Carlow Mayo open time capsule after 27 years

·6 min read

A time capsule locked away over 25 years ago to celebrate Carlow Township’s centennial was opened up on the afternoon of May 10 at Hermon Public School. With staff and students from Hermon PS, Mayor Bonnie Adams and township councillors and representatives from the Carlow Mayo Public Library, the event that day to open the time capsule was indeed festive. Once the items were revealed, new items from the township, the school and the library were put back into the capsule, to be opened up again in 2044.

The time capsule was originally conceived and items accumulated to commemorate the centennial of Carlow Township in 1991. More items were added and then it was placed in the front foyer of the newly opened municipal office in 1994. The time capsule is a wooden cabinet, with a locking door at the back and not a container that was buried underground, as one might expect. However, as with most things, COVID-19 and its restrictions got in the way of opening it up on schedule, so it wasn’t opened until this year.

The time capsule opening event was first mentioned by Jenny Snider, the clerk and treasurer at the April meeting of Carlow Mayo Township council.

Snider said she was more excited to see how the students react and what they think of what was in the capsule.

“And what they won’t think will be here in 25 years, and what they’ll put into the capsule [to be reopened in 2044],” she says.

Once the students and their teachers were outside and assembled, Adams introduced the time capsule and why they were there opening it that day.

Former councillor Terry Simpson was there, who was on council during the 1991 centennial year. Another former councillor, Laurie D. Trolley, wanted to be there, but had work obligations that precluded him from attending. Simpson was given the honour of opening the time capsule and helping Adams retrieve all the items that had been stowed away over a quarter century before.

Some of the items removed from the capsule were; a Carlow Township 1891 T-shirt, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Carlow Township, a Carlow Township baseball cap, a book about the pioneers that built Carlow Township, a guestbook filled in by members of the local government, a VHS tape of The Lion King, a CD of John Michael Montgomery’s song I Swear, a selection of 1994 coins, including the now obsolete penny, a photo of Carlow Township’s first grader, a note from the chairman of the centennial committee, a plaque recognizing the 100 year anniversary of Carlow Township, a photo of the reeve at that time Ken Wilson, congratulatory letters from all levels of government on the township’s centennial, a wax seal apparatus and several Carlow Township lapel pins.

Carlow Township joined with Mayo Township to become Carlow Mayo Township in 2001.

Once the various artifacts from the 1990s had been revealed to everyone, it was time to have a look at what would be put back into the time capsule for Carlow Mayo residents, Hermon Public School students and other interested parties to find out about in 2044.

The township commissioned a new plaque to be put on the time capsule, renaming it the Carlow Mayo Township, Hermon Public School time capsule.

The students and teachers at Hermon Public School put in a plethora of letters, photos and mementos like sports cards, coins and masks. Vice principal Taras Humen, who could not be there, left a Hermon Public School T-shirt and a COVID-19 isolation kit to be added to the capsule.

Marian Peirce, a member of the Carlow Mayo Public Library board, contributed a takeout flyer from the restaurant owned by her and her husband, a book that had been taken out the most over the past year called Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens, a library bookmark, the library’s annual report and an article about the library from The Bancroft Times.

The township contributed its COVID-19 policy, COVID-19 rapid tests, hand sanitizer, the 2022 budget bylaw with the tax rate (that had been passed that day), a copy of the Ontario Municipal Act, a Hastings County history book, a copy of the township newsletter, a fuel bill, a jump drive and a cheque.

At the end of the time capsule presentation, there were cupcakes for the students to enjoy outside and then they were allowed some playtime before their day ended at 3:10 p.m.

Councillor Dan Hughey thought the event went well.

“I got a kick out of the kids’ reactions to some of the things in the capsule, like the VHS copy of The Lion King. It goes to show what’ll be popular 25 years later. I was kind of impressed they were all intrigued by the items, and were taking part and asking questions,” he says.

Carrie McKenzie, the CEO and head librarian at the CMPL also thought it was really cool and that they were able to have someone who was there over 25 years ago [Simpson].

“I don’t think you’ll see thumb drives or cheques in 25 years. I don’t think they teach cursive in school anymore so they’re not going to know how to write a cheque even if they had one,” she says.

While he wasn’t present the afternoon of the time capsule opening, Humen said he did know the kids had a blast witnessing the capsule being opened.

“[They] are looking forward to being there when the capsule is re-opened in [22] years with their letters and pictures inside,” he says.

Adams told The Bancroft Times on May 12 that it was her privilege and honour to attend the event to open Carlow centennial time capsule at Hermon Public School with retired principal Marion Wilson, teachers and students.

“The energy and participation of the students was delightful and often humorous. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will remember the day as one of the special events in the municipality. I would like to thank the students and teachers for their contributions that will be placed in the capsule for the next opening of the of the renamed Township of Carlow Mayo and Hermon Public School time capsule during the year 2044. I would also like to extend my thanks to Mr. Terry Simpson, one of the two remaining members of the 1991 centennial committee, for his participation and for opening the capsule,” she says. “It was a great day!”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times

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