A final memory of the former J.L. Crowe Secondary School was front and centre Friday in the shadow of the new high school.
Thanks to the efforts of some retired teachers and volunteer craftsmen, a time capsule was dropped into place on the new campus preserving several documents and artifacts from the previous school that stood on that same site for over half a century.
The main proponents of the capsule were former Crowe teachers Art Benzer, Bill Hanlon and John Harasin. Mike Walsh, a millwirght with the school district, built the capsule while a trio of volunteer craftsmen – Bruno DeRosa, Leo Ganzini and Ray Fox – designed and built the monument.
“We got together and got this stuff because we wanted to have a time capsule,” explained Benzer.
“The memories and materials they placed in this time capsule reflect the old Crowe,” said Crowe’s current principal David DeRosa.
“If you were to talk to these fellows (that put it together) it’s the spirit of the old Crowe that still exists. They physically embody that and they were looking for representation of the things that were important historically, educationally and spiritually.”
On hand to help set the capsule in place were members of the 2011 Grad Class – Brianne Lunde, Kaleigh Pollard, Colin Gurnett, Curtis Flack and Cody Hurd.
The capsule, which is slated to be opened by the graduating class in 2061, contains a variety of items.
Many of the documents in the capsule highlight the role of education from 1951 to 2009, covering the lifespan of the old high school.
Reports from superintendents, inspectors, school board members, school staff were part of the package assembled by the retired teachers. The capsule also includes photos of students and staff from the old Crowe’s history, grad pins and memorabilia from tee shirts to newsletters.
“There’s a paper in there from one of the ex-principals who, in conjunction with the staff, put in a proposal to the Royal Commission of Education in 1959 where a good portion of education that followed came out of that report,” said Harasin.
The irony surrounding Friday’s dedication of the time capsule comes from the debate involving a previous time capsule that was or was not placed at the old school in the mid-70s. One theory says a capsule was placed at the old Crowe but the markings were moved during the school’s demolition a few years ago and subsequent paving eliminated any chance of locating it.
There is debate whether one actually existed but members of this year’s project made sure there was no possibility of over-looking the new location when time comes to open it in 50 years.
At almost four feet deep and a brick monument about four feet high, the capsule location, near the new school’s main entrance, will be a constant reminder of the old school’s role in the lives of so many local citizens.
“We’re not going to lose this one,” joked DeRosa.
As one time capsule was set into place, another one, highlighting the birth of the new Crowe, is being prepared.
“The kids are much more involved in this one,” said DeRosa. “They’ve done a lot of research in what should go in a time capsule.”
That capsule is expected to be dropped into place later this month.