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Halifax group remembers Titanic victims 110 years after ship’s sinking

Alexa MacLean / Global News

Friday marks a grim anniversary. It’s been 110 years since the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean.

An estimated 1,500 people lost their lives in the tragedy, but only 337 bodies were recovered. Nearly half are buried in Halifax, N.S.

Halifax played a significant role in responding to the sinking of the RMS Titanic during her maiden voyage in 1912. The city sent three ships out to help with the recovery.

Alexa MacLean / Global News

Now, a local group of Titanic enthusiasts and historians gather at local cemeteries every year to commemorate those who lost their lives.

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“It’s certainly a day of reflection, appreciation, sadness,” said Deanna M. Ryan-Meister, founder of the Titanic Society of Atlantic Canada.

“There’s a lot of different emotions that come from this because there’s so many people who lost their lives. For the 712 who were rescued — their lives were changed forever.

“Some people spoke about the tragedy, some people never mentioned a word of it afterward. Family members didn’t even know because they just kept it very quiet.”

Read more: First Titanic images in 14 years show a rapidly-decaying wreck

The Society formed in 2013 to share information and educate others of the history of the ship.

“We have been busy ever since,” said Ryan-Meister, adding that the Society hosts events, presentations and educational programs.

110 years later, there is still a lot to learn about the ship, she said.

“There’s the human element, there’s the construction of the Titanic, there’s all these different things that people are very very interested in.”

According to Ryan-Meister, one member of the Society is a descendent of a Titanic crew member. Several others are descendants of crew of the CS Minia, one of the ships tasked with searching for bodies after the Titanic sank.

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“That is a very special thing for us,” Ryan-Meister said.

 

On Thursday, the Society co-hosted a virtual day of remembrance with the Belfast Titanic Society. It included educational, historical and musical presentations.

That night the group organized a lantern ceremony at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery, the Titanic burial site.

“It was very moving,” Ryan-Meister said.

On April 21, the society will be co-hosting the International Ice Patrol Titanic ceremony, which occurs every few years.

— With files from Alexa MacLean. 

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