Teen magazine revealed a fresh face in late 1999. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Fears of killer robots, metal trees found in B.C. man’s 1999 time capsule

Family, friends reacquaint themselves with items tucked away before Y2K scare

Scary thoughts of the future pertaining to possible killer robots and metal artificial trees are among writings made in a time capsule of items tucked away by B.C. man Dan Robin, family and friends on New Year’s Eve 1999 to be unveiled 20 years later.

Dustin Karemaker was just 13 in 1999 and drew pictures of a killer robot and a metal tree, wondering what might materialize.

“I hope that in about 100 years there aren’t giant killer robots and metal artificial trees,” he wrote. “I hope that things improve by global used electric cars and solar power things.

“I don’t think any of that Y2K stuff will happen. In 20 years, I will be 33. Wow!”

Rather perceptive for an early teen.

There’s plenty of songs that capture the essence of the motivation for the group.

For starters, there’s Jim Croce’s “if I could save time in a bottle.”

And then the Steve Miller Band’s “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.”

Robin and company wanted to essentially preserve that moment in time before the start of the 2000s and then reconvene at the end of 2019 to have a look back at what was saved and what everyone had written as predictions and observations.

“Twenty years is a long time,” conceded Robin of Crofton. “Things change.”

The world was on the verge of the Y2K threat and the uncertainty surrounding whether computers would click over to 2000 without serious issues occurring.

Robin remembers all the machines at the Crofton pulp mill being slowed down as a precautionary measure.

“It could have caused the entire mill to shut down,” he indicated.

But as the world prepared for the clock to tick past midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, all fears were allayed.

“As everybody knows, nothing happened,” Robin chuckled.

In the last half hour or so before the big moment, everyone assembled at the Robin household wrote letters and put away magazines and newspapers from the time period into three cylinders for storage.

As Robin said, a lot can change in 20 years. He was 43 and is now 63, both his parents were alive at the time and are now deceased, and that’s just the beginning.

Oldest daughter Holly White of Duncan is now 36, middle daughter Jennifer Robin of Duncan is 34 and youngest daughter Theresa Buchanan of Kelowna is 30. Dan Robin has seven grandchildren among them.

It’s obviously been enough of a lapse in time for another generation.

“They were so excited to see it,” said Robin of his daughters. “They were little kids, they remember it.”

Sean Karemaker was 16 in 1999 and showed an accomplished artistic ability evident in his drawings at the time that he carried into later years.

“The number of the approaching year is insignificant,” Karemaker wrote. “It is the prophecies and impending hate that are pushing it along. Anyway, good luck if that is a factor.”

The early drawings exhibited by him were actually a sign of things to come. He now teaches art at three different universities and has done some work in China with his talents.

The Karemakers were among the friends gathered with the Robins on Christmas Eve 2019 to open the time capsules. There was a magazine with a burgeoning Britney Spears on the cover and newspapers from around the Cowichan Valley, including a real estate section from The Pictorial that showed some rather cheap housing prices by today’s standards, as well as individuals letters and some libations for good measure.

“We had a lot of fun here,” said Robin. “Twenty-seven people were here for the opening of the time capsule.

“We laughed, cried, it’s all the emotions.”

Only two of the original three cylinders could be located. There was a move along the way and Robin’s hoping the other cylinder can still be found because it contained a letter from his dad and other family members he’d like to see.

The Robins and company don’t plan to wait another 20 years for the next one. They’re cutting the time period down to 10 years and putting together items and letters again to reveal in early 2030.

“It’s a good reason to have a gathering to make a time capsule,” reasoned Robin.

It’s truly history in the making.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Dan Robin with a magazine cover featuring a very young Britney Spears, the cover of the Pictorial real estate section and other newspapers from the end of the 1990s. (Photo by Don Bodger)

A variety of printed materials were contained in time capsules unveiled by Dan Robin, family and friends on Christmas Eve. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Included in the Dan Robin family and friends time capsule was a copy of Teen magazine featuring Britney Spears and an issue of the Ladysmith Chronicle. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Artwork and writings by Sean Karemaker of Crofton contained in time capsule. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dustin Karemaker’s letter contained in the time capsule that included a killer robot drawing. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

This photo of approximately 10 years ago shows Laureen Fabian, on the left, and daughter Caterina Andrews. Fabian went missing last October and her daughter is looking for answers. (Contributed photo)
Laureen Fabian’s disappearance remains a mystery

It’s been a year since she went missing

Adam Schmidt is currently at the BC Children’s Hospital. (GoFundMe/Laurel Miller)
Community comes together for a 15 year old Burns Laker admitted at BC Children’s hospital

A fundraising campaign to support the family is being run now

Last year’s Halloween saw a sunny day and in-person costume contests. (Blair McBride photo)
What’s Burns Lakes’ spooktacular plan for this Halloween?

Trick or treating, online contests and more for this season

WKE students pose with carpentry tools in front of the ADST trailer that will allow the school to have a fully operational mobile wood shop. (Karen Ware photo/Lakes District News)
William Konkin Elementary school undertakes project to teach intentional kindness

Students to learn to build crates, grow produce and share it with community

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Most Read