The replica Mission Bell in Hermosa Beach is made of cast iron, not concrete ("Heaven's Bells," by Jim Heimann, May 10). Dedicated Jan. 11, 1997, it replaced an earlier bell lost in the '50s when Pacific Coast Highway was widened at Pier Avenue.
Our Mission Bell was privately funded from profits obtained from a 1976 bicentennial-coin project conceived by former Mayor Al Valdes and me. Additional funds were provided by the Hermosa Beach Women's Club, Historical Society and Kiwanis Club.
While the good fathers did not erect any missions in the southwest portion of L.A. County, legend suggests they may have acquired their summer tans at Hermosa Beach.
John T. Hales