Did you know that on the fateful voyage of the Titanic in 1912, the Captain had altered course and was heading for Halifax, Nova Scotia to refuel instead of going straight to New York? We learned that by accident when in Halifax, when I insisted that we should go to the Maritime Museum on the waterfront in Halifax. It was against the wishes of the others in our traveling group, but I insisted that the Titanic exhibit shouldn’t be missed. I was, of course, right and, of course, wrong. The Titanic exhibit is but a small part of a wonderful museum that you should indeed see when you are in Halifax.
Also not to be missed when you are in that part of the world is a trip to Peggy’s cove, small fishing village not far from Halifax with an amazing view and beautiful lighthouse that never was seen by the passengers on board the Titanic.
However, there are about 180 of the people who perished on the night the Titanic sank buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetary, there in Halifax. When the word went out that the great vessel was going down, Halifax was the nearest port and ships and boats from the port headed out to give aid and assistance in the rescue effort. The grim affair was of little use to the living, but many of the lost were plucked from the icy water and brought to rest in Halifax. In that day and age, it was not realistic to re-patriate the bodies of many who had been heading to America and a new life. So, their final resting place was in this cemetary.
Here , the victims are laid out in orderly rows in the form of a ship’s bow. Those who could be identified have their names engraved in uniform stone markers. They lie here together, rich and poor, young and old, made equal in the sea. Even generations after the tragedy some still seek these to find out what happened to a family member or confirm some mystery from a story told somewhere in time. There are some gravestones that bear names we all know such as
No. He wasn’t Jack Dawson from the movie Titanic, but he was a real person who lost his life on that April night. So, why did my traveling companions not want to go to the Titanic exhibit and visit the cemetary where these poor souls rest?
We had come into Halifax as the first port of call on a Canada and New England Cruise, so we had to get back on the boat and go back out to sea directly from the cemetary!