By Phil McLachlan
The Sparwood Knights of Columbus have given back in many ways throughout the years, and did so once again last Wednesday.
A cheque in the amount of $12,500 was presented by the Knights to the Sparwood Old Age Pensioners Society (S.O.A.P.S), in support of the breezeway between the Seniors Drop-In Centre and Lilac Terrace. This project was put in place to help provide a safer access between facilities.
The total project was $75,000, and was completed this past fall. The future may include some window installments, which will provide shelter from the winter weather.
“As you get older, you’re using a walker or a wheelchair. To get over from there to here and vice versa, you’re on ice and stuff like that,” said Allan Barrass, Grand Knight of the Sparwood Knights of Columbus. “But now this is covered over and it’s heated with cement, so there’s no ice. Because the seniors are always here.”
The money donated was raised by the Soapbox race on Coalminer days. Belonging to the Sparwood Futures Society, the Knights also work with this group and the Lions club to host events and raise money for community projects.
The Knights of Columbus is a catholic based fraternal service organization that focuses on providing support to their communities. Founded by Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven Connecticut in 1882, the Knights of Columbus has grown to a worldwide membership some two million strong.
The Knights have been active in Sparwood since 1957. Barrass was introduced to the Catholic men’s group through the catholic church, and has been serving as the Grand Knight for seven years. There are 20 dedicated, active members that work with Barrass to do what they do best; give back.
“We just try to do as much as we can for the community,” said Barrass.
The Knights of Columbus in Sparwood have expanded their reach to Elkford, and now incorporate both towns into one group.
Several projects are upcoming, and the Knights are in the early stages of supporting many of these.
The Knights of Columbus is also an insurance company, started by Father McGivney in 1892. With many miners dying on the job, McGivney saw his town as a haven for widows and fatherless children. Serving as just a church organization at the time, McGivney started this insurance support group and it proves to be a success even in modern times.