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Recipient of the 2008 Russell L. Paxton Award and the 2018 Gold Composing Stick

William E. Boys

From The Fossil no. 337, July 2008


President's Report

Guy Miller

Our 2008 Russell L. Paxton Memorial Award recipient William E. Boys needs an introduction only to a sparse few, for he has been active in amateur activities, especially in NAPA affairs, since his entry into ajay in 1963. Even as a busy missionary pastor in Nigeria, Bill kept us informed about his and Ruth's experiences by way of his Boys's Berries, the first issue of which is dated for the winter of 1964-65 and printed on his "formidable, albeit weld-repaired," Kelsey Excelsior 9x13 hand press.

Over the years Bill has also produced Argyled Gargyle, Ingrown Toenail (by multilith), a family journal Ship's Log (which garnered him NAPA's 1967 Honorable Mention printing laureate), and his superbly edited and electronically produced Pennant Bravo.

At the 1968 Ann Arbor convention Bill offered to fill the secretary-treasurer post when incumbent Stan Oliner was elected to the presidency. He currently has performed in that office since 1991. Between times he has served two consecutive terms as NAPA president (1971-73) and as official editor (1975-76).

It would be most difficult for one to cite all the various committees Bill has chaired or been a member of. Almost as tricky is to cite the number of conventions he has hosted or helped organize, but we count at least six, the first being Columbus 1969. Not so incidentally, Bill helped organize the Ohio Amateur Press Guild which saw the publication of several Annuals. The name is still used to designate the group of AAPA and NAPA Ohio members and friends who meet occasionally (and have sponsored AAPA conventions in Mt. Vernon and Cleveland).

Much more could be said, of course, and perhaps the person who presented Bill the Award has said it. Not having had the privilege of being at Townsend myself to present the award, I had delegated the task to Past Fossil President and Secretary-treasurer Gary Bossler—himself a Paxton Award recipient—and an active NAPA member, currently its Historian and formerly its President and several times its Official Editor.

Our thanks once again goes to Fossil John Horn who has underwritten the Russell L. Paxton Award for Service to Amateur Journalism since the award was first instituted by Fossil J. Ed Newman and presented in 1986 to that ajay of all ajays Russell L. Paxton. As we have pointed out in the past, this is not strictly a Fossil Award, but John and J. Ed have given our organization the honor of choosing the recipient and presenting the plaque. We also thank Fossil Past President Lee Hawes (a Paxton Award and Gold Composing Stick recipient) for again agreeing to take on the task of selecting the ajay to be so honored.

From The Fossil no. 377, October 2018

Boys Awarded 2018 Gold Composing Stick

by Ken Faig, Jr

On behalf of The Fossils Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce to our membership that William E. Boys is the 2018 recipient of The Fossils’ coveted Gold Composing Stick award. The award was presented to Bill at NAPA’s July convention.

Including Bill, there have been only thirteen recipients of the Gold Composing Stick award since it was first awarded to Edward H. Cole in 1953. Stan Oliner was the last recipient before Bill, in 2010. Bill is a dual Paxton/Gold Composing Stick winner, having won the Paxton award in 2008. To date, only seven amateur journalists have won both awards, including Harold Segal, Vic Moitoret, Stan Oliner, Lee Hawes, Ralph Babcock and Dave Tribby in addition to Bill.

Bill joined The Fossils in 2016 and you can find Dave Tribby’s admirable new member’s profile “Bill Boys, NAPA Stalwart” in The Fossil for July 2016 (available on our website). Bill is a fifty-plus-year veteran of NAPA, having joined in 1964. The first number of his Boys’s Berries appeared in the February 1965 NAPA bundle. Bill published many titles for NAPA over the years, his most recent being Pennant Bravo, which he began in 2003. Bill has served in just about every office NAPA has to offer: secretary-treasurer in 1968, president in 1971 and 1972, and official editor in 1975 and 1976. In addition, he was convention chairman in 1983, 1990 and 2015. Since 2003 he has served continuously as NAPA secretary-treasurer and in addition has been responsible for the NAPA Email News. Bill was a strong supporter of the 2016 Amateur Journalism Conference at University of Wisconsin in Madison, and has been one of the largest individual donors to the Hawes Memorial Endowment Fund for the Library of Amateur Journalism Collection at the university.

Bill has also led a busy life outside the amateur journalism hobby. Bill was born into a family of three brothers in Columbus, Ohio, where he presently resides. Following graduation from Concordia College, he served as a Naval Reserve chaplain beginning in 1961, retiring as a captain in 1993. He married Ruth Benck in 1963 and was ordained a minister in the Lutheran Church. He and his wife served as missionaries in Nigeria in 1966-67. He earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Ohio State University in 1979, but was unable to return to Nigeria to pursue his study of the Ekret language. Bill served in various pastorates until his retirement in 2008. In recent years, he has continued to maintain a vigorous hobby presence while battling a serious kidney condition which required transplant surgery.

The Gold Composing Stick Award provides appropriate recognition of Bill’s lifetime of devotion to the amateur journalism hobby. His Pennant Bravo provides a fine example of everything to which an amateur magazine should aspire, including beautiful layout and design and quality content. I personally remember Bill’s and Ruth’s kindness toward a novice when I attended my first amateur journalists’ conventions in the mid-1990s. I had the good fortune to renew my acquaintance with Bill and Ruth at Amateur Journalism Conference 2016 in Madison. I hope that we will continue to benefit from their many contributions to the amateur journalism hobby for years to come.

Please join me and my fellow Fossils Board members in congratulating Bill Boys on winning the 2018 Gold Composing Stick Award. Bill, your amazing amateur journalism career has been everything that the amateur journalists attending the first NAPA convention in Philadelphia in 1876 might have hoped for.