The Yorkton chapter of the Knights of Columbus is preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Monday they provided some background on both the local group, and the upcoming anniversary to Yorkton Council at its regular meeting Monday.
“It is with great pleasure that we announce that the Knights of Columbus Council
2031 in Yorkton, SK will celebrate their 100th year anniversary on July 13,” said John Curry representing the Knights of Columbus Council 2031.
In terms of history, “as an organization of Catholic men, the Knights of Columbus were granted a charter on March 29th, 1882 in New Haven, Connecticut. Led by Michael J. McGivney, an Irish-American priest, the organization began as a mutual benefit society for working-class and immigrant Catholics in America. The group evolved into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable, education, insurance, and other services to anyone in need,” said Curry.
Meanwhile, in Canada, a group of businessmen and investors formed the York Farmers Colonization Company, purchased land, and formed a settlement and center for trade on the banks of the Little Whitesand River. The colony was named York Colony and the Little Whitesand River is now known as Yorkton Creek. The year was 1882, Curry explained.
“For many years the Oblate Fathers served the Yorkton area as missionaries. In 1903, the Roman Catholic Redemptorist Fathers purchased a house for a rectory, establishing a permanent church in Yorkton. The following year, volunteers and clergy built a 3-story building staffed with five priests and three religious brothers, serving Yorkton and 10 outlying missions,” said Curry.
On December 11, 1904, the building as dedicated as St. Gerard Parish. The population of Yorkton was around 1,300.
“On July 13, 1919 the Yorkton Knights of Columbus Council Number 2031 was granted a charter to create a local society. The population of Yorkton at this time was just over 3,000 people,” said Curry.
“As the ‘strong right arm’ of St. Gerard Parish, the members of Council 2031 dedicate their time, and funds raised or donated, for the betterment of their Parish and Community. The Knights of Columbus organization is dedicated to the principles of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism.”
Charity is the foremost principle, and our council enacts this in our community in a number of ways, said Curry.
Some of our recent charitable activities, in no specific order are:
$1,000.00 donation to the Health Foundation
$100.00 scholarship x2 for Yorkton Music Festival participants
$1,500.00 donation to SaskAbilities for the Camp Easter Seals program
$650.00 raised, and participation in, the Bowl for Kids Sake event
$500.00 scholarship x2 for students graduating Sacred Heart High School
$500.00 scholarship x2 for students graduating Yorkton Regional High School
$950.00 for the Parkland Valley and Provincial Special Olympics athletes
“We provide funding, hosting, and volunteers for a variety of community programs and projects including youth camps, Salvation Army, sponsored refugee family, Zion 8th Group Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, SIGN, Habitat for Humanity, Shelwin House, Families in need, Kids help phone, our local Schools, and support many other groups and individuals in our community,” continued Curry.
“For our 100th anniversary, our council will be purchasing a commemorative park bench that will be located in the Knights of Columbus Park. In addition, we will continue to support our Parish and Community. We will be augmenting this effort by establishing a special anniversary program entitled ‘100 Acts for 100 Years’, with the goal of achieving 100 acts of charity, unity, fraternity, or patriotism during the anniversary year of celebration. We invite everyone in our parish and community to help us achieve this goal.
“We will be celebrating our anniversary on July 13, in conjunction with our State Organizational Meeting ... I would like to take this opportunity to invite members of council, and indeed, the citizens of Yorkton and area, to join us in this celebration. We will be collecting food and funds for the Salvation Army Food Bank at this event.
“We would like to conclude by saying that it has been a pleasure and an honour to serve the City of Yorkton and the surrounding area for 100 years, and the Knights of Columbus Council 2031 are proud to be a part of a community of over 20,000 people -- Where Good Things Happen.”