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Knights of Columbus continue tradition of service

For nearly 100 years, the Watterson Council 1405 of the Knights of Columbus has served Lawrence County.

Members of this volunteer organization say these last 96 years have been productive ones, and they're looking forward to accomplishing just as much in the next 100.

What is now a worldwide Catholic men's community service organization began in 1881 in New Haven, Conn., the brainchild of a young parish priest, the Rev. Michael J. McGivney.

"It was set up to help the widows and orphans," said Pat Whaley, Watterson Council's new grand knight. "It grew from there."

Based on the principles of unity, fraternity, charity and patriotism, the organization began to flourish and its service to the community began to grow.

"We are considered the 'strong right arm of the Catholic Church,'" explained Jim Colegrove, who has been a member of Watterson Council since 1979 and is now the district deputy for the southern Ohio district of the Knights of Columbus.

Historically, that "strong right arm" has flexed its muscle on a number of well publicized national issues. It spearheaded the drive in the late 1950s to have the words "one nation under God" added to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.

The group has also been a vocal supporter of prayer in schools and keeping the Ten Commandments displayed in public buildings as well the pro-life movement.

The history of the Knights of Columbus in Ironton dates back to 1909. Its list of activities is lengthy and varied.

The 175 members of the Watterson council are also active in and help raise funds for Ironton's Catholic schools.

"Anything they need us to do, we're there to help," Colegrove said. "Anything the church needs, we're there to help."

Knights of Columbus members helped out during the first Gus Macker Tournament

and work on many other projects.

Any practicing Catholic man 18 years of age or over may become a Knights of Columbus member.

For more information, call (740) 533-1405