Local dignitaries, city leaders and Riverbank residents gathered at the community center in Riverbank for a Time Capsule Ceremony on Saturday. The original Time Capsule idea began on Aug. 17, 1968 where a plaque states the following, “This cornerstone was laid on Aug. 17, 1968 sealed, herein are documents which reflect the occasion and the date to be opened Aug. 17, 2018.” Unfortunately when opened last year on the specified date, there were no contents to be found. Through research there has not been any documentation about the contents that were supposed to be there and no proof whether it was stolen or if it was never stored.
Though an unfortunate and disappointing situation, officials said they were not going to let it defeat the City of Riverbank and with the idea of a time capsule and the excitement of what it could contain, officials decided to create a new time capsule that will be opened in 25 years, in 2044. This time the time capsule will have an inventory list and there will be documentation like the proclamation that Mayor Richard O’Brien read to guests at the Saturday morning ceremony.
The Proclamation stated: Whereas, on August 17, 1968 a time capsule was placed behind the cornerstone to commemorate the construction of the Riverbank Community Center; and Whereas, on August 17, 2018, the time capsule was opened, celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the placement of the time capsule, and discovering that the contents of the capsule were missing; and Whereas, the renovation of the Riverbank Community Center was completed in 2019 and the commemorative plaque for the much needed renovation was dedicated on August 17, 2019; and Whereas, a community dedication was held on August 17, 2019 to acknowledge the hard work and dedication in making the Community Center a place for residents and visitors to continue to enjoy; and Whereas, the Riverbank City Council encourages future generations to enjoy the Community Center and the many programs, services and community events that will take place in it; and Whereas, the present Riverbank City Council wishes to honor the tradition of placing a time capsule to commemorate this important event in the history of Riverbank. Now, Therefore be it Resolved, that the Riverbank City Council acting in its authority as the governing body of the City of Riverbank does hereby call for the placing of the time capsule behind the cornerstone of the building; and Be it further resolved that the Riverbank City Council asks that items of significant value to our Community Partners and Nonprofits that serve and contribute to our community be placed in the time capsule; and Be it further resolved that the Riverbank City Council designates August 17, 2044 as the date for the time capsule to be opened and the contents be shared with the community.
Among the guests were city staff including Riverbank City Manager Sean Scully, Assistant City Manager Marisela Garcia, Administration Analyst Norma Torres-Manriquez, and City Council Mayor O’Brien, Vice Mayor Darlene Barber-Martinez, councilmember district 1 Luis Uribe, councilmember district 2 Cindy Fosi, and councilmember district 3 Cal Campbell as well as other community members to witness this historic moment.
There were refreshments offered and a table that had the contents that were going to be put into the capsule. Mayor O’Brien gave a speech and afterward everyone was invited to take a picture that will also be put into the time capsule capturing a moment in history.
In the Mayor’s speech he noted the celebrations that have occurred at the community center in Riverbank including weddings, Quinceañera, birthday parties, public outreach and honors. He also gave the City of Riverbank’s Parks and Recreation Director Sue Fitzpatrick praise for her hard work and appreciation for her efforts in maintaining, preserving and restoring the community center as needed as well as the city staff.
Some of the items that are listed on the inventory sheet for the Time Capsule are a letter from Mayor O’Brien to the Mayor in 2044, Royal Neighbors of America Chapter 9890 Mortuary Record Book, the Riverbank Newspaper, Riverbank Historical Society book about Riverbank by Glenn Allen Ditman, and much more.
The updated Community Center is open for use and will continue some improvements with the kitchen, community pool and park on the horizon.