Butler Tanks Time Capsule opened for first time since 1995

A group of more than 80 people, spanning four generations, met at Butler Tanks on April 25 to witness the opening of a time capsule that was laid at the 100 year celebration of the Hundred of Butler, held in 1995.

Residents then contributed their own family articles, letters, newspaper items, even jars of grain and a bottle of wine to be buried and reopened 25 years later.

The Hundred of Butler was proclaimed on April 25, 1895 and so began farming and grazing in the area as early settlers took up land and built a community.

The various churches were quickly established and the Church of England was widely used as a meeting place, for example for the Butler Agricultural Bureau.

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In 1937 the community built a hall and as the years followed the Butler Hall became a popular place for dances.

Football, basketball, tennis and table tennis were all played at Butler and with its generous share of success. COVID-19 had prevented the capsule opening planned for 2020.

In perfect weather, past resident and one of the organisers Michelle Fiegert welcomed the large gathering "back to Butler", now a year later for the time capsule opening.

Ms Fiegert commented positively "how everyone has left their footprint in the district".

Ian Charlton said "April 25 proclamation date in 1895 was a coincidence as April 25 has now become a day to commemorate the ANZAC landing of 1915 at Gallipoli".

Several local children had helped Ian bury the capsule 26 years ago and did not hesitate once invited to leave their handprint in the cement top.

Alyssia Smith nee Fiegert was the only one of those children to be present and so was given a spade to try to find the exact site.

With uncanny precision Mrs Smith quickly located the dig, immediately behind the granite stone monument commemorating the centenary.

The late Dr David Wibberley unveiled this centenary plaque which listed the family names of each Butler resident in 1995.

Credit has gone to Ian Charlton as the condition of the buried capsule was first class. Those present enjoyed reading through their contributions.

The event proceeded to the Port Neill Bowling Club where a fish and chip lunch was served and many stories were continued.

Organisers have invited contributions to be included in the same time capsule, soon to be re-buried for opening in 2045, which will mark the 150th year of Butler's proclamation.

Anyone wishing to contribute items for the time capsule can contact Janet Shepherd 0409 918 157.

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