The heart of any newspaper is its people.

Here at the Deseret News we are fortunate, indeed, to have an extremely capable staff of writers, editors, artists, photographers, and support personnel who make it possible for you to have a great newspaper delivered to you every day.It is a marvelous process of teamwork and coordination that results in the daily Deseret News. But without good people it could not happen.

Obviously I am partial, but I have no hesitancy in saying that the Deseret News staff is the best that can be found anywhere, and especially in this area.

We have many awards and honors that attest to this, but even more important to me is the spirit and attitude exhibited by our staff as they carry out their duties. Working individually or collectively they are superb. Watching them work, especially under the pressure of a deadline, is gratifying to me as their publisher.

I have spoken of the staff generally, but there are a few people whom I would like to mention specifically. This month is unique among our Deseret News family because we say good-bye to five of our veteran staff members.

Back in the late 1940s and 1950s the Deseret News began a major expansion effort under the late Elder Mark E. Petersen who was then editor and publisher.

The staff was built up considerably during that period, and those who came on board have made significant contributions through the years.

Some who came during that era have moved on to other jobs, and some have already retired. But this month, five of that "freshman class" will retire, leaving a void at the newspaper.

J Malan Heslop, our managing editor, began at the newspaper on June 2, 1948, and has been a great leader for the News. He began as a photographer, rising to be chief photographer, and then was editor of the Church News. For the past few years he has been managing editor, the top journalist on our staff. Few have been more dedicated to the News than J, and his retirement will be keenly felt by all of us.

Dale Bain has spent his entire career writing and editing for the Deseret News. He began on August 28, 1948, and has been a stabilizing force for good among all the staff. He has been on the sports desk, wire desk, copy desk and most recently has been assisting managing editor. Never one for public acclaim, Dale has quietly and efficiently gone about his work and will leave a mark of excellence that few can equal.

Joseph Lundstrom has been a `jack-of-all-trades' so to speak, working in numerous assignments during his Deseret News career. He has been in the Church News, on the city desk, covered numerous beat assignments, and most recently has been involved in our electronic pagination effort. He started at the News on October 3, 1955, and has made untold contributions to the betterment of the profession and the readers of our newspaper.

C. Glen Silcox has spent many productive and effective years on the copy desk. Those on this desk are the unsung heroes of the newspaper. After the writers and editors have prepared and checked their stories, these quiet people do copy editing to assure the accuracy and completeness of the story. They also write the headlines that attract you, the reader into the story. They know that most readers look at the headline and the first paragraph or two of the story and make their decision on whether or not to read. So, writing exciting, captivating headlines is a real art, and Glen is a master at it. He began at the News on March 21, 1951, and his many years of expertise will really be missed by all of us.

Frank Davis, currently the assistant editor of the Church News, also leaves us this month after a distinguished career that began on September 1, 1950. He has been a photographer, assistant city editor, and all-around jovial associate for many years. He is liked by everyone on the staff, and his long years of service have earned him a well-deserved retirement.

These soon-to-be-retirees have all exhibited one of the most important attributes of a good employee - loyalty. Each has been loyal to the principles of good journalism, as well as to their associates and leaders at the newspaper.

J, Dale, Joseph, Glen and Frank can never really be replaced at the Deseret News. Others have been appointed to their positions, but as with those who have retired previously, things are never quite the same. The work goes on, the paper gets out every day, and in new and different ways, the jobs are accomplished. But when someone leaves they take with them personal qualities that are irreplaceable.

I will miss these friends with whom I have associated on a daily basis. They will certainly not be forgotten, and should not be, for their lifetimes of service to the Deseret News stand as monuments to each of them.

I would hope that you, our readers, might let them know just how much you appreciate what they have contributed to a great newspaper. It would be a special climax to their careers if you do so.