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Coldstream kid shows ‘Titanic’ love for historic ship

A local student got creative with his Halloween costume, ahead of 111th anniversary of sinking

April 15 this year will represent the 111th anniversary of The Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic sinking, which was one of the most culturally poignant moments of the 20th century.

The sinking, which occurred after the 52,000- tonne behemoth hit a large iceberg off the Great Banks of Newfoundland, is routinely mythologized in conversation and movies today.

One such person who is captivated by the vessel is Grade 3 student Thomas Maher of Coldstream.

Since Thomas received his first book on the Titanic, he has been ensconced by the pictures and the technical details of the ship’s construction, the sinking and the rescue.

Among Thomas’s varied memorabilia is a book on the RMS Carpathia, the ship that arrived to rescue survivors on that fateful night. He has collected commemorative stamps of the Titanic and pictures from the 1985 expedition that discovered the final resting place of the ship.

When Thomas and his parents were deciding on costumes for Halloween in 2022, they settled on a Titanic theme.

Thomas’s mom, Penny, using glue, wood, cardboard and paints, replicated the long, slick shape of the lavish liner.

They added white deck railings and working lights for the port hole and upper deck windows of the cabins and ballrooms. Penny, under Thomas’s watchful eye, used empty Pringle chip containers to fashion the Titanic’s four towering funnels. They then added the crow’s nest where lookouts could watch for icebergs. The Titanic name was emblazoned on the model’s bow.

Thomas dressed up as the captain, Edward John Smith. As Thomas and his parents (dressed as Jack and Rose) went door to door trick or treating, they were surprised by the interest and the knowledge that people still have for the great liner’s sinking.

At one house, a lady invited them in to see a model of the Titanic on her fireplace that had been skilfully fashioned by her father many years earlier.

Although Thomas’s questions about the ship, the iceberg, the rescue and the final resting place are quite simple, they did probe, in a rudimentary way, what went wrong on that voyage and how such loss could have been avoided.

Luckily, on Halloween night, there were few icebergs in the Okanagan Valley around Coldstream. This time, Captain Smith (Thomas) heeded warnings from his wireless room and Crow’s nest, and wisely reduced speed and changed course so that his Titanic would not be damaged on his watch. His gleaming Titanic would dock in his bedroom for a few more years, lights on, funnels intact, with the White Star Line flag fluttering from its rear mast.

READ MORE: Titanic fails to successfully cross Atlantic a second time

READ MORE: Titanic survivor’s light-up cane goes for $62,500 at auction


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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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