Liberty Masonic Lodge N0. 48 presented the Community Builder Award to Cynthia Smith, owner and operator of the Liberty Gazette, on Thursday, Oct. 3.
The award is designed to enable a Masonic Lodge to recognize outstanding non-Masons who have distinguished themselves through their service to the community, to local state, or national government, to their Church or Synagogue, or to humanity. This award is not designed to be given only to the obvious leaders of the community, those in the limelight, although they are certainly considered. Lodges are encouraged to seek out the men and women who, year in and year out, quietly and without fanfare, show their devotion to their community and its people without expectation of awards or honors.
Such a person was nominated and elected to receive the Community Builder Award from Liberty Lodge No. 48 A.F. & A.M.
Cynthia Smith is a lifelong resident of Liberty County. She is the daughter of Wiley and Edith Smith who, while alive, were leaders in the community in their own right and passed many life skills down to Cynthia. Cynthia is the owner, operator, production chief, manager, cleaning and maintenance supervisor, and any and all things needed to publish a weekly newspaper. That newspaper is named the Liberty Gazette in Liberty County with offices on Main Street in Liberty, Texas.
It’s been a lifelong journey for Cynthia. Her mother and father started a newspaper under the masthead of the Illustrated Press in their house in Dayton, Texas, in the 1960s while Cynthia was in grade school and, over time, it evolved into the Liberty Gazette we know it today.
What many people don’t know about Cynthia is that she is the definition of a “Renaissance Woman.” She is knowledgeable, educated and proficient in a wide range of fields. She is a person of many talents. She was a model student growing up and after graduating from Liberty High School she Graduated from Rice University with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
She ventured into the world of engineering but the knowledge and experience that was formed early in her life kept calling here back to a career in printing and publishing. She gravitated into the printing and pre-press production world in Houston, Texas. There is a historical term that was used in the printing trades of long ago called having “printers’ ink in your blood.” Obviously, it was something that was inherited by Cynthia from her parents. In 1976 Cynthia left Houston, Texas to return to Liberty to assist her parents in the day to day work of operating a weekly newspaper and eventually became heir to the legacy of the Liberty Gazette.
“But what she is not is what defines Cynthia Smith. She is not a person who seeks the spotlight and recognition. She is the happiest when she is at a community function or special event in Liberty County and makes herself virtually invisible behind a camera taking pictures and recording the history of those events in Liberty County. She is not a “joiner” but if you want something distributed to every household in Liberty County, she is the one to whom to talk. And if you really want to know something about Cynthia, then you need to read the Liberty Gazette every week. Because she speaks volumes between the lines of the printed pages of the newspaper. There you will find stories about history, famous and not so famous people, how to and how not to articles about anything and everything of interest. What you don’t find is anything with a negative twist or flair. Just page after page of good stuff for good people to take a minute or more out of their day and just find some joy in their life and the life of their neighbors. If you spend time with the Liberty Gazette, then you will be spending time with her and gain more knowledge of this nonvisible community leader who looks forward to doing what she loves every day,” the announcement reads.