Knights of Columbus Delran, N.J.
The early years of our history are a little vague, but this much is known. In the spring of 1909 a group of men from St. Peter’s Church in Riverside, NJ met for the sole purpose of forming a council of the Knights of Columbus. At least 30 men agreed and applied to the Supreme Council for a charter. The charter was granted and the # 1436 was assigned to the council. The new council decided on the name Bishop John Neumann to honor the future saint who was the founder of St. Peter’s Church. Some of the organizers of the new council were: Thomas W. Fairbrother, Theodore L. Krein and Anton Winkelspecht. The official date of the charter was July 25,1909, and the first Grand Knight was Thomas W. Fairbrother and their first Chaplain was the Pastor of St. Peter’s Church Rev. Theodosius Goth. The meetings were held in the upper rooms of the church. As their membership grew, as well as their treasury, money was available to venture out and buy their a home of their own. The date is not known, but it was around the time of Grand Knight Pat McGuire was in office (1923-1927). But the unforeseen Great Depression of the early 1930’s struck. So, during the time of Grand Knight Anton Winkelspecht (1930-1933) the council eventually could not afford their mortgage and the home was lost. The home was located across from St. Peter’s Church At 207 Bridgeboro St. Not deterred, they moved back to the upper rooms of the church. Also in the mid 1920’s Under the leadership of Grand Knight Patrick J. Maguire and with the aid of Louis Rider Sr., William Barr, Walter J. Fairbrother Sr. And Edward Winkelspecht the local council started a Columbus Cadet Corps. The Corps was formed by the Supreme Council to give leadership skills to young boys between the ages of 12 and 16 to use as members of the Knights of Columbus in future years. The boys numbering about one hundred were sent to Brindle Lake in New Egypt,NJ. After 3 or 4 years the corps moved to Bamber Lake in Whiting NJ. Later this camp was purchased by the New Jersey State Council to serve the young men of Southern New Jersey and named Camp Columbus. The camp was sold in 1978 along with Camp Culver in Northern New Jersey. The proceeds were used to start the J. Conner French Youth fund which is used to fund K of C youth projects. Many members of our council started out in the corps of Cadets. 2 outstanding members of the Cadet Corps Joseph Clauss and William Ruehmling served as counselors at the camp. They were praised for their leadership. From the Cadet Corps. The St. Peter’s Drum and Bugle Corps was born. Under the leadership of Joseph Clauss the Drum and Bugle corps won recognition throughout Burlington County. In 1944 Grand Knight Anthony Camishion started many activities that are still going on today. The annual Communion Breakfast to honor our deceased members, the annual P.G.K dinner dance to honor the immediate Past Grand Knight. In 1957, Grand Knight Joseph Clauss made a deal with Mr. Chiaccio who owned a hall that was once a hall for an Italian organization The first year the council only paid one dollar for use of the hall and Mr. Chiaccio ran the bar .It had a nice hall for meetings and social functions and a spacious bar downstairs for members to enjoy themselves. The second year the council took over the entire building including the bar and started to pay rent. At that time the council had over two hundred men as members and was growing. It was approximately 15 years before the present council home was built. During that period of time many things took place. As each Grand Knight took office, he had goals he wanted to accomplish. Saturday night socials,both in the hall and downstairs at the bar. Christmas parties for the children and grandchildren of members. Clam bakes, Columbus Day dinners and Christmas baskets for the poor were just a few of the activities that went on at the council home. In 1961 the KC Club was started and is still taking in revenue for the council. During the mid-sixties a plot of ground was purchased on Bridgeboro Rd. in Delran, NJ for $11,000.00 for the purpose of building a new council home. In 1969 Grand Knight Rudolph Borkowski formed a committee to find a way to raise funds to accomplish the dream of building a new council home. It was decided that a campaign for pledges and memorials was the best way. Members were asked to pledge a minimum of $150.00; memorials started at $500.00 and could be paid over a period of time . The campaign was a huge success, a mortgage was obtained and plans were started to build the new hall. Our Spiritual Advisor, Deacon Joseph Fuoco was instrumental in obtaining Aristone Contractors to build our building. Contracts were signed with the builder and a ground breaking ceremony took place in the winter of 1971. In order to save money council members laid all floor tiles, installed the drop ceiling, painted the walls, helped with the laying of the parking lot, bought a used bar and installed it. Construction was completed in 1972. Our first meeting was held on August 21,1972. The dedication and laying of the corner stone was held on December 3,1972 In the middle seventies more room was needed and a store room was built by one of our members Joe Catan. In the early seventies our membership grew from three hundred to almost six hundred members. Also in the early seventies our news letter the Neumann News was started along the Ladies Auxiliary and the annual Mason-Knights Dinner Dance. We also moved the installation of officers from the council home to church. In 1977 Pete Yearly formed a committee to start The Edward Winkelspecht Memorial Triple Town Track meet for all 6th,7th and 8th grade students was started and the council received the state award for best youth activity in the state in 1977. The annual event was held for 13 years until 1999
On Sunday June 19,1977 Bishop John Neumann was canonized in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. The Knights of Columbus purchased a new statue of Saint John Neumann and processed it down the aisle of St. Peter’s Church. After being consecrated the statue was then given a place of honor and was placed in front of the council home and a time capsule was placed at the base of the statue. In 1978 our council became St. John Neumann Council # 1436. A reception was held to celebrate the change and the boy from Wildwood, NJ who received one of the two miracles attributed to St. John Neumann was present. Thorough the 80’s 90’s and into the 21st century St. John Neumann Council 1436 has grown to serve the churches of St. Peters and St. Casimirs Churches in Riverside, Holy Name Church in Delran and St. Charles Borromeo Church in Cinnaminson.
Some of our annual functions are Basketball free throw contest, spelling bee, Tootise Roll drive for Mentally challenged citizens, golf outing for our scholarship fund Every year we give out 200 plus food baskets to less fortunate families along with toys provided by The Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. These along with other programs mentioned earlier are just a few of the thing we do. In December 2007 our web page was launched as another tool to keep our membership informed of council activities. On July 25,2009 the council held a picnic and birthday party to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our council and on October 11, 2009 a special Mass was celebrated at St. Peter’s Church by The Most Reverend John M. Smith Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton followed by a dinner at the Touch of Class banquet hall in Delran.
Knights of Columbus (Delran)
934 Bridgeboro Street
Delran, N.J. 08075
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