March 2013

Preserving memories: time capsules

For immediate release

Montréal, March 6, 2013 – When the Mariners’ House was being refurbished, the project crew was surprised to find a time capsule – a sealed box containing a number of symbolic items – buried when the building was erected in 1953-1954.

The box contained various 1953 Canadian and British coins, newspaper clippings, the program from a concert given at the Montreal Sailors’ Institute on November 25, 1952, Montreal Sailors’ Institute annual reports, some dating from 1941, and The Gazette newspaper from October 26, 1953, among other artifacts – all of them still intact. Visitors will be able to admire some of the pieces from this surprising, rather rare discovery, as they will be displayed in the Museum’s fifth building.

A new, modern-day capsule
Pointe-à-Callière decided to continue the tradition by leaving its own mark with a new time capsule placed inside a stainless steel box engraved with “La Mémoire du temps.” Inside the capsule, to be buried under a slab in the building’s basement, are various modern-day items that may be of interest to future historians, archaeologists and visitors.

The capsule contains a signed document by the dignitaries present at the inauguration. It also holds photographs of the building before and after the renovations, the plans for the new Mariners’ House; several 2013 coins and copies of Montréal newspapers with articles on the inauguration of the Mariners’ House. A document found in the earlier time capsule will also be included, to link the two.

This is the second such capsule prepared by the Museum. Another one, entitled The 20th Century Memory Collection, was placed in an inscribed, sealed copper chest in the archaeological crypt on May 17, 2000, as a legacy for future generations. That capsule contains 20 objects symbolizing the values, lifestyles and events of the past century.