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“K.C. Council will be instituted on Sunday” Verde Copper News, July 6, 1923

       All preparations have been completed for the institution of the “Verde District Council of the Knights of Columbus” next Sunday and the Casey’s are looking forward to one of the red letter days in their history. Between 30 and 40 candidates will receive the first three degrees of the order in the three formal sessions to be held during the day and in the evening there will be a grand banquet at the opera house at which Joseph Morgan of Prescott will make the principal address and there will be a five minute speeches by prominent members of the order from all over the State of Arizona. A special delegate from the headquarters of the Knights of Columbus at New Haven Connecticut will be in charge of the ceremonies of institution and installation.

      The Knights will attend Mass at the Church of the Holy Family at 8 o’clock Sunday morning and the first degree work will begin at the opera house promptly at 10 o’clock. There will be a recess for luncheon and be administered in the afternoon. Attorney John L. Sullivan of Prescott, District Deputy, will be in charge of the third degree work. At 8 o’clock in the evening, the banquet will be served at the opera house. This will be attended by the Knights and a number of invited guests.

      “For many years the local members of the Great Catholic Order have looked forward to the day when they could have a council of their own. They have worked as part of the Prescott Council, but the arrangement was not satisfactory, for many reasons that can not be readily understood, and it is a matter of great joy and congratulation to the members that at last there is to be a Verde District Council.”

“Local Council Knights of Columbus begins official life with bright prospects” Verde Copper News, July 10, 1923

       “Sore but satisfied” appears to be the condition of the new members of the Knights of Columbus who were given the first three degrees of the order at the all-day session held on Sunday at which, in addition to the reception of candidates, Verde Council was formally instituted. The Knights and candidates together with a number of visitors from every part of the state, attended Mass at 8 o’clock at the Church of the Holy Family and the formal exercises of the day begun immediately afterwards. The following officers were elected and instituted to serve for the coming year:

Grand Knight: E.L. Sweeney, Deputy Grand Knight: Fred Boyd, Financial Secretary: William D. Woods, Recording Secretary: John S. Riordan,

Treasurer: John P. Connolly, Warden: Russell Kuhn, Chancellor: Louis H. Burte, Trustees: J.W. Burke, James J. Cain, and Dan Shea,

Inner Guard: W.J. Burke, Outer Guards: Fred De Rossette and Tom Pressley

      The first two degrees were administered to a class of 32 members in the forenoon; a recess was taken for luncheon and in the afternoon, the class was given the third degree. In the evening, beginning at 8 o’clock and lasting until well after 11 o’clock, a banquet was served in the large lodge room at the Miller building and was attended by the Knights, their ladies and a number of invited guests. While nothing certain is known of the ritual work by those not members of the order, it is abundantly certain that all the candidates got all that was coming to them-and then some. They were all able to attend the banquet, but not a few looked as though they would just about as soon be in bed. “The catering was done by the Porter Bakery and the spread was of an unusual excellence. Certainly the Knights and their guests did not go home hungry.”

      Grand Knight “Pat” Sweeney was toastmaster-his right name is E.L. Sweeney, but nobody calls him that-and he filled the position the position most acceptably. He announced that all the speakers except the orator of the evening, Knight Joe Morgan, would be limited to five minutes each, and he asked them to “make it snappy,” which they all did. John L. Sullivan, past District Deputy, congratulated to the Verde District on the final consummation of their long deferred ambition to have a local chapter and predicted for the new organization every possible success. He stated also that the next thing to be done is the organization of a chapter of the “Catholic Daughters of America” the women’s branch of Columbians, heretofore known as the “Daughters of Isabella.”

      Mr. Sullivan was followed by W.J. Burns of Phoenix, also a past district deputy, who spoke briefly on the passage of the “anti mask” bill by the state legislature. He declared that much of the credit for the passage of the measure is due to Lewis Douglas of the House and Senators Charles H. Rutherford and Howard Cornick. State Deputy Charles Keiser of Phoenix, the ranking officer of the Knights in the state, commended the local knights for their activities and promised to make frequent visits to the new council. He asked the new members “to keep up their enthusiasm and zeal, to support their officers, to take an active part in the business of the order and to get all you can out of it.”

      Leo Welnick and Jack Johnson followed with short address of congratulation and commendation, and A.F. Tobin of Chicago, devoted his time to recommending the early formation of the chapter of the “Catholic Daughters of America.” Grand Knight Pat Sweeney announced that the first regular meeting of the chapter will be held next Sunday evening and stated also that another class will be initiated within 60 days. He spoke briefly of the hard work that has been done in the formation of the chapter and took occasion to thank the Verde Copper News for its assistance in the way of publicity, etc. He then introduced several of the newly made knights and last of all, the speaker of the evening, attorney Joe Morgan of Prescott.

      Mr. Morgan expressed his gratification at the formation of the Verde Council and paid a high compliment to the activity and zeal of those who had taken an active part in bringing to a successful conclusion the ambition of local Catholics to have a council of their own. He said that “the Verde District is to be congratulated on many things-on its great mining industry, its scenery, its progressive people, and on having a newspaper whose editors are free from bigotry and who believe in the principles of freedom and religious toleration taught in the Catholic Church.” He stated that their would be a state meeting at Phoenix, immediately after the state fair at which the fourth degree of the order will be conferred and hoped that many of the local Knights would avail themselves of the opportunity to take the final degree of the order.

      Mr. Morgan declared that boiled down to its essence, “Columbianism means simply service and patriotism. Built on this solid foundation, he said, the order is always-all will always be a success. The Roman Catholic Church he said has come down through the ages for well nigh two thousand years as fresh and as vigorous as it was in its palmist days, and he predicted that it will continue so long as the world lasts, to be one of the great forces of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism.” The great tasks before the world today, Mr. Morgan declared, are the revival of the love of country and a new respect for law and order. These two things, he said, are the principal’s objects of the Knights of Columbus and so long as the members of the order maintain and revere those principles they will go from success to success and from victory to victory. Mr. Morgan was given an ovation at the conclusion of his masterly address.

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESES OF PHOENIX, ARIZONA; TUCSON, ARIZONA; AND GALLUP, NEW MEXICO AND THE ARIZONA STATE COUNCIL KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS PROCLAMATION. Click here. Who we are, click here.

Verde Council Grand Knights since 1923:

1923-24

Edward L. Sweeney

1975-76

No Record

1924-25

Louis H. Bunte

1976-77

James P. Haskins

1925-26

L.C. Wombacher

1977-78

James P. Haskins

1926-27

John J. Connolly

1978-79

Emmanuel Y. Encisco Jr.

1927-28

John W. Burke

1979-80

David B. Gray

1928-29

James J. Cain

1980-81

No Record

1929-30

John P. Connolly

1981-82

Joseph D. Rodriguez

1930-31

Edward S. Williams

1982-83

Joseph D. Rodriguez

1931-32

Tim P. Connolly

1983-84

No Record

1923-33

Tim P. Connolly

1984-85

Jess G. Yniguez

1933-34

Theodore L. Selna

1985-86

Michael F. Consentino Jr.

1934-35

Anthony M. Lopez

1986-87

William J. Mc Ginn

1936-36

Francis J. Reilly

1987-88

John D. Vigil

1936-37

Walter J. Cain

1988-89

John D. Vigil

1937-38

Mario Selna

1989-90

Joseph A. Yurkovic

1938-39

Matt Pecharich

1990-91

Ken Wesolowski

1939-40

Virgil Selna Jr.

1991-92

Jules R. De Haven Sr.

1940-41

William W. Nash

1992-93

Jules R. De Haven Sr.

1941-42

R.G. Ollson

1993-94

Albert T. Sabin

1942-43

R.G. Ollson

1994-95

Patrick H. O' Brien

1943-44

John Bauer

1995-96

Charles L. Schagene

1944-45

John Bauer

1996-97

Charles L. Schagene

1945-46

John Bauer

1997-98

Albert T. Sabin

1946-47

L. Mulholland

1998-99

Albert T. Sabin

1947-48

W. Finnegan

1999-2000

Steven A. Palmer

1948-49

J.J. Sullivan

2000-01

Steven A. Palmer

1949-50

E.B. Hoebbel

2001-02

David L. Puzas

1950-51

L.G. Revello

2002-03

David L. Puzas

1951-52

W.G. Finnegan

2003-04

Peter W. Doyle

1952-53

P.J. Heinle

2004-05

Peter W. Doyle

1953-54

C.E. Wright

2005-06

Gary D. Lamm

1954-55

L.C. Wombacher

2006-07

Gary D. Lamm

1955-56

L.C. Wombacher

2007-08
Jeff Leonard

1956-57

No Record

2008-09
Jeff Leonard

1957-58

No Record

2009-10
Jeff Leonard

1958-59

No Record

2010-11
Jeff Leonard

1959-60

Ben Pareja

2011-12
David Puzas

1960-61

No Record

2012-13
David Puzas

1961-62

Ben Pareja

2013-14
Bob Schaeffer\ Jon Martinez

1962-63

Howard L. Westcott

2014-15
Jon Martinez

1963-64

Howard L. Westcott

2015-16
Jon Martinez

1964-65

Matt Pecharich

2016-2017
Damian Andre

1965-66

Fermin G. Estrada

2017-2018
Anthony Weber

1966-67

Fermin G. Estrada

2018-2019

1967-68

Fermin G. Estrada

2019-2020

1968-69

Fermin G. Estrada

1969-70

No Record

1970-71

No Record

1971-72

No Record

1972-73

James Pat Haskins

1973-74

No Record

1974-75

No Record

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