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There is a considerable amount of formal ceremony attending the tournament. At the outset a “Charge to the Knights” is delivered by some orator, usually chosen because of his known ability to "make the welkin ring". Perfervid and flowery oratory is strictly "the thing" on such occasions. The age of chivalry and all of its romantic possibilities furnish the basis of these charges and many a rising young attorney or politician makes his first public impression upon his future constituents in his “Charge to the Knights”.
At the conclusion of the tournament, usually in the evening, a dance is held and during the course of its proceeding, the victorious Knight is permitted to crown the "Queen of Love and Beauty" while his nearest competitors are privileged to crown “Maids of Honor” as a reward for their prowess in the tournament. This ceremony of “Crowning” furnishes another opportunity for florid oratory, after which the cry is :-"On with the dance".
County Promoted the Community
For several years the Civic League of Fayette County, Kentucky, had had a vision of community undertaking. Its members felt that if the community could be united in its activities, both recreational and social, the whole county would reap the benefit in a better and more useful community life. There were, of course, the usual advantages and disadvantages typical of most communities to be encountered, but the chief difficulty was lack of leadership of experienced workers. There was the usual disadvantage in particular, an indifference to community affairs and a lack of knowledge of what a real community spirit could accomplish.
When the Civic League, appreciating the fact that Community Service fostered the ideal of community betterment toward which they themselves were striving, effected an amalgamation of the two and called it the Community Service League, they found the way to making Fayette County a receptive field for community service. The Community Service League inaugurated only those activities which would reach the greatest number of people, won the confidence of the few sceptics and encouraged and strengthened the desire on the part of others to establish a spirit of unity and cooperation.
The opening of the playgrounds in the spring Playground
and the enforcement of the law requiring Activities
physical education in the schools offered an opportunity to promote playground activities. Here the Community Service League saw an opportunity for demonstrating one phase of their program. Workers were employed and put in charge of playgrounds and sent to children's institutions. Definite daily schedules were made out. New games were introduced and inter-playground meets and contests were arranged. Through the success of these efforts the superintendent of schools and the teachers became convinced of the usefulness of directed play with the result that the schools installed home-made apparatus in the playgrounds, laid out baseball diamonds and held field meets. These demonstrations carried on in the city and school playgrounds made a favorable impression upon the people in the community and will open the way for the establishment of neighborhood centers for the cultural, social and recreational activities of adults.
The fact that Fayette County was the first county in Kentucky to employ a director of physical education may be credited at least in part to the interest stimulated by the Community Service League. The County School Board has employed the Community Service organizer in this capacity and is sharing equally with the Community Service League the expense of the salaries for the physical directors of both white and colored work.
The development of the neighborhood center Community
idea was materially assisted by the successMusic
ful introduction of community singing by the Community Service League. Sings were held at the county schools and on playgrounds to promote neighborhood gatherings. Sunday afternoon sings were held in the parks in connection with the band concerts and twilight sings were held in different neighborhoods. The popularity of these sings is shown by the fact that they reached between 4,000 and 10,000 people every week.
In order to bring the different groups of the Cooperation
community together on a common ground
and to develop a more universal interest in all community affairs the cooperation of the various organizations for some common purpose was sought. The opportunity for such cooperation was presented in preparing for the celebrations of holidays such as Armistice Day or Independence Day when such organizations as the American Legion, Chamber of Commerce, War Mothers, Boy Scouts and Community Service, joined forces and made these celebrations events long to be remembered. Special mention should be made of the church groups that were urged to cooperate in the promotion of activities such as socials, sings and athletic events. Among such organizations are women's and men's bible classes, Sunday School, and Fellowship Clubs.
The assistance of the Rotary Club was enlisted in the recreation work and the members became much interested in boys' work and gave material assistance in the promotion of
athletics at the Greendale Reform School and also in making it possible to reach a gang of boys in the city not touched by any other agency. A ball team was to be inaugurated composed of members of the Rotary Club to play a team from the Reform School. The Young Men's Christian Association is also cooperating, in developing teams of grammar school age and also older boys, that these may go out and play the teams at the Reform School.
The success of this cooperation of organizaA Wider Sphere
tions is seen in the actual results accomAhead
plished but is indicated also in the fact that sentiment is crystallizing in favor of the creation of a Council of Social Agencies in Lexington. The Community Service League has been asked to assume the position of a diplomat in the formation of such a council by taking up the matter with the various organizations and leading in the various steps necessary to the perfection of such an organization. This invitation to assist in the inauguration of this large program of social welfare shows that the Community Service League of Fayette County has made a place for itself in the county and is recognized by the older social agencies as a force in community life. Individuals also are beginning to take some cognizance of the League's existence and many who have not been won over to its philosophy are beginning to ask questions as if it were something concerning which they should have a definite understanding. The program proposed by the League has been put on a firm basis by seizing opportunities as they were presented for demonstrating the possibilities of a Community Service organization and in this way creating a sufficient community demand. After such a demand is created the working out of the program becomes a simple matter. A community service league backed by a wide awake community spirit need set no limit upon its future work.
The Metamorphosis of a White Elephant
E. G. VORDENBERG
In a city of the size of Marion, Indiana, with a population of less than twenty-five thousand, one does not often find a
commodious building, municipally owned and suitable to serve as a community center.
Community Service discovered such a building in Marion, located in the very heart of the city and known as Civic Hall. It was erected less than ten years ago by municipal funds, to serve the civic, social and recreational needs of the people. We are told that its history is interesting, but of this the people have little to say. We do know that Civic Hall was never a success and in recent years it has been practically a white elephant on the hands of the city. To the people it represented a large investment doing no service, lying idle, dormant and useless. To its guardians, the Board of Public Works, it represented expense, and on account of this expense the rental charges for the use of the hall, fixed by the board, were considered by the people as excessive and prohibitive.
With these facts and conditions known to us, we were advocating an extensive indoor athletic program and many groups including the American Legion, the Boy Scouts, the Y. M. C. A., the K. of C., the Y. W. C. A., the High School, the Church League and others were planning with us for volley ball, basketball, and other indoor activities. Not one of these groups had a place to play. The use of Civic Hall was a necessity.
We went before the City Board and presented our case, arguing that Civic Hall should be opened as a community center on the same basis as parks and playgrounds are operated by other cities, free to the people. We further presented the argument that unless the board took favorable action, our plans would fail and the life of the various groups would be crushed out. Our request for the free use of Civic Hall was a staggering blow to the board. The matter was taken under advisement.
We went ahead, “Why not open Civic Hall” was our slogan. We first won over the local press, then we enlisted the Association of Commerce, the Federated Labor Council, the Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Club, the lodges, the churches, and
every club, organization and group that could reach. We played the game hard for few days, then we went before the board again. Still there no action of the board, but
forces stuck to the job and daily we gained supporters. On one Sun