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Bandsmen honoured 100 years on

Monday, 2nd April, 2012

TITANIC SERVICE: BIU band members Carol Nicolson, Dawn Mawby, Major Kelvin Stace, Ross Mawby with City Council’s General Manager Frank Zaknich at the memorial to the Titanic’s bandsmen in Sturt Park. TITANIC SERVICE: BIU band members Carol Nicolson, Dawn Mawby, Major Kelvin Stace, Ross Mawby with City Council’s General Manager Frank Zaknich at the memorial to the Titanic’s bandsmen in Sturt Park.

Broken Hill’s link with the RMS Titanic will be commemorated to mark the 100th anniversary of since the sinking of the grand luxury liner off Newfoundland on April 15, 1912. 

The city is one of only two places in Australia that has a memorial dedicated to the bandsmen who famously continued to play as the ship went down, the other being Ballarat. 

The Broken Hill memorial was officially unveiled on December 21, 1913 but the 100th anniversary of the ship’s tragic sinking will be recognised with a special service in Sturt Park on Sunday, April 15 at 12.30pm. 

City Council’s General Manager, Frank Zaknich, said that at the time of the tragedy the city had hundreds of brass band players and a very strong musical tradition so the story of the band playing as the ship went down touched many hearts. 

“History shows that when the bandsmen of Broken Hill heard the news of the Titanic and the heroic efforts of their brave comrades, they wanted to erect a memorial in their memory,” Mr Zaknich said. 

“Bands were a strong part of the city’s fabric and bandsmen were strong in their support of the memorial concept. 

“While taking more than 12 months to complete, and not without its controversies, the Memorial was to become Broken Hill’s first monument and one that has attracted the interest of many locals and visitors alike. 

“To mark the solemn occasion of the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and the city’s history surrounding the memorial, Council is hosting a special service that will include a prayer service, the history behind the Titanic monument and a performance from the BIU Band.” 

Mr Zaknich invited everyone to attend the service. 

“Sunday’s ceremony will be a family day and a chance to acknowledge the tragedy of the Titanic and the lives lost, especially those of the bandsmen who many in the city at the time would have had an affinity,” he said.

ABC Radio’s Peter Goers is planning a special broadcast here on Thursday, April 12 from 7pm to 10pm. His show will focus on local characters and the Titanic Centenary. 

The Silver City Cinema will also screen a special 3D remake of the 1997 film Titanic on Saturday, April 14. 

Then, starting on April 20, the Albert Kersten Minerals and Mining Museum will hold a special Titanic exhibition that will explore the history of the Broken Hill Memorial and feature a range of photos and memorabilia. 

The exhibition, “Titanic: A Monumental Story” will on display until June 20.

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