Kearns Public School unearths time capsule after hours of digging

It had been in the ground for 24 years already, but the Kearns Public School time capsule just wasn't ready to make its planned appearance on Friday morning.

The school was preparing to reveal the time capsule, buried in 1996, about 9.30 on Friday morning, but it there was just one little problem - the school staff actually couldn't find it.

Assistant principal Fiona Woods said it was disappointing not to find the time capsule during a three-hour pre-dig on Thursday, but after several hours of hard work digging through the tough ground - by both teachers and visiting parents, there was at least success.

Ms Woods said it was an "amazing experience" full of "so many emotions".

"The time capsule was very difficult to locate," she said.

"There was a plaque marking the spot, but we had been told from sources who were at the school in 1996 that it was buried to the left of the plaque.

"[On the day], one of our school dads (who was also a student at Kearns) dug in different areas of the location for five hours. He was later joined by another ex-student from his year.

"They eventually found the time capsule by using a probe in the dirt."

Scott Ackerly, Phillip Glassington and assistant principal Fiona Woods with the recovered time capsule. Picture: Kearns Public School

Scott Ackerly, Phillip Glassington and assistant principal Fiona Woods with the recovered time capsule. Picture: Kearns Public School

Ms Woods said when they stumbled upon the capsule - in PVC piping - it was much bigger than they'd anticipated and "at one stage we thought it was an actual stormwater pipe".

The last couple of hours of the dig were completed in the pouring rain, but that didn't stop dads Phillip Glassington and Scott Ackerley.

"When the dads yelled out that they had found it, all available staff ran out - in the pouring rain," Ms Woods said.

"It still took a good 20 minutes to dig out - it was wedged in tight after 24 years.

"Once it was lifted out I even jumped in the hole with my work clothes and heels one - it was such an exciting end to an emotional few days.

"The kids interviewed Phillip about why he persevered. He told them you never give up, even when things are hard. We couldn't have planned a better outcome for them. Hard work pays off."

The contents of the time capsule. Picture: Kearns Public School

The contents of the time capsule. Picture: Kearns Public School

Ms Woods said a lot of the contents of the capsule were badly water damaged or ruined, but the students were still extremely excited to see what was inside.

"All students came to examine the contents. We thought they would be more disappointed that may of the contents were ruined by water damage, but they weren't," she said.

"Inside were lots of photos, newsletters, newspapers from the day it was buried, a girls' and boys' uniform, a VHS tape and a cassette tape."

"The kids had no idea about the VHS and cassette.

"We are hoping we can find a way to see if the tapes can be restored, or if the water damage has ruined them."

Ms Woods said the most exciting find was definitely the boys' uniform, as it still visibly had the name of the student in belong to written in marker.

"I searched the name and have located the owner, who was in year three at the time," she said.

"His mum was amazed that her laundry marker has stood the test of time."

Ms Woods said they are hoping to get the former student into the school for a visit and photo with the recovered shirt.

More photos and videos from the day can be seen at the school's Facebook page.

This story Kearns Public School unearths time capsule after hours of digging first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.