Reflections of a Dispatch Board Member

To call them eras may sound a little pretentious, but in our history of The Molokai Dispatch, that is what they are.  The Jerry and Edie Anderson era, the Todd Yamashita era, and the Catherine Cluett Pactol era.  These individuals have been responsible for the stewardship of The Molokai Dispatch for most of our now nearly 40 years of existence.  They are the reason that we have survived momentous changes in the newspaper industry and continued to serve the Molokai community.  We stand on the foundation that they have built.

The latest layer in that foundation has been laid down by Catherine Cluett Pactol over the past 15 years.  She has served as an intern, a reporter, an editor, a general manager – and chief cook and bottle washer.  She has done whatever was needed.  Her attitude and leadership have inspired our team and shaped the way that we have reported on the life and times of the Molokai community.  She has won more than 20 Excellence in Journalism awards for her coverage of Molokai.  For us, her departure truly marks the end of an era.

I am so very thankful for Catherine’s hard work and commitment to excellence, for her dedication to serving and to doing what is right, on the job and at home.  Those of us who have worked with her are better for our time with her.  I am most thankful for her friendship and the experiences that we have shared.  Running a small business is hard – it has been a blessing to share the adventure with her.

We are excited about her new opportunities at Hawaii Public Radio.  We know that she will use this new position to continue to serve the community by sharing the voices of Molokai with a wider audience.  We look forward to hearing these stories.  And we are thankful that she will continue to work with us as an advisor and director, sharing her experience with those who follow in her footsteps.

And that brings us to Jack Kiyonaga, now officially the Editor of Molokai’s award-winning newspaper, The Molokai Dispatch.  We are excited about the new energy and new ideas that Jack brings to us.  We believe that his educational background and writing skills give him the technical abilities that he will need.  We believe that he has the inside qualities too, attitude and personality and ability to lead.  More importantly, we are confident that he understands the importance of the Molokai community to the Dispatch, and of the Dispatch to the community.  We believe that he will build on the foundation of the editors before him and continue to share Molokai’s stories in a professional and positive way.  Welcome Jack!

I also want to highlight Tirzah Pactol, our longtime sales manager who has now taken on the role of office manager.  Tirzah has been instrumental in the operation of the paper, interacting with our advertisers and other customers, for many years.  With Catherine’s departure, we have asked her to take on more responsibility as office manager with primary responsibility for the Copy Center.  We are confident that she will fill these new roles without missing a beat.  We are thankful for her dedication and service. We also thank our graphic designer Marissa Motas, who continues her award-winning eye for layout and design to the pages of the Dispatch. 

One era ends – and another begins.  We look back with thankfulness and look forward with anticipation – and we pledge to continue to serve the Molokai community as the paper of record, continuing to be The Island’s News Source – since 1985! 


Phil Pendergraft

President, The Molokai Dispatch


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.