Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 28, 2005
Knights bring home the spirit of Christmas
Politicians not only ones who can produce lawn signs
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
There will be more than election signs on Edmonton lawns this Christmas season if Canada heads to the polls.
The Knights of Columbus plan to produce about 2,000 signs with the message "Christ is Christmas" in an attempt to take the exploitation of Christmas away from TV commercials and shopping malls and return its true meaning to the city's homes.
Andrew Chan worked for a political candidate during the last election. While placing campaign signs on front lawns, a thought occurred to promote a message of a different kind.
"I wondered why no one puts out a sign for Jesus," said Chan, a member of Msgr. Joseph Malone Council 13312 at St. Joseph's Basilica.
"I discussed it with other knights in our council who thought it was a good idea. But I didn't have any experience how to do it."
Enter Grand Knight Liam Connelly and fellow knight Daryl Cooper.
"It was a 'Eureka!' moment in council when everyone heard the idea and agreed," said Connelly. "When it was unveiled at chapter, the other grand knights wondered why no one had thought of the idea before."
Connelly said it is an alternate way to raise funds - a way with a significant message, simply put, he said.
Cooper has a background in graphic design and set about creating the two-foot-by-two-foot prototype from a sheet of corrugated plastic, depicting the traditional scene of Christ's birth. The signs are waterproof and durable enough to withstand an Edmonton winter. The group is considering a second design.
While a stand is included in the $10 price, the signs can be placed inside the home in a window.
"Andrew had the concept, I developed how to manufacture it and Liam guided the way," Cooper said. Ron Meier is the printer.
Connelly is looking to Shine FM 105.9 as well as other businesses, Knights councils and parishes to help distribute the signs.
The funds raised will be used, in part, to assist three seminarians who belong to Msgr. Joseph Malone council.
"We are in solidarity with our priests and bishops," he said. "We are looking at fundraising outside of gambling. And this has got a lot of people involved. It has caught on."
The message on the sign that if it were not for Christ, we would not have Christmas, was suggested by former basilica rector Father Len Gartner, Connelly said.
Initially, 250 signs were produced. Another 500 were requested. And now interest is growing in councils and parishes across the Alberta/NWT jurisdiction.
Having a sign containing the Knights and Shine FM logos is optional.
"The sign is an evangelization tool because non-Christians can see how strong the Christian community is," Chan said.
Connelly said one of their goals was to make everything ecumenical in nature. "We wanted all Christian denominations."
Shine FM will soon have an Internet link to all distributors on its website www.shinefm.com
. The station's Edmonton office can be reached at (780) 466-4930.