The Knights of Columbus on Canada’s west coast have been waiting 30 years for this moment.
Vancouver Knight Arcie Lim has joined the Supreme Board of Directors, one of only 24 men elected to lead the international, 1.9-million-member Catholic organization. B.C. Knights haven’t been directly represented on the Supreme board since 1981.
“It’s an honour for Canada, and especially an honour for B.C.,” said Lim, a past State Deputy for the B.C. and Yukon Knights.
While Lim is “elated and surprised” about the chance to represent Canada, he is hoping his election will especially catch the attention of Knights who are visible minorities.
“I think people see me accomplishing this much and it will give them an inspiration to also do something for the community and for the Church,” said Lim.
Lim was still new to Canada from the Philippines when he became a Knight in 1981. After at least a decade of volunteering on parish-level initiatives, he was elected Grand Knight of his Vancouver council. He held two-year terms in various positions on parish councils and in the state office, and in 2015 he became B.C.’s first Filipino Canadian State Deputy.
Now, he believes he is the first Filipino Canadian on the Supreme Board of Directors, too.
“I think it made a big difference in how immigrants and other minorities look at the Knights of Columbus,” he said. “They can see the leadership is now open to immigrants and minorities.”
During his two-year term as State Deputy, Lim led the B.C. and Yukon Knights to earn the Pinnacle Award, one of the organization’s highest honours. It was the first time B.C. has ever won the award, but Lim stays humble about his accomplishments.
“I consider myself a servant leader. Being a servant leader doesn’t just mean telling people what to do, but showing them what to do and being there with them,” he said.
Winning the Pinnacle was “not only because of me, but because of the teamwork of our officers and directors.”
Lim was elected to the Supreme Board at an international annual general meeting in Baltimore, MD, Aug. 7-9.