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State Secretary 2020 - 2021

Picture of State Secretary

Kim Washburn
June 2020


Since you might not be happy with me after reading on, I am including what I would have said at the end of this message about John Walker.

I received a call from the Tri-Cities tourism chamber, this week. She was calling to give her condolences to our Washington State Knights of Columbus members of John Walker’s passing. It was a happy, but sad conversation as we shared stories and experiences relating to John. Another life he had touch in a most positive way. 

I, also, received documents from Tessie (John’s wife) in the mail from Bob Baemmert. I went through all of those files and was amazed at what John was taking care of for us. Things none of the officers knew were even required.

I heard his voice multiple times in my mind the past two months with this Virtual Convention. His calm, wise response to me when I felt overwhelmed “It’ll all work out” kept me in balance.

Here are some of those frustrations (CERTAINLY not from all).

The Virtual Convention is over. I think it went very well for not ever being through this before. We had an average of 107 out of the 175 delegates registered. This does not include alternates, which were not allowed to participate in the meeting.

For months, I had been sending out what information I had to your FS’s (all the time), GK’s and ALL members sometimes. In every case, the information sent via hard copy and email, were posted on our WA Website under the 117th Virtual Convention. Instruction/guidelines were posted as late as Friday, two days before the Convention. I spent hundreds of hours providing all the information you needed for the Convention. Still I had delegates that did not know the guidelines.

Notification was sent to the FS for distribution to the delegates/alternates that I needed an update on WORKING phone numbers and other information. The Certificate of Election sent out before the pandemic didn’t request phone numbers or email addresses. It does now. If we didn’t have a working phone number, the delegate did not receive a phone call from the provider to join the meeting.

After the start of the meeting, I received no less than 25 phone calls that I couldn’t take due to the meeting in progress, emails that I tried to answer while monitoring the meeting, chat with hosts and preparing for the upcoming polls. My hands were full.

Almost all of the questions dealt with the PIN number required. As stated numerous times, the PIN was the last 5 digits of your membership number (All information on the website). Once you called the number given on the message line, entered the event ID and PIN, you would have joined the meeting in progress. Polling on officers, Resolutions, Supreme delegates, etc. didn’t start until 35 minutes into the meeting, so there was ample time to enter the meeting with proper information, if the first call out didn’t work or a phone call was dropped.

I was able to handle some of those emails and tried to use my cellphone to call some that were calling in. Most didn’t answer my calls because they didn’t recognize the phone number. The rest I just couldn’t get too. So I don’t sound like I’m scolding, I’ll stop there, or maybe I won’t. I’m frustrated - John, help me!

Luckily, other than presentations from our Supreme Knight, Deputy Supreme Knight, General Insurance Agent, you didn’t miss much. All the housekeeping items were on the website, and still are for viewing.

Resolutions went as expected and followed the committee recommendations. The International Supreme delegate/alternate elections were the most involved, and there again, the candidates were on the website. The only difference, conditions changed about four days before the Convention that all candidates were going to be elected individually. Earlier it was to be based off of who advised their candidacy first until the 8 delegates and 7 alternate positions were filled. That didn’t seem fair, so we held elections for each individual, instead of a whole bank of candidates. It wasn’t the most desirable way to do it, but in our Virtual environment, we had little choice.

About 30% of the councils just do not follow the rules, or ask for help. Instruction/guidelines/rules I so desperately try to provide, are basically ignored by some. I/we, are here to help, but I get no calls from those councils that need help. I deal with it daily and it makes my job unnecessarily difficult. Example, despite repeated messages, two billings and phone messages, I still have three councils that have not paid their per capita. These three councils have occupied several hours of my unavailable time. This is not a boohoo poor me session, I just do not know why some councils do not avail themselves of information, critical information, and follow the rules. It is our sworn oath of obligation from day one. I guess I am scolding.

Since the State Officers elected to pull the per capita increase Resolution for a number of reasons, our State is precariously on the financial line. We haven’t had an increase of per capita for 17 years, however I think you know the cost of living and doing business hasn’t remained at zero. When councils do not pay their required bills to State, it exacerbates our dire situation. This per capita increase Resolution will show up again, so I beg your councils to prepare. When a Resolution passes, it doesn’t go into effect for over a year because the councils only officially meet annually at the Convention.

Right now, all councils have paid their insurance that was billed July 2019. The final bill was paid December 6, 2019 after one billing, two notices of none payment, email messages to the council and District Deputy, then a personal phone call. We are fast approaching another insurance billing July 2020 while we still haven’t received all per capita from councils after following the same procedure mentioned above. Our State insurance bill doesn’t just go away, or adjust because councils aren’t contributing, we have to pay or expose our membership to liability for all activity in the Knights.

The process has begun suspending the three councils and that’s the LAST thing we want to do. It just makes our situation worse.  

John, I did the best I could, and it did “Work out”.



Kim Washburn

State Secretary