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The Jewels of Office

The Grand Knight (GK) is the top ranking officer of the Council. He oversees all Council's activities and is elected by the members of the Council. Some of his duties include presiding over meetings, countersigning orders and checks, reading vouchers and notices relative to the Fourth Degree. His jewel is an Anchor which is suspended from a purple ribbon. The Anchor is indicative of Admiral Christopher Columbus and has also been a variant form of the Cross for centuries. The Grand Knight's ceremonial officer robe is royal purple. He wears a white cincture with silver fringe and a purple mantle with white roll collar.

The Deputy Grand Knight (DGK) is second ranking officer of the Council and is elected by the members of the Council. He shall preside in the absence or inability of the Grand Knight. His jewel is the Compass, also known as the Compass of Virtue, suspended from a purple ribbon, with the four main points representing Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. The 32 points around the outside of the compass represent the virtues which a man can possess. The compass is an important tool in navigation. The Deputy Grand Knight's ceremonial officer robe is royal purple. He wears a white cincture with silver fringe.

The Chancellor is the third highest ranking officer and is elected by the Council. The Chancellor shall assist the GK and DGK in the performance of their duties and shall take charge during the incapacity or extended absence of both. He shall exercise a special interest in new members and members who are sick or in distress. His jewel is the Skull and Crossed Bones on the Isabella Cross, suspended from a black over white ribbon. The Crossed Bones remind us of our immortality. The Chancellor's ceremonial robe is black robe trimmed with white. He wears a white cincture with silver fringe and black mantle with white roll collar.

The Recorder keeps the minutes of the meeting and the historical records for the Council. He is elected by the Council members. In the absence of the Grand Knight, Deputy Grand Knight, and Chancellor the Recorder will run the meeting. Also, he is responsible for the correspondence of the Council as directed by the Grand Knight. The Recorder's jewel is Crossed Quill Pens suspended from a white over yellow ribbon. The Quill pens are symbolic of his record keeping functions of the Scribe. The Recorder's ceremonial officer robe is black, trimmed with black. He wears a white cincture with silver fringe.

The Financial Secretary handles of the financial transaction record keeping. This includes issuing and collecting bills, issuing membership cards, etc. The Financial Secretary is appointed by the Supreme Knight and is compensated in a manner approved by the Board of Directors. His jewel is the Quill Pen (record-keeper) and the Key (money, safe-keeping, and secrecy) crossed and is suspended from a white over yellow ribbon. This symbolizes his record keeping functions of the financial matters of the Council. The Financial Secretary's ceremonial officer robe is black, trimmed with black. He wears a white cincture with silver fringe.

The Treasurer is responsible for the funds of the Council as is elected by the members of the Council. His duties include such functions as maintaining bank accounts and issuing checks based on receipts turned in by the Financial Secretary. His jewel is Crossed Keys, which represents responsibility for the safe keeping of the funds, suspended from a blue ribbon. The Treasurer's ceremonial officer robe is black, trimmed with black. He wears a white cincture with silver fringe.

The Lecturer is responsible for the entertainment at the Knights of Columbus meetings and functions. He is selected by the Grand Knight on an annual basis. His jewel consists of the Scroll over the Lyre suspended from a white over blue ribbon. The Scroll and Lyre represent Literature and Music. The Lecturer's ceremonial officer robe is black, trimmed with national blue. He wears a blue cincture with silver fringe.

The Advocate is the Chief Legal Officer for the Council as is elected by the members of the Council. His jewel consists of a Scroll and Sword suspended from a yellow ribbon. The Scroll represents the legal literature and law and the Sword represents his authority to enforce those Laws. The Advocate's ceremonial officer robe is black, trimmed with golden yellow. He wears a yellow cincture with silver fringe.

The Warden assures that all members at meetings possess the current membership card and is elected by the members of the council. He is custodian of all Council property except funds and is in charge of properly setting up the Council Chamber. He directs the activities of the Inside and Outside Guards. His jewel consists of Axe bound by Fasces and is suspended from a red over black ribbon. Guards or protectors of Roman Magistrates generally carried the Axe and Fasces as a sign of Authority. The Warden's ceremonial officer robe is black, trimmed with scarlet. He wears a scarlet cincture with silver fringe.

The Inside and Outside Guards each have the same symbol for their jewel. They are in charge of security at the meetings and are to assist the Warden as needed. The jewel for the Guards consists of an Crossed Axes and Key, representing their authority as sentries at the door, is suspended from a white ribbon. The Guard's ceremonial officer robe is gray with a yoke, trimmed with black. He wears a black cincture with silver fringe.

There are three Trustees in each Council, titled as 1 Year Trustee, 2 Year Trustee, and 3 Year Trustee. They oversee the financial transactions of the Council, review all bills and financial reports and audit the Council's financial records semi-annually. Their jewel is the Crossed Key and Sword, which represents their financial authority, is suspended from a green ribbon.

Officer's Duties


The grand knight is responsible for the overall welfare of the council. Elected annually by the council membership, the grand knight must provide thoughtful and inspired leadership to the other council officers, the Service Program directors, chairmen and members of the council. More specifically, his duties include: presiding over council meetings, acting as an ex officio member of all committees; appointing the membership and program directors and working with them on the selection of Service Program activities chairman and membership recruitment and retention chairmen; convening officer for a monthly meeting; appointing special committees not mandated by the laws of the council; overseeing the proper exemplification of the First Degree; and, finally, making sure that all reports and reporting forms required by the state or Supreme Council offices are submitted on time. Another area of the grand knight's duties is overseeing the important work of the council's admission committee. Immediately after entering upon his term of office, the grand knight must appoint an admission committee composed of seven members. The grand knight monitors their work and makes sure their results are in line with the laws governing the actions of the committee. The grand knight also interacts with the financial secretary and treasurer to insure the council is meeting its financial obligations to the Supreme and State council and others. For instance, the grand knight countersigns all orders drawn and signed by the financial secretary and all checks drawn and signed by the treasurer. He also reads the vouchers from the financial secretary of moneys paid to the treasurer and from the treasurer of moneys deposited in the bank. In essence, the grand knight checks on the performance of the financial secretary and treasurer, working with them to help the council meet its financial obligations. The grand knight is a member of the Advisory Board charged with general supervision of a Columbian Squires circle sponsored by his council. Finally, the grand knight is responsible for recommending a chaplain and appointing a lecturer.


The deputy grand knight is the second in command in the local council. He is also elected annually, assists the grand knight in the operation of council affairs and is responsible for any duties assigned to him by the grand knight. In the absence of the grand knight, the deputy grand knight presides at council meetings and functions as the grand knight would. The deputy grand knight is a member of the Advisory Board charged with general supervision of a Columbian Squires circle sponsored by his council. It is suggested that the Deputy Grand Knight and the Board of Trustees serve on the council's Retention Committee.


The chancellor is elected annually to serve the council in a variety of ways. Primarily, he assists the grand knight and deputy grand knight in the execution of their duties and takes charge of the council during the incapacity or extended absence of both. With the cooperation and support of the grand knight, the chancellor has the important duty of strengthening the members' interest in council activities.


The recorder functions in much the same way that a court reporter or a secretary does. He is responsible for keeping a true record of all the actions of the council and maintains all correspondence of the council.


Addressing the 96th annual meeting of the Supreme Council, Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant said, "The financial secretary is an integral part of the structure of the Knights of Columbus, and we intend to keep it that way." His important role is underscored by the fact that he is not elected by the membership but is appointed by the supreme knight for a period of three years. His work has a direct effect on council members, his fellow officers, the state council and the Supreme Council. Basically, the financial secretary's duties revolve around two areas of council activities: financial records and membership records. The financial secretary collects and receives all moneys that come into the council from any source. He then turns that money over to the treasurer for deposit in the council account. In accordance with section 130 of the "Charter, Constitution and Laws", each financial secretary, upon appointment by the supreme knight, is bonded automatically in the amount of $2,500.00. One main function of the financial secretary is to collect money, in the form of dues, from members. He sends out billing notices before the start of the billing period and initiates retention measures to prevent members from being suspended for nonpayment of dues. The compilation of membership records is another of the financial secretary's important roles. He must ensure that new members sign the constitutional roll of membership at the time of their First Degree. The financial secretary also applies to the Supreme Council office for honorary and honorary life membership cards for qualified members. Besides these two major responsibilities, the financial secretary has several others. They include: handling supply orders for members with the Supreme Council! Supply Department; filing the "Report of Officers" with the Supreme Council office; and reporting membership/insurance transactions to the Supreme Council office in a timely and correct manner.


The treasurer is the elected official in charge of handling all council funds. He receives money from the financial secretary and issues a receipt for such. He is also responsible for depositing all money in the proper council accounts and providing a voucher or certificate to the grand knight for each transaction. The treasurer is also responsible for issuing payments to the Supreme Council on all assessments made by it to the council and for all orders of the council. Finally, the treasurer is responsible for keeping accurate accounts of the moneys in the general expense fund of the council and the amount of money in any special funds established by the council. He must be able to provide up-to-date records on these accounts to the grand knight, financial secretary or board of trustees. The treasurer is automatically bonded in the amount of $2,500 at the Supreme Council office.


The advocate is the legal representative of the council and should serve as the council's attorney in case of trial and investigation of any matter of interest to the council. The advocate need not be a member of the legal profession; however, he should be thoroughly familiar with all of the laws of the Order as stated in the "Charter, Constitution and Laws" and with the council by-laws. When a by-law is to be revised, the advocate serves as chairman of the revision committee. The advocate should also have a working knowledge of "Robert's Rules of Order," and the Supreme Council flyer, "Methods of Conducting a Council Meeting". An understanding of both of these will help keep meetings on track.


The warden is another officer elected annually by the membership at large. The warden is responsible for supervising and maintaining most council property, except that which belongs to the financial secretary. He sets up the council chambers for meetings and degrees and appoints and supervises guards for ceremonial exemplifications. The warden should also oversee the inside and outside guards and make they are fulfilling the duties assigned to them.


Both of these positions are elected annually. The inside guard attends the inner door of the council chamber, checking on paid up membership cards before allowing entrance. The outside guard tends the outer door of the council home, admitting all visitors to the inner door.


The board of trustees consists of the grand knight and three members elected by the council. Trustees supervise all financial business of the council. They serve as auditors for the semiannual audits and oversee the work of the financial secretary and treasurer. The grand knight is the chairman of the board. It is suggested that the Board of Trustees and the Deputy Grand Knight serve on the council's Retention Committee. Trustees are elected for terms of three years, two years and one year. At each regular election, only the position of three-year trustee will be voted upon, and the current three and two year trustees move on to become two and one year trustees, respectively.

LECTURER (Appointed)

The lecturer is appointed by the grand knight to provide suitable educational and entertaining programs for the council. He is responsible for presenting the "Good of the Order" section at council meetings. The lecturer must be knowledgeable of all aspects of council programming in order to provide members with informative and entertaining programs. If the meetings have been conducted in accordance with the ceremonials and the agenda, there will be ample time at each meeting for the lecturer to present a worthwhile program that will help build meeting attendance and provide benefits to the membership that is present.

CHAPLAIN (Appointed)

The priest chosen to serve the council as chaplain will primarily act as spiritual advisor to the brother knights and families of that council. Since he will more than likely have a full-time ministry demanding the major part of his time and effort, no specific duties with regards to running the council have been assigned to him. He is expected, however, to make a report at council meetings. The chaplain's report consists of any business matters relative to his office and a brief talk by him on any religious matters. The chaplain should also serve as an advisor to the church activities director and members of that committee.


At the beginning of his term, the grand knight should appoint any standing committees that are called for by the laws of the Order or by the by-laws of his council, including the program director and the membership director called for under the Order's Service Program. While the selection of the directors for Church activities, community activities, council activities, family activities and youth activities should be left to the judgment of the program director, the grand knight appoints these important officials, after consultation with and upon the recombination of the program director. This same rule should apply to the membership director in his selection of chairmen for his committees. In selecting the program director and membership director, the grand knight should seek men who command the respect of the membership of the council and have the ability to organize and supervise the work of the various directors. These positions demand time, talent, dedication and enthusiasm; therefore, selections should be made very carefully.