The Year of the Children is a 2023 Titanic Museum Attraction exhibit that shines a light on the 135 children who were on board Titanic. Who were they? Where were they going? What happened to them? Titanic Museum visitors will step back in time to find out.
“For the second time Titanic Museum Attraction has turned to the creative-quilting art form to deliver our mission message — to honor the memories and legacies of Titanic passengers and crew,” explains Mary Kellogg, Co-Owner, President and COO of the Museum.
Described by the American Quilters Society as a “must see” example of quilt artistry, Year of the Titanic Children quilt captures in cloth the names of the 135 children on board. They serve as the framework for a montage of images depicting life on board. This quilting masterpiece is the creation of Deborah Hipple of Ontario Canada. Hipple won 1st Prize in Non-Traditional Quilts for her first commissioned Titanic Museum piece entitled Destination: New York City.
Year of the Titanic Children Quilt will be on exclusive display during the American Quilters Society Quilt Week in Branson, Missouri, March 22 -25, at the Branson Convention Center. “This inspirational medium has the magical power to stir imaginations and open hearts like no other, and we’re proud to be contributors to this year’s quilting event,” adds Kellogg.
Launching a major new exhibit at Titanic Museum Attraction resembles the impending power of a tidal wave gathering strength and potential. It begins long before the actual event with museum curator Paul Burns. Burns interacted with many of the world’s most prominent collectors of Titanic artifacts to arrange for what will possibly be the most complete presentation offered anywhere of artifacts specific to children aboard the Titanic. Click here to watch the Children of the Titanic video.
Titanic Museum Attraction research specialist Crystal Hopkins began a deep dive into information for dozens of new children’s boarding passes. The focus on the children aboard the Titanic now includes a boarding pass for all 135 children. Hopkins is an invaluable asset for the entire Titanic Museum Attraction crew. As part of the preparations for the children’s exhibit, crewmembers were offered the opportunity to work one-on-one with her as they each prepared to convey the children’s stories in more depth than ever before.
Each crewmember chose two children to make uniquely their own, learning their stories. Their study went beyond details included on the boarding pass. “For example, one child is thirteen-year-old John Ryerson. I’ve always been fascinated with his story, especially since he was nearly not allowed to board a lifeboat because even boys of his age were not always considered children,” relates a crewmember.
Recently a boy in the Memorial Room was waving his boarding pass and pumping his fist. “Yea, I survived,” he said. “Master John Ryerson survived!” The boy’s dad smiled and tapped his son’s shoulder. “Well, I’m Second Officer Charles Lightoller, and I survived as well.” A crewmember saw a perfect combination and began sharing the connection between Second Officer Charles Lightoller and young Ryerson. “Did you know that Officer Lightoller tried to prevent your person, young John Ryerson, from boarding the lifeboat?” The boy’s face was a study in amused disbelief as he looked accusingly at his dad. The crewmember brought to life the reality of a time when even eleven, twelve, and thirteen-year-old boys were not always considered children.
It was likely Master John Ryerson who is responsible for a quote from Officer Lightoller that has become famous. When Ryerson’s father sternly insisted that his son be allowed to board, Lightoller reluctantly gave in but said loudly to those around, “But no more boys!” Young Ryerson grew up to be a golf enthusiast and played more than 1400 of the world’s golf courses and even owned his own course.
Partnership with Samaritan’s Feet International
Mary Kellogg-Joslyn says when the Titanic Museums began developing 2023’s “The Year of the Titanic Children,” the team also wanted to find a way to give back. “As we dedicate our Titanic Museums to the 135 innocent children aboard the RMS Titanic, Samaritan’s Feet International allows us to dedicate our museums to the children of today,” said Kellogg Joslyn. “We are proud to announce a partnership that has been created with a non-profit whose mission aligns with elements of The Year of the Titanic Children campaign, one of which are the children’s shoes that will be on display. Samaritan’s Feet International, a Charlotte, North Carolina non-profit organization that serves and inspires hope in children across the world by providing shoes, was the perfect fit.” According to Samaritan’s Feet International, shoes and socks are in the top five items that students are in need of in the United States.
“Samaritan’s Feet International has distributed shoes to more than nine million individuals across the United States and around the world since its founding in 2003. Samaritan’s Feet is on a mission to reach their goal of giving away a total of ten million pairs of shoes by December 2023,” said Kellogg-Joslyn. “The Titanic Museums in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and Branson, Missouri, will help make this happen through our partnership by giving back to the communities who have supported us so deeply and enthusiastically over the past 17 years.”
The Titanic Museum Attractions ship in Branson, Missouri, opens daily at 9 a.m. Reservations are required: www.titanicbranson.com
READ ALSO: Hispanic Grocery Store to Replace Former Brown’s this May