Posted by: calloftheandes | February 10, 2017

Ecuador Radio Station Marks 85 Years in Gala Fashion

Gazing at a gallery of historic HCJB photos at an anniversary celebration marking 85 years of broadcasting.

Gazing at a gallery of historic HCJB photos at an anniversary celebration marking 85 years of broadcasting.

Let’s face it, compressing 85 years of history into a single evening event is a tough assignment.

If an anniversary ceremony for Radio Station HCJB in Ecuador failed to squeeze the story into a capsule, it wasn’t for lack of trying. The Ecuador radio station’s rich history was told on Dec. 1 in Quito, with the event’s emcees recounting the background of the media outlet, telling about its dedicated staff and explaining the influence of the outlet’s impact on society.

The special program components blended to relate how simple beginnings—a 200-watt transmitter in a sheepshed—led to HCJB’s growth in geographic reach accompanied by broadcast technology innovations still talked of in engineering circles.

But alas, stories rife with luscious detail needed to be condensed. And why? Because—as with radio broadcasting itself—the clock is running. Ever running.

Anabella Cabezas, director HCJB Ecuador and a Reach Beyond board member, together with her staff, put together a program that included videos featuring historic photos, speeches that extolled achievements, and narrative about the focused vision decades ago of HCJB’s founders’ intent on Christian broadcasting. In a 2½-hour marathon that also featured recognitions of key people, the segments were interspersed with lively musical interludes that drew rousing audience participation.

The station’s first broadcast emanated from the living room of the home of the ministry’s co-founder, Clarence Jones, in Quito, the Ecuadorian capital, on Dec. 25, 1931.

Israili Ambassador to Ecuador Edwin Yabo

Israili Ambassador to Ecuador Edwin Yabo

At the anniversary celebration decades later on Thursday, Dec. 1, hundreds of invitees joined in celebrating the media outlet’s anniversary.  The crowd—including such dignitaries as Israel’s ambassador to Ecuador, Edwin Yabo—listened as journalist Gonzalo Ortiz placed the station’s start in a setting of economic uncertainty. Jones and fellow missionaries began the ministry as the world was in the throes of the Great Depression.

Ortiz also lauded contributions to journalism as the station’s staff tutored younger broadcasters. They emphasized factual reporting and objectivity, he said. People smiled as Ortiz carefully and slowly enunciated that good announcing comes “by opening the mouth.” He said that “it was a school” in the principles of announcing and news coverage.

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain,” offered Dan Shedd, executive director of Reach Beyond’s Latin America Region, adding that even as media have changed during the station’s long history, “the legacy of HCJB is that He has built the ministry and the labor has not been in vain.”

Then in a gesture of appreciation, Shedd talked of a large painting of a woman—art that had been donated to the station

a woman painted by Ecuadorian artist Victor Mideros

a woman painted by Ecuadorian artist Victor Mideros

decades ago by one of its Nordic broadcasters, Ellen Campaña. A classic by the late Ecuadorian artist, Victor Mideros, the painting had been water damaged two years ago. But after having it repaired, Shedd publicly presented it to Cabezas.

The present day finds HCJB amid frequent adaptations to the digital realm. Striving for new audiences on the internet, staff members continue to carry out in a new communications landscape the very same mission statement set forth by the original founders who determined that a call sign of “HC” should be followed by “JB” as signposts to guide them in a mission of Heralding Christ Jesus’ Blessings. In Spanish, the call letters signify Hoy Cristo Jesús Bendice (Today Jesus Christ Blesses).

With many HCJB stories still left untold as well-wishers mingled over snacks later in the evening, Cabezas was able to send home with them a gift from the station, a book titled HCJB 85 años Pasión por el Servicio (HCJB 85 Years Passion for Service)

HCJB Ecuador's Anabella Cabezas receives a Victor Mideros painting from Reach Beyond's Dan Shedd.

HCJB Ecuador’s Anabella Cabezas receives a Victor Mideros painting from Reach Beyond’s Dan Shedd.

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Responses

  1. […] A gala event to honor the station took place in Quito in December. It included videos featuring historic photos, speeches that extolled achievements, and narratives about the focused vision decades ago of the founders’ intent on Christian broadcasting. A new commemorative book called HCJB 85 Años Pasión por el Servicio (HCJB 85 Years of Passion for Service) was distributed at the celebration. […]


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