Like an eaglet returning from its first long flight back to its nest high up on some towering cliff, so the first issue of Beacon Lights returns to the editor’s desk, breathless and excitedly happy over its warm reception.
It is true, this first appearance was not without its disappointments. The greatest of which was, no doubt, that the printer, for various reasons was two weeks late in placing the magazines in the mail and thereby definitely created havoc in all previously arranged schedules. Many societies had arranged their program in anticipation of a timely arrival of the magazine, which was but proper, only to meet with disappointment. We are more than sorry that this happened.
But the hearty reception soon banished every other thought. It so happened that the Fuller Ave. Young Men’s Society favored your editor with an invitation to be present at the meeting, which was of social nature, at which the first issue was given out. So also there first-hand information could be obtained on the first reaction of our young men, and, I must admit, it far exceeded my fondest hopes. There were expressions of approval, of surprise even, and no less of criticism.
Yes, even the criticism could warm any one’s heart. They show that our young people are not adopting this magazine as a foster-child which is forced upon them, but are receiving it as their very own, a product of their own efforts, and are not afraid to handle it, to eye it critically and to say exactly what they think of it.
There can be no doubt but that there is plenty of room for improvement, and suggestions are in order, for they can only mean the wellbeing of the paper. Many of you will notice already in this issue that your remarks have not been entirely ignored, nor will they be in the future.
Although it is still too early to accurately register the complete reaction to this new venture, no one will deny that the reception was very favorable.
You may be interested to know that every society in our denomination, with but few exceptions, has subscribed to this magazine before it made its appearance. Since then new subscriptions are still coming in, more will follow, and we are confident that soon all of our young people’s societies will be one hundred percent subscribers.
Already questions are being raised concerning the plans of the publication committee for the future.
Now that the Federation has its own periodical there is no one who wishes it an untimely death, but everyone is eager to see it prosper and become indispensable as it is invaluable in the societies and in the library of every one of our Protestant Reformed youth.
Having anticipated this question in the advance the publication committee has its answer ready, at least in part.
This committee has all but completed its task when the last issue appears next May. All that will still remain to be done is to give a detailed report of its work and offer suggestions for carrying on, that there need be no delay in the appearance of the first issue of the new year when the societies once more open their season next fall.
As to these first five months, the committee regards these as the trial period which will determine the future of the magazine. There can be no doubt any more but that it will have a future. Yet it will undergo some changes before we have the product our young men and young women want. During this period all our young people will certainly gain a growing appreciation for the paper, will see its good points and advantages, but will also have suggestions to offer for its improvement. These suggestions will be carefully listed for the publication committee in order to present to the next Convention the benefits of this experiment in the form of concrete proposals as to how this work should be carried on.
All of which means that the success of this magazine depends as much on you as upon anyone else. Make it your own. Read it to appreciate it; be free to offer suggestions for its improvement; urge other to read it.