Former Estevan resident finds 100-year-old message in a bottle

A former Estevan resident recently discovered an old message in a bottle in Assiniboia.

Remington Walker was busy renovating the building, which is more than 100-years-old, when he discovered a bottle after removing a heat register on Friday.

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He spied the rolled piece of paper in the old 375-millilitre, mickey-sized bottle.

 “Oh cool,” Walker exclaimed. “I see a message inside.”

Walker phoned the Assiniboia Times before opening the bottle to reveal the mystery.

However, when Walker opened the bottle and unrolled the paper, he discovered this wasn’t an SOS message from the 1800s, nor a hidden treasure map leading into the jungles of Peru. Rather, the message was a statement inscribed in explicit, parental guidance terms and directed at a man named William with an unreadable last name beginning with ‘W’.

Even so, Walker’s discovery still brought a bit of intrigue to Assiniboia on a Friday afternoon.       

Walker has lived in Assiniboia for seven years. Prior to that, he was a long-time resident of Estevan.

Messages in bottles have played roles in nautical history as well as fiction. When the SS London began to sink in the Bay of Biscay off the coast of western France on January 11, 1866, the doomed passengers floated bottles with farewell posts to friends and relatives in England.

Nine years in later in the Bay of Biscay, Van Hoydek, the ship’s steward for British cargo ship, the Lennie, along with cabin boy Henry Trusillo, released 24 bottled communications in 1875 detailing how their captain and officers were murdered by mutineers. French authorities received the messages, rescued Hoydek and Trusillo, then dealt with the insurgents.

Frances Wilson Grayson, niece of American President Woodrow Wilson, attempted to be the first woman to complete a solo transatlantic flight. Tragically, her amphibian plane disappeared somewhere between Long Island in New York and Harbour Grace Newfoundland on December 23, 1927. Although Grayson’s plane and her remains were never recovered, a message possibly linked to the flight was located in Salem Harbor in Massachusetts in January 1929. The message read: “1928, we are freezing. Gas leaked out. We are drifting off Grand Banks. Grayson.”

More than 80 teen migrants were deserted on a boat near Costa Rica in 2005 by the crew who were illegally transporting them. The teens didn’t have any communication equipment, so they jammed an SOS plea in a bottle then threw the glass vessel into the ocean. Fishermen discovered the message and the shipwrecked children were rescued.

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