Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 24, 2010
Knights meet their goals, support campus evangelism
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
LETHBRIDGE - Neil Gannon will continue leading the Knights of Columbus of Alberta/Northwest Territories for another year.
As expected, the 69-year-old former school principal and superintendent was acclaimed to another term as state deputy at the Knights' 100th annual state convention May 14-16.
About 600 people, including Knights' families and various guests, attended the event at the Coast Hotel. Men of Peace and Hope was the overall theme of the three-day gathering.
The convention was held in Lethbridge this year in honour of Lethbridge Council 1490, which is marking its centennial.
Acclaimed along with Gannon were Gary Johnson, state secretary; William Smith, state advocate; Ronald Schuster, state warden; and Philip Birch, state treasurer.
Gannon, a member of Good Shepherd Parish in Edmonton, was first elected state deputy at the Knights' Red Deer convention a year ago.
During his first term, the Knights gave $2.1 million to charity and met their $1-million fundraising goal for the construction of the new St. Joseph Seminary and Newman Theological College.
Also over the past year, the Knights formed two new councils - one in Edmonton and one in Calgary - for a total of 170 councils throughout Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
Under Gannon's tenure, the order also got heavily involved with pro-life projects, including the annual March for Life, which this year attracted more than 1,000 people.
His plans as state deputy for the next 12 months are "to continue what we are doing and, if anything, strive to improve what we are doing."
At the convention, delegates defeated a state council motion to donate a $37,000 surplus from the Knights Pennies for Heaven campaign to the construction of the new seminary. The money will instead be given to the Alberta dioceses for the formation of priests, which was its original intent.
The Knights also resolved at their convention to create awareness and provide financial support for Catholic Christian Outreach, a missionary organization that does evangelical work at Canadian universities.
Gannon said the convention left it up to individual councils to decide how they are going to support CCO, which started in Saskatchewan 20 years ago and is now active on eight university campuses across Canada.
Several significant performance awards were given away at the convention.
The Family of the Year Award went to Bob and Denise Clarke of St. Albert's Brother Anthony Council 10014. Clement Chiasson, also from Brother Anthony Council, received the Knight of the Year Award.
The Grand Knight of the Year Award went to Grand Knight John Majowski of Calgary's Jan Otlowski Council 14497.
Grande Prairie Council 3241 was presented with the Council of the Year Award and Edmonton Council 1184 was given the Fraternal Council of the Year Award. The District Deputy of the Year Award went to Patrick Picardo of Edmonton.
Gannon described the convention as "a very positive and fraternal event." Everyone went home with "high spirits" to continue to do what the Knights do best: raise money for charity, organize spiritual activities and support their priests and bishops.
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