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A commemoration of Titanic proportions

You can hardly have failed to notice a plethora of film re-runs and re-releases, documentaries and new TV adaptations about the ‘Titanic’. Not surprising really, as this year commemorates the 100th anniversary of the liner's doomed maiden voyage. For those who survived, 15 April was indeed 'a night to remember'....

To gain a real insight into what happened that night, Halifax is the place to visit – no, not the one in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the one in Nova Scotia. Take a walk round the historic port and you won’t find any memorials, but you will see dignified rows of simple headstones, marking the unthinkable – and tragic – event which took place 100 years ago. For it was in the icy waters just off Nova Scotia that the unsinkable RMS Titanic sank in 1912, with the loss of over 1500 lives.

The story of the ship’s fateful voyage is well-documented and well-known – part 1 of Julian Fellowes’ TV version played on ITV on Sunday evening - watch it here on ITV player (Fellowes wrote 'Downton Abbey' so it must be good - in fact, I'm sure I saw Mrs Bates in second class) – and has intrigued people for many years. The tale has now passed into folklore but the heroic role played by the people of Halifax is less well-known. In commemoration, the city is hosting a series of fascinating exhibitions, uplifting art festivals, stirring concerts, and thought-provoking tours throughout the spring and summer this year to showcase the Halifax story.

In the aftermath of the sinking, it did not take long for news of the liner’s fate to reverberate around the world and, as the nearest large port to the disaster, Halifax soon became the focus of attention. In the days that followed, three ships were sent forth from this unassuming city on a mission of recovery, to retrieve the bodies of the dead and bring them back to shore for burial in the town’s three cemeteries.

The Titanic’s maiden voyage may not have had a happy ending, but it is fascinating, none the less, and people still have an appetite to learn more. No other city can lay claim to the wealth of memorabilia and documentary evidence that Halifax holds, and now is the perfect time to hold a wake – a joyous summer-long centenary wake – to celebrate the lives of those who perished - which you can attend as part of your Complete Nova Scotia Experience.

Posted: 28/03/2012 13:41:57 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: Canada, heritage, journey, media


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