What will future generations living in West Orange think of 2012? Of our iPhones, hybrid cars, and town budgets?
Unfortunately, we will never truly know, but at least when West Orange celebrates its tricentennial, quadricentennial and even its quincentennial, those residents will be able to hold pieces of our time in their hands.
As part of the town’s 150th anniversary celebration, numerous items were placed inside of a time capsule on Tuesday, July 3, that will remain sealed until the town's bicentennial.
While standing over the time capsule at the ceremony on Tuesday in front of town hall, Mayor Robert Parisi said, “A lot has happened in 150 years in our community; a lot will happen in another 150 years.
“Today, the items that we are going to put in this capsule will one day help [future residents] understand who we were. The items we are going to put in today, though simple and small and maybe subtle reminders of our everyday life, speak to what’s important to us; they speak to our values; they speak to our expectations; and our hope of the future.”
More than 20 items were placed in the time capsule, one by one, by residents and township officials on the council, from the library, and community groups.
Among the first to place something inside the time capsule was Business Administrator Jack Sayers. He contributed a copy of the township budget and a group photo of the township staff. While residents may think taxes and spending is high today, future residents may look back at the current budget with envy.
Ken Mandel contributed the Art Council’s recent project titled, . The project, on DVD, presents a vivid and complete image of the goings-on in the township during a normal day.
“It is a great array: everything from schools, religious institutions, police station, Edison historic site, and all the wonderful things we have in town,” said Mandel about the photo documentary.
And offering some words of advice to township councils to come, Council President Victor Cirilo and Councilman Joe Krakoviak included a few words of wisdom on the back of a photograph of the current council.
“Hopefully the suits are still in style” when the time capsule is opened, joked Cirilo.
Other notable items included a copy of the 2012 West Orange High School yearbook; a copy of the downtown redevelopment project plan; the Recreation Department’s sesquicentennial program; and the school district budget.
A full listing of the items placed in the capsule can be found at the end of the article.
The time capsule will be locked and sealed until 2062. And to circumvent any chance of the items being contaminated and destroyed during their internment, the time capsule will be suspended from the ceiling inside town hall.
And when the time capsule is finally opened, Parisi seemed assured that residents in the future will look back upon 2012 with respect and pride.
“And sometime in the future, fifty years from now,” said Parisi,” they’ll look back on these items and they’ll know we did the best we could to protect our township’s legacy and shepherd us into the future.”
In addition, the township named its Sesquicentennial Baby: Annabelle Gibson, who was born on June 7 at 11:30 a.m.
Annabelle was given the honor by the township's Centennial Baby -- now grown up -- Maria Santucci Pitch.
Pitch was also accompanied by her parents, Stella and Vincent Santucci, who have been living in the township for more than 80 years.
“I have fond memories here,” said Pitch, who went to the public schools and was even married at the local Lady of Lourdes Church on Main Street.
“I wish [Annabell] all the fond memories that I had here," said Pitch, "because I am so proud to tell anyone I meet today that I am from West Orange.”
Items placed in the time capsule
• A photo of township employees
• A copy of the township’s garbage and recycling contract
• A copy of the township’s downtown redevelopment plan.
• A copy of the homeowner’s property tax bill
• A copy of the Art Council’s project titled, A Day in West Orange: A Photo Documentary
• A light bulb
• Information about the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal, and a list of the township’s veterans who have been given the medal.
• A picture of the current council
• Information about the Recreation Department
• A 2012 West Orange High School yearbook
• A copy of the school district’s 2012 budget
• Information about UNICO and a roster of its members
• Information about and pictures of the West Orange Public Library
• A 150th anniversary ad journal
• A CD of the township’s 75th celebration in 1937, and centennial celebration in 1962
• A DVD of the 1962 centennial parade on Main Street
• A CD of 177 pictures depicting West Orange over the last 150 years
• Materials from the township, including editions of the West Orange Outlook, pictures of the new website launched, the township’s new logo, and newspaper clippings about the town