|Wednesday, 15 April 2009|
By Andrew Clarkson » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:30 am
The 97th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic was marked by a ceremony in Cobh, Co Cork, yesterday.
The Irish Lebanese Cultural Society laid its first wreath at the annual commemoration which got under way shortly before 3pm.
The laying of the wreath highlighted an often-overlooked statistic: 123 people from Lebanon travelled on the Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912, along with the mostly-European passengers and Asian crew.
The small village of Kfar Mishki in the lower Bekaa Valley of eastern Lebanon was devastated by the loss of at least eight of its inhabitants. Another village, Hardeen, lost 12 of its locals while eight others survived.
The tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic is commemorated every April in Cobh.
Cobh, then known as Queenstown, was the Titanic’s last port of call on a journey which ended with the loss of 1,517 lives.
Yesterday afternoon’s parade in Cobh left the Clock Tower Gallery at the old town hall on Lynch’s Quay and continued to the Titanic Memorial in Pearse Square.
Following prayers, hymns by the Commodore Male Voice Choir and a wreath-laying ceremony, the proceedings moved to the Promenade for prayers and hymns by Cobh Confraternity Band and the reading of the names of the 79 passengers who boarded the liner in Cobh and died in the north Atlantic. Hundreds attended the event.
The mayor of Cobh, Cllr John Mulvihill jnr, placed a wreath in the sea. The ceremony concluded with a bugler playing the Last Post and Reveille.
Cobh is set to play a major role in the 100th anniversary commemorations of the sinking of the Titanic, with ecumenical and wreath-laying services among the activities planned.
Cities such as Southampton, Liverpool, and Halifax in Nova Scotia, New York and Cherbourg are to work together to host a series of events in 2012.
Cobh Town Council has approved plans to be involved in the commemoration ceremonies.