Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 July 2019

Abu Dhabi school makes up for lost time by preserving golden memories

The British School Al Khubairat held a time capsule ceremony on Wednesday

Patrick Moody, Britain's ambassador to the UAE, and school governor Younis Haji Al Khoori attend the time capsule ceremony. Victor Besa/The National 
Patrick Moody, Britain's ambassador to the UAE, and school governor Younis Haji Al Khoori attend the time capsule ceremony. Victor Besa/The National 

An Abu Dhabi school is making up for lost time by preserving a treasure trove of golden memories in readiness for a milestone moment.

The British School Al Khubairat will be aiming to ensure history doesn't repeat itself after unveiling a gold-plated time capsule brimming with precious keepsakes at a ceremony on Wednesday.

The school, which turned 50 in 2018, first buried a capsule to mark its 25th anniversary back in 1993.

But after significant redevelopment in the years since, not a single building from that time still remains, and attempts to unearth the capsule have proved fruitless.

The new capsule will remain on show in a display case so it is not misplaced, but will remain locked until the school's landmark 100th anniversary in 2068.

The school is preserving precious memories, such as a visit from the UAE's Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed. Courtesy The British School Al Khubairat
The school is preserving precious memories, such as a visit from the UAE's Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed. Courtesy The British School Al Khubairat

“This time we won’t lose it because everybody can see it,” said Peter Church, a bursar at BSAK.

The school is going to great lengths to ensure half a century of school memories are never lost.

"We have kept hard copies of everything in a secret compartment beneath the capsule, in case USBs won’t work 50 years from now,” said Mr Church.

Patrick Moody, British ambassador to the UAE, was among the attendees at the history-making event.

Trinkets to be stored for decades to come include pictures from the school's 50th anniversary celebrations, of pupils past and present and of memorable visits by Sheikh Zayed and Queen Elizabeth II, school newsletters and even old candy wrappers.

The gold-plated time capsule is being stored at British School Al Khubairat. Victor Besa/The National    
The gold-plated time capsule is being stored at British School Al Khubairat. Victor Besa/The National    

A digital copy of The National has also been included in the capsule, and so will the paper copy that includes this story.

"It will be the last thing to add," said Mr Church.

The capsule also contains highlights from the 2018-2019 academic year, which was quite eventful since the school was celebrating its golden jubilee.

“We’ve had a great year in many areas; we had international day with 3,000 people visiting with their families, we had a community ball, and one of the real highlights was the gala concert,” said headteacher Mark Leppard.

The school was also rated outstanding by the Association of British Schools Overseas (BSO) and Abu Dhabi Education Council.

“We had a real bump this year, so we asked parents and students to contribute with images and captions that could go into the capsule.

“Please take a look at what is in it,” he said pointing towards three boards that had printouts of everything included in the capsule.

“Next time you will see it is in 50 years; I doubt I will be around,” said Mr Leppard.

Headgirl of primary school, Lucy Johnson, said she was looking forward to coming back for the unlocking of the capsule.

The previous time capsule ceremony in 1993 did not end well, but the school has learnt a lesson from history. Courtesy British School Al Khubairat
The previous time capsule ceremony in 1993 did not end well, but the school has learnt a lesson from history. Courtesy British School Al Khubairat

“I submitted a memory video with my friend Nour, we put pictures of our memories in the school,” said the year 6 pupil.

She will be moving home to the UK in the summer.

“I will come back for the 50th anniversary. I will be 61, even if they don’t invite me I will crash the event,” she said.

Updated: July 3, 2019 07:00 PM

SHARE

SHARE