THE EARLY YEARS -- 1953 - 1959

Council Organized 

Rudy Wittal, State membership chairman, was given the assignment of starting a Westchester council.
First members were recruited door to door in residential area now vacated by LAX and at the local churches.
The Council was formally organized by Rudy Wittal and Charles Spencer on Oct. 20, 1953.

Council Activities In The 1950's

Before the hall was constructed, meetings were held in the Westchester Women's Club building behind the YMCA for a few years, then at an American Legion Hall on Lincoln. Breakfast and dinners were held at restaurants with banquet facilities.

Many programs we enjoy today were in place from the earliest years of the council, and have served its members and the community from the very start. By 1957, the activities in place included Rancho San Antonio raffle ticket sales at local supermarkets and setting up and cleaning tables, Quarterly Communion Masses and going out to breakfast, Passion Sunday Communion and breakfast, Spring Dinner Dance in early June, a Beer Bust Dance on the 5th Tues of the month, Moose Fair, three bowling teams, blood drives about every other month, Installation of Officers at an open meeting, successful retreats for couples or families at the Serra Retreat House, a constantly-recruiting Squires circle (disbanded May 1958), Past Grand Knight (officers) Luau-style Dinner Dance in Oct, Christmas Party at Nazareth House for orphans (Sepulveda and Magnolia) distributing gifts and shoes collected along with ice cream cake and Santa...the council even sponsored a drag race!

In addition, the council was active in Chapter (Rancho San Antonio, Columbus Day Mass at the Cathedral), Assembly and State events. Everything was publicized in a council bulletin.

The order of business at meetings was basically the same as it is today; there were drawings and attendance prizes (member name is drawn, must be present to win), and members and officers were fined if the were found not wearing their jewel of office, not setting up or using the salutation table correctly, wearing one's hat during prayers, not knowing the password, etc. Every meeting was a full business meeting with guest speakers or films in addition to the committee reports, unlike today where the Lecturer's program or a degree ceremony takes the place of committee reports.

1953 - 1954


Chaplain:  Rev Thomas Sullivan

Grand Knight:  Rudy Wittal

Dep Grand Knight:  Robert Tucker Warden:  John Sharkey
Chancellor:  Ronald Hall Inside Guard:  Julius Lazok
Recorder:  William Meggison Outside Guard:  Vincent Hohman
Financial Secretary:  Phillip Guindon Outside Guard:  Douglas Cooke
Treasurer:  Harry Kay 3-year Trustee:  Charles Spencer
Lecturer:  Paul Kliebert 2-year Trustee:  Daniel Sanford
Advocate:  Lester Haug 1-year Trustee:  Barney Jagosz

-First officers (except for appointed offices) were elected Oct. 20 at the Women's Club. -Requirements for applying for Charter, Nov. 17, 1953.
-Induction of first 100 candidates as members of K of C at the Women's Club building.
-Fr Thomas O'Sullivan, Visitation parish, was chosen as the first Chaplain.
-Meetings held at the Westchester Wome
 n's Club on Sepulveda Blvd at 80th St.
-Members voted to name the council after Fr Emil Kapaun.
-Fr Charles Harman became new Chaplain in late May 1954. 
-Nov 17, 1953 - certificate - Council Charter (foyer)
-Crucifix - "In memory of Dennis and Esther Hoban" (Fr Schneider, SJ Room)



Chaplain: Rev Charles Harmon

Grand Knight: Ronald Hall

Dep Grand Knight: Robert Tucker; Charles Spencer Warden: John Mahoney
Chancellor: Vincent Hohman Inside Guard: Ralph Maxey; Nick Ricciardi
Recorder: Julius Lazok Outside Guard: Ruben Lenoue
Financial Secretary: Philip Guindon Outside Guard: Paul Spencer
Treasurer: Harry Kay; Conald Abler 3-year Trustee: Paul Kliebert
Lecturer: LeRoy Dougall 2-year Trustee: George Reynolds
Advocate: William Meggison 1-year Trustee: Daniel Sanford

-Ronald Hall elected Grand Knight but couldn't finish term; term served out by DGK Charles Spencer.
-Fr Charles Harman appointed the council's Chaplain in late May 1954 and served until Sept 1959.
-1954 - statue -So Calif Chapter K of C Youth Award



Chaplain: Finbar Hall; Rev Charles Harmon

Grand Knight: Charles Spencer

Dep Grand Knight: Vincent Hohman Warden:  Paul Spencer
Chancellor: Richard Harris Inside Guard:  James McDonnell, Sr
Recorder: James McDonnell; Joseph Ingram Outside Guard:  Dennis Hoban; Vincent McGucken
Financial Secretary: Philip Guindon Outside Guard:  William Webber
Treasurer: Conald Abler 3-year Trustee:  Sylvester Schmolder
Lecturer: Mark McDonald; John Mahoney 2-year Trustee:  Paul Kliebert; William Lally
Advocate: Ralph Hills 1-year Trustee:  George Reynolds

1955 - statue -Youth Achievement Award, Charles D Spencer, GK



Chaplain:  Rev Thomas McNicholas; Rev Charles Harmon
Grand Knight:  Vincent Hohman

Dep Grand Knight:  Richard Harris Warden:  Julius Lazok
Chancellor:  Paul Spencer Inside Guard:  Ernest Villalobos
Recorder:  Joseph Ingram Outside Guard:  Vincent Bondi
Financial Secretary:  Philip Guindon Outside Guard:  Vincent McGucken
Treasurer:  Conald Abler 3-year Trustee:  Thomas Gabele
Lecturer:  Joseph Van Dusen 2-year Trustee:  Sylvester Schmolder
Advocate:  John Kusters 1-year Trustee:  Walter West

-1956 - statue - Youth Achievement Award, Vincent Hohman, GK


Chaplain: Rev Charles Harmon    
Grand Knight: Vincent Hohman    
Dep Grand Knight: Joseph Van Dusen Warden: Anthony Ghilardi
Chancellor: Edward Schmolder Inside Guard: Joseph Ingram
Recorder: Patrick McConnaughy Outside Guard: Gail Jesswein
Financial Secretary: Philip Guindon Outside Guard: Marvin Friebel
Treasurer: Conald Abler 3-year Trustee: Walter West
Lecturer: Wayne Guthrie 2-year Trustee: Thomas Gabele
Advocate: George Koster, Jr. 1-year Trustee: Sylvester Schmolder
    Holding Co President: Ralph Hills

-Meetings are held at American Legion Hall on Lincoln by Sept 1957.
-Sept 17, while the GK was absent, DD Rudy Wittal initiated impeachment proceedings against GK Vince Hohman, using a misprint in a clipping from the Westchester News-Advertiser as evidence.
-Started selling bonds for new hall Nov. 1957. $25 bonds available Feb. 18, 1958
-Directors of the "3744 Corp." elected, Ralph Hills as President.
-Building fund money transferred from General Fund to "3744 Corp" (voted on Apr. '58 - Feb. '59)
-May 5 - Squires circle disbanded.

-Holding Co founded May 21, 1958. (Since a K of C council is a non-profit organization, money raised and spent for upkeep of a hall must be held by a separate organization.)
-After looking at several lots, Dick Harris chose the site of the hall on an empty block where the Elks were starting to build their hall
-Property acquired from Marlow-Burns.
-July 1 - Bid for construction of building at $16,500 unfinished, $24,500 total (was estimated at $42,000 the previous December); having trouble with the land; bond permit not yet approved.
-About 20 brothers donated their special talents in constructing the hall (e.g. Fred Dyke, a sheet metal worker, fashioned the hood over the kitchen stove).



Chaplain: Rev. Charles Harmon

Grand Knight: Joseph Van Dusen

Dep Grand Knight: Anthony Ghilardi Warden: Irv Knopek
Chancellor: Pat McConnaughy Inside Guard: Richard Kington
Recorder: Wayne Guthrie Outside Guard: James Hilliard
Financial Secretary: Philip Guindon Outside Guard: William Weiss
Treasurer: Joseph Cox 3-year Trustee: Joseph Morris
Lecturer: Joe Herrera 2-year Trustee: Vincent H. Hohman
Advocate: Julius Lazok 1-year Trustee:  

Holding Co President: Ralph Hills

-By Aug. the building permit was granted and the 3744 Corp. permit enacted.
-Started selling bonds to pay for building in Sept. 1958 (bond certificates are in storage)
-Council won award for Rancho ticket sales for fourth time in a row.
-Ground breaking for Council Hall Jan 8, 1959; Vince Hohman introduces dignitaries, then guest speakers, presentation of check to Ralph Hills, and the ground breaking.
-Construction well underway by Jan. 20.
-Golf tournament organized for Feb.
-Hall reserved 1st and 3rd Tues for business meetings, 2nd and 4th Tues for social meetings or rental.
-Council started paying $100 a month rent to Holding Co, continued paying rent to American Legion.
-Plasterer strike held up construction in May & June.
-Hall construction completed July 1, followed by members painting, fixing the floor, and buying furnishings.
-Council members participate in a Paul Revere Club to combat communism and subversive literature.
-David Fochtman organizes a Glee Club, has members but needs a piano.