Kukuiula’s Official Opening time capsule is a romantic idea wrapped up in Hexamethalyne Teramine.
We like to think of a time capsule as a romantic message in a bottle that, in some misty future, will be opened by people riding personal flying-machine-surfboards wearing not-yet-invented fabrics that change color and perhaps even style when the air temperature changes. Advanced beings, they’ll crack open our time machine, turn over our artifacts and wonder…who were these people?
The team at Kukuiula has created a time capsule, and a lovely idea it is. It’s just that physically, it’s not what you expect. It’s solid stainless steel, of course, made to resist the advances of the many-legged population of the tropical underground, the damp, and the inexorable rot of time. But the reason Kukuiula’s could last 500 years is that along with the contents chosen for the capsule is a mild organic alkaline called Hexamethalyne Teramine (HMT).
According to Tom Marak of Time Capsules Inc., the company that fashioned Kukuiula’s capsule, HMT “neutralizes the acidity of the paper, extending its life expectancy 25 to 40 times that of untreated paper.”
That’s good, because Kukuiula’s capsule contains copies of The Wall Street Journal, The Garden Island paper and USA Today – all dated December 28, 2010, the day of the member blessing at the then brand new Plantation Clubhouse. There are also notes and letters from members, a Hawaiian Koa wood bowl offered by cultural curator La’a, and now, post-grand opening, a recognition that members Tim Jochner and Peter Sirois were the winners of the first member-member golf tournament ever held on our Tom Weiskopf course.
Here’s how it works: HMT is weighed into a fine mesh cotton sack and placed into the capsule – which is then sealed with a special rubber gasketing material and an inert silicone ‘grease’ that’s applied to the perimeter of the portal. Then oxygen is evacuated from our time machine and replaced with dry argon gas. At that point, the HMT transforms from its solid state into a gas which permeates the capsule’s contents. (The time capsule pros call it Vapor Phase Deacidification.)
Air and liquid-tight, the capsule will be ready for burial in the great lawn near the Plantation House A celebration of Kukuiula’s first grand opening, the capsule will be reopened December 28, 2060. Keep the date…for your great grandchildren.