City to bury time capsule in civic square

ZIZI SPARKS
Last updated 12:43 11/08/2014
 Hamilton West
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ

TIME CAPSULE: Hamilton West School teacher Holly Crawford, left, with pupils Jayde Knight, Jobe Fitzgerald and principal Mark Penman, are preparing a time capsule to mark the school’s 150th anniversary.

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Hamilton's birthday celebrations are well under way and a time capsule packed with modern memorabilia will soon be lowered into the Civic Square.

Burying the time capsule is just one part of the city's civic function on August 24. The stainless steel pod will contain current census information, pictures, coins, and messages from Mayor Julie Hardaker and the Maori King, King Tuheitia.

City events manager Tracey Wood said the council wanted to bury a time capsule to "leave a legacy for future generations".

"It will provide a snapshot of what life was like."

Wood said there were no plans so far about when the time capsule would see the light once it was buried.

"It will stay there until future generations decide the time is right to open it," she said.

According to Peter Pooran, chief executive of the company making the capsule, Stainless Design, the pod "looks a bit futuristic".

Pooran said Stainless Design had never made something like this before.

The capsule was designed on Monday and Pooran said it would be finished by the end of next week for the civic function on Sunday 24.

Among the coins, photographs and letters future generations may find, will sit stories and drawings created by students at Hamilton West Primary School, the city's oldest school.

The school, which has three different homes, is also celebrating its 150th birthday this year with an official celebration in October.

The sesquicentennial celebrations will take place over Labour Weekend with a spring fair and reunion. For now though, the school is still involved in the city's birthday celebrations, creating content for the time capsule.

They took part in the 150th Balloons Over Waikato festival and students are hard at work writing letters for the time capsule, about what life is like as a 10-year-old in 2014.

Principal Mark Penman said the theme for the school's celebrations is Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

"We'll be having events at all of our past locations," he said. A church service at the school's first location now occupied by the Anglican Cathedral Church of St Peter's, a dinner at where Wintec now stands and a spring fair and reunion at the school's current location.

"It's about the everyday people that came to the school who want to come back and celebrate," Penman said.

The Hamilton Medal will also be awarded at the civic function to honour an individual who has made a contribution to the city.

Some Hamilton schools have also entered a competition to write a birthday song for the city; the winning song will be performed on the day.

TIME FLIES

At the primary school's centennial celebrations 50 years ago, Lillian Jacobson was just 10 years old.

"I remember it so well," she said. "I was wearing a little ribbon on my tunic and we sang so many songs.

"It was a wet day and I remember after everyone had left, Mr Jackson, who was the principal at the time, was standing amongst the empty seats in the pouring rain under a big black umbrella and the Times printed a photo."

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Jacobson looked fondly on her time at the school.

"There was a tractor they used to bring out to mow the lawns and we would all go out and pick up the grass."

She said she is unsure whether she will attend the school's sesquicentennial celebrations as she lives in Tauranga.

"I haven't been back for years."

HISTORY LESSON

Hamilton West Primary School timeline:

1864: Originally located in the Redoubt gymnasium that was on Victoria St where the Anglican Cathedral now stands.

1870s: At some point in this decade, the school moved to where Wintec is now.

1940: Moved to the current site on Hammond St, but it was used as an emergency hospital for WWII troops and the students went back to the Wintec site.

1943: The school was permanently established and students settled in at the current site.

1964: The school turned 100 years old.

1994: Due to celebrate 130 years but this was held off due to a clash with Whitiroa School's reunion.

2014: The schools sesquicentenary coincides with Hamilton turning 150.

Official celebrations begin October 24. 

Zizi Sparks is a communications student at AUT.

- Waikato Times

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