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B.C. family discovers 56-year-old message in bottle on Vancouver Island beach

Buried treasure inadvertently dug out of 4-foot deep hole in sand
A note written in 1966 was discovered in a bottle on a Parksville beach by a Saanich family visiting the Ocean Trails Resort on June 12. (Submitted photo)

A Victoria family on a visit to Parksville uncovered a unique buried treasure on June 12.

Lori Lumley was enjoying a day at the beach with her family at the Ocean Trails Resort when her son-in-law, Jeff Fowles, began to idly dig a hole in the sand near the high-tide line.

He made it about four or five feet down, when he tossed up a shovel-full of more than just sand.

His six-year-old daughter, Leah, pulled out an item out of the pile, which appeared to be a small glass cream bottle that contained a note, written more than 50 years ago.

“Leah just grabbed it and went, ‘what’s this?’” Lumley said. “And her mom went ‘ew, that looks dirty, throw it away,’ and I went ‘no, no, no wait, there’s something in it!’”

The bottle was topped with material similar to tinfoil and had rusted. Some water made it inside, though it did not disintegrate the paper.

“I think the parents and the grandparents were more excited than the six-year-old, she kind of glossed over it,” Lumley said.

Fortunately, the 56-year-old note was written in pencil, rather than ink, and was still readable.

The note reads:

October 10/66

Dick & David Brown were here, we buried this great note. Thanksgiving Weekend.

David Brown

Dick Brown

READ MORE: Parksville Beach Festival Society unveils sand sculptor list for 2022

Lumley, a former police detective, estimated the writing was done by a child in the eight to 10-year-old range. She added she thinks they likely only buried it a foot or so deep and over the decades more sand accumulated on top.

This was the fourth year the family has travelled to the Parksville-Qualicum Beach area to enjoy a stay at a resort. Lumley said she hopes to track down the note’s authors via social media.

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Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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