On June 25, 1905, the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus granted its 1,012 charter to a group of sixteen Catholic men in Westbury, and Westbury Council No. 1012 was born. The traditional celebratory day to honor Christopher Columbus is October 12. The 16 men who comprised its original members were stable managers, coachmen, harness makers and grooms, as befits Westbury of 1905, just as its present membership consists of mechanics, plumbers, engineers, salesmen, civil service workers and businessmen.
Jeremiah J. Hurley was the first Grand Knight, and by the time he had completed seven terms in that capacity, his leadership and efforts had increased the ranks of the Council to 135 members, including three of the clergy.
World War I came and the council lost Cpl. James F. Walsh, the first member to give his life in service to our country. The Westbury Council stayed and flourished. By the middle of the "roaring twenties" it was one of the leading organizations in the community. Though 1929 is not generally remembered as a good year, but for the council it marked the opening of the Council's own clubhouse in July of that year. Opening ceremonies were held under the direction of then Grand Knight Joseph J. Clinton and a plaque was presented by Westbury Post 101, American Legion.
This building on
A new era of rebuilding commenced, and the members of Westbury Council were meeting in increased numbers in the old parish hall of St. Brigid's. Beautiful knotty pine chambers were constructed by the members of the Council, and a bowling alley which was in that building was provided to the parish.
The outbreak of World War II resulted in the
activities of Westbury Council coming to a halt. With the ending of the
war, an influx of new residents brought membership to an all-time high of over
300. In 1946, the Rev. Locksley Appo Squires Circle No. 489 was formed,
providing our Council with young new members. During these years Westbury
Council used the facilities of St Brigid's Parish Hall as its home. As a result
of overcrowding in the small
During the 1956 Council year, our Sister organization
- the Columbiettes - was formed. Margaret Sullivan was elected its first
president. Supporting the works of the Knights, as well as their own charitable
causes, the Columbiettes sponsored card parties, Christmas Boutiques; as they
supported with volunteerism the AHRC. These dedicated ladies annually brought
Easter Baskets to St. Joseph Adult Home in
Nineteen fifty-five also saw Westbury Council
celebrate its Golden Jubilee in our Order. In 1959, the Council initiated a
great movement for sound fiscal policies. During this time, the members of the
Westbury Council sought to establish a permanent home. The Christopher Columbus
Corporation purchased the Wheatly Hills National Bank on
This building facilitated family Friday night Bingo, Blood Drives, fundraising events, dances as well as a meeting place for the chapter. The council actively assisted visiting Missionary priests at St. Brigidís by sponsoring dances and socials to raise funds for the foreign missions. Among the visiting Missionary priests were Holy Ghost Fathers Fr. Malone and Fr. Murphy . †The Council had a good contingent of 4th degree Knights as well as members of the Color Corps. Frank Lamb PGK served as the First Faithful Navigator.
During this time the Knights
continued to support the parish of St. Brigidís. With the enrollment at the
school increasing the Knights assisted the parish in fundraising efforts to
build the current school. Knights would volunteer their time on Sunday mornings
by driving to Parishes in
Unfortunately with the upward
tax burden the building was sold in the early 1980ís and currently is the home
of the Republican Club. The council began to meet again at the American Legion
Hall and then
During the 1990ís the council
experienced a resurgence of members with events such as ďKnight at the RacesĒ,
Italian night, St. Patrickís, and
The Westbury Council 1012 has continued the tradition of charitable works for the community, supported Catholic education, the education of seminarians and has always supported family values. The Council has received the ďStar CouncilĒ Award on numerous occasions most recently in the years 1999-2000 and 2000-2001. The Knights have served their country in times of war and peace. These men are active members in Our Lady of Hope and Saint Brigidís parishes, serving as Eucharistic Ministers, ushers, lectors and volunteers in many of the parishesíorganizations and ministries. †Currently the council has a core group of men, some of whom have been with the council for as little as 1 year and some with over 50 years of service. We are proud of our past accomplishments which includes having installed as its last two Grand Knights its first Haitian American and our current Grand Knight, a Catholic convert. In the spirit of Father Michael J. McGivney, the Council continues what was begun over 100 years ago looking back with pride and gratitude. The Council looks forward with prayerful hope that their efforts to promote Catholicism, Columbianism along with family values will be blessed with continued success.