New Time Capsule Placed at “Belmont Park”

Mar 20, 2020 | News

As a Brotherhood that looks back on centuries of history, the Order is always happy to support the recording of important historical events. The foundation stone of the palatial home that became Saint John of God Hospital, North Richmond, NSW, was laid in 1892. Under it was placed a ‘time capsule’. On Saturday 29 February, the old time capsule was replaced with a new one that contained, amongst other items, a letter to the future from 2020, last week’s Hawkesbury Gazette, Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald, Australian and international coins, a copy of the scroll from the original time capsule, historic and current day photographs, documents and books. It also contains hospital brochures, a Brother’s profession cross, the Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association Show Catalogue 2020, and a booklet about the Richmond Hill Aboriginal Garden onsite.

A metal box (pictured) was designed to house the new capsule, sunken into the floor in the room behind the foundation stone. The box was lined with a copy of the Sydney Morning Herald from 29 February 1892 discovered in the original time capsule. An engraved glass top covers the capsule so that it remains easy to find for future generations. It is envisaged that the capsule will be opened at the 200th anniversary of Belmont House in 2092.

Over 130 guests gathered to witness the historic event, including members of the Charley family, original owners of Belmont House, and the Howie family, builders of the house. Chris Tobin from the local Darug community gave a moving welcome to country. Colman O’Driscoll, CEO of St John of God Richmond and Burwood Hospitals, said: “I would like to acknowledge … the Brothers of St John of God for their work over the past 70 years in establishing a mental health facility on this site. Belmont House is such a part of the local community and it is a place of healing and at this particular time it is evident that we need that more than ever.”