the council's success in the 2000-01 Columbian year lay in the fact every member was made to feel part of the organization.
"We made every member of the Knights of Columbus feel that he was an important member within our council and that we had a role for him to play," he said.
"And we encouraged our members to participate in the activities they enjoy doing. Those who enjoy camping were the perfect people for our annual council campout. Those who enjoy golf became the perfect chair people for our golf tournament.
"You've have to try to utilize people around you and assign them the duties that they enjoy doing. That's what I tried to do as grand knight."
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