Our leader for the past three consecutive council years stepped down this past week [June 2006]. His efforts, and, of course, the supportiveness of his lovely wife Susanne, helped our council reach greatness. We did more with less, grew in size and stature, built friendships in the community, learned how to play nice together, stepped forward to help build church, and raised thousands and thousands of dollars for the mentally handicapped, seminarians, the Interfaith Council Food Pantry, and the church mortgage.
We have also built a strong personal relationship with the youth of our parish, provided men and women to the ministries of the church, and have stepped forward to serve our priest, our church, and mankind. We are now known by our deeds, our compassion, and our dedication to the church family. These things, too, were because we were led by example and encouraged to step forward to give of ourselves.
Bill brought order to the council and set the pace. Sure, he will always tell you that “it was the men of the council” who did it, but we all know that we needed a champion to follow and a kick-start once in a while.
At the June Council Awards Dinner, Bill was presented with his gavel and named a Knight of the Year. Presenting the awards, Financial Secretary Bob Smith said, “When the State Deputy came to our council meeting in the Fall of 2003 to ask who was willing to step forward to save this council since it was on the brink of disaster with the possibility of deactivation, only Bill Jackson bravely responded to that challenge and from that day forward, our council took on a new face and renewed determination. This council went from being just a number among the 117 councils in North Carolina to one of the top 10 in a short span of time and it was Bill’s leadership that showed us the way.”
No, Bill is not going to sit in the back row and assume the role of the tired warrior. He has already stepped forward to guide the new grand knight, Gil Montoya, as he and his new staff ready the council chambers for another successful council year! (This story was first published in the Chapel Hill KnightLine in July 2006.)
Postscript: Bill Jackson continues to serve our church and community as a leader in the council and the local Fourth Degree Assembly. During his final year as Grand Knight, he led the Council to reach the coveted Triple Star Council Award, the highest national recognition for a council.