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Call for families to collect time capsule letters and photos

Call for families to collect time capsule letters and photos
9 September 2021

The City of Kwinana is working to reunite items from a time capsule, buried in 1979 to mark the 25th anniversary of Kwinana’s foundation, with their rightful owners.



(Caption: City of Kwinana Local History Officer Vanessa Wiggin, Alice Benz and Alda Benz)

Alda and Alice Benz said they were emotional to receive an envelope of family photos on 27 August from a time capsule buried in 1979.

The photos were submitted by Alda’s father Giorgio Sterle who lived in Medina with his wife Edda for 20 years until 1984.

Alda, their daughter, was initially in nursing school in Perth and spent her holidays at her parents’ home with her daughter Alice.

Mayor Carol Adams said Alice was contacted by City of Kwinana Local History Officer Vanessa Wiggin via LinkedIn upon the discovery of unclaimed items from the 1979 time capsule which was raised in 2004.

“The Apex Club of Kwinana installed a time capsule under an artistic centrepiece in the Apex Park, corner of Summerton Road and Gilmore Avenue on February 18, 1979 on the 25th anniversary of the foundation of Kwinana,” Mayor Adams said.

At that time, envelopes were sold for $1 so members of the community could stow their photographs and letters.

These items were then placed in a stainless-steel capsule to be raised on the 50th anniversary of Kwinana. The items were removed in 2004 by the Apex Club, but not all of the envelope’s owners could be traced at the time.

An image of the raising of the Apex Club time capsule in 2004.

(Caption: The raising of the Apex Club time capsule in Apex Park in 2004)

Mrs Wiggin rediscovered the remaining items in the local history archives and she set out to reunite them with their owners, returning 15 to date.

Mr Sterle was a policeman from Italy who migrated to Australia and worked for an American trucking company while living in Medina, and Edda worked as a nurse at Fremantle Hospital.

Caption: Alice Benz, Giorgio Sterle and Dash

(Caption: Alice Benz, Giorgio Sterle and Dash)

Giorgio and Edda arrived in Australia in 1955 and, as migrants, their names are featured on the WA Museum’s Welcome Wall.

While both Giorgio and Edda are now deceased, Alda and Alice took a literal trip down memory lane after receiving the photos, revisiting the family’s former home in Medina to find it carefully renovated by the next person to reside in the house following the Sterle’s departure from Medina in 1984.

“We are so grateful to the City of Kwinana for all their efforts in delivering such special moments of the past,” Alice Benz said.

The City of Kwinana would like to hear from the following people, or their relatives, who have not yet claimed their envelope from the time capsule:

Andrew Paul Noble – then an apprentice electrical fitter living in Parmelia.

Brian C Norman – Shell National Trade Manager, lived in Wembley Downs.

Mark Wall – attended Officers Cadet School in Portsea.

Margaret Prior – once lived in Victoria, parents lived in Rockingham.

Maria Barrett – lived in Glasgow.

These people, or those who can help, are asked to please contact Vanessa Wiggin, Local History Officer on 9236 4309 or


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