The men of the Knights of Columbus Msgr. Edmund J. O'Connor Council 5356 recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the council with 4:30 p.m. Mass at their home parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Silver Creek. Rev. Daniel Fiebelkorn, pastor of Mt. Carmel welcomed his brother Knights and their families. The men with honored with a special blessing.
Dinner followed Mass at The Colony Restaurant, Routes 5 and 20, Irving. Grand Knight Walter Waligora, master of ceremony, introduced the special guests: Fiebelkorn, Rev. Mark Wolski, New York State Treasurer Charles (Chris) Ardillo, Past State Deputy John (Alice) Dryja and District Deputy Ernest Maslack.
Charter member Gerard Rocque gave a brief history of the Silver Creek Knights.
OBSERVER Photo by Matt Panebianco
Front row, from left: Grand Knight Walter Waligora and New York State Treasurer Charles Ardillo. Back row: Charter members Louis Meck, Joe Castiglia, Vince DeJohn, Jack Mateszon, Gerard Rocque and Gene Chesbro.
"It was not easy at the beginning," began Rocque.
There were 71 men of the Mt. Camel Parish who were members of the Dunkirk council who thought it would be great to have their own council. After much work and organization, the charter was approved on Nov. 18, 1962. Charter members were Joseph Castiglia, Eugene Chesboro, Vincent DeJohn, Edward Domenico, Frank Flitt, Jerry Gabel, John Matezon, Louis Meck, Gerard Rocque and Walter Waligora. Rocque recalled the many good times including picnics at the Roberts Grove and dances with full orchestras that the members and their families enjoyed.
Ardillo, representing the State Deputy Salvatore Restivo, presented the 50th Anniversary Certificate to Grand Knight Waligora and the council. Ardillo reported that Restivo could not join in the festivities as he lives in area of New York that Hurricane Sandy hit. He also mentioned that the Knights of Columbus have sent financial aid to both the New York and the New Jersey areas.
Brother Knight Rev. Mark Wolski spoke of his days in the seminary when the Knights organization sent donations to the seminarians to help support their education. Dryja supported father's comments and reported that funds are still sent to seminarians as one of their many charitable activities. The evening concluded with prayer. A good time was had by all.