Halifax hopes to mark Titanic anniversary in big way
150 Titanic victims buried in Halifax cemeteries
The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic will be marked in 2012, and a group in Halifax says the city should play a large role in the commemoration.
There are already ceremonies and events planned in Ireland where the "unsinkable" ship was built, as well as Southampton on the south coast of England — where the ship set sail on its maiden voyage.
The province is expected to give some money toward a Titanic anniversary event, though the amount is not yet known.
The Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912 and sank less than three hours later, about 590 kilometres south of Newfoundland, killing 1,522 passengers and crew.
Ken Pinto, who heads the Titanic 100 group in Halifax, says the city has an intricate and little-known Titanic connection.
There are 150 Titanic victims buried in Halifax – in the Fairview Lawn, Mount Olivet and Baron de Hirch cemeteries – which the Nova Scotia Museum says is the largest number anywhere in the world.
The search and rescue effort for survivors was launched from the city — three boats were sent from Halifax, the Mackay-Bennett, Minia and Montmagny.
The largest passenger steamship in the world, the White Star Line vessel was equipped with the most modern wireless technology available in its day. The wireless transmissions, sent in Morse code, were crucial in saving survivors and communicating news of the sinking.
"It's so sad when you look at the graves," said Kelly MacDonald, a tourist from Ontario.
MacDonald and her friend Shannon Brodie went to see the granite stones of Halifax's Titanic victims Tuesday.
The wreck’s final resting spot remained a mystery until 1985, when a joint American-French expedition found it 3.8 kilometres below the ocean surface.
Divers confirmed that the ship had split apart; the stern and the bow were located 600 metres apart from each other and are facing in opposite directions.
Pinto said a funding announcement from the province should be made early in the new year.