100 years ago today Empress of Ireland leaves Port of Quebec

Empress of IrelandOn May 28, 1914, the Empress of Ireland left the Port of Quebec at 4:10 p.m., headed up the St. Lawrence River for Liverpool, England. Several hours later, at 1:55 a.m., near Sainte-Luce-sur-mer, the Empress of Ireland collided with the Norwegian coal ship, Storstad. Of the 1,477 people aboard, 1,012 perished in 14 minutes.

Several 100th anniversary commemorative events are planned at the Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père in Rimouski, starting with the seasonal opening of the historic site today and a banquet this evening. At 1:55 a.m., tomorrow, church bells in Rimouski, Sainte-Luce and neighbouring parishes will ring in unison for one minute.

On the home page of the Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père website, you can read stories and see photos of some of those who lost their lives. The website also contains the passenger list. Most of the site is bilingual.

The Government of Canada’s virtual exhibit of the Empress of Ireland is also worth a visit.

Copyright © 2014, Gail Dever.

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About Gail Dever

Gail Dever is a Montreal-based genealogist and blogger and a webmaster for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.
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One Response to 100 years ago today Empress of Ireland leaves Port of Quebec

  1. Barbara T. says:

    Thanks for this item, Gail, and the links to the commemorative site. I have just spent an hour looking through all the stories – not what I had planned for the day but fascinating nonetheless. I have long had an interest in the Empress since discovering that my great-grand-aunt referred to the tragedy in the letter she wrote to her brother following her trip to Europe in 1914. I also come from a long line of merchant mariners so shipwrecks have always had a certain fascination for me. The Empress commemorative site is marvellous with all the stories of ordinary people sent by relatives. Thanks again.

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