A construction worker who was restoring a church roof incidentally found a handwritten letter from 1941 containing advice for future generations.
St. James’ Church in Antwerp, Belgium, is now undergoing repair work to strengthen the historic building, and one builder found an old matchbox deliberately placed inside an ornament hanging from the ceiling.
It contained a small letter that detailed the bad conditions previous workers had to endure as well as advice for those who eventually found it. The note dated July 21, 1941.
The precious discovery was made public by the city’s official Instagram account, with a caption reading:
“Unbelievable. This workman found a note from 1941 in St. James’ Church with a catchy message.”
The message was signed by four people; Louis Chantraine, Jul Van Hemeldonck, John Janssen, and Jul Gyselinck, who wrote they had done work on the same ceiling 79 years ago.
The translation of the message goes as follows:
“When this ceiling will have to painted again we will no longer be on this earth.
“We have to tell the following generations that we didn’t have a happy life. We’ve lived through two wars. One in 1914 and one in 1940, that counts for something eh?
“We’re working here nearly starving from hunger, they extort us for mere cents for almost no food at all.
“I want to advise the next generations for when another war comes along. Have a sufficient amount of food in excess like rice, coffee, flour, tobacco, grains, wheat, to keep you alive.
“Enjoy life to the fullest and if necessary take another wife. The ones who are married: Look after your home! Salut men!”
The incredible discovery quickly went viral on the web and people wrote they hoped the four men’s families would be traced so they could read the precious note themselves.
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