On right now, until June, at the Calgary Science Centre, is a display of artifacts from the Titanic and re-creations of the some of the rooms on board. The story of the Titanic has held our imagination since the ship went down and the fascination continues. This exhibit strives to tell the story of the RMS Titanic and the people who sailed on her through items retrieved from the wreck.
Like many disaster stories, the story of the sinking of the “unsinkable” ship has grown over the years. More and more people are finding personal connections with those who sailed on the Titanic,often through evidence found while doing genealogical or local history research.
We have several subscriptions to historical newspapers in our E-Library (under History and Genealogy) and it is fascinating to read accounts of the sinking of the ship and the aftermath. Every aspect of the loss is covered including lists of those who survived, a discussion of the effect of the loss on the insurance industry and even questions about the financial liability of the White Star Line for the loss of life and goods. It is also interesting to read about the Carpathia. I suppose I should have known that following the sinking only limited information would have been available, but I didn’t realize that the Carpathia didn’t come into harbor for more than a week after rescuing the survivors. Until the ship docked, information was sketchy at best and rumour ran rampant.
I also found out some things I didn’t know. Did you know that the president of the Grand Trunk Railway was lost on the Titanic? Mr. Charles M. Hays had given an interview to the London Times just before he set sail regarding investment in Canada (he urged caution). Also, did you know that two of the survivors of the Titanic lived in Calgary? Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dick were on their honeymoon in England and also purchasing furniture for their magnificent new Mount Royal home. The furniture was lost but Albert and Vera survived. Bert was the owner of the Alexandra Hotel on 9th Avenue East. You can see photographs of the hotel in the Community Heritage and Family History Digital Library.
Alexandra Hotel, 224 9th Avenue E, ca. 1931
Postcards from the Past, PC 1942