90-year-old Cape Breton time capsule missing

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90-year-old Cape Breton time capsule missing

A North Sydney native and a Cape Breton Regional Municipality councillor are on the hunt for an elusive copper box filled with tokens of the past.

Coun. Earlene MacMullin was contacted by Mabel Musgrave-Comeau, who said her grandfather made a copper box and filled it with historic items from North Sydney about 90 years ago.

It was opened on July 1, 1967 to celebrate Canada's Centennial.

At that time, Musgrave-Comeau's father, Cecil Musgrave Sr., added items to the box including a letter to his infant son in hopes that he would open the box half a century later on July 1, 2017.

'Things have changed since 1967'

Musgrave-Comeau said her family assumed the box went back in a bank vault but now it can't be found.

"So many things have changed since 1967. The Bank of Nova Scotia is no longer in the same building. The town of North Sydney was amalgamated into the CBRM [Cape Breton Regional Municipality]," said MacMullin.

"It started with us looking for the location of the box through different departments of the CBRM. We checked with the now new Bank of Nova Scotia, the local museum, the historical society — we didn't get very far."

Musgrave-Comeau, who now lives in Halifax, said her siblings are prepared to make a trip home to Cape Breton for Canada Day celebrations if the town is prepared to open the time capsule.

Deathbed promise

"My grandfather created it, my father made me promise that I would bring it forward and make sure my baby brother knew about it," said Musgrave-Comeau. 

"I made a promise to my grandmother and when she was in the hospital dying she said, 'Remember the box,' and I always remembered it."

MacMullin encourages anyone with any information on the box to contact her at 902-574-1822.

"Worst-case scenario someone did take it and they don't want to come forward because they have it and know we are looking for it," she said.

"It's the closure [for the family] that we are looking for. Preferably the box but closure would be a nice second."