In My Opinion: Time capsule from 1924 a reminder of the value of newspapers

The May 3, 1924, edition of the Smiles newspaper with a story about Beaches Softball and Scarboro Beach Amusement Park. The paper was one of a number of items in a time capsule put in the cornerstone of the Kew Beach Presbyterian Church's Extension Sunday School on Courcelette Road from May of 1924.



Earlier this month I had the pleasure to be able to meet with Rev. Greg Daly at Beach United Church and learn more about a time capsule delivered to the church that told the story of the apparently long-forgotten Kew Beach Presbyterian Church Extension Sunday School.

This Extension Sunday School was located in southwest Scarborough on Courcelette Road, and it was fascinating to find out more about how it came to be. (You can read more about this in our story on Page 2 of the June 25 edition of Beach Metro Community News or on our website at )

I will admit, though, that what really caught my attention were the copies of newspapers from May of 1924 that had been included in the time capsule.

The newspapers were in very good condition considering they’d been sitting in a tin box for 100 years, and they provided a glimpse into what life was like locally in May of 1924.

People always tell me print is dead and journalism’s future is only digital, but I guarantee you nobody’s putting a website link in a time capsule.

For those of you who put floppy discs, CDS or memory sticks into time capsules over the past few years, good luck with that. And how anyone will ever put the “cloud” into a time capsule is beyond me.

Those newspapers from 100 years ago were history you could actually touch.

One of the papers in the time capsule for the Extension Sunday School was for a publication called Smiles. The May 3, 1924 edition of the paper was in the time capsule and Smiles reminded me that community newspapers focussing on local news have a long and proud history.

The front page of that edition of Smiles had the Beaches Soft Ball schedule printed on it. Some of the games had Woodbine vs Kew Beach; Bellefair Beavers vs Merchants; Silverbirch vs Capitals; Aquatics vs Lockwoods; and Corpus Christi vs Veterans.

You may find it interesting to know that just last week Beach Metro Community News received an email from a reader asking us to print the East Toronto Baseball Association schedule. It’s like 1924 was only yesterday.

Smiles was published by The Wilson Publishing Co. Ltd. at 73 Adelaide St. W. The paper’s editor was Hector DeMers, who lived at 345 Waverley Rd. in the Beach, and I tip my hat to him that 100 years later I can read his work.

The masthead from the May 3, 1924 edition of the Smiles newspaper. Note that the editor – Hector DeMers – lived at 345 Waverley Rd.

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