Nova Scotia commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster
The sinking of RMS Titanic on the night of April 14, 1912 was a human tragedy felt around the globe. Halifax played an important role in the story, and the 100th anniversary will be marked in events and exhibits throughout the year:.
The fate of Titanic is now one of the most well-known disasters in the world. What is perhaps not as well known is Halifax’s role as an initial rescue centre, and then as a recovery destination and final resting place for many of the ship’s victims. In recognition of the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking, there will be numerous commemorative events and special exhibits held throughout Nova Scotia in 2012, offering touching reflections on this tragic story.
Anyone with an interest in the Titanic can visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which is the permanent home of the largest collection of wooden Titanic artifacts in the world. From April 12 to November 4, the museum will present a special exhibition entitled “Cable Ships: Connecting Halifax to The Titanic and the World.” A photo installation by Andrew Danson Danuskevsky, “An Earnest Price: 150 Grave Stories,” will also run from April 3 through June at the museum. And on April 9, the museum will host “Depths of Sorrow”, which will combine live dance and multimedia performances.
For those connected with social media, you’ll definitely want to follow your Twitter feed on the evening of April 14. Throughout the night, the Maritime Museum of the Atlanticwill transmit the same wireless messages received 100 years earlier at the exact same time via Twitter. Simply follow the hashtag #TitanicMMA to receive the messages. The Nova Scotia Archives (@NS_Archives) will also be sharing diary entries from Haligonians written during that period, using the hashtag #Titanicnsa.
Groundbreaking research on the Titanic wreck conducted by the Geological Survey of Canada will be on display at the Bedford Institute of Technology, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. On April 15 and on Mondays to Fridays from May to August, visitors can view an exhibit of what the Titanic looks like today lying on the ocean floor.
The Nova Scotia Archives is home to a virtual exhibit of the Titanic that includes photos, passenger lists, fatality reports and British magazines of the time. Throughout the year, you can stop in on their Titanic open-house days and browse these poignant records of the disaster and learn more about the ship’s connection to Halifax.
From June 1 to mid October, Ambassatours Gray Line will offer a “Titanic 100 Year” Tour of Halifax. Among the stops: Fairview Lawn Cemetery, where guides will recount heart-rending stories about the 121 passengers buried there; Saint Paul’s Church, where a memorial service was held for the victims on April 21, 1912; and St. George’s Round Church where the crew of the recovery ship Mackay-Bennett held a service for the “unknown child” (identified 95 years later as English toddler Sidney Goodwin).
The 2012 production of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo will include a special salute to the Titanic. The Tattoo is the largest annual indoor production presented anywhere in the world, offering a rousing mix of military precision and colourful entertainment, taking place July 1st to the 8th.
Perhaps the most touching way to remember the Titanic will be to join the Night of the Bells on the evening of April 14. A candle-lit procession will walk from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to Halifax’s Grand Parade, passing some of the city’s Titanic landmarks along the way. Once at the Grand Parade, interpretive presentations and live performances will express the story of the sinking of the ship, her passengers, and Halifax’s recovery efforts. At exactly 12:27 a.m. – the time when the last signal from the Titanic was heard – a moment of silence will be held, church bells will ring and flares will be set off to symbolize the ship’s desperate call for help.
Titanic enthusiasts around the world can visit Nova Scotia to learn more about the enormity of the disaster. A continually updated list of events and information can be found at novascotia.com/titanic.