Titanic’s Victoria connection

Titanic tragedy's 100th anniversary

Sidney Scammell

One hundred years ago this Sunday (April 15) the purportedly unsinkable ocean liner Titanic struck an iceberg 600 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland while on its way to New York, taking more than 1,500 lives with it.

Before setting sail for the Big Apple, the Titanic stopped in Southampton, England. Sidney Scammell, pictured above in a family photograph, was a 14-year-old boy working part-time as a fruiterer, delivering fresh produce to the Titanic before it left.

Scammell family history says Sidney, father of Victoria resident Jim Scammell, was down in the hold counting boxes of bananas when it was announced, “All ashore that’s going ashore.” Sidney scampered up the eight flights to the main deck, only to discover that the gangplank had been drawn in. His only hope of getting off the Titanic was to lower himself on a rope to a smaller boat waiting below.

Once safely on shore, Sidney watched as the Titanic sailed off into history.

This weekend, the Maritime Museum of B.C.’s regular Salty Sunday activities are being replaced by a storytelling session relating to the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, as well as other shipwrecks closer to home.

The session happens from 1 to 3 p.m. at the museum, 28 Bastion Sq.

editor@oakbaynews.com

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