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Victoria man surprised to learn he authored 1966 note in B.C. beach time capsule

Letter found 56 years later by Rathtrevor Beach tourists
Dick Brown at 16. (Submitted photo)

Two cousins printed a note on Thanksgiving Day 1966, placed it in a small glass bottle and buried it in the sand at Rathtrevor Beach.

Nearly 56 years later, a family of tourists was amazed to find it deep under the high-tide line.

Dick Brown, who was 16 at the time, said he has fond memories of spending holidays at the Beach Acres resort in Parksville with family.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither cousin remembers printing the note more than a half-century ago, but they recognized their printing when a family friend forwarded Brown a PQB News article about the time capsule discovery, which included a photo of the note.

“I’m just making some presumptions that I, as a 16-year-old with my six-year-old cousin in tow, printed this message so that he would be able to read it,” said Brown, who lives in Victoria. “He was probably a beginning reader at six or seven years old.”

Both signed the note at the bottom.

READ MORE: Victoria family discovers 56-year-old message in bottle on Parksville beach

He said the family holidayed at the resort many times during his childhood, including Thanksgiving weekend 1966.

“I opened the article and saw the names Dick Brown and David Brown and my first reaction was ‘oh, Brown is not an uncommon name and it’s kind of an interesting coincidence,’” he said. “Then as I looked more carefully at the dates and location and then inspected the note itself, all was revealed.”

The bottle was dug out of four or five feet of sand by Jeff Fowles, whose daughter, Leah, curiously picked it out of a sand pile. The discovery was made June 12 while the family was staying at the Ocean Trails resort, also on Rathtrevor Beach.

“We certainly wouldn’t have dug a hole four or five feet, so that’s happened over time,” Brown said. “We might have put it in a foot of sand, but I guess that’s what happens in time as sand washes over itself.”

The cousins live fairly close to one another and see each other at family get-togethers from time to time.

Brown, 72, was a counsellor in the Greater Victoria School District before retirement.

He and his wife, Karen, stayed at Beach Acres about a month ago.

“It was a little trip back in time, it was deja vu.”

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Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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