BY Ryan McDougall | October 18 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


International role for Glasgow Knight of St Columba

A Glasgow man has been elected the first Scottish president of an international society that oversees Catholic knights around the world.

Charlie McCluskey, the former supreme knight of the Knights of St Columba, was elected as the president of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights (IACK) on Wednesday October 9.

IACK is made up of 15 Catholic fraternal societies, covering 27 countries across six continents.

It was founded in October 12, 1979, in Glasgow at the Knights of St Columba’s diamond jubilee.


An ‘honour’

Mr McCluskey, who works for SPUC Scotland, said it was an ‘honour’ and a ‘privilege’ to have been elected for the role.

He said: “It’s great that knights from all around the world and those here in Britain have supported me.

“I’m looking forward to my role as president as I’ll be the first Scottish president. There have been presidents from elsewhere in Britain, but never from Scotland.”

Mr McCluskey was elected at the recent IACK biennial conference in Glasgow, and the announcement of his appointment was made at the closing Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral.


World presence

IACK members from all over the world were present, including Bishop Leslie Tomlinson of Sandhurst, Australia.

The organisation is comprised of orders such as the Knights of St Peter Claver, Knights of St Virgil, Knights of the Southern Cross and others, and Mr McCluskey plans to bring them closer together through modern communication.

“IACK is the umbrella over the orders,” he said.

“One thing that came up at the conference was that we need better communication around the world, so that our brothers in Britain can know what’s happening with the orders in Australia, America and so on, to build on our working relationship with them.

“I think if we embrace modern aspects of communication, which I have raised as a priority, it will allow us to really get the Gospel message out there.”


Working for the Lord

He added: “While each individual order [within IACK] is autonomous, we are all Catholic knights working with the Lord, and although some of us are more focussed on different things it’s important that we let each other know what we’re doing around the world.”

Mr McCluskey will lead the alliance for a term of two years.

Niall Kennedy, the current general secretary, is stepping down after many years of service.

Having known Mr McCluskey for several years, he said: “He is a strong supporter of pro-life issues and a man of deep Faith and commitment.

“All of these attributes, together with his support of the ideals of IACK, will assist him as he takes up the presidency of the alliance.

“I congratulate him and pray God’s blessing on his term of office.”

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