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The centennial anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic made big news last week as folks recalled that tragic night.
Maritime Academy of Toledo Foundation and the Toledo Club presented An Evening on the RMS Titanic: The Second Admiral's Ball and Silent Auction April 14 in the grand dining room of the club. Guests arrived at the front entrance where cadets saluted and welcomed them to the evening that set sail at 1800 hours (6 p.m. for nonmariners).
Ladies and gentlemen, some in attire similar to that of 1912, strolled about as they bid on silent auction items.
PHOTO GALLERY: Maritime Foundation Event
Dock David Treece and his friends came in a limousine. Also among the crowd were Peggy and Ben Brown, she in her grandmother's dress and he in tails; Bill and Jean Buckley, Hilary and Dave White, Keith and Susan Burwell, Tom and Brenda Geiger, John and Yolanda Szuch, Marianne Ballas and Jim Maciejko, Peggy and John Lewis, Joseph and Ann Pilkington, Henry and Pam Herschel, Doug and Kim Kearns, Tom and Marlene Uhler, and club president Joseph H. Zerbey IV, The Blade's president and general manager, with Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications Inc., and his wife, Susan.
The focus of the night was a re-creation of the first-class menu for the last meal that was served on the Titanic. It was a nine-course gourmet dinner with wines to match. One could imagine how it must have been back in an era of opulence, where white-glove service was a norm for such occasions. But this night, grand as it was, was about those lost at sea.
Emcee Jim Hartung reminded everyone that out of bad comes good, and not to take friendships and dreams lightly. Steve Toth, Toledo Public Schools Board of Education president, said many of the maritime staff aboard the Titanic sacrificed themselves for others. John McMurray, WJRT meterologist from Flint, Mich., who attended a maritime academy in New York, rang the bell in memory of those who lost their lives.
The $15,000 that was raised benefits the Maritime Academy, founded in 2006 by Renee Marazon, superintendent, who was present that night.
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"A Night to Remember" cocktail party in honor of those who perished and those who survived the sinking of the Titanic, was at the waterfront home of Ted and Robin Hoeflinger on Shoreland Avenue. Ladies in long gowns and big hats, men in tuxedos, and some sporting life jackets made up the group of nearly 80 guests. The night was filled with discussion of the Titanic, from what went wrong, to how it could have possibly been prevented, and how it affected the maritime rules of today.
Among the "survivors" were Mike and Inga Block, George and Vivienne Sommerfield, Peter and Patty Ruma, Sallie and Bob Eddy, Jim and Holly Bolander, and Jim and Bridget Marlow.
History with tea
Tea on the R.M.S Titanic presented by Historic Perrysburg, Inc., was April 14 at Carranor Hunt and Polo Club.
Ladies, many in period hats and dresses, received their boarding passes into the event. The passes represented those of passengers who may or may not have survived. They included the name, age, country, where they boarded, where they were headed, their traveling companion, and cabin number. The goal was to remind everyone about the passengers who died.
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PHOTO GALLERY: Tea Event
Chatter continued until a special guest strolled into the room: The unsinkable Molly Brown, aka Patrice Spitzer. Silence came over the room as she relayed stories of that tragic night, feeling lucky to be among the 700-some survivors out of the 2,214 on board.
She came to Europe on the Olympia and was to return to the States on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. She was a socialite but never forgot her Irish Catholic roots.
Brown continued her life of community service after the disaster. She supported labor, women, children, education, and historic preservation. She got Mark Twain's works translated into braille for blind soldiers. But when the official hearing regarding the Titanic disaster was held, her testimony was not heard in court because she was a woman.
Before the tea ended, there was a moment of silence as the bell tolled for every decade since the disaster. Assisting with the tea were Becky Visser, Donna Carnegie, Helen Haas, Betty Hill, Renee Jayne, Darlene Limmer, Donna Ohls, Judy Sikorski, Betty Swaninger, Carol Lynn Wilson, and others.
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There were many other Titanic themed gatherings, including a screening of A Night to Remember April 13 at Way Public Library.