posted on July 5: Open Gilmour Hall time capsule, readers say


The verdict is in on McMaster's mystery time capsule.

The copper tube found behind the Gilmour Hall date stone should be opened according to a completely unscientific poll conducted by the Daily News.

The vote is 10-6 in favour of opening the time capsule. One reader suggested the time capsule should be given to her because the date stone date of Sept. 25, 1959 is her birthday.

Several readers who said the time capsule should be opened also suggested the contents should be incorporated into whatever time capsule is placed in the new McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) when it is officially opened this winter.

The time capsule was found in May by construction workers who were taking stone off of Gilmour Hall. (See the story Message in a copper tube?) The south face of the building is going to have the same brick as the student centre so the buildings present a monolithic view.

Kim Davison, MUSC administrative director, said the bricklayers started replacing the brick on Gilmour Hall this week and should have it completed early next week.

Here's are some of the comments from readers who said “open it!”:

“I think it should be opened at the University Centre 'opening event' and then resealed and put back. What could also be done is have it put back along with current items so there would now be two placed back in the wall.”

“We should open it, add our token of history to it and replace it into the wall. This way, when future generations decide to update the building structures, they will have a timeline to marvel at.”

“Why would you put a time capsule in a building unless you expected it to be opened when found? Surely the idea would be to open the capsule, examine the contents and then create a new capsule with that material and material added from the current construction? Then, in 25, 33 or 42 yearswhenever the next construction project finds the capsulethe next lot of builders can do the same thing. People who put messages in bottles expect them to be opened. Why would capsules in buildings be any different?”

Those who felt the time capsule should remain intact suggested not enough time has elapsed to warrant checking out the contents.

Here's what they had to say:

“I think the capsule should be put back until the 50th anniversary. A record of all time capsules should be kept — perhaps in the library?”

“Put it back with a metal plate engraved with the history so far.”

“I think it should be put somewhere safe and then opened in 2059 — if they are sure it was placed there about 1959 — i.e. when it it is 100-years-old.”

“I think that the time capsule shouldn't have been discovered so soon. Now that it is discovered, you can construct a glass showcase in Gilmour Hall and place the capsule in there so it can be seen. The capsule is nothing other than a showpiece and a memory! Keep it, preserve it, make a mummy out of it.”