Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 25, 2008
Knights put fervour on display at convention banquet
By DENNIS SADOWSKI
Catholic News Service
Bradly Colling wanted to make sure he wasn't missed.
No one else among the 2,000 delegates, spouses and guests at the States Dinner Aug. 5 during the 126th annual Knights of Columbus convention in Quebec City stood on a chair.
No one else was waving a flag as large as his, from his native South Dakota.
"I want everyone to know where South Dakota is," said Colling, a member of Council 11489 in Rapid City, S.D.
"We have a beautiful state," he told Catholic News Service.
While Colling may have been a bit more enthusiastic then most conventioneers, his fervour was shared as Knights from around the world celebrated the accomplishments of local councils and shined a spotlight on the diversity of the 126-year-old organization.
For nearly 10 minutes members of the throng waved colourful flags from their home provinces, states, and far-off countries as a slew of distinguished guests, including dozens of members of the Church hierarchy, marched to the dais and the four long rows of head tables reserved for them.
As dinner progressed, representatives from each locale stood and waved multicoloured flags as the Stu Hirsch Orchestra rolled through songs, each recalling the 10 provinces, 50 states, District of Columbia and five countries.
The evening also was devoted to celebrating the work of the international network of Knights councils, which raised a record $144.9 million in 2007 and saw membership climb by nearly 22,000 worldwide in the last fiscal year.
Jason Kenney, a knight from the St. Albert the Great Council in Calgary and federal secretary of state for multiculturalism and Canadian identity, welcomed the convention on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Kenney said it was appropriate for the Knights to gather in Quebec just weeks after the 49th International Eucharistic Congress and as the city celebrates the 400th anniversary of its founding.