Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 25, 2005
Supreme Knight star attraction
Casinos, same-sex marriage headline convention concerns
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
They will discuss new and improved fundraising methods having withdrawn from casinos and they will elect a new state deputy as Mickey Casavant's two-year term draws to a close.
But the real draw for the Knights of Columbus convention April 22-24 in Calgary will be the opportunity for an estimated 700 delegates to meet Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.
Convention chair Gerard Gottselig said having Anderson attend the convention could make the annual gathering the largest one yet.
"We are really looking forward to having the supreme knight at the conference. I have had a lot of inquiries from people wanting extra tickets to the Saturday night banquet. There is huge interest in him being here."
Gottselig estimates upwards of 700 knights will attend the convention.
"We sent him an invitation but obviously he is a very busy man. We hoped he could make it and he said he could."
Departing State Deputy Mickey Casavant described having Anderson present as "a privilege and an honour."
"I had been talking to him for 18 months before the state deputies met last November in the United States. I again asked him if he could come. His life is so busy that he could not make a commitment, but he said we were on his short list," Casavant said. "I received a phone call from his office recently saying he decided he could come."
Casavant thought the supreme knight might have been influenced because the Alberta-Northwest Territories jurisdiction has been very successful in terms of membership growth, family programs and youth involvement.
"Last year, we won top net gain in membership across Canada," said Casavant.
The state deputy says he enjoys attending the K of C conventions because they allow for discussion about where the jurisdiction is headed on issues like casino fundraising and same-sex marriage.
He was uncertain which specific resolutions will be discussed, but he anticipates withdrawal from casino funding to still be of great interest.
"I think we will discuss setting a timeline as to when all councils will cease using casinos. Some councils still have licences for casinos and they can operate them. But that will be it for them," Casavant said. "The timeline is to coincide with the wishes of the bishops."
Gottselig said he has not missed a convention since 1997.
"Every year, there is a supreme guest and it is always good to listen to what they bring to the table regarding what is going on in other areas. I enjoy the fellowship and exchanging ideas. And I feel recharged when I return from a convention. I feel like I'm ready to go again."
While the knights are in meetings, several activities are planned for their wives and children, including a luncheon on April 23 at the Calgary Petroleum Club. A trip to the Calgary Zoo is slated along with dinner and a sock-hop dance. The squires and squirettes will help look after the kids.
"Our youth program is doing a lot of the work for us," Gottselig said. "The kids will be well looked after and entertained. Many hands make light work."
The convention will conclude with a memorial Mass to remember the knights who died that past year.
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