by Richard Brynteson
Years ago, around 1979 – 1982, I was an officer of First National Bank on East State Street. The Bank established a Community Development Corp. to pursue the renewal of East State Street and Haight Village. I was honored to serve as President of the Corporation & President of the East State – Midway Merchants Association.
Sometime during this period, a survey was in progress to determine the inventory of space available, along East State Street. In the 300 block, north side, was a small empty building with a small second story. On the second story, we discovered a bell sitting in the corner of a room.
As I recall it was the only item on the upper floor. I asked and it was agreed I might have ownership.
We took it to our home, mounted it on a pole and there it rang out “The Meal Is Ready.” It rang there until 2004 when we sold and move to our new home. At the new home it sat in a special made stand on our patio.
Fast forward to our current day when we shall move once again to a Senior Citizen Community duplex. Due to the lack of space, the bell will not go with us.
Several years ago during a Swedish Historical gathering, I met Mr. Ron Gustafson and became friends. I always enjoy Ron’s Facebook entries starting with “I am thankful…… On several occasions through the print media I saw photos of Ron with a bell being delivered to Africa.
With the help of Ron, today we can prayerfully say THE BELL will now move from our Rockford home to Tanzania, Africa.
Here is how Ron explains it: “The bells are used by the North Central Diocese of the ELCA in Tanzania. Many end up in the West District where our companion congregation, Likamba is located. There are also 120 congregations in the West District, most of which do not have a bell.” “The photo to the right shows the before and after we provide a bell.
We give God thanks for our time with the Bell. Now it can ring out the Good News call in Tanzania.