KofC at 125 — “Corky”

This is the latest in an occasional series of posts leading up to the 125th anniversary of the founding in December 1896 of the Glens Falls Knights of Columbus and the centennial of the start of construction in 1922 of the former Knights of Columbus hall at the corner of Warren and Center streets. The building is now the offices of the FitzGerald Morris Baker Firth law firm and Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“‘Corky,’ it might be added, barks with a pronounced brogue” and reportedly prefers corned beef and cabbage or spaghetti, the two favorite meals on the city’s East End, for supper, The Post-Star reported.

“Corky,” a dog, was the new mascot of St. Mary’s Academy, which had just selected “Kerry Blues” as the new name for its sports teams.

The five-month-old Kerry Blue terrier had not yet changed from chocolate-brown to the gray-blue fur of an older pup when Corky made his debut on the sidelines of the Saint Mary’s Academy vs Hudson Falls high school basketball game on Feb. 18, 1946 at the Knights of Columbus hall at the corner Warren and Center streets in Glens Falls.

St. Mary’s won a close game 35–33.

“A near-capacity crowd attended the encounter and saw the Warren Street five gain revenge for the 35–34 setback handed them by Coach Heidorf’s charges on the Hudson Falls floor, and also to witness ‘Corky’s’ debut as team mascot,” The Post-Star reported on Feb. 19, 1946. “The Kerry Blue terrier seemed pleased with the performance put on by the Saints (the former St. Mary’s team name,) and his appearance may prove to be a good omen for future tilts.”

Corky was a gift to St. Mary’s Coach Johnny Beale and senior class President Al Fiore from Ed Wachter. a St. Mary’s alumni standout athlete who later coached at Harvard, The Post-Star reported on Feb. 18, 1946.

The school selected Kerry Blues because the breed’s kind, yet determined, characteristics, epitomized the typical St. Mary’s Academy student, and its color coincided with the blue and white school colors.

Click here to read the most recent previous post in the series.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY