News

Contents from Freshwater Time Capsule a Blast from the Past

Source: Northern Beaches Council
Archived 29 Dec 2019 - Posted: 31 Oct 2019
A number of contents from a century-old time capsule were recently revealed in Freshwater.

Northern Beaches Council Mayor Michael Regan was on hand for the opening, which was initially delayed after a rolled up metropolitan newspaper inside the capsule couldn’t be prised out.

A Manly Daily newspaper from July 13, 1918 was successfully removed, as was a penny coin from the era.

After the time capsule was sent to a professional local glass cutter, a copy of a 1918 Sydney Morning Herald newspaper and a typed up letter from committee members of the Harbord Literary Institute were safely preserved.

Mayor Regan said the discovery of the time capsule, first revealed in August, was ‘like a movie.’

“The Friends of Freshwater group, Council staff and a few locals have united together for what is truly a remarkable discovery,’’ he said.

“When you consider the capsule was first laid behind a plaque in 1918, it was in remarkable condition.”

Local resident Alan Wright, who also attended the unveiling, was the unlikely hero of the hour.

Mr Wright found a discarded scrapbook in Balgowlah last year that belonged to former Warringah councillor and president Thomas Sterland.

The book outlined a detailed suburb history of Freshwater, which Mr Wright passed onto Keith Sterland in the beachside suburb.

He then passed on the scrapbook to Mark Sterland who in turn got in contact with Friends of Freshwater member Wendy Machon, informing her about the time capsule behind the foundation stone.

“It is amazing set of circumstances, I was happy to play my part,’’ Wright said.

“I’m a bit of a history buff myself, it was certainly a great find.”

Council plan to host an open day in February 2020 at the Harbord Literary Institute, where all the contents from the capsule will be on display to the public.

A new time capsule is also expected to be placed behind the foundation stones for future generations to enjoy their own slice of northern beaches history.

 
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