KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA HISTORY OF THE ORDER.
The order was established on (5th October 1919) at the Central Halls, Bath Street Glasgow.The first Council was formed in England at Liverpool (1920) and even in those early days communication was considered important and the Columba magazine was launched (1923).The Spiritual side of the KSC activities were marked by the establishment of The Daily Mass Crusade (1927) and prayers offered for all member Knights of St Columba. This was further strengthened when over 2000 Knights were present at 31st Eucharistic Congress in Dublin Eire (1932) . St .Columba, a young Irish priest and Prince sailed across the seas in approx 600 A.D. to Iona where he built a small wooden monastery and spent the rest of his days. Over a period of hundreds of years the monastery has been upgraded, and became the burial place of Scottish Kings. The first of many annual pilgrimages to Iona was organised by the Knights(1936). The Abbey www.isle-of-iona.com on this small Hebridean island has become a place to visit by many Knights ever since.
Membership of the order grew fast. This was evident when over 10000 Knights as part of their "Action" work took part in London in the 'Silent March' (1938), against Atheism and Communism. In the beginning of what was to be the World War II, the Knights established an international chain of Hostels for our servicemen (1939). There were centres in England (London,Birmingham & Liverpool) as well as Wales (Llandudno) and Malta in the Mediterranean. An international residential club was set up in London. The Youth were cared for through the setting up of St John's Hostel for boys in Leeds (1948).
After the war, Wembley Stadium celebrated the commemoration of the restoration of the Hierarchy of England (1950), and the Knights were well represented. The Easter Poster campaign was set up (1950), followed by the Christmas Poster (1967), two activities which are still going nearly 60-years later, where Catholic families are encouraged to display these posters in their front window.An active Action program had the Knights supporting in demonstrations in 'Quiet Campaign(1959) which lead to the amendment of the Obscene Publication Act. Further action was taken in support of the 'Freedom from Hunger' (1963); The Italian Floods Relief campaign(1966).In 1969 the Knights of St Columba celebrated their Golden Jubilee, followed ten years later by the Diamond Jubilee (1979).Strong 'Action' projects were organised at Council level where fundraising for good causes both at home and abroad, raised thousands of pounds. The Knights purchased a Jumbulance for the Across Trust(1980). A disaster relief fund was set up, and contributions were made to the Italian Earthquake Relief Fund (1980).
The Knights were asked to participate in stewarding at Wembley Stadium and other places during the visit of Pope John Paul II to London (1982).
The KSC were honoured by the Dedication of the Knights' own St Columba Chapel in Liverpool Cathedral (1983). Key Action programs followed in 1984 with the distribution of an awareness booklet called "Parents and Drugs".Funds were provided in support for disabled children's Orthopedic Limb Centre in Ghana(1988) while baby resuscitation units where purchased for UK hospitals (1991).The biggest and most successful campaign was the project named 'Wells for Water' -the Jubilee Experience (1998) where in conjunction with CAFOD and SCIAF. £227000 were raised to establish water bore-holes in Africa. Follow up National Action Projects were established to meet other needy causes, Help the Hospices (1993) raised £110000,Partners for Health (1995) raised £140000 and the current 3-year project 'Unsung Heroes'(2005) in support of the Samaritans.