The Tin Box - Salvation Army Canada
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    The Tin Box

    Retrospective #31 October 16, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
    History in a box!
    History in a box!

    I was sorting through some of the SA- LP's (long-playing vinyl discs/records - for you youngsters) in our vast collection looking for inspiration on this cool fall morning when I spotted it. There on the shelf next to the records. A metal container that looked much like a family size cereal box made of copper. Curiously I took it from the shelf and examined it more closely. It was indeed copper and it was obvious that at one time it had been sealed shut. I say “at one time” because in removing it I had exposed an end that had been cut open to reveal its contents. There were no identifying marks or titles, nothing whatsoever on the exterior of this chest save a sticker with a number. What might it possibly be? Could it be a time capsule! It has to be! I’d never seen or handled one before but something like this comes to my mind when you mention a time-capsule!

    Now you will appreciate that one most show caution and care when handling these objects as to tear into them might cause irreparable damage. Though my excitement was growing, I calmly made a closer examination of the museum sticker and found the file number. I then headed for the computer with questions boiling over in the pot that is my brain!

    What is it exactly?

    Where did it come from?

    How old is it?

    How might it relate to today?

    What are the contents that I can’t clearly see without perhaps extracting them?

    The result of my digital search is as follows:

    [1 Copper Container from Corner Stone of Men's New Social Service Centre - 1952 Stone/Laying Ceremony, 183 Horton St. London, Ontario. Contents: London Echo, May 16, 1952: London Free Press, May 26, 1952: War Cry, May 24, 1952: 3 Programs: All The World, Jan. 19, 1952: Photograph - Old Men's Social Services Building.]

    From 1952 – that means it is sixty-five years old! Coincidentally I am listening to THE SALVATION ARMY A CENTURY OF SALVATION SONG as recorded at the Royal Albert Hall on July 1, 1965! (Just saying…65…)

    Even though the newspapers have been in the receptacle only half a century I decided not to open them up as they are starting to get brittle. I have in the meantime safely scanned the other items you will see below.

    Just take a moment to reflect upon and thank God for the many men who have been helped by this ministry over the years; think also of the many who have done the ministering and again thank God; one more, think of those who today minister in London, across Canada and in Bermuda, as well as all of those around the international Salvation Army world who will this very day know and/or dispense the grace of God. Fire a volley! Amen!

    It dawns on me as I write that this office is like a “time capsule” - a huge vault filled with cartons and cases of “chronology;” seasons that were but no longer are, people who were but no longer are (in this world that is), but all of them and all of us richly blessed and “preserved” in the marvelous “Grace-Chamber” of our God who WAS and IS and ALWAYS WILL BE! Hallelujah! In His Time!

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