Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 17, 2010
Knights' landmark, 100th annual convention held in Lethbridge
All 4 Lethbridge councils are based in parishes
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
LETHBRIDGE - Knights of Columbus from across Alberta and the Northwest Territories will converge here May 14 for their 100th annual state convention.
Close to 250 delegates, their wives and guests are expected to attend the three-day event at recently renovated Coast Hotel. Among the guests are St. Paul Bishop Luc Bouchard and Bishop David Motiuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton. Men of Peace and Hope is the overall theme for this year's gathering.
The choice of Lethbridge for the May 14-16 convention is not by chance.
"We are having the convention in Lethbridge this year because Lethbridge (Council No. 1490) is celebrating its 100th anniversary," says State Deputy Neil Gannon. "And it is also the 100th anniversary of the state council of the Knights. So it's a special year."
Actually, it was formation of Lethbridge Council 1490 that made it possible for the Knights to have a state council, Gannon explained. "A state council cannot be formed until there are three councils."
Council 1490 was launched in Lethbridge May 24, 1910 - the third council formed in Alberta after Edmonton Council 1184 and Calgary's Msgr. Doyle Council No. 1186.
Gannon expects to be re-elected for a second one-year term at the helm of the almost 17,000 Knights in Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
"Traditionally the state deputy serves for two years," he said in an interview. "So the second year it's usually automatic that the state deputy let his name stand and nobody opposes him."
Gannon is happy with the Knights' performance during his first term, pointing to the fact the order was able to commit to raise $1 million over five years for the construction of the new St. Joseph Seminary and Newman Theological College.
In total the Knights gave out $2.1 million to charity over the last year, including money for the Cornerstone of Faith Campaign, vocations, St. Mary's College, the pro-life movement, the Special Olympics and the Wheelchair Foundation, which purchase wheelchairs for people in developing countries.
The Knights are also helping to organize the March for Life taking place May 13 in Edmonton.
Two new councils, one in Edmonton and one in Calgary, were formed over the past year for a total of 170 councils throughout Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
"So I think we've had a very positive year with the Knights working together as one unit," Gannon said.
The Knights of Columbus has been well represented in Lethbridge since the creation of council 1490 a century ago.
Today, four councils serve Lethbridge. Council 1490 was the only council in the city until 1965 when Our Lady of Peace Council was formed to serve the new parish of Our Lady of the Assumption. Similarly, the creation of a new parish in West Lethbridge, St. Martha's, led to the formation of St. Martha's Council 9280.
Meanwhile, as Lethbridge Council 1490 had grown large and was serving two parishes, it was decided to start a new council in 1992, St. Patrick's Council 10547, to serve St. Patrick's Parish, while Lethbridge Council 1490 continued to serve St. Basil's Parish.
All four councils in Lethbridge work closely together to serve the Lethbridge community, says a news release from the convention communications committee.
Lethbridge Council 1490 has its own clubhouse, Columbus Hall, on 13th Street across the road from Canadian Tire. Council 5726 also has a clubhouse next to Our Lady of Assumption Parish Hall. The other two councils operate out of the basements of their respective churches.
"All four councils use their parish hall for activities such as parish socials and pancake breakfasts that have contributed significantly to creating a strong sense of community in each parish," the news release says.
"They raise considerable sums of money by a variety of means to donate funds to charities or support other worthwhile projects."
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