Wednesday, January 17, 2018
News Roundup

Dunedin bank opens 50-year-old time capsule

DUNEDIN — The crowd oohed and ahhed as yellowing 1962 copies of the Clearwater Sun, the Tampa Tribune and the Piper, Dunedin High School's 10-cent school newspaper, were pulled from the silver time capsule.

Layers of paper wrapped around envelopes crumbled so badly that it took several painstaking minutes to reveal there were financial statements inside.

And was there even any equipment still available today, observers wondered, that could play the big, ancient-looking spools of movie film and audio tape pulled from the silver box?

SunTrust Bank at 825 Broadway Ave. in Dunedin on Thursday unveiled the contents of a time capsule that was embedded in the building's walls 50 years ago when it was known as First National Bank of Dunedin. The unveiling was part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the bank's founding.

According to local historians, the bank initially started filling the capsule in 1949 but a plaque shows it wasn't sealed into the bank's walls until May 1963. In 1995, when the bank moved to its current location, the time capsule was removed, driven over to the new Broadway Avenue branch, and sealed into the walls there.

"This is exciting. It's like a period frozen over time suddenly coming to life," said Dunedin Historical Museum director Vinnie Luisi.

Added bank branch manager Deborah Roper: "It was amazing to see what people thought was really cool and important to share with someone five generations down the road."

About 100 current and former employees and customers joined community members Thursday at SunTrust for the anniversary celebration and opening of the capsule. For decades, through multiple names and location changes, it was the city's sole bank, and the celebration Thursday honored that legacy.

Other mementos found inside the capsule included coins, pendants, a 1949 stamp collection, a $1 bill, and historical documents or booklets from several groups around town, including the library and Masonic Lodge.

At the bottom of the capsule were golden bricks from Dunedin High, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, San Jose and Dunedin elementary schools, Dunedin Highland Jr. High and Chase Memorial, an elementary school for African-American children that closed three months after the capsule was sealed.

Leafing through tables filled with heavy leather-bound books full of photos, news clippings and even handwritten ledgers from the bank's earliest days, former bank employee Jackie Chalk, 87, recalled attending the 1949 capsule ceremony.

The bank received an album, which it later converted to a CD, of the WTAN-AM 1340 radio broadcast of that ceremony, led by bank president and one-time Dunedin Mayor A. J. Grant. People listening to the recording Thursday chuckled as Grant waxed on about "these bank employees and their machines" that were so sophisticated they could add, subtract "and I believe some even find that missing number for you."

A laughing Chalk remembers thinking during the lengthy ceremony that Grant "would never shut up." At the time, she was about 23 and pursuing what turned out to be a 45-year career that saw her go from sorting paper clips as a teen to retiring as vice president in 1988.

On the recording, Grant introduced Chalk as she placed bank financial statements from 1913 and 1948 in the capsule. Thursday, she said she never thought she'd live to attend the capsule's opening alongside colleagues and customers who, in the old days, functioned like a second family.

"It brings back a lot of memories," Chalk, a First Presbyterian Church member, said, clutching a worn historical booklet pulled from the capsule. "I didn't know all that stuff went in. That was a long time ago — when I was a child," she joked.

In the late 1970s, Judith Davis, an artist who uses the alias J.M. Rogers, filled the walls of the old bank building with murals of beach scenes. Her husband Tom's contracting company, Davis & Associates, built the current branch.

"I've been to maybe 1,300 openings of banks and facilities, and this is the only one I've come back to," Tom said. "Because of the time capsule, I thought it would be nice."

Dunedin Chamber president Lynn Wargo smiled as she studied some of the capsule's documents, recognizing the names of prominent Dunedinites that "we've seen in all the history books."

Items that were not claimed by their respective organizations Thursday will be covered in acid-free paper to halt deterioration, then displayed at the Dunedin Historical Museum.

Keyonna Summers can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4153. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

   
Comments
Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa called Wednesday for artists to send in their ideas for a big piece of public art for the outdoor plaza between one of the $3 billion project’s office buildings and the new University of South Florida Morsani College of Med...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016

Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016

Tourism brought in a record $112 billion to Florida’s economy in 2016, up about 3 percent from 2015, according to Visit Florida figures released Wednesday. About 10 percent — $88 billion — of the state’s gross domestic product came from tourism in 20...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Apple to build 2nd campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Apple to build 2nd campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Associated PressSAN FRANCISCO — Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the U.S. that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall from the c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

LA SEGUNDAA Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrated that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Temperatures falling fast; freeze warnings issued for Tampa Bay

Temperatures falling fast; freeze warnings issued for Tampa Bay

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued freeze warnings for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Manatee and Sarasota counties.A cold air mass is moving southward through the Florida peninsula dropping temperatures across the Tampa Bay ar...
Updated: 1 hour ago
McDonald’s manager gets ovation at Seminole Heights investigation ceremony

McDonald’s manager gets ovation at Seminole Heights investigation ceremony

TAMPA — Delanda Walker, the McDonald’s employee who gave police the tip that led to an arrest in the Seminole Heights slayings, received a standing ovation Wednesday during a ceremony thanking citizens who helped in the investigation.Mayor Bob Buckho...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Casino company set to sail again Thursday after deadly boat fire

Casino company set to sail again Thursday after deadly boat fire

PORT RICHEY — Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz said it plans to reopen on Thursday and resume shuttling passengers back out to its gambling vessel in the Gulf of Mexico three days after a boat fire forced 50 passengers and crew to abandon ship.The 72-foot...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Snow, ice and record cold grip the South; at least 8 dead

Snow, ice and record cold grip the South; at least 8 dead

ATLANTA — A layer of snow and ice and a record-breaking blast of cold closed runways, highways, schools and government offices across the South and sent cars sliding off roads Wednesday in a swath of the country ill-equipped to deal with wintry weath...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Dow Jones closes above 26,000 for first time

Dow Jones closes above 26,000 for first time

The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):4 p.m.Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to its first close above 26,000 points.The Dow had traded above that level on Tuesday but wound...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pasco opens cold shelters, joining Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando

Pasco opens cold shelters, joining Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando

Temperatures are set to drop Wednesday and keep dropping, Tampa Bay. It’s time to take tonight’s lows seriously.That’s why cold shelters are opening in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties.PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Goodbye 70s. Hello freeze w...
Updated: 2 hours ago