A letter to the future

Guysborough time capsule soon to be sealed

By Lois Ann Dort    

GUYSBOROUGH -- Will there be flying cars in 2167? Or Jetson-esque robot butlers? We can only speculate, but the Guysborough Historical Society is making an effort to ensure that future residents of Guysborough County will not have to speculate about life in this county in 2017. The society is constructing a time capsule on the front lawn of the Old Court House Museum in Guysborough and invites residents across the county to make a contribution to this project.

While the Society deals primarily in Guysborough’s past, it was this interest in the past that brought the time capsule idea to the fore. Society Treasurer Kim Avery said, “We, now in the future, want to know what happened in the past.” And it was this kernel of the society’s mission that made a time capsule make sense as a project when former society president Mark Haynes suggested it.

The idea of the time capsule lay dormant for a few years until plans for Canada 150 celebrations started to form and the society decided there was no better time than the sesquicentennial to move forward with the project. And although many time capsules are sealed for 100 years, it seemed fitting to set the date of the opening 150 years into the future: 2167.

Society President Jamie Grant first thought the idea of sealing the time capsule for 150 years was preposterous but changed his mind as he thought about history and how quickly the river of time runs, although it seems imperceptible while we are living within its shallows.

“I got to thinking,” said Grant, “I had a great-uncle who was born in 1858. That’s well over 150 years ago and I got to thinking of the sorts of things he lived through, would have thought about; Jesse James and the boys were robbing banks, Battle of the Little Big Horn and all that stuff. And then I got to thinking that 150 years ahead is no longer than a 150 years behind.”

Grant thinks the time capsule is a chance to speak to the future and leave behind information that won’t be found in any history books. “Anything official there will be a record of – but not the emotions, how we feel about different things, the changes we have seen over our lifetimes. I see it as an opportunity, as a personal relationship with those yet unborn.”

Haynes added that the everyday life of people now is what he hopes will be represented in the time capsule when it is opened 150 years hence. “I have learned about everyday life from court records; there’s a description about a visit to a store there. We need to get away from the kings and queens and this battle happened on this date. What were people’s attitudes and how does it differ,” said Haynes of what he believes the project will add to future generation’s understanding of the past.

The time capsule will be sealed on Sunday, August 27 at the Guysborough Historical Society’s annual Heritage Day held at the Old Court House Museum in Guysborough. For more information on Heritage Day activities and how to make a submission to the time capsule contact the museum at 902-533-4008 or visit the their facebook page for the Guysborough Historical Society (Old Court House Museum).