By David F. Rooney
Once upon a time there was a Grade 1 class at Arrow Heights Elementary School whose teacher, Teresa Olleck, thought was so special they should do something so remarkable it would echo down through the years.
So she asked her young pupils to gather together all kinds of things that were important to them them. The six-year-olds brought her the Pokemon cards and Beanie Babies, photos and toys and other things they thought were cool. And they all sat down and sealed them in plastic bags and then laid them carefully inside a a sturdy plastic bucket. Then Mrs. Olleck slipped her own special message to the future inside the bucket. They sealed it up and then asked their principal, Mr. Hooker, if he would help them bury it.
So Mr. Hooker loosened his tie, rolled up his sleeves and, under some cedar trees beside their school, dug a deep hole for the bucket Mrs.Olleck told her children was actually called “a time capsule.” They buried it deep in the ground and then left it there…
Years rolled by. The children got older and one day, in Grade 7, Mrs. Olleck took them out to the woods and dug and they dug until they found the time capsule. They had a quick peek inside to make sure it was okay and then buried it again in the cool moist earth beneath the cedar trees before they all left Arrow Heights behind for the high school where Mr. Hooker was now the principal.
More years rolled by and Mrs. Olleck left the school and town where she had taught those children long, long ago. But the boys and girls, who were all now ready to leave high school for the wide world beyond Revelstoke, remembered that ong-ago special day and, together with an older, greyer Mr. Hooker, they went back to their elementary school on Thursday, June 23.
They looked all around the trees until Mr. Hooker said, “I remember this rock!” Then he thrust the sharp shovel into the ground and began to dig and dig until he was too pooped to pop and handed his shovel over to one of the now-not-so-little boys. The boy and his friends dug deep into the cool earth beneath the cedars and found the capsule just the way they remembered it. All the boys and girls clapped and shouted for joy as, in the back ground, their moms and dads and grandparents took pictures and sniffled back the odd tear.
Then Mr. Hooker opened it up and, inside, he found a special letter Mrs. Olleck had written to the Grade 1 students she loved so much. He carefully unfolded the letter and read it aloud to everyone who was there. Though Mrs. Olleck wasn’t present it was almost as if you could hear her voice and there were lots of happy smiles — and a few tears! — as the boys and girls remembered their teacher and all the fun they had making their time capsule.
Well, maybe not the real end. Mr. Hooker still is the principal at Revelstoke Secondary School and likely will be for years to come. Mrs. Olleck moved to Nelson three years ago where she continues to teach young boys and girls. And the kids she once taught — Luke Badger, Krista Barstad, Alex Wadey, Arica Janzen, Brandon Emmerson, Emily Smith, Emma Marian, Sonya Goodman, Kris Powell, Kent Hendrickson, Christina Hui, Roberta Bernava, Corbin Benum, Riley Hillier, Scott Campbell, Devin Copperthwaite and Jessica Ralph — are all getting ready to graduate this year and embark on new adventures.
Here are some pictures — and a video — of them recovering their time capsule:
And here’s the video, which includes Mr. Hooker finding and reading Mrs. Olleck’s letter: