On June 27, 1901, 30 men from St. Paul Church in Burlington, New Jersey, took their First Degree and became the charter members of Council #589, one of their first Councils in Burlington County. The sponsoring Council was Bordentown Council #570, with our first Grand Knight, James E. Ryan, a member from that Council. Other chartering officers were Thomas A. Hines, Deputy Grand Knight, Joseph A. Fox, Chancellor, and B. J. Mulholland, Warden. The first Chaplin was Reverand Henry Russi of St. Paul Church.
The first official meeting was held in the old Odd Fellow's Hall. Other meetings were held in the Granger's Hall on Stacy's Street, Buck's Hall (above the old Lippincott's Hardware Store), the Birch Building (later known as the Kiwanis Canteen), the once-owned Burlington Knights of Columbus Home Association Building on East Union and Stacy Street, and in the Grubb Community Center.
In about the year 1960, the Council started meeting in the original St. Paul Church, which was by then referred to as the old Parish Hall. This building was originally constructed in 1759 for the purpose of housing British Troops during the French and Indian Wars, and in 1845 was purchased for a Catholic Church. Saint Paul Church held its first Mass there in 1849 and, in 1925, moved to its new and present location on Union Street. The Burlington Knights continued meeting there and, in 1973, they purchased the Building from the Diocese of Trenton. After extensive renovations, the Council Home was officially dedicated on October 12, 1974. The new home was named Gallagher Hall in honor of Past Grand Knight Francis L. Gallagher. Brother Fran was Financial Secretary from 1938-1969 before becoming the 37th Grand Knight of the Council. He was instrumental in the drive to buy the building we now call home. He also served as Faithful Navigator of the John Tatham Assembly, Fourth Degree, and was elected to be a delegate at the 1972 National Convention, a convention he never attended due to his passing early that year.
Service to Faith, Family, Community and Country were always the principles of the Burlington Knights. Members of the Burlington Council have participated in both World Wars, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, and numerous other conflicts throughout the world. At least one Knight gave his life for his Country, the late William O'Hara during World War I. Among the many activities and programs which the Council supported throughout its history have been the local basketball and baseball teams, a Catholic Boy Scout Troop, disabled citizens fund drive, right-to-life marches, and programs to recognize our youth, religious and civil servants, including the Poor Clare Nuns.
Members of the Council have served honorably in both local government and in the hierarchy of the Order. Three members of the Council have served as Mayor of Burlington, Thomas J. Johnson in the early 1930's, Anthony Greski in the 50's, and Herman T. Costello in the 90's. Brother John J. McCann served as Master of the Fourth Degree and as District Deputy, as did Brother John Hughes. Brother Roger Watson have served as District Deputy and Faithful Navigator. Brother Jeffrey Green served as District Deputy. Brother Mark Spychalski is the past President of the Burlington Chapter of the Knights of Columbus and is currently the District Deputy. Numerous other Brothers have served on City Council, Local Boards and serve the Parish of St. Katharine Drexel as Ushers and Deacons.
The Burlington Knights of Columbus continues to adher to its commitment to Faith, Family, Community, and Country, a direct reflection of the principles of our Order......Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patroitism.