Despite most items in the time-capsule being destroyed over time, Broken Creek Primary School made the most of the official opening with a wellattended reunion last Sunday.
The anticipation was high as former staff, parents and students joined their current counterparts on a sunny winter morning, however, as the capsule was opened it became apparent that water had leaked in.
One former parent remarked it was very telling that after 30 years underground the only thing that survived was the plastic tube.
While that may well be a teachable moment for current pupils, with the spotlight shining on how we deal with plastics, it is worth noting that a few coins also survived.
However, a host of photographs and a 1988 Benalla Ensign were among the majority of the items that had deteriorated over time.
Before exhuming the timecapsule Broken Creek Primary School Principal Rebecca Newham said regardless of what might be inside she was ‘‘Overwhelmed to see so many former pupils, staff and parents attend the opening’’.
‘‘The class from 1988 was 21 kids and the majority are here,’’ Ms Newham said.
‘‘Some are apologies today, one is broken down in the Northern Territory and one’s had to go to Melbourne unexpectedly, but it’s a great turnout.
‘‘Our kids have been really excited. We spent most of the week getting things organised, making posters and getting a raffle set-up, and they’ve been busy in the garden cleaning it up as well, so they’re all very excited.’’
Former principal Brendan Watty, who oversaw the timecapsule idea in 1988, said he could not remember what was inside and it was going to be ‘‘very exciting to see it opened’’.
‘‘In 1988 it was the 150th celebration of the founding of the colony of Victoria and every school was sent a plaque and were encouraged to put down a time capsule,’’ Mr Watty said.
‘‘So we just took it from there. The community got behind it, and the school kids enjoyed the idea of putting stuff away.
‘‘It was a bit of a mystery and something to look forward to down the track. I guess the biggest decision we had to make was how long to put it down for.
‘‘I can remember talking to our school council at the time and we decided 30 years would be good as we’d still be around then.’’
Mr Watty also said he was pleased the school was still open given the amount of rural schools that had been shut down in the past 30 years.
‘‘This is a very special community, I spent six years here as the head teacher, it was a great time in my career. I think the people in this community really embrace you, it’s a strong and vibrant community,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s amazing, this school is just a school in a paddock, I’ve seen so many schools closed over the years, much bigger schools than this.
‘‘There’s just something about the Broken Creek community. They are determined to keep their school open at all costs.
‘‘So in some ways it is surprising that it’s still here, in other ways, knowing the strength of the community, it’s not and I applaud them for their efforts to keep the school going.’’
Mr Watty gave a speech to the gathered crowd before taking the capsule to a table to open it up.
As each item was pulled from inside the capsule the crowd were enthralled, despite the condition of most of it.
And regardless of the disappointment the people who attended kept huge smiles on their faces and made the most of an opportunity to catch up with people they might not have seen for 30 years.
Former student Mark Osbourne said he did not remember too much about filling the capsule and burying it, however, he enjoyed reading through the book the school made for the day.
‘‘It started to bring back memories of what we did here back then,’’ he said.
‘‘And it’s been quite bizarre seeing some of the faces that are 30 years older now. There’s a few that I see around town, I’m not too far away as I live in Tatong.
‘‘But some of them I wouldn’t have picked if I’d ran into them.
‘‘I remember thinking about what we would all be like in 30 years which back then seemed like an eternity.
‘‘Now its here you think, that went quick, which is a bit of a worry.
‘‘But its great to see some of the faces you used to hang around with and now they’re here with their kids, and our kids are hanging out with them kicking the footy over there, so that’s great.’’
After the official opening Ms Newham said it was a bit disappointing water had got in, however, by that stage the sausage sizzle was well under way and the reunion was in full swing.
‘‘It’s been a great day and all the happy faces make it worthwhile,’’ she said.
Anticipation: Former Principal Brendan Watty prepares to crack-open the time capsule.
Disappointing: Unfortunately most items had deteriorated over time.