Caravel November 2018
Grand Knight’s Message
I perceive that there is some uncertainty about the ongoing efforts of the Corporation Board to determine the appropriate course of action with respect to the future operation of the Knights Hall. It occurs to me that the Grand Knight’s Message in Caravel may be an appropriate means by which to provide some information – at least from my perspective. I ask only that readers keep in mind that as Grand Knight I am just one member of the Corporation Board and as one of two Council representatives to that Board my perceptions and comments are in the context of what I believe to be in Council’s best interests.
From my perspective, discussions concerning the Hall’s management and future arise principally in two contexts: (1) recent indications by Supreme that Councils are to be discouraged from ownership and management of Halls, and (2) whether or not our Council’s management and operation of the Hall is economically feasible.
As regards indications from Supreme that Hall ownership is to be discouraged, I perceive it to be the will of the significant majority of our Council’s members that we continue to manage and use the Hall. As such, the issue from my perspective is not whether the Corporation’s continued ownership of the Hall is in the Council’s best interests but, rather, how best to ensure that continued ownership is economically-viable.
The position I take as one of Council’s current representatives to the Corporation Board is that “financially viable” means that the Hall generates sufficient revenue to sustain itself without requiring that Council contribute money that Council has raised to sustain its operations and fund its charitable work.
I perceive that the Hall is currently “financially viable”. I also perceive that this is largely due to efforts bordering on the heroic by Brothers Bud Duguay, Jim Morrison, John Poirier, Andre Charlebois and many other Brothers who have volunteered considerable time and effort during the past year. I am most grateful to our Brothers in this regard.
But the need for significant volunteer hours by our Council’s members indicates that a longer-term solution is required. To that end, the Corporation’s Board has been very active in exploring the wisdom of proposals that include retaining an on-site manager or retaining an independent, off-site, manager or management firm.
Every proposed solution has its complications. There is no “quick fix”. For example, retaining an on-site manager would require renovations to the Hall’s currently-unoccupied residential unit. The renovation cost remains unknown, despite ongoing communications with consultants, because of uncertainty over the scope and resultant cost of the work required to comply with current regulatory standards – uncertainty that may only be resolved after an expenditure of a significant sum that may not be recoverable if the renovation cost proves to be prohibitive.
Retaining an independent, off-site, manager involves (1) finding a suitable candidate and (2) determining the cost of such candidate as against the likely return in revenue without the need for significant volunteer labour.
The process of getting this critical decision right is time-consuming. But I am pleased to report that the Corporation’s President, Brother Glenn Krelove, has been working through the uncertainties involved in possibly renovating a residential unit for an on-site manager. As is often the case, working with regulatory authorities and consultants can be slow and frustrating, but with Brother Glenn spearheading the effort the task is in the best possible hands.
I am also pleased to report that Brothers Ted Land, our St. Mary’s Church liaison, and Allan Johnson, our Council’s Treasurer, have agreed to form a committee to examine the possibility of retaining an off-site manager. When I learned of this, I immediately thought of Brother Jim Morrison as a valuable potential contributor to this committee’s work. I am grateful that when I asked Brother Jim to consider participating, he readily agreed – as is his wont.
I know that the members of the Corporation’s Board and Brothers Ted, Allan and Jim would value your suggestions and input. Please do not hesitate to comment on this important and ongoing initiative.
Bro. Dan Dooley, Grand Knight