Clarification on Rev. C. Hanko Memoir

Dear Editor,

Many of our readers have told me how much they are enjoying the memoir of Rev. C. Hanko These comments are much appreciated. However, I thought it might be helpful to clarify some matters.

First of all, it’s important to remember that a memoir is by nature autobiographical. Rev. Hanko wrote at least three lengthy documents about his own life and our churches after his retirement from the active ministry. These documents are what our readers are seeing published in the Beacon Lights. The story is his, the words are his, and the writing style is his. That means that my work as editor includes the following: merging the various documents into one; adding transitional paragraphs and words to make the new document flow; changing some of the chapter breaks to make them better fit the article format of the Beacon Lights; editing out some of the sensitive material that could prove embarrassing to individuals or churches (while we did obtain permission to publish the memoir before Rev. Hanko died, we are not certain that everything he wrote was intended for public consumption); adding editorial comments at the beginning of each installment; adding endnotes to clarify a point; adding material from his personal correspondence and from interviews that I conducted with him in the early 90s.

Secondly, a memoir is the author’s memories of events that transpired in his life. They are his memories, and thus colored by his perspective. Some of our readers may remember an event a bit differently from what is recorded in the memoir. These differences are sometimes due merely to the different perspectives of the individuals involved. However, there were times, as with all of us, that Rev. Hanko’s memory was faulty. Therefore, I have tried to verify the historicity of the memoir as much as possible. But seeing as Rev. Hanko has been gathered to his heavenly home, this is no longer always feasible. We appreciate the readers’ forbearance in this regard.

Thank you,

Karen Van Baren