Titanic graves to get needed facelift in Halifax cemetery

One of Halifax’s historic cemeteries where victims of the Titanic are buried will be getting a much-needed facelift.

Fairview Lawn Cemetery final resting place for 121 Titanic victims

Children stand behind gravestones for each of the Titanic victims buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax on the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking. (Sabrina Fabian/CBC)

One of Halifax’s historic cemeteries where victims of the Titanic are buried will be getting a much-needed facelift.

In Halifax, 150 of the more than 1,500 victims who died on April 15, 1912 after the massive ocean liner struck an iceberg are buried.

The Fairview Lawn Cemetery is the final resting place for 121 people who did not survive the world’s most famous tragedy at sea.

Halifax was considered an ideal centre to receive the victims because of its connections to other cities by rail and sea, which facilitated the return of bodies to families who could afford it.

The White Star Line paid for simple grey headstones, while more ornate markers were often paid for by the family. Not much maintenance has been done on the grave markers which have suffered some wear and tear in the more than 100 years since the victims were buried in 1912.

Now, the Halifax Regional Municipality has put out tenders, willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for someone to clean the monuments, whiten the writing on the headstones and pave the well-worn pathway that leads to the final resting place of Titanic victims.

Halifax's connection to the Titanic has made the city a history buff’s mecca. The centrepiece of any Titanic-phile’s journey to Halifax is often the cemetery where tens of thousands of tourists come to pay their respects every year.

“In the early morning, with dew on the grass, it’s quite slippery and I can't count the number of people who come in to Fairview Lawn Cemetery to see the Titanic victims,” said Halifax cab driver Eric Calnan.

John Simmons, with Halifax Regional Municipality parks, said the work should start in the spring.


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