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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

October 23, 2010

Happy birth Alfred!

Filed under UCG-Germany

Happy birthday Alfred!

At church services today we honored my friend Alfred, who just had his 90th birthday recently.

Alfred turns 90
 My friend Alfred at church services today.
Alfred turns 90
 Alfred was honored today with a special cake.

This is an unusual month with two people turning 90. First Monica’s dad and now my friend Alfred who lives here in Bonn. I have known Alfred for 35 years. In 1975 Alfred was cleaning out a rental property he owned after the tenant had moved out, and he found a copy of the German edition of "The Plain Truth" among the things the tenant had left behind. He read the magazine and started ordering literature and was attending church services in Bonn just 3 months later. That is when I met him. Our paths crossed several times over the years and our relationship intensified in 1994 when Monica and I returned to Germany from the Philippines. Our new church organization began in the summer of 1995, and Alfred was among its first members. When our treasurer resigned on short notice in April 1998, Alfred volunteered to take over the bookkeeping chores. He had been a successful businessman in the Bonn suburb of Bad Godesberg, running a family clothing store and handling the bookkeeping for his business himself. For the next five years he did all the bookkeeping as an unpaid volunteer. This was no small task for him, since he did all the bookkeeping entries by hand, using his left hand. Alfred is a natural right hander, but as a German army officer he lost his right arm to a sniper’s bullet in the last months of World War 2. Finally the time came when he felt that the responsibility of being our bookkeeper had become too much for him. However, he remains very interested in the business activities of the church and regularly asks me how things are going. Here’s a wish for continued good health for my friend Alfred!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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