Centuries-old coins and newspapers were part of an exciting find earlier this year. Jared Ng reports.

The artefacts found were 18th and 19th-century coins, newspapers and a service booklet that was used during the laying of the cathedral cornerstone on June 18, 1843.
The artefacts found were 18th and 19th-century coins, newspapers and a service booklet that was used during the laying of the cathedral cornerstone on June 18, 1843.

“A discovery like this makes us feel connected to the past. It also inspires us to hang on to the faith and preserve the history of the Church,” said Vicar General Msgr Philip Heng, rector of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

He was referring to the discovery of a 173-year-old time capsule found under one of the cathedral’s columns earlier this year during the ongoing restoration project.

The 18th and 19th-century artefacts in the time capsule include British, French and Spanish coins, a copy of The Singapore Free Press, the Straits Messenger, the Bengal Catholic Herald and the Madras Catholic Expositor. Of significance is the inclusion of the service booklet used during the laying of the cornerstone on June 18, 1843.

The time capsule was placed beneath this cornerstone on this date and discovered only on Jan 29 this year.

Time capsule found where first cornerstone was

The pediment facing Victoria St had collapsed on Sept 3 last year, and the cathedral’s heritage consultant was asked to choose one of the columns that held the pediment to be reused for the newly planned landscape. The time capsule was found under the last column nearest to Bras Basah Road where the first cornerstone of the building was laid.

In total, 24 coins and five publications were found.

“This is very exciting because it captures the history of the Church in Singapore in a very concrete way. We have artefacts to show hard facts about the Church’s history,” Msgr Heng told CatholicNews.

Left: Some of the newspaper publications found include the Bengal Catholic Herald and The Singapore Free Press. Right: A service booklet used during the laying of the cornerstone on June 18, 1843, was also found in the time capsule.

Newspaper publications found include the Bengal Catholic Herald and The Singapore Free Press.  A service booklet used during the laying of the cornerstone on June 18, 1843, was also found in the time capsule.

Read more at : Catholic News

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