ROTARY CLUB NEWS: Worldwide humanitarian group seeks to establish chapter in central Maine

Gary Kennedy, second from right, of Chelsea, with his wife Julie, at the biennial assembly and election of Supreme Trustees of the Knights of Rizal for 2018-2020, in the Philippines. (Contributed photo)

Gary Kennedyby Gary Kennedy

As most of you know my brother and I have been involved in humanitarian projects for the poor in Southeast Asia for many years. We are mostly involved with projects that target the health and welfare of children as they are the future and they need and deserve a healthy start. We here in the USA are in a position to help and we should. That area of the world has been a safe haven for our men and woman in uniform through several wars; also, the Amerasian race is a product of our soldiers. These people are a beautiful and intelligent segment of the population there. Helping them, is a great pleasure for me.

I don’t remember if I mentioned it or not but approximately 16 years ago I was invited to join another humanitarian group with basically the same values that I have regarding the less fortunate. I had friends that were members so I spent a year studying the organization and finally decided that it was a great fit, as I spent so much of my life in Southeast Asia. I continued with my “Rotary” projects but added the new organization for particular projects. My traveling back and forth from USA to Southeast Asia stood in the way of my being promoted within the organization. This in the beginning wasn’t important to me until I noticed some friends that had joined with me were being promoted and even though I was doing many projects; I was hardly known. The organization that I am speaking of is the “Knights of Rizal.” I won’t go into the history of this organization as it is lengthy and can be found on line. Later perhaps I will address the organization in greater detail. For now I will just try to make you curious. If you want to know more, it would be my pleasure to share more with you.

I mentioned a few months ago that me and my group of volunteers spent time in the Cagayan mountains of the Philippines eradicating 400 cases of Scabies, in children under 12 years of age. Our efforts were successful. Someone in the Tanza Cavite, Philippines Knights of Rizal club, made our success known and opened the door for my upward advancement in the group. I have never been one for pomp and ceremony but this ended up giving me a great deal of pleasure.

I was promoted to the rank of commander. I have included a couple pictures so you will understand more clearly, what I am talking about. The Knights are the only legislated group of humanitarians who live under the umbrella of the martyr Dr. Jose Rizal.

Basically his philosophy was all men are created equal and should have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and should not be in subservience to any one other than God. This organization acquired the ability to bring members into the organization through Knighthood. This allowed all new members accepted by the body to be knighted. This would be for a lifetime as long as the individual lived by the Knights of Rizal doctrine; a doctrine that is based in love and charity. Through the years this organization has spread throughout the world including the USA

I bring all this to you because there is a good chance the knights will start a branch of this organization here. I am the one encouraging this to happen. I would be interested in talking to anyone who would have an interest in becoming a knight and sharing humanitarianism here and throughout the world. Before you ask more use your computer and search Dr. Jose Rizal. You will learn what he stood for and how he became a martyr. Non Omnis Moriar ( not all in me will die). God bless.


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