Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Market Square Time Capsule

Very few people know that there is a Time Capsule buried right in the centre of the Market Square.  Tour guide Mike Callaghan sent me the following information which he obtained via Grizel Hart, Margaret Harridene and the Reference Section of the Public Library that was reported on in the Herald newspaper.

On 30 September 1980 Mr Graham Young, the Mayor of Port Elizabeth, placed a steel canister containing contemporary documents into the centre of the historic heart of the City.  The hole was then covered by a granite slab on which the crest of the National Monuments Council is engraved as Market Square was declared a National Monument on 29 November 1974.  The canister gives an indication of current (1980)events in the city and would normally be placed when the foundations laid of a new building were laid. No date has been set for the unearthing of the canister. The canister contains copies of the 3 editions of the local newspapers of the day before,  the current edition of “Wotson” published by the Port Elizabeth Publicity Association, a guide to the City, the Mayoral Christmas Card of 1980, the City Engineers report on the future of the City, Heritage Trail Guide, the Afrikaanse Handelinstituut report on the City and a photograph of City Councilors and Heads of Municipal Department.  The Mayor was watched by a small group of people including Margaret Harridene and Dr John Scott of the Historical Monuments Council.


  1. Interesting!!! Imagine unsealing this years and years from now!!! I kept odd newspapers from way back ..last white parliament, Berlin wall etc and had to throw them out recently ... fish moths were growing larger and larger in that cupboard. But it was interesting paging through them - articles and advertising especially - pity I didn't keep them in a plastic box :(

  2. How intriguing! Fantastic idea.

  3. This was done after the City Hall was renovated after being gutted by fire in September 1977. I cannot cite a reference but I'm 99% sure of myself.