Celebrating 125 years of Belmont House
16 March 2018
Belmont House’s rich 125 year history came to life with the recovery of a time capsule beneath the foundation stone of the 1892 mansion.
Adrian Howie, grandson of the original builders and Neil Renaud of the Colo Shire Family History Group discovered an article in the Gazette from March 1892 which detailed the laying of the time capsule within the foundation stone.
An appeal to the public for financial support to uncover the capsule resulted in some very generous donations allowing us to search for the treasure.
After many hours and using different methods, builder Jeffrey Menzies, located the capsule which was a glass stoppered bottle cemented into a trench dug under the foundation stone.
Enclosed inside were the newspapers of the day, a scroll listing the names of all present at the laying of the foundation stone on February 29, 1892 and “all the coins of the realm” – 88 coins from all over the world.
The time capsule’s contents, along with historical photographs and some of the original tools used in the construction of the building were exhibited on the special day.
The local Jazz band, The Belle Quartet entertained visitors as they toured the house and heard stories of Belmont’s history from Adrian Howie, Br Julian Liddiard (a resident for many years) and Bob Charley (grandson of Philip Charley, the original owner).
St John of God Richmond Hospital Chief Executive Officer Steve Brooker, Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman, Deputy Mayor of Hawkesbury Barry Calvertall shared their stories of the hospital and the role it has played in the community in the past and today.
Caregivers, patients and the community enjoyed high tea served on the veranda to the tunes of the Belle Quartet’s melodies.
Many stories and personal anecdotes were shared, with former residents of the property tripping down memory lane.
Mr Brooker thanked all involved in organising the event with particular acknowledgement to the “Friends of Belmont House”, a newly formed group set up to ensure the story of Belmont House at St John of God Richmond Hospital continues to be told.