Knights of Columbus host MLK dinner
By PAMELA GRANT
Members of the Copperas Cove Knights of Columbus and the Holy Family Catholic Church of Copperas Cove gathered on Saturday to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. by hosting a dinner in his honor.
This event marked the tenth year that the group hosted the event. Saturday’s dinner consisted of pork schnitzel with red cabbage, spaetzli, cucumber salad, German bread, iced tea, coffee and sheet cake for desert.
According to Jim French, a member of the committee hosting this year’s event, Rosa Johnson came up with the idea for the event ten years ago and did most of the work in running the event until her death over two years ago. After her passing, French and other members of the Knights of Columbus helped maintain the tradition.
In his life, Martin Luther King Jr. was committed to achieving social justice for all through non-violent means. He had a pivotal role in ending segregation of African-Americans as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. His influence can still be felt today.
“To me, Martin Luther King’s legacy goes far beyond just the man himself and the great things that he accomplished. He was the igniter for a lot of other progressive changes, the civil rights movements, the women’s rights movemen. [Martin Luther King Jr.] proved that if you approach it the right way, you can get things changed. Prior to that, things were very slow,” said Ira Brand, another committee member. “The country’s a better place because of him. He’s been a model for generations after him.”
The Knights of Columbus prides itself on helping those that it feels are in need of help, boasting that charity is the first principle of the Knights of Columbus. French said that hosting events like Saturday’s is only natural for the group as they are big supporters of equal rights.
“We’re remembering the great things that Martin Luther King did because after his death, the law was passed that took care of all minorities,” said Jim French.
The event began at 6:30 p.m. with a presentation by the St. Joseph Gospel Choir followed by dinner and then desert. Father Reginald Samuels was the primary speaker at the event. The event concluded after Grand Knight Eddie Ganceres presented a Martin Luther King Jr. bust to Father Reginald Samuels.
Samuels was born in 1966 in Washington, GA. As part of his speech, he said that his parents had lived through some of the toughest parts of the civil rights movement. There was a lot of violence associated with the civil rights movement, said Samuels. His parents found out that Martin Luther King Jr. had organized a rally to be held in Georgia and despite being terrified were determined to attend the event. Samuels said that his sister, who was a teenager at the time, tried to beg his parents not to go, but his parents calmed her down because they trusted in God. His parents came back safely from the rally and six years later gave birth to Samuels.
“Doctor King said, 'My God gives me strength to stand up to injustice. I don’t know who their God is, but my God gives me strength to love my enemies when my enemies show me no love. I don’t know who their God is, but my God gives me tolerance to face intolerance,;” said Samuels.
Samuels then stressed that we shouldn’t allow the struggles of the world around us to determine who we are, saying that we have to be conquerors in this life and stand up for what we know is right.