Warwick Council #2295
Warwick Columbus Corporation
475 Sandy Lane
Warwick, RI 02889-4336
The Supreme Council Knights of Columbus granted a charter to Council #2295, as St Benedict Council on June 21, 1921. This Council was primarily associated with one parish. In 1926 the building association Warconsha was formed and a building was purchased on Dudley Avenue in Conimicut to serve as a Council Home. This association also purchased land on West Shore Road that it hoped to develop. In 1938 Council #2295's name was changed to Warwick Council to reflect the greater number of parishes being served by this Council. However, World War II had a devasting effect on Council #2295. There was a loss of members as soldiers left for the war, the Council Chaplain Fr. Savignac was reproted as missing in action, and in 1942 the property was sold. The Council was essentially dormant over the next decade. George B Clegg Jr was the first Grand Knight.
In the early 1950's as the city of Warwick was rapidly developing, the Warwick Council K of C began changing from a dormant organization to one invigorated with new life. In the 1952-53 Columbian Year membership increased by 196, through new members and reactivating old members. During that time Council meetings, degree ceremonies and functions were held in various Church provided facilities or at the Hoxsie Community Club. It may be of interest to note that the rental fee for the Hoxsie Club was $6 plus $2 fee for janitorial service, and folding chairs were rented at $.10 each. Encouraged by this growth, some of the Council leaders had visions of once again owning a permanent Council Home.
In September 1952 a building committee was formed, and at the Council meeting of February 11, 1953 the committee presented a proposal to purchase a parcel of land consisting of 63,000 sq. ft at the junction of Sandy Lane and Warwick Avenue for the sum of $5,400.00. The parcel was zoned as farmland and a zoning change would be necessary if the Council purchased the site to erect a building. The members, decided to pursue this venture, and the Warwick Columbus Corporation (WCC) was formed to own the real estate for the Council. The Corporation was granted a charter by the State of RI on February 16, 1953, and Peter Barrett was elected as the first President.
Once the WCC was formed the $600 profit realized from an earlier harvest dance was turned over to the Corporation as the initial start toward the cost of securing a council home. Building a Council home became the focus of all activiites. At the May 13, 1953 meeting Bernard McGuire brought in a large jar that was made available at all the meetings for member to donate their pocket change towards the building fund. Over the next three years members regularly voted to turn over the proceeds from several events to the Corporation. Some of the more successful events held during this era were the Minstrel shows. In the spring 1955 the Corporation's fund raising Committee planned a "kick-off" dance. The dance was held June 3rd at Rhodes Annex, with music by Tommy Masso's Orchestra and a ticket price of $2 per couple
Also in March 1955 J Gordon McCoy organized a building fund guild. This guild had 45 monthly prizes, and during its first year regularly generated monthly profits in excess of $500. This guild continued for several years. These fundraising events, though important, would only cover a small portion of the funds required to obtain a mortgage and build a Council Home.
See the Council History under About Us.