Aquinas Council 757
The formation of a Council of the Knights of Columbus in the West Farms Section of the Bronx originated in the mind of the late Rev. Francis A. Barry, then a curate of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. After meeting with the active men of the parish, a charter was applied for and granted. The first meeting to elect officers was held on Sunday, July 19, 1903. Aquinas Council No. 757 was formally instituted. James Dunn was elected the first Grand Knight, and Rev. Francis A. Barry the first Chaplain.
During the first World War, the Pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church, late Rev Dennis F. Coyle turned the Church property on East Tremont Avenue over to Aquinas Council for use as a canteen, where service men were made to feel welcome. After the Armistice, this canteen was converted into a clubhouse for the Council and was so occupied until the property was sold by the Church. In 1919, the Ladies Auxiliary was instituted and later became the Columbiettes.
Due to changing neighborhood conditions, the Council needed to make a move. Merging with St. Raymond's Council was considered, but that idea was squashed. The Council then relocated to St. Helena's Parish in Parkchester. The Squires Circle #524 charter was granted in February 1947 starting with 50 members. Due to the rapid growth of the Council, Aquinas and St. Helena's Parish had to part ways. In one final effort to keep them together, it was proposed that Aquinas Council be renamed St. Helena's Council but that idea was voted down.
In April 1947, a lease was granted for 2165 Powell Avenue, in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx. On June 8, 1947, a dedication was held following the Council's first meeting in this new location. On July 22, 1947, the Council formed a Corporation known as the 757 Club. Also, during this time a great renovation took place through the hard work of the members & Columbiettes. After renting for 3 years, the 757 Club purchased the building with a mortgage. By the 1950's, membership rose reaching 1300+ members. By the early 1960's, the clubhouse was remodeled. The Council and Corporation flourished and generated funds until the mortgage was satisfied in the early 1980's.
As the years flew by, the Council hosted many events such as bingo nights, Las Vegas nights, Adult's & Children's Christmas parties, dances for all occasions and many more. Unfortunately, in time, membership dwindled and maintaining the building became an issue. Therefore, in January 2010, we sold the building. After ten months of searching, we found our new home. On November 30, 2010 we purchased our new clubhouse at 2850 Roberts Avenue. Once again, a renovation took place. Now in our fourth location, we continue the tradition that has always been Aquinas Council.