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40th anniversary of the year the then Garfield Cadets went co-ed. As we hear from DCI's Dan Potter in today's Field Pass, the entire 1969 Cadets' color guard was inducted into the corps' Hall of Fame over the weekend.
credit    Dan Potter, DCI Field Pass: .
Click here for When the Cadets’ color guard went co-ed

The below links are a 75th Anniversary audio gift of love from Cadet John Ogle to his fellow Cadets. There are four parts, covering 1959-1962. Enjoy and remember. FHNSAB...
Click here for Part 1      Click here for Part 2
Click here for Part 3      Click here for Part 4
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THE BLESSED SACRAMENT GOLDEN KNIGHTS

  
 Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights 1962
 
Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights 1962 Slide show.
Created By Gary Dickelman

OUR RESPECTED FRIENDS

THE HOLY NAME/GARFIELD CADETS ALUMNI SALUTE

THE BLESSED SACRAMENT GOLDEN KNIGHTS

From an article originally written by Dave Shaw and published in Drum Corps Digest, 1966

Blessed Sacrament, almost from their first moments on the drum corps stage, was above all else a champion. In just fifteen years of existence leading up to 1966 they won nine national titles, six American Legion and three Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Everything about them – their appearance – their sound – their bearing, was etched with the gold of their prophetic name.

The Golden Knights were a drum corps ‘ drum corps. nationally respected, nationally admired, and nationally imitated. It would almost appear that destiny dictated Blessed Sacrament’s good fortune; however, other corps who have traveled the same road, some of them strong competitors like the Cadets, were well-aware that hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and intelligent planning all outweigh the storybook aspects of destiny or luck.

A champion is not born, a champion is made; and The Golden Knights, or “Sac” as they came to be called, however rapid their ascension, however Cinderella-like the atmosphere that surrounded their initial successes, traveled the long, agonizing route to the top not by wishing it so, but by making it so. Everything they accomplished was hard earned and well deserved. This, more than all their trophies, more than all their championship flags, more than all the successful years painted onto their bass drum heads, is what made The Golden Knights a corps whose name has endured over the many years since they first placed their feet on the green grass of the field of competition.

What lay beneath the glitter? What or who made Sac a drum corps legend? Probably first and foremost, intelligent and visionary leadership. Leaders chosen not solely on the basis of desire or availability, but on the qualifications and talent they possessed, and the ambition that burned within them.


  
 Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights Group Shot 1962
 
Even in that bygone era a junior corps, regardless of the exalted position they occupied, had a primary obligation to provide a positive and wholesome experience for the young men they served. In Blessed Sacrament this responsibility lay in the hands of Father Robert Garner (later to become Bishop Garner), representing the goals and ideals of the church he served. The depth of his success can be measured even today by the quality of the men who were the boys in his charge.

Newark, New Jersey, by any yardstick is far from the serene fresh-air atmosphere in which most parents would choose to raise their sons. It is a major city with all the challenges of city living, and The Golden Knights were, for the most part, city boys. Yet, in spite of the outside forces with which he had to contend, Father Garner established and solidified a standard of conduct for his corps that earned them the respect of their contemporaries in the drum corps world.

They were never a corps known for a great degree of modesty, nor did they present any pretension to freedom from adolescent fault; but they nonetheless were a source of legitimate pride not only to their organization and leaders, but also to the drum corps activity in general.

The superior adult leadership of the Golden Knights extended to their instructional staff as well, and it was from this source that their abundant competitive success developed. You don’t just stumble into national prominence. It takes a carefully crafted long-range program, responsive to opportunity, innovative thinking, and unwavering goal focus. The legendary planners and executors of Blessed Sacrament’s program for competitive success were Bill Hayes and Bobby Thompson. Almost dictatorial in their perfectionist demands they molded SAC into drum corps’ first “machine,” and revolutionized the concept of program planning of that highly competitive, east coast dominant era.

Instructors Jimmy Day, Joe Porta, Frank Kubinak, and Dick Burns subsequently expanded on the foundation constructed by the duo of Hayes and Thompson, refining, improving, and updating to meet the challenges they encountered as the focus of the drum corps activity began to shift. Each etched his personality onto their corps.

The Golden Knights, like most church-sponsored corps in the Northeast, became independent, and slowly began to fade away as the bedrock support of their Church was withdrawn. There is however, now in place, a new Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights Alumni Corps, still clad in the shimmering gold, black, and white uniforms of their glory years, and still providing thrills and entertainment wherever they appear.

Many of their original members still wear the uniform and still evoke cheers from their audiences as the familiar majesty of their trademark “National Emblem March” gets hearts pounding. The now grayer members of Blessed Sacrament continue to prove that they are willing to walk the extra mile, that they are willing to make any personal sacrifice required, and that without question they will suffer any hardship to ensure that none will ever forget who they were during the golden years of The Golden Knights.

During The Cadets’ many years of fierce competition with Blessed Sacrament we could not honestly be described as “friendly rivals.” Rivals yes, “friendly” not so much. The pressure was too great , the rivalry too heated, and our male adolescent self-focus too strong. But we always respected them, and I would like to believe they respected us as well.. Now, after so many years have passed personal friendships have replaced that long-ago rivalry. In fact, about all that hasn’t changed in our lives is the mutual respect that has endured for so many years.

The Holy Name/Garfield Cadet Alumni salute The Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights for all that they were, all that they now are, and all that we know they will continue to be. It was an honor to share the field of competition with “Sac” whatever the year and whatever the results. The Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights will always be a part of our history, and our memories.