There Is Never Too Much Of A Good Thing
The Beach Celtic Festival was 'born' in 2004 in honour and appreciation of our Mum, Mima Sutherland-Graham. As well, our late father, Donald Arthur Graham was born and raised in the Beach so what better place to celebrate our Celtic roots. As popularity has grown for this event, we are so pleased to announce that next year The Beach Celtic Festival will be two days – Saturday September 10 and Sunday September 11 2011. The Celtic Festival has fast become a Beach Tradition and the neighbourhood welcomes every one every year to join in this celebration of Celtic music, vendors, food and fun !
The Beach Celtic Festival was 'born' in 2004 in honour and appreciation of our Mum, Mima Sutherland-Graham. As well, our late father, Donald Arthur Graham was born and raised in the Beach so what better place to celebrate our Celtic roots. As the creator of this event, I am proud to have both roots in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland and also very proud to be a first generation Canadian. As popularity has grown for this event, The Celtic Festival has fast become a Beach Tradition and the neighbourhood welcomes every one every year to join in this celebration of Celtic music, vendors, food and fun ! To all who supported us this year, Go raibh céad míle maith agaibh (a thousand thank yous !)
George Watters brings the 'Titanic' to the Beach Celtic Festival
Story: Lenny Stoute
Sometimes you can go home again. And once there find new insights into things you think you've known all your life. George Watters is a man who's had that experience and turned it into an adventure into his roots.
New to the exhibits at this year's 8th Annual Beach Celtic Festival is George Watters' White Star Line memorabilia show. Think of it as an artefact-powered time machine back to the short and ill-fated saga of the good ship Titanic, the folks who built and sailed upon her and the circumstances of her time.
Just how George Watters became involved with the Titanic is a saga in itself. Growing up in Belfast the Titanic was this big historic thing that was always in the public consciousness. Watters remembers that even during his brief job stint at the Yards in the Sixties the ghost of the Titanic still hovered about the place.
It was on a now notoriously foggy night that the White Star Liner RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, sinking on April 15 1912, with the loss of 1,517 lives in what remains one of the world's worst Maritimes disasters. Among the dead were 130 passengers bound for Canada and it was the Canadian connection that became central to Watters' Titanic involvement.
The Whitby-area Watters had emigrated from Belfast more than 20 years ago and is currently running a flourishing marketing business, Watters Marketing. On one of his visits back to the home turf, Watters wandered into the Belfast City Hall and came on an exhibit of immediate interest to him.
It was a display of the legendary shipbuilding business, Harland and Wolff, which had been George's first employer out of school. Apart from that, the company's greatest claim to fame was as the builders of the Titanic. George browsed and picked out a number of souvenir items, mementoes of his visit and of an era long gone by.
All items from the small gift shop were imprinted 'RMS Titanic'. George's intrigued inquiries eventually led to a small town called Carrickfergus, some 18 kilometers outside of Belfast. Dwelling therein, the brothers Larkin, Ed and Stephen, owners of White Star Mementos, a booming little souvenir business run from the comfortable surroundings of their pleasant Irish town.
Mutual interest, kinship of Celtic blood and the magic of the 'Titanic' led to the three hammering out a business arrangement and George Watters began planning to set up a distributorship for RMS Titanic licensed gifts and souvenirs back in Canada.
Which, after more inevitable twists and turns, brings us to the Beach Celtic Festival and what you can expect to see there from Watters.
" The Titanic was the most luxurious vessel of its time and also the most technologically advanced. The White Star Line show offers a glimpse into that world and the way it was when the Titanic was launched. Once I started researching the idea of bringing the White Star Line items to Canada I discovered there was considerable interest in the Titanic. As we are coming up (next year) to the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, I can't see that interest lessening."
" We have between 40-50 objects in the line, manufactured under strict conditions whether in the original factory in Belfast or at a Southern Ontario location. These replicas of the time and surroundings range in size from lapel pins to playing cards to large sized prints of 'The Farewell' a depiction of the Titanic leaving the Belfast docks by the Irish painter Crossley".
Watters prides himself on making the White Star Line objects affordable to both the casual buyer and collectors not only of Titanic memorabilia, but also of paper products and fans of graphic design.
" We have a couple of DVDs that have proven of great interest to a wide market. The Yard is a portrait of the Belfast shipyard in the 1950's and 1960's. In the hey-day over 35,000 men were employed by Harland and Wolff, the shipyard which built RMS Titanic and RMS Olympic, two of the greatest ocean liners owned by the White Star Line. Vintage footage shows workers at skilled trades of a bygone era in ship building and the many thousand of general labourers going about the many vital daily routines which were needed to eventually make the Belfast yard a place of history".
The other DVD, titled RMS OLYMPIC TRANSATLANTIC FILM is vintage footage of the RMS Olympic leaving the City of New York bound for Southampton via Cherbourg in 1920. There is extensive coverage of all areas of the ship, making this an invaluable document as the Olympic was the Titanic's sister ship. It's a detailed trip back to the days of ocean liners at their finest. At one point, the Olympic is seen being tendered by the SS Nomadic, currently under restoration in Belfast Harbour's Titanic Quarter hopefully in time for the 100th anniversary in 2012. Look for the White Star Line exhibit at the 8th Annual Beach Celtic Festival Sept.10 &11. Stop and have a word with George; he's all handsome Irish charm and an amazing font of information on all things Titanic with many a juicy story up his sleeve. The only one we'll let slip is Watters' assertion the central plot point of the movie 'Titanic' was based on a true story but in reverse. Namely, the male character was wealthy and of good family, travelling with his undercover mistress.
'ACROSS THE HILLS THE PIPES ARE HEARD AND ANCIENT HIGHLAND BLOOD IS STIRRED'
Mima Sutherland Graham & Jean Darling Sutherland The Beach Celtic Festival is dedicated to our heritage! Ne Oublie!