FATHER MATHIS COUNCIL #2433 – HALLETTSVILLE
Knights of Columbus Council #2433 of Hallettsville, Texas was organized on December 17, 1922, with Brother H. J. Strauss serving as the first Grand Knight. One of the early projects was the sponsorship of Boy Scout Troop #222 in 1937. After over 75 years of activity, it is one of the oldest Troops sponsored by a K.C. Council. World War II saw a committee appointed to promote the sale of war bonds in the community. The Council also organized a blood donor group that year. Since then, members continue to participate in local blood drives.
In January of 1943, the name of the Council was changed to Father Mathis Council #2433. In 1946 there was a letter sent to the Mayor and the Chamber of Commerce requesting the closing of businesses on Good Friday. Today, after 60 years, the town still closes at noon on Good Friday for the remainder of the day.
The Council Softball Team originated in 1948. This Slo-Pitch Softball Team has accomplished much success on local, state and national levels. State titles have been won in 1982, 1984,1985, 2008, 2010, and 2012. By capturing these titles the team qualified for the NationalTournament and reigned as champions in 2008 and 2012. The team has traveled to Decatur, Illinois; Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Cincinnati, Ohio; Houston, Texas and New York, NewYork. The council’s “Hall of Fame” room is filled with trophies and awards received by the team over the years.
In 1950, an athletic fund for Sacred Heart School began with the organization of the Chief’s Club. The Council took over the project in 1968 and since then has sponsored the entire athletic program for boys and girls in all major and minor sports at Sacred Heart High School and Elementary School. In 1978, the Hallettsville Council won the Supreme Youth Activity Award for the sponsorship of the athletic program. It marked the first best Supreme Activity Award for a council in Texas.
One of the most outstanding projects of the Council began on May 2, 1954. The First State Championship Domino Tournament was held to provide funds for the athletic fund. After many years the Domino Tournament is going on stronger than ever bringing national publicity to the Council and community.
The need for the new Knights of Columbus Hall prompted the Council to begin one of their most ambitious projects. The First State Championship Fiddlers Frolics was held in April, 1971, with proceeds going to the Building Fund. It now includes fiddling competition, the Texas Fiddlers Hall of Fame, guitar playing contest, 10,000 meter fun run, bar-b-que cook-off, a dance headed by a national country western star, and other forms of family entertainment. The event has also brought national publicity to Hallettsville.
In 1972, the Council sponsored a sign at the Little League Field, gave $1,000 to the local
Hospital Fund Drive, participated in the Texas Folklife Festival, and operated a beirgarten and food booth at a Hospital Community Picnic. In 1975, members strongly supported Pro-Life movement with signatures in a San Antonio paper, voted unanimously to support the Lavaca Hospital District, re-roofed the Sacred Heart School cafeteria, and purchased 10 acres of land for the construction of a Knights of Columbus Hall. The Knights of Columbus opened its door in February of 1977. It was blessed and dedicated in April, 1977 by Bishop Hugo Gerbermann.
The designing and planning for the Hall was done by individual members. Since its opening, the K. C. Hall has served as a center for many Church and community events, reunions, dances, meetings, weddings, and other cultural events which are held there on a regular basis.
In 1981, the hall was opened to the evacuees of the great Hallettsville Flood. Patients from a local rest home spent the night after having to evacuate. The Council sponsored the best single family activity and council activity in Texas in 1981. The K.C. Hall is currently used as a Red Cross evacuation shelter.
The Council has been blessed with outstanding leadership and active membership through out the years. Brother Gus Strauss (deceased) served as State Deputy. Several other members have served as State Committeemen and District Deputies. The officers of the Council have always promoted good programming and membership growth. Today, the Council has over 600 members. It is one of the larger Councils in Texas, even though it is located in a rural town of less than 3,000 people. Besides the projects already listed, Council #2433 sponsors Polka Festivals, Christmas gifts to the clergy, donations to the Deaf Community Fund, donations to the Shrine Burn Center, purchases livestock at the FFA-4H Stock Show, sponsors One Rose on the Altar, and provides the use of the K.C. Hall for the graduation exercises of Sacred Heart Catholic School and Hallettsville High School at a discounted rate.