March 16, 2017 5:41 pm
Updated: March 17, 2017 9:16 am

New time capsule in the works for Halifax Explosion anniversary

Global’s Steve Silva reports on what the Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary committee is considering to put in a new time capsule in honour the disaster.


A new time capsule is in the works to replace one being opened for the centennial anniversary later this year of the Halifax Explosion.

“We want to have a time capsule that will capture what we did to commemorate the centennial, but we also want to include artifacts from the explosion itself,” Craig Walkington, chair of the Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Advisory Committee, said on Thursday.

The eight-person committee met in the afternoon to discuss the specifics of what will go into the time capsule.

“It’s my understanding that Canada Post will be issuing a commemorative stamp for the explosion. Similarly with the Royal Canadian Mint, so if possible, we’d like to put those into the time capsule,” Walkington said.

READ MORE: In footsteps of the dead: Remembering the Halifax Explosion through its stories

He said the committee also wants a local restaurant menu and letters from leaders of three levels of government to be added into the 14-inch cube box.

The current time capsule was put into the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower in 1985 and is currently in Dartmouth at the Municipal Archives while the tower is restored. It will be opened on Dec. 6.

The committee plans to finalize the details on what’s going inside the box, then gather those materials by August. It will be put inside the tower “shortly after” after the 100th anniversary and only opened in 2067, Walkington said.

“Fifty years from now, we felt that was more appropriate because if you go out 100 years, then there’ll be likely nobody left from the committee,” he added.

READ MORE: Halifax Explosion survivor Mary Murphy dies at 98

The committee is also considering creating a virtual time capsule with the same objects and possibly more items as well.

Ross Bagnell said he’d like to see something from schools, such as a textbook, or perhaps something representing current technology, such as an iPhone.

“I think we should put [in] one of those signs that says we should demolish one of our heritage buildings,” said Caela Bialek.

She referenced a sign on a building near the intersection of Barrington and Bishop streets that denotes an application to demolish a registered heritage property.

“We need to develop and also maintain our historical facades here because it’s important to our history,” Bialek said. “We should put one of those signs in the time capsule to say, ‘Hey, we used to have these historical buildings.'”

An online memo [PDF] from the committee lists the contents thus far for the new time capsule:



George Elliot Clarke poem

100th Anniversary Event programme

Official letter – The Queen

Official letter – The Prime Minister

Official letter – The Premier

Official letter – The Mayor’s open letter to citizens

Bibliography of Halifax Explosion publications

Paul Erikson’s History of Fort Needham

Updated list of fatalities since 1985

Catalogue of contemporary works of art specific to the 1917 Explosion

Catalogue of projects funded by the Explosion Grants program

1917 Explosion artifacts

Maps and plans of 1917 and 2017

Grocery receipt from 2017, and copies of the 1917 and 1985 receipts

Local school art project

Newspaper articles re: 100th Anniversary commemoration

Local restaurant menu

Plans for Fort Needham Park legacy project

Report to Council to approve the Administrative Order for the 100th Anniversary Commemoration

List of HEASAC members (start to finish)

Map of flora that survived the explosion

Map of areas devastated and damaged by the explosion (insurance map)

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.