Hampton School communicates with generations to come through time capsules
Nackeshia Tomlinson, Gleaner Writer
MALVERN, St Elizabeth:SITTING ON the lawns of Hampton School in front of the chapel are four slabs similar to that of a headstone.
However, they are not headstones. They are a representation of something significant just the same. They are four time capsules, which were commissioned by current principal Heather Murray.
They were done in 2008 and are slated to be opened within the next 25, 75 and 100 years, respectively.
Time capsules are usually intended to communicate with people in the future.
Murray told The Gleaner that the capsules contain mundane objects that represent 2008. These include official Hampton dolls, sealed coffee, rum, CDs, and various writings done by the students, which are all in a sealed stainless steel box, which is padlocked and covered with a stainless steel casing.
The principal said she got the inspiration for the project through her readings and travel, noting that she had seen a time capsule overseas. She said since she has an interest in history, she thought it fitting to commemorate the school's 150th anniversary using the time capsules.
"I just thought I would do something differently and (use a) creative way of making a statement regarding our school in 2008," she said.
As a former Hampton student, Murray said the intention was to blend the past with the present and the future. "There will be something that every girl who celebrated in 2008 could speak about."
encapsulates the history of Hampton
In addition to her personal desire to observe the year 2008, Murray said it encapsulates the history of the school and is a reminder to all that the institution has made a considerable leap from educating 10 girls at the start date to more than 1,200.
Murray said she received varied responses regarding the project. She told The Gleaner that the students were enthused and made special efforts to contribute items that they thought reflected the year 2008.
An animated Murray told The Gleaner that one girl contributed her message in the form of a miniature stainless steel capsule that her father had made. She said the staff reacted well towards the project as well. However, the project was not without sceptics who said she was wasting money. However, she said that she found creative ways of minimising the cost by using some materials that were already on the compound.
Despite the scepticism, Murray is very proud of the project, which she said to her knowledge is the only one in Jamaica.
She hopes to permanently seal the capsules with cement before she retires in another four years. Murray said if she is alive in another 21 years, she wants to be present at the grand reopening of the first capsule.