By Gary Megaffin
As members we attend meetings and participate in charitable events but do we know what distinguishes each of us as K of C members? “Meet A Brother Knight” is a window into the life of a member Knight and what influenced their decision to become a member of Council 1504.
Brother Kevin Schmalz, married with five children is a member of the Kitchener Knights of Columbus, Council 1504. As a retired member of the Kitchener fire Department, Kevin began his career as an employee for the city in 1985 as an engineering technologist with Public Works subsequently becoming a plan’s examiner & inspector upon joining the Fire Department in1988.
Before retiring in 2018, Kevin headed up public fire prevention education for the department since 2010 and also got involved in fire investigations. Kevin’s interests lie in following the Notre Dame football team and applying his talent as a budding artist. Thanks to Kevin for organizing Notre Dame Football Saturdays at K of C House where the members cheer on the Fighting Irish.
In 2001 shortly after the 9/11 tragedy in New York City, Kevin was joined with several police and firefighter volunteers who travelled to the city with aid supplies that included necessary oxygen cylinders. Security was heavy but they were welcomed by the US rescue workers at the site as they spent several days assisting where needed.
In 2003 Kevin was nominated Chair for the Kitchener Fallen Firefighters Memorial Committee and began working with local master sculptor Timothy Schmalz, Kevin’s cousin and a member of Council 1504, to create an award-winning monument located at the Queen Street Civic Centre Park. Kevin became the Chair of the 9/11 Memorial Committee and recently, the Kitchener fire Department commemorated the event.
It was held at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Civic Centre Park, which includes a piece of structural steel salvaged from the collapsed World Trade Center towers.
Kevin Schmalz a member of the Kitchener
Fire Department Honour Guard.
As part of this committee work, Kevin introduced an annual 9/11 commemorative observance at the monument which features a 9/11 tribute in granite plus a steel beam artifact. Taking over a year, Kevin was able to obtain the steel beam from the World Trade Centre ruins to be displayed at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Kitchener is only one of a few selected Canadian cities to receive such an artifact. It was based on the support given by the volunteer group that aided New York city.
The Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Civic Centre Park, which
includes a piece of structural steel salvaged from the collapsed
World Trade Center towers.
Enjoying K of C social events and influenced by his father and his brothers, Kevin Schmalz decided to join the Kitchener Knights of Columbus over 12 years ago. Kevin is a 4th Degree member of Council 1504. Kevin also acts as Vice-chair of the K of C Corporation overseeing building and property requirements. He was front and centre whenever there was a project challenge the Knights faced. Added to his K of C responsibilities, Kevin teaches Fire Safety at Conestoga College. A brief view into the life of Brother Knight Kevin Schmalz.