Two Score ‑ or Forty Years Ago ‑ our Brothers brought forth in this town a new council, conceived with enthusiasm and dedicated to the proposition that we, as Brothers, would be working to develop and practice the principles of our Order, Namely, Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism.
On that note, our Council was chartered on March 19th, 1962. As we prepare to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of that founding, we'll relate some highlights ‑ and lowlights ‑ of the council's history.
The first bulletin of what was the known as St. Pius ‑ X Council was released in December of 1962 and was called Council Corner News. Our earliest meetings away from St. Pius X Church were held in the basement of the old Reynoldsburg Lanes (under the bar) on East Main Street where we also started obtaining our own furniture, a chair at a time, from the profits of 10 cents‑a‑card Bingo games after the meetings. One of our first major projects involved the sale of Christmas trees in St. Pius X Parking lot from which we realized a profit of $80. Our 1964 Founders Day Dinner was held at Haft's Restaurant with a choice of ham, chicken, or sirloin beef for the grand price of $3.00.
In August 1967, the Building Corporation purchased the Parkview Presbyterian Church on Lancaster Ave as our permanent home. The first council New Year's Eve Party was held at the new council hall with dancing to the "Border Brass". It included favors, door prizes, setup, beer and an early morning buffet for the grand price of $8 per couple. In September of 1969, we had a mammoth group of members in the Tomato Festival Parade, which were led by the Council‑sponsored "Marion Cadets" a nationally honored Drum and Bugle Corps. In that year also, our trip to a Bengals game cost only $11 for the bus, ticket, and chicken meal on the bus.
Times have changed! A Father and Son Spaghetti Dinner featured OSU quarterback Ron Macejowski as speaker and seating with limited to 225 persons! Ron Macejowski as speaker and seating with limited to 225 persons!
The first Mother-Daughter Mass and Dinner was held in the hall in October 1970. A lecturer's program that year featured very ample samples of Seagram's Benchmark bourbon. The annual council family picnics started in 1971 at Camp St. Joseph. Other locations have included Camp Breezewood, Blacklick Woods, Seton Parish grounds, and St. Pius X Parish grounds.
The Tenth anniversary of the Council was celebrated at the Desert Inn on E. Broad St. with dinner, entertainment and dancing for a total of $12. The practice of saying a decade of the Rosary at meetings started in 1972. In the same year, the FatherSon Spaghetti Dinner featured Ron Macejowski of the Bengals and John Brockington of the Packers. A couple of years later, a Fathers-Son Communion Breakfast at the hall featured John Havlicek, the OUS and Celtics standout.
In 1973, we started putting out on expanded bulletin complete with advertisers and pictures. Many of us remember the Mentally Retarded Children's Christmas parties as Vallydale and Picnics at Blacklick Woods when we had as many as 22 buses delivering children for the function. What a group of appreciative youngsters and parents.
Then followed some glorious years at the council hall with functions such as the monthly fish fries with the Ump-pa band, the "150" Club events, the Valentine parties, the game nights, the Arts and Crafts shows, and the Knights of the Year dances. We had great participation and success in eastside K of C golf leagues and bowling leagues, as well as in City League softball. The measure of success was shown by a 1975 ranking of 8th in the State out of 260 councils. Each year showed good turnouts for the Tomato Festival Parades, the Measure-Up campaign, the Charity Campaign, and the Special Olympics events as Clipper Stadium.
A happy event took place in April of 1983 when we received title to out building and conducted a mortgage burning ceremony.
That summer, the council began an extensive renovation program which included a new roof, vinyl siding, a completely new electrical system, insulation and complete remodeling of the interior of the building. Council members donating their own time and energy completed much of this work.
In 1986, Deacon Tom Johnson accepted the post of Council Chaplin which has continued, with interruptions, to this day.
But there were some "lowlights' during those years. The Council hall was a constant burden because of high expenses, difficulty in holding tenants, mounting maintenance costs, and major items such as the need for a new boiler, In December of 1989, the council hall was sold and the proceeds of $93,000 are currently invested for whatever the future holds.
In October 1990, a new era began with Fr. Donovan welcomed us into new Council Quarters in the basement of the St. Pius X rectory. Typical of what has repeatedly been done over the years was a total donation of over $5,000 to local charities in 1993. Over a period of 25 years, the council has received high acclaim of the effective presentations by our degree teams of the lessons of each degree, i.e. Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. The successes of the Bloodmobile program, parish festival participation, adopt-a-highway events, the free throw contests, and holiday dinners have served to create a bond among our members. Many will agree the Father Holman Council has contributed significantly to remarkable and dynamic growth of the Reynoldsburg community, and the community can expect even greater accomplishments in the years ahead. If our Order's founder, Father McGiveny, were to give us an admonition at the anniversary dinner, it might well be, "hold high the torch, Brother Knights, Your work for Columbianism is still `unfinished business'."