Message in a Bottle Found at Junction Park State School Finds Its Way Home After 86 Years

86-Year-Old Time Capsule Discovered at Junction Park State School Finds Its Way Home

A secret message in a bottle written by a 16-year-old apprentice carpenter in 1935 and discovered by restoration workers in 2022 finally made it home, after it was turned over to the writer’s children during a ceremony held at Junction Park State School.



Junction Park SS 's spire where the message in a bottle was discovered
The spire where the note was discovered | Photo Credit: Queensland Heritage Restorations / Facebook

The time capsule that survived being hidden for 86 years was a 15cm tall, green glass bottle that contained a handwritten note by Gordon Benson, a teen apprentice carpenter at the time.

Dated October 12, 1935, the pencil-written letter was placed inside the top spire of the Annerley school. It was discovered by Queensland Heritage Foundation restoration workers in 2021.

 The 86-year-old green bottle containing the note
The 86-year-old green bottle containing the note | Photo Credit: Queensland Heritage Restorations / Facebook

The note reads: “Douglas Heron, carpenter. Gordon Benson, apprentice. Built this fleshe for Dept of Public Works, 12 of July, 1935. We now are looking down of [sic] you. Since removing it, if any of my children, children are living, pass this onto them. RIP. ”

First half of the written note
First half of the written note| Photo Credit: Queensland Heritage Restorations / Facebook
Second half of Benson's written note
Second half of Benson’s written note | Photo Credit: Queensland Heritage Restorations / Facebook

Gordon Benson worked for the Department of Public works until he reached 60. He served in the army during the second world war. He has five children, 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.


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On 23 August 2022, Transport Minister Mark Bailey presented the written note to two of Benson’s children, Geoffrey Benson and Marilyn Blundell. To the siblings, the message in the bottle is a testament to how their father has always loved his family and thought about his future children.

Photo Credit: Queensland Heritage Restorations / Facebook

Heritage-listed Junction Park State School was established on 30 April 1888 and was then known as Thompson Estate Provisional School. In 1889, the school transferred from its four-room cottage in Oxford Street (now between the Pacific Motorway and Norman Creek) to a hall in Regent Street (west of Oxford Street) before again moving to a larger, permanent location in Annerley in 1891.



The school’s name was changed to Junction Park State School in 1894. Construction of the present brick building was completed in 1936.