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Father Lacombe Catholic School time capsule’s secrets are safe for now

An opening date hasn’t been set yet, but excitement is building about capsule’s contents
The actual time capsule recently found at Father Lacombe Catholic School. Photo submitted

Time will tell what a recently-discovered time capsule in the cornerstone at Father Lacombe Catholic School holds.

“We started working with them in 2021 when they first started the (rebuild) process because they also discovered the Nelson School foundations,” said Melissa Blunden, executive director of the Lacombe Museum.

“We went in and took a couple of the bricks from that and added them to our collection. And that started a whole conversation,” she said. Other items of historical significance were found as well.

“They’ve been wonderful. We’ve been working with both the school board up in the Edmonton area regionally and also with the local school’s principal and vice principal. They are a wonderful group of people, and they are very excited about what they have found. They are also very enthusiastic about preserving it which is wonderful as well,” she explained.

“We’d also like to thank the City of Lacombe staff who helped us move this extremely heavy piece of Lacombe’s history (the cornerstone is marble, weighing close to/over 200 lbs),” noted Blunden on the Museum’s Facebook page. “There is also a time capsule from the school that was moved from the site with the Nelson School bell and is at the LMC, marking the 1907-1957 history of the school, to be opened in 2046. So what have we found then? Only time will tell!”

Blunden said the original Nelson School was built in 1907.

“In 1957, the school that is currently being demolished was built right beside it, so that’s why the foundations were right in front of it (the current school).”

She said when the Nelson School was pulled down, a different time capsule, as mentioned, was taken to the Lacombe Memorial Park.

Meanwhile, Blunden said the time capsule, which is currently being kept in the Lacombe & District Historical Society Collections and Archives, didn’t come with any kind of instructions as to when it should be opened up - as is the case with many time capsules.

“They are usually pretty specific,” she said. “We’ve inspected the entire copper box, and there is nothing on it.

“There was also nothing in the newspaper at the time about when it was to be opened. The cornerstone also had a brass plaque, and there was nothing on that either,” she said.

The capsule opened a bit through the removal process, but otherwise, its secrets are safe and will remain so for the time being.

Blunden also looked up an article from the Lacombe Globe from the actual date the time capsule was placed at Father Lacombe Catholic School in 1957.

“It was on Dec. 9, 1957,” she said, adding that the ceremony had local dignitaries on hand for the special event.

Blunden is hoping that the capsule contains some newspapers from those early days, too.

“Even if it was just one paper that we didn’t happen to have in our collection, that would be such a wealth of information,” she said.

For updates about the capsule and a potential opening day, check back with the Lacombe Museum’s Facebook page or visit

Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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