In This Issue
This special issue of The Titanic Commutator is the second of two commemorative 100th anniversary editions and is completely different than the previous special issue last quarter. The stories are primarily devoted to Titanic events and commemorations that took place in April and, as years pass, will be a real “keeper”.
Installing the Titanic Centennial Memorial, the weekend convention and especially the Unveiling Ceremony on April 21, 2012, was an exciting day for THS members. How did we get to commemorate this magnificent memorial in Oak Grove Cemetery in Springfield, Massachusetts? A discussion began a few years ago when the question popped up continually, “What is the Titanic Historical Society planning for the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s maiden voyage?” THS members have contributed to placing memorials in Cherbourg, France, Cobh, Ireland, cemeteries in Southampton that remember Titanic lookout Fred Fleet, various crew members, donating to Titanic-related conservation and preservation projects in several countries––the thought occurred that nothing had been done here.
All options, including a cruise, were given serious thought and we decided to take a separate path that not only would be meaningful but also would be open to all members who wished to participate. Most importantly, we wanted the project to be lasting. THS Advisory Board member Paul Phaneuf came up with the idea of a Titanic Centennial Memorial––a distinctive monument dedicated to the ship and those who sailed on her and one that fits with the Titanic Historical Society’s mission––to preserve for all time––the memory and history of the ship and her people. The three-year project’s result was a weekend to remember.
Kate Finnegan reports on Southampton’s week long Titanic 100 Commemorative Event with photos and highlights. The floral tributes from organizations, unions, etc. at St. Mary’s Church were impressive and Kate participated in some of the services representing the Titanic Historical Society.
The USCG International Ice Patrol held several memorial services in different locations. The most impressive was the distribution of millions of rose petals that had been shipped from Titanic Branson and Titanic Pigeon Forge representing the souls who died aboard Titanic.
Amateur radio people commemorated Marconi, Wireless and the 100th anniversary on Cape Cod and W1MGY, the THS’s call letters transmitted from the Titanic Museum from April 13 to 15. All in all, whether they were large or small observances, RMS Titanic and the people who built and sailed in her, were remembered around the world.
Phil Gowan presents a fascinating biography of Norman and Bertha Chambers. During their first few years of marriage, Norman and Bertha made several trips to Europe and the Caribbean. Norman spoke five languages and easily made friends with people in other countries when they were abroad. In the waning weeks of a European vacation in 1912, they would make a fateful decision to return to New York aboard the new White Star Liner Titanic. It would be another thrilling adventure for them both, they thought.
Gamblers on Titanic are always people of interest and Mike Herbold presents his research to date of George Brereton. The men specialized in bilking 1st Class passengers in card games. They traveled 1st Class and often used aliases to escape identity. One of the gamblers aboard Titanic was on the passenger list as 34 year-old George Brayton. He also went by the name George Bradley and George Braden, and later, George Baldwin. Eventually it caught up with him.
INSTALLING THE TITANIC CENTENNIAL MEMORIAL AT OAK GROVE CEMETERY
UNVEILING THE TITANIC CENTENNIAL MEMORIAL
THS’s TITANIC CENTENNIAL MEMORIAL WEEKEND CONVENTION
USCG INTERNATIONAL ICE PATROL COMMEMORATES TITANIC
CENTENNIAL CASTING WREATHS AND ROSE PETALS
By the Editors
TITANIC SURVIVORS NORMAN CAMPBELL CHAMBERS, BERTHA GRIGGS CHAMBERS
By Phil Gowan
HIGHLIGHTS OF SOUTHAMPTON’S TITANIC 100 COMMEMORATIVE EVENT
By Kate Finnegan
THE MANY VOYAGES OF GEORGE A. BRERETON
By Mike Herbold
CAPE COD NATIONAL SEASHORE, CHATHAM MARCONI MARITIME MUSEUM, FALMOUTH AMATEUR RADIO COMMEMORATE WIRELESS & 100TH ANNIVERSARY
By Pete Burns
W1MGY COMMEMORATES TITANIC AT TITANIC MUSEUM
By Mike Gruber
RMS Titanic remembered by SSHSA, So. California Chapter on board Hotel Queen Mary. Thanks from Marcus Statler, Chris Tanasichuk for Manitoba Theatre project; Margaret McEachern, Per Person and Clark Peterswald. Gerard Thorne sends greetings from Cape Race and icebergs near St. John’s; Kate Buckley’s grave decorated by Barbara Magruder; what was the music played at Titanic Centennial Memorial? Anthony Pisciotta decorates the Rosenshine graves.
A Rainbow of Time and of Space – Orphans of the Titanic by Sidney F. Tyler; A Rare Titanic Family – The Caldwells’ Story of Survival by Dr. Julie Hedgepeth Williams and The Man Who Sank Titanic by Sally Nilsson. Reviews by Tim Trower.
The polished granite face of the new Titanic Centennial Memorial reflected people like spirits keeping watch over the ill-fated White Star liner. Photo: Karen Dougherty
A memorable morning, a memorable day as the assembled wait for the Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony at Oak Grove Cemetery on Saturday morning, April 21, 2012. Photo: Karen Kamuda
Happy reading! (Note: This issue will not be available until after August 1, 2012)