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Hayward Knights of Columbus Council 1615 marks its 100th

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placeholder April 9, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 7   •   Oakland, CA
Hayward Knights of Columbus Council marks its 100th

Bob Lyon has spent weeks combing through the Hayward Knights of Columbus' ledgers — impressive, leather-bound books with handwriting that often require deciphering — looking for information to use when he is emcee of the group's 100th anniversary dinner April 21.

Knights of Columbus
of Hayward Centennial Celebration

Where: All Saints Parish,
22824 Second St., Hayward
When: April 21, Mass at 5 p.m.; reception at 6 p.m.; dinner at
6:45 p.m.; speakers and program begin at 7:45 p.m.
Tickets: $49. Contact Jerry Higgins at 510-410-6893.
The Knights of Columbus were brought to Hayward by Rev. James Viladomat, who was pastor at All Saints Parish from 1905 to 1931. The first meeting was at 8:30 p.m. April 22, 1912, in the back of the Bank of Hayward. Chartered as Council 1615, it began with 46 members.

It was the third Knights of Columbus group chartered in the Bay Area.

Over the years, the Knights have met at various Hayward landmarks, some still standing, including IDES Hall, Danio Hall, the Native Sons of the Golden West Hall, Moreau Catholic High School and some churches. The council now meets at All Saints.

At the time of the council's founding, Lyon reports, All Saints was the Catholic Church in Hayward. Over the years, as more churches were built, some Knights members came from those new parishes, including St. Bede, St. Clement and St. Joachim.

The early Knights donated the Catholic encyclopedia to the Hayward Public Library, and arranged for subscriptions to Catholic newspapers.

The ledgers also yielded some other civic activity: writing letters to the editor calling on Hayward businesses to close between noon and 3 p.m. on Good Friday.

The Knights' most enduring relationship has been with the Walpert Center, a Hayward group that serves developmentally disabled people. During the 41-year relationship, the Knights have a special Christmas activity. They stuff Christmas stockings the night before they serve a festive meal —hot dogs, beans, chips, ice cream and cookies. There's music and dancing. And the party is not complete without the appearance of Santa Claus.

The Knights collect stuffed animals over the year, and these, too, go to happy recipients.

"It's quite an honor," said Lyon.

The Diocese of Oakland SPRED — Special Religious Education — has also been a recipient of the Knights' attention, particularly the SPRED groups that meets at St. Clement.

"We have raised quite a bit of money for SPRED," Lyon said, through the sale of Tootsie Rolls. "Thousand, twelve hundred, fourteen hundred."

The key, he said, is to put a notice the week before in the bulletin. That way, no one exits at church with just car keys in hand, he said.

People are generous, he said. "They'll come out and put $20 in the can and take one Tootsie Roll."

The candy is sold near Halloween, so parishioners can hand them out to kids who come to the door.

The Knights were instrumental in placing a monument to the unborn at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward. Knights gather monthly at the cemetery to pray the rosary there. They begin with Mass at St. Bede, and go to the cemetery an hour later.

Lyon will be the emcee at the April 21 dinner, when a slide show of Knights' activities over the past 100 years will be presented. The evening begins at 5 p.m. with Mass, and continues with a reception and dinner. Speakers will include: the Most Rev. John Cummins, bishop emeritus of Oakland, Grand Knight Terry Steinberger and Knight's state Treasurer Timothy Carvalho. Tickets, at $49 each, are available by calling Jerry Higgins at 510-410-6893.

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