Almost 90 years after it was laid

Almost 90 years after it was laid

Cornerstone set to reveal secrets

An 89-year-old time capsule in the cornerstone of the Anglican Church hall is expected to be removed Friday, ahead of the building’s sale.

An 89-year-old time capsule in the cornerstone of the Anglican Church hall is expected to be removed Friday, ahead of the building’s sale.

Local stonemason Gerry Giasson has examined the site and figures he can get it out the same day. Once retrieved, Touchstones archivist Laura Fortier will supervise opening the box.

The contents are expected to be displayed at an October 6 dinner to say goodbye to the hall, to be attended by the Bishop from Kelowna. The contents will then be donated to Touchstones.

The cornerstone was laid on June 28, 1922 by Trail MLA and prominent Mason James Schofield.

The stone itself, measuring 18 by 18 by 16 inches, came from a Granite Road quarry, was cut by Alexander Ritchie and lettered by James May.

The Carbonate Street side has the Masonic emblem and the date, while the Ward St. side has the inscription D.O.M., standing for Deo Optimo Maximo, Latin for “To God, most good, most great,” and In Memoriam Virtutis Nostrum, translated as “In Memory of the Valor of Our Men.”

Its contents includes copies of the Nelson Daily News, a Nelson Miner report of the 1898 laying of the cornerstone on the church, lists of clergy, church officials, and officers, a portrait of the first bishop of Kootenay, lists of members of various organizations of the parish, and, perhaps most significantly, a hand-printed list of 219 men and three women from the parish who enlisted in World War I.

It’s the latter that most intrigues local historian Greg Scott, who initially suggested opening the cornerstone. Whereas most of the rest of the contents is available elsewhere, the list is not. The names were on a scroll lost in a 1929 church fire.

“If you read the story on the fire, Archdeacon Graham was more upset about that scroll being burnt than anything else,” Scott says. “There is no other listing. That’s what spurred me to get involved and push for this.”

It’s the second time in recent years that a cornerstone time capsule has been opened in Nelson. In 2009, the cornerstone at Central School was opened to mark the building’s centennial. However, the contents, which were displayed at the school, did not well withstand the ravages of time and silverfish.

The contents were later returned to the cornerstone along with a new time capsule to be opened in another 100 years.

Contents of the Anglican Hall time capsule

  • Coins

  • Hymn book

  • List of city councillors

  • Constitution of Grand Forks Lodge A.F. and A.M.

  • Lists of members of various organizations of the parish

  • List of officers of local and national veterans associations

  • Photos of the church, neighborhood, city, clergy and wardens

  • Notice calling the Masons to attend the cornerstone ceremony

  • Copies of the Canadian Churchman and the Teachers Assistant

  • Nelson Miner report of the 1898 laying of the church cornerstone

  • Portrait of Rt. Rev. Alexander John Doull, first bishop of Kootenay

  • Journal of the 16th session of the Synod of the diocese of Kootenay

  • Copies of the Nelson Daily News of April 22, May 22, and June 28, 1922

  • Hand-printed list of 219 men and three women from the parish who enlisted in World War I

  • Church financial statement for 1921 and list of clergy, church officials, and officers

  • Bylaws of Nelson Lodge No. 23, A.F. and A.M and list of officers and acting grand lodge officers