Saturday, 02-05-1980, HCJ Murray Hall

7 Feb

Let me say that all of the Contestants of the Kings Queens Knights Of Columbus International Free Throw Basketball Championship from the abovementioned day and date, are now Middle Aged and in some cases, Grandparents.

The Site on that Historic Morning was Monsignor Murray Hall at Holy Child Jesus Parish in Richmond Hill, Queens, NY.

Funny, but I never even gave this Historic Moment a thought until I was at lunch at a Dominican Coffee Shop on Jamaica Ave in Richmond Hill, Queens.
This was also the Era of BetaMax, Video Cassette Recorders, Cell Phones with PowerPacks and. FAX Machines, Three Major Commercial Broadcast Television Networks and the Non Commercial PBS, & the beginnings of the Phenomena of Public Access Cable Television Channels, both Non Commercial and Commercial. A new cable tv network called Cable News Network, initials CNN, went on the air.
This was a memorable morning for St.Sylvester’s Council #6194, then in the City Line Section of Brooklyn, NY. But, all of the Contestants came from the adjacent Blessed Sacrament Parish, on Euclid Avenue in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.
There was a problem, in that the Council was located around the corner from the St. Sylvester Parish Complex. That meant extensive doing of business with The Complex. And relations were not always pleasant. In some cases, People in St. Sylvester Based Organizations came to look at Council 6194, as if it was the Ford Foundation & with some arrogance.
At Monsignor Murray Hall, three 6194 Officials were there. It was announced that there would be 16 Boys & Girls going on to the Long Island Final.
Four of them were from St. Sylvester Council 6194. All Four were from Blessed Sacrament Parish, Cypress Hills. Everything short of the “New York, New York”(Frank Sinatra Rendition) Kick Line, the chant of “Blessed Sacrament-Saint Sylvester 6194” erupted at Murray Hall.
But this chant totally infuriated 6194’s Program Director. He was furious because this Greatest 6194 Championship Moment was born from a decision to move the 6194 Competition from Saint Sylvester School to Blessed Sacrament Hall. To much of Council 6194 in 1979-1980 Columbian Year, this was like moving all Mets Home Games to East 161st Street and River Avenue in The Bronx(Yankee Stadium II). That Program Director opposed Awards from Council 6194, unless they were the Certificates which came from the Free Throw Kit. He also decried that “These Children do NOT represent OUR PARISH.”
This whole move to Blessed Sacrament Hall in December, 1979, would not have occurred had Saint Sylvester Sports Officials given full cooperation to the Council Free Throw Chairman, instead of busting his chops at every move. But then, this Competition would not have experienced growth. The Monsignor Sherman Council Knights Of Columbus Version of the Competition, is a Direct Descendent of the 6194 Competition, one I had chaired in 1979, 1980, 1982, 1985 & 1986. So, since I had chaired the Competition for 6194, with chairing Council 5103’s FT I in January, 1992 @ Christ The King High School in Middle Village, Queens, I call the 5103 Competition the 1st Descendent Competition.
Being a Past Grand Knight of Monsignor Sherman Council #5103 Knights Of Columbus in East Glendale, Queens, I looked at this Competition as a way of communicating with the Parishes which we serve across Glendale, East Glendale,Middle Village & Forest Hills in Queens. It was also the intent of the way the 1979 and 1982 6194 Competitions was to communicate with new regions.

In 1994, Jamie Jones, 12 Girls Queens County Champion representing Msgr Sherman Council at the Long Island Final, held at the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point on Long Island Sound. It was a case of 6194 Meets 5103. Watching was Karen Fleming, 1979-80 Downstate Champion, who also won as Kings Queens Champion in 1980-81. Karen’s Sister is Jamie’s Mon. And to think that I was Chairman of those Competitions, brings à tear to my eyes.

Sometimes the Home Base thinks that they are “The Show” and that you can’t do it without them. But, the beauty of the Knights Of Columbus International Free Throw Basketball Championship is the flexibility to hold it in a Gymnasium, Anywhere and Not just the local parish alone. All In All, it is fun.

Next Round is Saturday, 02-06-15@ St.Pancras in Glendale, Queens at 7:00PM EST(8:30PM in Newfoundland).

After 36 Years in the Knights of Columbus, the Competitions remind me of WHY I became a Knight Of Columbus. It makes me feel Young.

Fraternum Tuam!
M, PGK, Eh!

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