Contents include letters and photographs from kids of that time

IMG 9362Sammuel-Kingdon

The University of Calgary (U of C) gave its six- to 14-year-old Mini University campers a taste of what the city was like in 1984 by opening up a 30-year-old time capsule Aug. 14 filled with letters and photos from Mini University kids of that day.

Terry Davies, a Mini University instructor in 1984, says there was a limited list of items that could go into the time capsule and hold up for 30 years,

“We were pretty restricted because we were concerned about things oxidizing so basically they wrote their letters on acid free paper,” says Davies. “The photographs that they took were also printed on non glossy acid free paper. We put some coins in and things that were sealed up so that they wouldn’t contaminate anything else. That’s all that we could put in at that time.”

The letters written by the students in 1984 reflected sentiments of fear of a nuclear war, fascination over the Harrison Ford blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and provided advice on how to live your life.

The photos provided the 2014 Mini University participants an opportunity to witness what the city was like in 1984. It was an exciting time for Calgary as it attempted to become a more cosmopolitan city. It was preparing to host the 1988 Winter Olympics and the Scotiabank Saddledome (then the Olympic Saddledome) had recently opened its doors in the fall of 1983.IMG 9368The University Of Calgary Mini University campers got a taste of how kids back in 1984 viewed the world through looking at the contents of the capsule that was opened on Aug. 14. Kids back then expressed concern about the environment and were fearful of a possible nuclear war.

Photo by Zarif Alibhai

While it is obvious the world is a different place than it was in 1984, Davies notes that some things have remained the same.

“I think that the concerns that the kids have today are very similar to the concerns they had in 1984,” she says. “The things that they like to do are similar but I think that they are more in and dated inundated with information now then they were back then.

While it was a great experience for Davies, the kids had a great deal of fun experiencing a snapshot of Calgary’s past.

“It’s really cool to see the things that people did 30 years ago and it’s cool to see pictures and writings that they did,” says Paige Miller, a Mini University camper. “I did a sheet of paper that I wrote about it was like now and what I think what it would be like 30 years from now.”

Miller’s campmates will also provide a contribution to the time capsule. The 2014 items will be layered on top of the 1984 items with the hope that the time capsule is opened 30 years from now in 2044. 

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