History of Court Nine, Pittsburgh, PA
Court #9 was granted a charter in the Hall of Emania, November 24, 1904. Sixteen men were granted the Charter to operate a Court of the Knights of Equity within the confines of the City of Pittsburgh, PA.
At that time, J. P. Madigan was known as the Supreme President and J. F. McKenna was the Supreme Secretary. These men signed the Charter.
The following were the sixteen charter members -- Edward McManus Lawrence J. Gugan P. J. McManus D. F. Crawford J. O'C Campbell, Jr. John I. Brown P. S. Ambrose M. H. Murphy M. E. Coyle James F. Kane John Gruff John M. Kelly W. J. Taylor P. J. Fahey E. J. Duffy T. C. Flynn
There have been 4 other Knights of Equity Courts closely associated with Pittsburgh; Court #14 was granted a charter in the Hall of Emania, Nov. 7, 1935. Sixteen men were granted the charter to operate a Court of the Knights of Equity within the confines of East Liberty, PA.
At that time John Atkinson was known as the Supreme Sir Knight and James Dunn was the Supreme Secretary. They are the men who signed the Charter. Following the are sixteen charter members -- P. S. Ambrose J. O'C Campbell, Jr. John J. Carney P. J. Fahey M. E. Coyle T. C. Flynn D. F. Crawford James F. Kane John Cuff John M. Kelly L. J. Dugan Marion Murphy P. J. Fitzgerald Edward McManus Edward F. Duffy John McCarthy
You will note many of the above names were also on the Court #9 Charter and then moved to form this new court. There is no record of the longevity of this Court, but the members all transferred to Court #9.
Court #13 was granted a Charter in the Hall of Emania, November, 1970. Twenty-five men were granted the charter to operate a Court of the Knights of Equity within the confines of Philadelphia, PA. This court was disbanded in 1991. No information of names of who signed the charter, etc., is available. The first Worthy Sir Knight was Harry Fitzgibbons.
Court # 14 (Old Sewickly #14) was granted a charter in the Hall of Emania, November 1960. Twenty men were granted a charter to operate a Court of the Knights of Equity within the confines of Irwin, PA. The first Worthy Sir Knight was James McKay. This Court was disbanded in 1980. No information of names who signed the charter is available.
Court #15 was granted a charter in the Hall of Emania, October 1976. Sixty men were granted the charter to operate a Court of the Knights of Equity within the confines of Altoona, PA. This Court disbanded in 1992. No information regarding who signed the charter is available. The first Worthy Sire Knight was M. Paul McDonough.
Court #13, Philadelphia: Court #14, Irwin: and Court #15, Altoona; were started by Court #9, Pittsburgh.
Court Nine meeting places were always within the confines of the Golden Triangle - (Downtown Pittsburgh) 1. Epiphany Church, Washington Place (1st meeting place) 2. Wabash Building, Fort Pitt Boulevard 3. Monongahela Whse., 211 Smithfield Street 4. Elks Bldg., Penn Avenue 5. Eagles, 3rd Avenue 6. 5th Avenue Building, 5th Avenue 7. Amen Corners, William Penn Hotel 8. William Penn Hotel, Penn Sheraton 9. Barry's Building, Diamond Market (Market Square) 10. Knights of Equity Building, 533 East Ohio Street The latest and current being a three story building which was purchased and renovated. The first floor is for meetings, the second for social activities (including a kitchen), and the third floor is storage area.
Religious activities -- a combined yearly Family Communion Mass and Breakfast is held at the Little Sisters of the Poor Home on Benton Avenue, North Side. Both Knights and Daughters of Erin attend.
Strongly support the Catholic Church and Bishop against legalized abortion.
Irish Culture and Publicity -- annual participation in the Pittsburgh International Folk Festival. Knights of Equity and Daughters of Erin join hands in representing the Pittsburgh Irish at the Civic Arena yearly. This festival draws upward of 50,000 people over a three-day Memorial Day weekend.
Support the Irish Hour. This being a weekly Sunday program over Radio Station WPSL. This program is conducted by a Knights of Equity member - Michael Folan.
The Knights of Equity and Daughters of Erin have their own separate charity drives yearly. Proceeds are given to organizations selected by the membership-at-large after recommendations by Officers. One of the Knights of Equity charities is the "Little Sisters of the Poor"; also House of Hospitality. The "Little Sisters of the Poor" is also one of the Daughters of Erin charities.
Give aid to the Children of Ireland; support speaking and athletic events in our local grade and high schools; scholarships program for the priesthood; and do other helpful acts deemed necessary.
St. Patrick's Day Parade and Dance -- March 1, 1950 saw the return of this parade to the Pittsburgh streets. The Knights of Equity started the ball rolling and requested the aid of other Irish organizations to join us. It is an annual affair in Pittsburgh with the Knights of Equity and the Daughters of Erin playing an important role. The parade now lasts a little over four hours - the longest of any Pittsburgh parades. The Knights of Equity and Daughters of Erin St. Patrick's Day Banquet and Dance held in Pittsburgh on March 17 each year is always a sellout. At this banquet the "Irishman of the Year" and "Harp" awards are presented; also, the "Tara" award is presented to a deserving Daughter of Erin.
Sinon J. Robertson Award -- This award was started in Pittsburgh in honor of our Past Worthy Sir Knight and Worthy Supreme Sir Knight. It is presented at the National Convention to the Court with the highest increase in membership. Pittsburgh won this award in 1969 and 1970.
The concept of a woman's organization of the Knights of Equity, to be known as the Daughters of Erin, was started in Pittsburgh through the efforts of Sinon J. Robertson, John McNamara, and J. Blair Leahy. Through their efforts this was approved at a National Convention. The Daughters of Erin is the official woman's auxiliary of the Knights of Equity. The Daughters of Erin Constitution and By-Laws were written by J. Blair Leahy in 1955 by request of S. J. Robertson.
The Death Benefit Fund was started approximately 30 years ago and still exists today. The Brothers who originated this fund were Robert Duffy, Bernard Grattan, and J. Blair Leahy. After the death of Brother Grattan, Michael Walsh replaced him on this committee. Brother Leahy and Duffy remain a part of this three-member committee.
From the very beginning, Court #9 membership has been composed of men from all walks of life -- Mayors, Councilmen, Labor Leaders, District Attorneys, Police, Firemen, Pennsylvania Senators, and Judges. The late Cardinal John Wright was a 3rd Degree Member. Also, Bishop John McDowell of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese is a member. Former Pittsburgh Steeler owner Arthur J. Rooney was a member and also was a Supreme Officer; also the present owner Dan Rooney is a member. Our membership continues to grow yearly.
Court #9 meets the first and third Friday of each month at 8:00 p.m. The Daughters of Erin meet the second Friday of each month at 8:00 p.m. The Knights and Daughters march each year in the Flag Day Parade on June 14 held on the North Side of Pittsburgh.
The Knights of Equity and Daughters of Erin hold a combined Christmas Party for the members' children. The Knights hold a Christmas Party for members only; the Daughters do likewise.
A combination Knights of Equity and Daughters of Erin Family Picnic held each year.
Gala Nights are held in the Club Rooms throughout the year.
Pittsburgh Irish Club is the holding corporation for the Knights of Equity. The Worthy Sir Knight, Vice Sir Knight, Treasurer, Secretary and Trustees of the Knights of Equity are the officers.
The Knights of Equity, along with the Daughters of Erin, are very active within their own organizations; and also, work closely with one another in all undertakings. Each organization has its own Chaplain who attends most of their meetings.
The Knights of Equity and Daughters of Erin are well known in the Pittsburgh area and look forward to the coming years as an opportunity to further the good the organizations have achieved in the past.