Town set to embark on Titanic project

“As one saw her steaming slowly, a majestic monster floating it seemed irresistibly into the harbour, a strange sense of might and power pervaded the scene. She embodies the latest triumphs in mercantile engineering...”

The purple prose of a Cork Examiner reporter describing the arrival of the Titanic into Queenstown, as Cobh was then known, a century ago.

Shortly before noon on April 11, 1912, the Titanic arrived at Queenstown where seven people disembarked and 123 boarded the magnificent vessel to journey to the new world. Within two hours she was again on her way with Queenstown being the ship’s final port of call. When Titanic lifted its anchor off Roche’s Point at the mouth of Cork harbour, few would have contemplated that three-and-a-half days later a tragedy of epic proportions would unfold.

The memory of that fateful journey forms the backdrop of a series of events unfolding in Cobh this year to commemorate the triumph — and tragedy — of the Titanic.

Marc Anderson, project director of Titanic 100 Cobh 2012, outlined the series of events planned at a ceremony in Cobh last night.

Among the events will be a special nostalgic St Patrick’s Day Parade with marchers adorned in the style of 1912. An exhibition entitled Titanic — Reflections and Reactions — Queenstown 1912 opens in March in the Cobh Museum and will run for the rest of the year.

The main events will take place in April, starting with the visit of the Cruise Liner Balmoral. This forms part of a 12-night memorial cruise from Southampton from April 8 which will follow the Titanic’s original itinerary, passing by Cherbourg on the French coast before calling into Cobh.

On April 11 Cobh will play host to a tribute which will include an Air Corps fly-over and a Navy fleet review.

A series of outdoor concerts are scheduled to take place from April 11 to 14 which will tell the story of the Titanic’s connection with Ireland, north and south.

“As Cobh was the last port of call for the Titanic the town plays a very significant part of the Titanic story,” says Marc. “The series of commemorative events will run throughout 2012 and many of them will be outdoors in locations such as the Cobh’s promenade and adjoining streets in the town.

“Titanic 100 Cobh 2012 is a series of events to remember the Titanic and the people associated with her in a major way.”

* www.titanic100.ie

MAIN EVENTS

*March 17: St Patrick’s Day parade in 1912 style.

* April 9 to 15: Outdoor entertainment daily.

* April 9: Visit of the cruise liner Balmoral.

* April 11: Naval review and Air Corps flyover.

* April 15: Ecumenical service of remembrance.

* May: Short film competition.

* June: Concerts on Spike Island.

* July: Vintage fair on the streets of Cobh.

* August: Maritime festival and regatta.

* Sept to Dec: Lectures, exhibitions, recitals and theatrical performances.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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