POLITICS

Saskatchewan Time Capsule: Franklin Joseph Robinson Identified As 'Mystery Man'

06/13/2012 07:16 EDT | Updated 08/13/2012 05:12 EDT
CP
REGINA - The mystery of the man in the century-old photograph has been solved in Saskatchewan.

The man whose picture was found in a time capsule that was encased in the wall of the provincial legislature is Franklin Joseph Robinson.

Robinson's granddaughter, Pat Malicki, identified him after seeing the photo on television.

"I just about fell off out of my chair...when it came on the news," Malicki said Wednesday in a phone interview from her home in Windsor, Ont.

"They showed a picture of Jadel, that was his nickname."

"Then they came on with the story about the time capsule and they found a picture in the time capsule and didn't know who it was. And I thought, it is Jadel!"

The mystery started when the capsule was opened last December to mark the legislature's 100th anniversary this year. The legislature officially opened in October 1912, although the time capsule was laid in 1909 during construction.

The items were put in the capsule by the governor general at the time, Earl Grey, and then-premier Walter Scott.

But the photo wasn't on the list of the time capsule's contents and provincial officials were perplexed.

They wanted to know who the man was in the old black and white picture and how did his picture get in the capsule. Kevin Doherty, minister responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission, asked people Tuesday to come forward with information.

Malicki, who works with the Windsor chapter of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and is a historian, had the answer.

She said Robinson was from St. Thomas, Ont., and moved west for work. He was a land surveyor by profession and worked for the government in various roles for a long time.

"He was also the one that did the survey for the province of Saskatchewan, for the boundaries. That's why the east and west boundaries are so straight," she laughed.

"At some point he became the deputy minister of public works and then when they decided to build the legislature building, they gave him the job of overseeing the construction."

Robinson died in 1918 when Malicki's father was just four-years-old. Malicki thinks he had a heart attack.

Malicki said she doesn't know how his picture ended up in the time capsule.

"A couple of people have asked me that today. They said, you know, would your grandfather have had a strange sense of humour," she said.

"And I said well, my father looked like him. My father had a very dry sense of humour, so my guess is that he just put it in as a joke. You know, never knowing what would happen. That's the only thing I can think of."

Malicki has visited Regina and the legislature that her grandfather helped build. She said it's great.

"I just wandered around and thought 'Oh, this is wonderful.' Not many people have a legacy like that."

Also on HuffPost

Saskatchewan Time Capsule: Franklin Joseph Robinson Identified As 'Mystery Man'-from-mt-206466