BLUEFIELD, WV – In 1976, as America celebrated its bicentennial year, a group of civic-minded Americans, members of the Bluefield (WV) Civitan Club, decided to create a time capsule to be buried and opened by Americans celebrating the tricentennial, in 2076, wrote the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. The problem is, they unearthed it (though they have not opened it), sixty years earlier.
AHEPA Executive Director Basil Mossaidis, the Telegraph wrote, explained that a Bluefield Chapter of AHEPA was chartered in 1927, and many of the members over the decades were Greek immigrants.
In 1976, Ahepan Paul Chryssikos, now deceased, who was also a member of the Civitan Club, petitioned the Greek government to allow marble to be used for the capsule from the same quarry where marble was used to build the Parthenon, Mossaidis said, the Telegraph wrote.
Because the Civitan Club no longer exists, the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce unearthed it, because it sits on its property but otherwise has no connection to it.
The time capsule should not be opened now, said Chryssikos’ daughter Virginia said, the Telegraph wrote, but to honor the memory of her father and those who created the capsule, it should be open as intended, on July 4, 2076.
Civitans are organization dedicated to community service, all of which stem from Civitan International. The Chamber attempted to contact them, as the Bluefield branch no longer exists, but they have not been receptive about taking responsibility, the Chamber said, according to the Telegraph.
Mossaidis pointed out the “intrinsic value” of the marble used, and how people are no longer allowed to quarry there, the Telegraph wrote. As it turns out, the capsule will be preserved at a public library, which pleases Mossaidis. “I just wanted to make sure the stone was preserved,” he said, the Telegraph wrote, although if it ever needed a good home again, AHEPA would be happy to take it, he added.