A century later, time capsule reveals . . .
When maintenance staff cut away the wall behind the Royal Inland Hospital’s cornerstone, they weren’t sure what they would find.
For a couple of weeks, Interior Health communications officer Erin Toews had been working to track down a time capsule installed when the hospital was first being raised on Columbia Street in 1911.
Though the capsule had been opened once before — back in 1980, when a new seven-storey tower was added to the building — the hospital hadn’t kept track of where it was being kept.
An old newspaper article had suggested the cornerstone as a possible location and turned out to be correct.
“We were filled with anticipation,” Toews said. “Really, we were. It’s this big, old, metal box and we had no idea what was going to be in it.”
While there was no medical equipment in the box, the capsule’s original creators added a program of local events in 1911 held in honour of the coronation of King George V, which included a five-mile marathon with a top prize of $10.
Also in the capsule was a list of the hospital’s board of directors, medical officers, members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary and others involved in its operation at the time, all written out in neat calligraphy.
Sixty-nine years later, in 1980, a similar list was added — but typed, this time — along with a Kami the Fish commemorative coin and pictures of former mayor Mike Latta and the remaining portions of the original building, which have since been demolished.
When the capsule is re-sealed and tucked back behind the stone in a couple of weeks, it will contain its first pieces of medical technology.
Going in along with the hip prosthesis and other tools are short descriptions of each item, which Toews imagines will be obsolete should the box be cracked open again in 2112.