Piece of his­tory found in class­room wall

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

AN IN­TRIGU­ING mes­sage from the past emerged from the walls of Bur­nett State Col­lege a bit more than a week ago.

While work­ing on ren­o­va­tions at the school, Gayn­dah builder Scott Clib­born dis­cov­ered a bot­tle in­side one of the walls con­tain­ing a hand­writ­ten note.

It was re­vealed the mes­sage in a bot­tle had been left in the wall by a labourer named Regi­nald Ge­orge “Butch” McIl­wain, who worked on the orig­i­nal con­struc­tion of the man­ual arts build­ing in 1963.

Mr McIl­wain was born in 1934 and was 29 years old at the time of writ­ing the mes­sage.

In the let­ter, Mr McIl­wain wrote that as well as be­ing a labourer, he was a slaugh­ter­man and a paid rugby league player.

“Born Macksville, North Coast New South Wales, de­scen­dent from Searle, San­ders, Par­tridge, Moore, Ke­segg. This build­ing was con­structed by K.D Mor­ris and Sons,” the let­ter read.

It was dated March to Au­gust 1963 and fin­ished with a post­script say­ing: “Please write.”

Bur­nett State Col­lege stu­dent El­iz­a­beth Strong was stunned when she saw the let­ter.

“I had no idea about this,” El­iz­a­beth said.

“I think this is pretty cool.”

Noth­ing else is known about the mes­sage and school staff said if any­one recog­nised the names or knew Mr McIl­wain, they should phone Bur­nett State Col­lege on 4161 3888.

PHOTO: ADAM MCCLEERY

TIME CAP­SULE: Tom Capewell, El­iz­a­beth Strong and Karla White read­ing the mes­sage for the first time.

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