A Winnipeg man who lost his great-uncle in the Titanic tragedy a century ago says a twist of fate kept his father and great-aunt from going down with the ship as well.
In an interview with CBC's Information Radio that aired Wednesday, Mike Radcliffe said his father was supposed to join his uncle and aunt on that fateful trip, which departed Southampton, England, for North America on April 10, 1912.
But with the Mexican revolution underway at the time, Radcliffe's father and his aunt Adelaide were advised by family members to stay home while Adelaide's husband, Charles Sedgwick, went ahead.
Radcliffe learned that Sedgwick was in a second-class suite when a knock came at his door and a room steward said, "Mr. Sedgwick, there's a lifeboat drill."
"And he said, 'You know what? It's a dark and nasty night, I'm going back to bed. Tell me about it in the morning.' And that was the end of Charlie," he said.
"There was high, high mortality amongst males in second class on the Titanic, and he never made it."
Radcliffe, a Winnipeg lawyer and former MLA for River Heights, said he has been fascinated with the Titanic since he learned of his family's connection to the tragedy.
Radcliffe plans to attend a special dinner in Winnipeg on Saturday that will mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking. At that dinner, his wife will wear a locket that holds photographs of Sedgwick and his great-aunt Adelaide.
"They're going to serve the last meal in first class on Saturday night at the Manitoba Club, and so I want her to wear the locket," he said.