A stamp in remembrance of the Titanic

A stamp to remember

Stamps set to be released by Canada Post to focus on the Titanic.

  • Mar. 14, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Ron Tabbert

The Golden Stamp Club

Thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, we can again be entertained by the greatest maritime disaster in human history.  Their acting and Dion’s singing will be on the screen again as we near the centennial of the sinking of RMS Titanic April 14, 1912.  The 1997 movie has been rereleased especially for the  anniversary.

Canada Post couldn’t be left out of the “celebration,” so there will be five stamps to commemorate the Titanic.  Two “permanent rate” stamps will show the forward bow of the ship and highlight Halifax, from where rescue vessels departed, and where 150 of the lost are buried.

Also highlighted is Southhampton, England, from where the ship sailed on April 10, 1912.  Almost five days later, just before midnight April 14, about 95 miles south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, she struck an iceberg; and, in spite of her 16 supposedly impenetrable watertight compartments, she took on water, ripped in two and sank.  Five compartments were punctured, one more than was considered likely in any accident.  The ship sank in less than three hours.  About 1513 lost their lives including the American millionaires John Jacob Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, and Isidore Straus.

Although there is no factual information to support the claim, one grave in Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax has come to represent the character portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the blockbuster movie.  J. Dawson was interred May 8, 1912.  Even today, people who’ve seen the movie leave flowers and mementos for “Jack” at grave #227.

Some think his real name was Joseph but he used only “J” to hide his Irish Roman Catholic roots.  Much like the character in the movie, he came from poor roots.  He worked as a coal trimmer who funneled coal to the stokers in the engine room, and leveled the coal piles to maintain balance in the ship.  As he left the ship, he made sure his union card was in his pocket so his body could be identified.

An investigation revealed that the ship was travelling too fast in dangerous waters,  it only had lifeboats for three-fourths of the 2220 passengers, and a ship close to the scene, the Californian, did not respond to the distress call because the radio operator was off-duty and asleep.  The Carpathia intercepted lifeboats and carried over 700 survivors to New York City.

Obviously, the outcome of the tragedy was several new regulations:  ships must carry enough lifeboats for all on board, there must be a full-time radio watch while at sea, and an international ice patrol was established.  If you visit Halifax, a tour of the water-front Maritime Museum RMS Titanic exhibit is well worth the time.

Some of the artifacts are from efforts to retrieve the sunken ship and its treasures, begun in the 1980s.  It appears a decision has been made by most involved to leave the great ship in peace at the bottom of the Atlantic out of respect for those who lost their lives in her untimely demise.

Canada Post will also issue a second pair of stamps showing the propellers of the ship.  They are black and white with the red White Star Line flag below.  All four stamps will be issued together in a souvenir sheet.  A $1.80, extra-long, international-rate stamp will also be printed.  It shows a side view of the luxury liner, as well as Cape Race, Newfoundland, the only land-based location that received the distress call.

All the stamps will be available at Golden’s Post Bureau April 5, so if you’d like a centennial souvenir, check with our Posties.

The Golden Stamp Club will share chit-chat and gossip on this and other philatelic matters at our next meeting 3:00pm, Sunday, March 25 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 909 South Ninth St. in Golden.  Everyone is welcome to come by, share their excitement for stamps, brag on their collections, trade, sell, swap or just tell tales.  This month we will also share a DVD about “Eccentric Stamps”:   glow in the dark stamps, embroidered stamps, stamps printed on wood or soccer ball leather, lenticular printed stamps and scratch-and-sniff items.  If you have questions, contact Ron at 250-344-5939, or relich@uniserve.com.


Just Posted

Your Mountain Minute

Your weekly news recap… Continue reading

Black Press Kootenay Career Fair underway in Cranbrook

Today, Thursday, August 22, around 40 employers will be waiting to meet potential new employees

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

GADSAR receives funding for building upgrades

Golden Star staff Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors unanimously approved an application… Continue reading

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read