The Knights of Columbus Building on Greenwood Crescent is for sale, but the John B. Kent Council of the Knights of Columbus will be staying active in Mount Pearl.
Peter Furlong is the Grand Knight of J.B. Kent Council and he says that the Council has had discussions with the City of Mount Pearl, and the two Catholic Churches, Mary Queen of the World, and St. Peter’s.
“We have been in touch with the City, and the two Catholic Churches, so we are sure we will be able to avail of space to hold our business meetings, and to hold dinners and dances. We will continue to exist and be of service within the community of Mount Pearl,” Peter Furlong says.
While the Knights of Columbus are the main tenants of the building, there are also three dart leagues which play on three separate evenings, and the Marconi Sea Cadet Corps also holds its meetings there.
The Knights of Columbus Building dates from about the 1950s, and was, at one time, the summer residence of Monsignor Harold Summers. Monsignor Summers sold the building before his death, and around 1984 it was purchased by the Marconi Charitable Foundation, which was established by the Executive of John B. Kent Council.
The building is listed for $750,000 and it has a full basement, a large parking lot and sits on about one acre of land. Peter Furlong thinks that the land is really what any prospective buyer will be after, maybe for the site of condos, or for an apartment building.
It seems that the main reason behind the sale of the building is the increasing costs associated with its upkeep including rising oil and electricity costs.
At the same, the membership of J. B. Kent Council is aging and it is having some difficulty recruiting new, younger members.
Peter Furlong says that he thinks many service organizations are having trouble recruiting new, younger members. He blames this trend on the fast-paced lifestyle of today with all its distractions.
“It’s becoming more difficult to get our members to contribute the hours for active fundraising. For years, our major fundraiser has been selling tickets on a restored, antique Mustang. But the past couple of years we have moved to selling tickets on a side-by-side ATV. This year we have a side-by-side on tickets out at the Avalon Mall. Tickets are $2 each, or 3 for $5,” Peter says.
There are almost three hundred members in J.B.Kent Council, and Peter Furlong says that 90 – 95 percent of them agree with the decision to sell the building. It was becoming just too hard for the K of C members to keep the aging building going.
“None of us are happy about the sale of the building. But as Grand Knight, I take some comfort that most of the membership supports me in this endeavour. But I really think that J.B. Kent Council of the Knights of Columbus will come back stronger after the sale and move. We won’t have to spend so much time on keeping the building going. We will be able to do more in the community, more in the Parishes to help those in need like widows and orphans,” Peter Furlong says.