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Giftus John

Grand Knight

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Michael Willemse

Deputy Grand Knight

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Brother Knights,

I turn around and it is already time to write another message for the Digest…wow…time is flashing past quickly. But I think I am up to it and there is much that I can say in regards to us as brother knights and family members of brother knights. But I will try to touch on a few things that have helped to make me cherish what being the Grand Knight is, first of all, and being a knight, most of all.

I have received some very positive feedback about the article written by Andy Schopfer about our deceased brother, Bernard Warren Hehl and also my mention of him in my message. It was good to hear brothers who were involved with the club at its inception and through the years say how nice it was that he was given that tribute. And yes, I was glad to listen and feel proud to have to get such a warm feeling about another brother knight.

During the family picnic we honored our fallen friends of 911 with a moment of silence; a reading of the 911 prayer as adopted by the Knights and read by my dear wife Theresa, a member of the Columbiettes; and stood at attention as DJ Faz played “God Bless America” on his sound system to a rousing round of applause by all. At the end of the picnic a brother Knight walked up to me, hugged me and thanked me for what we had done. I felt very moved. It meant a lot to that brother as I am sure it did to others and it is nice that we, as a council and as a nation, do not forget those who perished on 911. One of my former students, when I taught at a High School back in my island home of Dominica, Fitzroy St. Rose, was among those killed, so I understand the pain and empty feeling that many have on that day.

I have realized, in the three months since assuming this responsibility of Grand Knight, that there are the good and bad days; the great and extremely tough days, but what is most important to me is to make this council, in the short time that I have, one that we can continue to feel proud of; one that our members can feel proud to associate with; one that our family members will support when we have our events: the picnic, the pancake breakfasts; the 50/50s, the raffles…whatever it is, because they will believe that we are doing what is good and right.

So brothers, I exhort ALL of us to continue doing what we have been doing. Those who have been watching from the sidelines, get aboard. You are an integral part of this council and you need to come forward. We don’t have to keep looking across to see what the other guy is doing to see how hard we must run- the only person who could do that and still win is Usain Bolt-but keep running as hard as YOU can and cross the finish line, because that is what matters. We all cannot be the first place winner, but we all can be winners. Council 4504 can be a winner and so too the Columbian Club and the Swim Club, but it takes us all to make it happen.

Vivat Jesus, my brothers.


Fr. Bob Wolfee