5 Apr 2017

Letters from local children and treasures from the past are among items stashed in a time capsule that has been placed in the Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre for future generations to discover.

The time capsule was placed in the partially built centre on Tuesday during a ceremony attended by the local Community Board, the Sumner Redcliffs Historical Society, and the Sumner Residents Association.

Among the items secreted away were a 1907 edition of The Press newspaper, old coins and other trinkets that were in a time capsule found beneath the foundation stone of the old Sumner Community Centre and Museum during its demolition.

Sumner resident Topsy Rule and Heathcote ward Councillor Sara Templeton.

Sumner resident Topsy Rule and Heathcote ward Councillor Sara Templeton place the time capsule in the partially built Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre.

The Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre is being built to replace that facility and the Sumner Library, which also had to be demolished after the earthquakes.

Other items added into the time capsule include letters from students at Sumner School, the keys to the old Sumner Town Hall, some Community Board papers, and an array of Sumner memorabilia.

“It is nice to think that future generations will one day uncover the time capsule and be able to piece together the story behind the construction of the building,’’ says Christchurch City Council Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson.

Armitage Williams Construction are about two-thirds of the way through building the Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre which sits on the corner of Nayland and Wakefield streets.

Athfield Architects – the architects behind the award-winning Devonport Library in Auckland – designed the 1400 square metre centre, drawing their inspiration from the colours and materials from Sumner’s red cliffs and popular beach.

They have also managed to include in the building some of the architectural features from the demolished Sumner Community Centre and Museum. A war memorial roll, for example, that honours the Sumner men killed in World War 1 has been incorporated into one of the building’s exterior walls.

“There are lots of lovely nods to the past incorporated into the building so it is an exciting mix of the old and the new, ‘’ says Ms Robertson.

Construction on the centre started in July last year and the contractors are on track to have the building ready for opening in August.

The library, which includes a bookable community room, will occupy most of the ground floor.  There will also be a shared space where community groups, including the Sumner Community Residents Hub, can operate from.

The first floor will feature a large hall with a stage, two community rooms, and the Sumner Museum. One of the community rooms has a moveable wall so it can be opened up to become part of the hall when needed.

The Council has put $10 million into the construction of the new centre while the Sumner Redcliffs Historical Society has committed $50,000 towards the cost of the space for the museum.