Tag Archives: Maritime

Of Course I Know R.M.S. Carpathia, The Setting For The Christmas Revels In Hanover, NH & Cambridge, MA.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related post:
Christmas Revels At Dartmouth, NH: Tickets Went On Sale Today
August 15, 2012.
Revels North (i.e., Hanover, NH at Dartmouth) and Revels (Cambridge, MA) Doing Same Irish 1907 Christmas Show
Sept. 2, 2012.

British, Cunard Royal Mail Ship (R.M.S.) Carpathia (named after an European mountain chain). ‘Royal Mail’ designates that it was licensed to carry mail for the British Royal Mail.

R.M.S. Carpathia, true to its designation ‘Royal‘, is the HEROIC British Cunard liner, under the command of an intrepid British captain, Capt. Arthur Henry Rostron, that rescued 710 souls after the Titanic disaster on April 15, 1912.

Carpathia which got there two hours after the sinking, after a four hour dash, saved the day and most of those in the water. The Carpathia and its crew were lauded as heroes — Capt. Rostron was knighted by the British and received the Congregational Gold Medal from the U.S. That is the Carpathia. [We will not talk about the S.S. Californian that for reasons unknown did not go to rescue.]

The Revels is set in the Carpathia in (December ) 1907. I find the choice of that day (not to mention the ship) cute. This year, 2012, is the 100th year anniversary of the Titanic disaster. So, Revels is kind of exploiting that. By saying 1907 they are getting a 5 year separation from the 1912 event. As it transpired the Germans torpedoed and sank the Carpathia in July 1918. So 1907 is cute.

It will be good. The Carpathia is a much loved ship — especially by anyone who knows anything about the Titanic.

I have to now confess that I am a vicarious Titanic buff; my son from 1995 to about 2003 (from when he was 3 to about 11) being totally and utterly obsessed by the Titanic. During those years all things Titanic ruled his life — and consequently mine. We still have SOME of the artifacts from those years of Titanic fever. There are at least two models of the Titanic in the house — one of them an Airfix model that I painted and constructed (the only model out of close to a hundred that I ever bothered to paint properly). We also have a small metal model in the dinning room. Matthew, my son, also got an amazing cross-stitch of the Titanic. That is on the wall. I just went and counted. Not counting a few books that Devanee has ‘borrowed’ for her room over the years, I have 13 books (from what I can see) on the Titanic. There might be a few more around.

Not sure exactly how Matthew, around age 3, got so involved in the Titanic. It started with a fascination of sunken wrecks and then homed in on the Titanic — most likely given all the stuff he could watch on TV, even then, about Bob Ballard and the Titanic.

In the Summer of 1995 I was doing a number of seminars in the U.K. We all went over. I took the kids to Greenwich (as in G.M.T.) because of the huge, scenic park and the boat ride on the Thames to get there. We straddled the GMT line, and the kids as I expected ran riot in the park. Then we went into the museum. Matthew wondered off. On the wall there were these huge, old oil nautical paintings — many of them involving ship wrecks, Greenwich touting its role in facilitating navigation to minimize maritime disasters. I found him intently studying a picture of a sinking ship, talking to himself. It was like an epiphany. He was into ship wrecks.

For the next 18 months, more or less non-stop, to anybody that would listen, he would talk about the ‘Dumpster House’ — or something that sounded like that. We have never got to the bottom of that. He definitely was referring to the Greenwich Maritime Museum, but called it the ‘Dumpster House’. [We can’t remember, but maybe he saw a dumpster outside the building.] The ‘Dumpster House’ was synonymous with ship wrecks. Matthew, as was my older daughter, Danielle, three years older, were water rats. We had got our first lake house and boat the year Matthew was born. To Matthew water and boats were part of his life.

So OUT Titanic odysseys began. I got him books. He watched National Geographic and Discovery. He had a denim Titanic shirt, a green T-shirt and a cap. I think we still have the cap, Devanee having appropriated it from her brother.

When the movie came out in 1997 he couldn’t go to see it. He was 5. So I got him the 2-tape set the day it became available. Now we get to an aiding image I have of my two older children. Danielle took it upon herself to make sure that Matthew, all of 5, will NOT see any of the ‘inappropriate’ ‘girlie’ parts in the movie — she was particularly concerned about the scene in the car (in the hold). She would either fast forward the tape when it got close to that section or she would cover his eyes with her hand. There were days when Matthew would watch the movie twice a day. I can still see them, Danielle with her hands clasped over Matthews eyes and the TV showing the rocking car.

So, this is why I know the Carpathia — plus in April we, Deanna and the two younger kids, watched about 6 hours worth of new, 2012 documentaries on the Titanic.