by Dee Ryan-Meister, Titanic Society of Atlantic Canada
This year, we commemorate the 110th anniversary of the RMS Titanic tragedy. On April 15, 1912, Titanic sank in the North Atlantic, off Newfoundland. 1,496 passengers and crew perished. 712 survived; they were rescued by RMS Carpathia, and taken to New York, USA, final destination of Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage.
Halifax was integral in the recovery effort. Between late April and mid-June 1912, Cable ships CS Mackay-Bennett, CS Minia, CGS Montmagny, and SS Algerine recovered a total of 337 bodies; 119 were buried at sea, 209 were brought back to Halifax, and fifty-nine were claimed by relatives. Of these, 150 souls were buried in three local cemeteries— Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, and Baron de Hirsch, a private Jewish cemetery.
Among Halifax’s Titanic-related sites is Maritime Museum of the Atlantic’s permanent Titanic exhibit. St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Parade Square held funerals, and displays information about Hilda Mary Slayter and George Wright, parishioners who were the only two Atlantic Canadian passengers on Titanic. Hilda, a debutante, survived, but sadly, George, an entrepreneur, perished—his body was never found. St. George’s Round Church also held funerals, including the Unknown Child (identified in 2008 as Sidney Leslie Goodwin). All Saints Cathedral held the funeral of James McGrady, the last victim to be buried in Halifax, on June 12, 1912.
110 years on, Titanic history is still very relevant in the hearts and minds of many. Titanic Society of Atlantic Canada (TSAC), founded in 2013, educates about and advocates for RMS Titanic, other White Star liners, as well as Cunard liners (founder Samuel Cunard lived in Halifax much of his life). On April 14, TSAC will co-host Titanic Together: T110, a full-day virtual event, featuring presentations and interviews by Titanic Societies, historians, researchers, and descendants around the world. The Halifax segment, to air late afternoon, will include Titanic songs by Nova Scotian artists, including Heather Rankin.
TSAC will assist the US Coast Guard– International Ice Patrol for a Titanic Memorial Ceremony in Halifax on April 21.
For more information on these and other Titanic 110 events, follow Titanic Society of Atlantic Canada on Facebook, or contact Dee at: firstname.lastname@example.org