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Hundred-year-old angry message in bottle discovered under toppled Queen Victoria statue

Dominic Smithers

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Hundred-year-old angry message in bottle discovered under toppled Queen Victoria statue

When you're trying to get your point across to someone, there is playing the long game and there is playing the long game.

And a group of workmen have finally had their message read, over 100 years after they hid it inside a statue if Queen Victoria.

Last year, a statue of Victoria was pulled down by protesters in Canada after the bodies of hundreds of Indigenous children were found in mass graves at state-run schools.

Over 200 were discovered in May, followed by hundreds more at a different Catholic school.

A further 182 children were then found on Wednesday, June 30, at a former Catholic-run school near Cranbrook.

At the time, people took to the streets to show their anger, toppling monuments to Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, the head of which was removed and then thrown in the nearby Assiniboine River.

The letter had been hiding in the statue's base for over 100 years. Credit: Manitoba Provence
The letter had been hiding in the statue's base for over 100 years. Credit: Manitoba Provence

And while removing the base of the statue of Queen Victoria, to make way for a replacement, workers recently pulled out a bottle, which had been hidden inside for over 100 years.

Inside the the bottle was a note, which appears to have been an apology dated 30 July, 1921, a time when alcohol was outlawed through prohibition.

Speaking to CBC, Reg Helwer, minister responsible for government services, tried to work out what the message said.

He told the outlet: "It says, 'On account of the Prohibition, we are unable to adhere to the custom of depositing a bottle of brandy under the stone, for which we are extremely sorry', I believe is what it says."

The mysterious note was signed by a stonecutter, a bureaucrat and several other workers.

According to Mr Helwer, items like this are often found.

He added: "Apparently, there are things of that nature around the legislature. As we move stones, we do discover things like this.

"To me, it's a very neat story, especially with the age of the building, just recently celebrating a hundred years not long ago."

The authorities are now working out how to best preserve the letter.

The statue was pulled down last year. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
The statue was pulled down last year. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

As well as being pulled down by protesters last year, the statues were covered in red paint and appeared to have flags around their necks.

Queen Victoria's plinth had red handprints marked all over it, with the message: "We were children once. Bring them home."

Following the horrific findings, Pope Francis issued an apology for the actions of some people within the Catholic Church, who worked at these schools in Canada.

He said: "For the deplorable conduct of those members of the Catholic Church, I ask for God's forgiveness and I want to say to you with all my heart: I am very sorry.

"And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon."

Featured Image Credit: Design Pics Inc/Alamy Stock Photo/Province of Manitoba

Topics: Politics, World News, Royal Family

Dominic Smithers
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