Sharing the Light through Fifty Years of The Pennsylvania Freemason
Bro. William A. Carpenter (1915-1990), the first editor, was eminently qualified for this task. He studied graphic arts, management, and labor relations in college, after which he entered the newspaper business. At first Bro. Carpenter was a printer's apprentice with the Chester Times. Upon completion of his apprenticeship, he joined the staff of the Journal-Every Evening in Wilmington (New-Journal Company, Wilmington, DE), and advanced to typesetter, compositor, and composing room superintendent. Retiring from the newspaper in 1961 to become a full-time employee of Grand Lodge, Bro. Carpenter continued as Librarian and Curator (1961-1969) as well as editor of The Pennsylvania Freemason, thus fulfilling Grand Master Lehr's goal of having the "Editor of Publications... serve as a Director of the Library and Museum." Bro. Carpenter's years at the helm were: 1954-1962, 1964-1969, 1980 1981. He subsequently became a member of the Grand Master's staff (1970-1973), Grand Secretary (1973-1979), then traveled through the Grand Lodge Line to become Grand Master (1984-1985). Bro Carpenter was second to only one other man in number of Grand Lodge Offices held: Bro. John Thomson (1799-1889; Grand Master 1861-1862) is the only man known to have held every Line Office in Grand Lodge, but he was never Librarian and Curator!
Past Grand Master Charles H. Nitsch (1891-1975, Grand Master 1956-1957), chairman of the reorganized Committee on Masonic Culture, became Editor of The Pennsylvania Freemason for Volumes 9 and 10 (1962-1963), after which Bro. Carpenter returned (Volumes 11 16, 1964- 1969). In February 1970 (Volume 17, No. 1) Bro. John L. McCain, who had just been installed as R.W. Junior Grand Warden, became Editor and remained so for that year. After that, however, for the next 20 years, the masthead lists only the Grand Lodge officers, in addition to "Approved and Authorized to be Printed by The Grand Master" (with the Grand Master's name.) This imprimatur was used from Volume 1, No. 1 to the end of Volume 28 (1981). The other "imprimatur," the subtitle "An official publication of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and accepted Masons of Pennsylvania," also in use from the very first, disappeared in February 1996. It seems that for those two decades, whoever held the post of Assistant to the Grand Master was the Editor, assisted by the Committee on Masonic Culture. According to Past Grand Master McCain (with whom the author spoke on May 3, 2002), Bros. Carpenter and Arthur Thomas Moore, who had been a reporter-editor for The Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph and editor of The Voice of Syria (Shrine) before becoming Assistant to the Grand Master, were charged with the editorship for most of that time. Bro. Carpenter held the reins alone from 1980 until the end of 1981. The Editor was not designated in the masthead again until November 1983, when Bro. Melvin S. Mundie's name appears. Bro. Mundie stepped down after the issue of May 1987, and was succeeded by Bro. Robert A. Pote, who stayed through 1991, then Bro. Robert G. Boone until 1992. At the end of 1992, in time for the November issue of Volume 39, the editorial offices were moved from the Grand Master's office to the then Masonic Homes, and Bro. William J. Prazenica took over the reins, holding them until the end of Volume 42 (November 1995).
Bro. Blaine F. Fabian, 33º, assumed the Editorship in 1996, bringing years of experience to the helm of The Pennsylvania Freemason, where he remained until the end of 2003 (Volumes 43 - 50). The Editor Emeritus, a Navy journalist from 1950 to 1954, had held reporting and editing positions for The Ephrata Review and the Lancaster Sunday News. He then moved into public relations, and worked for 30 years for the Metropolitan Edison Electric Company, before retiring in 1991 and working as a freelance public relations consultant. Bro. Fabian has served Grand Lodge, also in other capacities, for four decades, for which he was awarded the Franklin Medal in 1999 and the DeMolay Legion of Honor in 2002.
Bro. D. William Roberts, 33º, appointed Editor in 2004 (Volume 51, No. 1), has also served Grand Lodge in many ways, most notably and currently as District Deputy Grand Master for the 47th Masonic District. The Korean War veteran holds a journalism degree from Duquesne University, and brings to the position of Editor of The Pennsylvania Freemason a wealth of experience from a 36-year career in promotion and public relations for such diverse companies as (among others) the Pittsburgh Symphony Society, Universal Pictures, Gulf Oil Corporation, and prior to his retirement, was Marketing Director of Station Square, an office, shopping, and entertainment Center in Pittsburgh. He was also managing editor for two community papers in the Pittsburgh area. May he prosper as The Pennsylvania Freemason continues to be one of the best vehicles for Sharing the Light of Freemasonry!
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