From the Newsroom

Marcus Greig with the Bicentennial Committee time capsule which was unearthed from William Ager Park Yamba in the search for a missing Yamba Public School time capsule. Image: Rodney Stevens

Mission to find time capsule continues

Rodney Stevens


A sense of excitement and anticipation dissolved into disappointment when engineer Andrew Harris lifted the concrete lid of the Bicentennial plaque on Friday with a crane to reveal the missing Yamba Public School time capsule wasn’t there – but the mission to find it continues.

About 15 interested locals gathered at Yamba’s William Ager Park for the unearthing at 10am on Friday, August 25, including former Yamba PS student Marcus Greig who led the investigation and was assisted by Christine Preston, and Clarence Valley Councillor Karen Toms.

In 1983, to mark the school’s 100th anniversary, a time capsule was buried on the old school site, to be opened in the year 2000.

When the old school was to be demolished and moved to make way for the new Bowling Club, the time capsule was unearthed and held in transition at the new school until a decision was made on what to do with it.

Information Mr Greig and Ms Preston obtained led them to believe the Yamba Public School time capsule had been reburied at William Ager Park with the Bicentennial Committee capsule.

Front and centre for the unveiling was the former Yamba Public School Principal when the capsule was buried, Geoff Gorman, whose daughter brought him to the park for the occasion, where he watched from the car.

“It is very exciting and I’m sure it will bring back a lot of memories,” Mr Gorman said before the capsule was unearthed.

Mr Gorman said it was disappointing the time capsule wasn’t found but he is hopeful that someone will have the information to locate it.

Well known Yamba local Sue Pilley was there to see if drawings by her son triple Commonwealth Games Gold medal winner Cameron were in the capsule.

“Two kids from every year, kinder right through to sixth class, had a drawing picked to be put in the capsule,” she said.

“Cameron, my son, and Lauren Eke were the two from kindergarten.”

When the concrete top was lifted by Andrew Harris Engineering’s crane it revealed a concrete pipe, inside of which a large, sealed PVC pipe was buried.

Mr Greig lifted the capsule, which had people’s names and some addresses written on it and was surrounded by fishing net, to reveal it was the Bicentennial Committee’s time capsule buried in 1989, that was to be unearthed in 2088 and was donated by John and Jo De Teliga of Chatsworth Island in 1988.

Once Mr Harris removed the top and Mr Greig began looking through the contents, it became evident the Yamba Public School time capsule wasn’t inside, as Ms Preston said she remembered it being a silver cylindrical metal container that was smaller than what was unearthed.

After looking through the contents of the capsule, Mr Greig said it was disappointing the time capsule wasn’t buried at William Ager Park, but the mission to locate it continues.

“We’ve been hopeful all along but there was always the risk of us not finding what we came to find,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t succeeded, so our time capsule is still out there missing somewhere.”

Mr Greig said they were still exploring the possibility of the time capsule being buried elsewhere in Yamba.

“We will keep looking, of course,” he said.

“Information still trickles in very slowly, but we just need to check on another couple of possible sites.

“If we get enough information in regard to these other sites we will go looking again.”

Mr Greig appealed to any Yamba locals or former residents who may have any information about the location of the missing Yamba PS time capsule to contact the CV Independent with information.

“There must be someone out there who knows where it is, there must be someone or more than one person who knows, there has to be,” he said.