Weekend Thought by Eleanor Ridge

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HOLDING a bottle of ketchup, my granddaughter asked: “Why is it 57 Varieties?”

I guessed: “Maybe that’s how many different products they make.”

I was wrong, for the very next day I read this:

“At age six, Henry John Heinz began helping his mother tend the small garden behind their family home.

“At 12, he was working 3.5 acres of garden using a horse and cart for his three-times-a-week deliveries to grocery stores throughout the city of Pittsburgh.

“He went on to found his own company and named it 57 Varieties. The Henry John Heinz Company was incorporated in 1905, and today, over 100 years later, it sells more than 1,300 products worldwide, ranging from ketchup to baby food.”

But there are other things you need to know. Henry John Heinz loved Jesus and was deeply involved in the promotion of Sunday school in Pittsburgh and around the world.

His company was noted for pioneering safe and sanitary food preparation and for being ahead of its time in employee relations.

He provided free medical benefits, swimming and gymnasium facilities, and promoted women to positions of greater responsibility, making them supervisors.

He earned a reputation for enhancing the working and living conditions of his workers.

In his will, Henry John Heinz said: “I desire to set forth at the beginning of this will, as the most important item in it, a confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my saviour.

“I also desire to bear witness to the fact that throughout my life, in which there were unusual joys and sorrows, I have been wonderfully sustained by my faith in God through Jesus Christ.

“This legacy was left to me by my consecrated mother, a woman of strong faith, and to it I attribute any success I have attained.”

What a blessing Heinz has been. May you be blessed next time you shake on your ketchup.