OSWEGO – This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the great ship Titanic and the H. Lee White Marine Museum will commemorate the centennial with a premier event, “A Titanic Affair,” on April 14 at the American Foundry in Oswego.
“This very special event will honor the centennial with a re-creation of the first class dinner, dancing, music and history of the evening aboard Titanic,” said Mercedes Niess, the museum’s executive director.
Entertainment will be provided by harpist Marcella Slatter and bandleader Don Goodness with the Do Good Swing Band.
Guests will mix and mingle with interactive period character performers from the community and SUNY Oswego directed by theater professor Jonel Langenfeld Rial of the college’s theater department.
Tickets are on sale now for $100 each.
The highlight of the admission price is the preparation of a first-class menu similar to that served aboard the Olympic-class Titanic.
It will feature an eight-course dinner with the appropriate wine pairings.
Guests will also observe a commemoration ceremony presented by George DeMass, chaplain to the Titanic Historical Society.
A silent auction featuring an assortment of elegant prizes will take place and guests can purchase tickets for a set of deck chairs similar to those on the famous White Star Line ships.
Each person will also receive a unique memento to mark the occasion.
For a nominal fee, a professional photographer will be on hand to document the evening, placing guests against a backdrop of the famous grand staircase.
Honorary event chairs Martha and Terry Hammill noted, “This is an once-in-a-lifetime event. We look forward to sharing this historic 100th anniversary re-creation with guest passengers, both past and present.”
To get into the spirit of the evening, the public is invited to register for ballroom dance lessons with experienced dance instructors Steve and Tanna Olin. Guests will learn the waltzes of the period from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, March 29, April 5 and 12 at the Oswego YMCA Armory on West First Street.
Niess added, “The story of the Titanic continues to bring people together and connect them in a way that few events in our history have. We are encouraging people to call and reserve their tickets as soon as possible.”
Alliance Bank is the main city sponsor for the premier event and The Palladium-Times is the media sponsor.
This event is part of a year-long recognition of the historic disaster offered by the H. Lee White Marine Museum.
An expanded edition of the exhibit, “Titanic: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary,” will be on view in July and August. It will include many items from the personal collection of DeMass, as well as the painting “Leaving the Coast of France, April 10, 1912, 9:30 p.m.” by artist Russell Porter.
The painting is displayed courtesy of the artist’s son Robert Porter, of Auburn, NY.
The H. Lee White Marine Museum hosted two sold-out programs with Oswego Town Historian DeMass last fall. He developed many close ties to a number of survivors of the Titanic disaster and their families as chaplain of the Titanic Historical Society.
A recent showing of the 1953 movie “Titanic” starring Barbara Stanwyck, Clifton Webb and Robert Wagner was well-received by attendees.
The movie was hosted by the marine museum and Atom and Felacia Avery, owners of the newly-renovated Beacon Hotel in Oswego.
“It was so popular that we are hoping to show the 1958 version of the movie “A Night to Remember” in the fall,” said Donna Kuhn, president of the H. Lee White Marine Museum’s board of trustees.
The deadline to purchase tickets for the gala is April 5.
To learn more about upcoming events, call the museum at 315-342-0480, or visit www.hleewhitemarinemuseum.com or find them on Facebook.