20 members of the INST choir joined with pupils from Assumption Grammar School, VCB and MCB to mark the precise hundredth anniversary of Titanic, the ‘Ship of Dreams,’ sailing to Southampton out of Belfast Lough, in the Banquet Hall of the Titanic centre. To commemorate the occasion, the Titanic Foundation commissioned International composer Philip Stopford to write TITANIC VOYAGE, a choral work for young voices, piano and solo instrument.
“The Queen of the Ocean, the Liner Titanic,
The largest vessel in the world
The Queen of the ocean, the Liner Titanic
The latest, largest and finest steamer afloat
The Ship of Dreams.”
Standing on the replica grand Staircase, the pupils sang to guests, who represented the Belfast community and who applauded the pupils with enthusiasm. The event concluded with 401 balloons being launched to start a year of celebrating the very best of Belfast.
Historical Titanic links with RBAI
"Much will be made this year about the City of Belfast’s links with the Titanic, as the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic are marked this April. In the common Hall of RBAI there is a plaque which marks the fact that two former pupils, Thomas Andrews and John Edward Simpson, went down with the Titanic. In 1884, Thomas Andrews began attending Inst, in 1889 at the age of sixteen; he began a premium apprenticeship at Harland and Wolff where his uncle, the Viscount Pirrie, was part owner. Andrews would go on to become The Managing Director and Head of the Draughting department for Harland and Wolff. Andrews was the naval architect in charge of the plans for the ocean liner RMS Titanic and was travelling on board the Titanic during its maiden voyage when it hit an iceberg on 14 April 1912. John Edward Simpson was born in 1875 in Belfast. Simpson studied at the Inst and Queen's University Belfast. It was from the latter that he received his degree. Simpson was a captain of the Royal Army Medical Corps but had troubles with his health, so he decided to go to sea, when he realized that the sea climate would be better to him. He served for some years as medical officer with the Peninsula and Oriental Steamship Company and finally the White Star Line. He signed-on as the assistant surgeon on the Titanic, on 6 April 1912 for a monthly wage of £9. It is fitting that in this particular year that we remember both Instonians along with the 1,517 people who perished on that awful night 100 years ago when the Titanic sank."