Page 26 - The Times Titanic Souvenir 1988
P. 26
Halifax is similar to many other ports - except it is here that 720 Titanic victims are buried, reports ERICA WAGNER ISASTER sfruck on a night in April. A passenger ship of the White Star Une, built in Belfast, sank in icy waters. The great majority of those aboard - men, women and children - drowned, But this was not the tragedy of.theTitanic. The liner's name was the S.S. Atlantic. It was 1873, 39 years before the more notorious White Star liner would founder. But both disasters occurred not far from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax is no stranger to tragedy, Five years after theTitanic sank, it was nearly destroyed when a ship carrying ammunition exploded in the harbour. But Halifax is inexorably linked with what is regarded as the most terrible marine disaster of all. On April 17, three days after the tragedy, the cable-layin g ship M ackayBennett left the Canadian port town carrying coffins, tons of ice, embalming fluid and an 15,000. The museum's Richard Goree, one of the ship's fireman. He was undertaker. It would take her tfuee days to MacMichaels, while glad of all the her grandfather. reach the site of the Titanic's remains, and attention, has found there's a little historical Fairview lies at the end of the Windsor once there her sailors would collect more correction to do. There's a J. Dawson Road, not far from the centre of Halifax. A than 300 bodies. About 150 of them are buried in the cemetery out in Fairview - the couple of minutes' walk along a neat, tarred buried in and around Halifax. real James Dawson and nothing to do with drive, brings me to a section of the The town's Maritime Muszum of the the fictional Jack Dawson, played by graveyard where the stones are curved into Atlantic has a fine exhibition devoted to the leonardo DiCaprio in the film. the shape of a ship's huIl.Titanic, a white liner, including unusual artefacts such as a "Girls have been leaving notes and sign says simply. deck chair. a section of ./ theatre tickets and even a Some of the headstones do not even bear thepanellingfromthe O Hg|ffnX ig f*fnVmf model of the Queen a name, only a number. Some are ornate: first-class lounge Mary at the grave," says the sione which survivor J. Bruce Ismay, (bearing a clear linknd tn thm Sr#n* Mr MacMichaels. "But chairman of the White Star Line, erected to resemblance to the James Dawson was a his secretary, Ernest Edward Samuel panelling from msrttlmo trngmdy ) Dublin-born coal Freeman, who perished; the stone erected Titanic's sister ship, trimmer on the ship, he by the crew olthe MackayBennetttothe Olympic, which can be seen in Alnwick's wasn"t the figure of the film, and weYe "unknown child", a blond twoyearold boy White Swan Hotel, see next page) and tried to get people to understand that." He pulled from the water. examples of 'Vreckware": picture frames notes, howwer, that renewed interest in the There are plain stones too: to Luigi Gatti, and cribbage boards, carved by sailors cemetery (there are l22graves there; a few the liner's fiei and Jock Hume, first fromthe MackayBennett and other funeral more are scattered in the town's Roman violinist in the ship's band. ships, as mernentos of the uagedy. Catholic and Jewish cemeteries) has later, when I stop for lunch, I could have The muszum has seen visitor volume enabled repair work to be done on them, a "Thai-tanic' sandwich (dricken strips, triple since the ope'ning of the film Titanic: Mr MacMidraels shows me a letter from lettuce, tomato, peppers, peanut sauce), I in July of this year they recorded 45,000 a woman in England requesting a muld buy aTitanic board game, aTitanic visitors, when normally theyd expect photograph of the headstone of Ftank beer mug, or an inllatable Titanic,witha 28
   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31