The contents of a Childers time capsule due to be opened on August 21 will create amusement and intrigue for many and sentimental recollection for others.
A report contained in an August 1970 edition of the Isis Recorder, the local Childers weekly newspaper at the time, provides an insight into what is contained within the 22-kilogram capsule made of lead.
No kryptonite it seems, but rather relics from 50 years ago including a “taped” message to the people of the future from then shire chairman Cr Alf Plath and a selection of 53 slides showing “buildings, people and scenic views of the Isis” curated by local chemist Keith Nash.
Assembled by members of the Childers Captain Cook Bicentenary Celebrations Committee — one of literally scores of such committees throughout the state — the time capsule was an initiative to mark 200 years since Captain James Cook navigated the Queensland coastline.
Divisional representative Cr Bill Trevor who was but a fresh-faced teenager with a mop of ginger hair in 1970, recalls the event, although not with clarity.
“From a historical perspective I am looking forward to examining the contents of the capsule which, according to the newspaper report, contain some significant Isis Shire Council documents including budget papers and a copy of the Childers Town Plan,” he said.
“I’m certain history buffs will get a thrill from the insights of revered local teacher, the late Dorothy Bunn who taught at Childers State School for many years. Dorothy compiled a booklet covering the previous 10 years (the 1960s) of development within the Isis Shire.”
Cr Trevor said another noted local historian and author Iris Thompson had also contributed several publications including a history of the Isis and a look at 50 years of the Isis Show Society.
“Stamps of the era, postal charges, school magazines, photographs of Isis students, a specially produced copy of the Isis Recorder and other items and memorabilia will all hopefully be intact and able to be enjoyed by the community of 2020,” he said.
“I guess we will need to have a look at the tape produced by Cr Plath and see if it is a cassette type or reel to reel. Certainly a cassette tape will be much easier to play if it has survived the rigours of time in a lead box.
“It appears rather ironic that in 1970 Cr Plath was focused on the recurring droughts that plagued the district and the need for the commencement of the Burnett, Kolan and Isis Irrigation Scheme.
“Fifty years later and we are still talking about irrigation through the lowering of the dam and the potential impacts on crop production.”
Cr Trevor said that due to COVID-19 restrictions it was not possible to have a general public opening of the time capsule.
“We have invited representatives from local schools, historical society and long-time residents with a connection to the event,” he said.
“The general community can rest assured that all material contained in the capsule will be catalogued and, where possible, made available on-line for everyone to view and enjoy.
“Items from the time capsule, including the capsule, may very well make its way into the safe-keeping of the local Historical Society as well as being retained in Council records.
“I’m sure many of the images from the era will be useful in Council’s Picture Bundaberg initiative involving historical and heritage images.”
The time capsule will be opened in Millennium Park, Childers, on Friday, 21 August at 9am.
More information on the Childers time capsule can be found here.