Speaker Series Review – The Empress of Ireland

On May 29, 1914, the RMS Empress of Ireland was travelling down the St. Lawrence River, destined for England.  In the early morning hours, as a thick fog was set in, the Empress collided with a Norwegian Collier, the Storstad, and she sank in 14 minutes, taking 1,012 lives with her, including 167 members of the Salvation Army who were travelling to England for the third International Congress.  Author and artist Ian Kinder spoke about the Empress of Ireland, her sister ship, the Empress of Britain, what happened on the fateful evening of May 29, and the aftermath of the disaster. The wreck of the Empress of Ireland remains Canada’s worst maritime disaster in peacetime, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking.  We thank Ian for sharing the story, and we thank those who attended.

Ian Kinder addressing the crowd

Ian Kinder addressing the crowd

Ian Kinder with a copy of his book, A Tale of Two Sisters

Ian Kinder with a copy of his book, A Tale of Two Sisters

Ian signing his book for OHS Member Marjorie.   Marjorie's aunt, May Blakeburn, was on board the Empress of Ireland and did not survive the sinking.

Ian signing his book for OHS Member Marjorie.
Marjorie’s aunt, May Blakeburn, was on board the Empress of Ireland and did not survive the sinking.

The Hanagan Family.  Grace Hanagan, left, was 1 of 4 children to survive the sinking.  She was born in Oshawa in 1906. Photo from http://www.empress2014.ca/

The Hanagan Family. Grace Hanagan, left, was 1 of 4 children to survive the sinking. She was born in Oshawa in 1906.
Photo from http://www.empress2014.ca/

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