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Press Release: Titanic Dinner at International Lighthouse Weekend

Issued: 5 August 2013

CAPE Otway Lightstation’s character actor Marcus White’s family links with Titanic victims has left him with an insatiable curiosity.

He’s particularly interested in the orchestra – which legend has it kept playing as the ship sank to try and calm passengers.

Marcus’ great grandparents hosted three of the eight RMS Titanic orchestra members at a musical party in their Yorkshire home just days before the vessel set sail on its maiden voyage, claiming the lives of more than 1,500 people.

Fascinated by the grief felt by three generations of his family and the romance of the Titanic story Marcus, who has spent years researching his family’s connections with the lost musicians, plans to bring one of them back to life at a theatre restaurant event at the Lightstation on Saturday, August 17.

Marcus will play Wallace Hartley, the band leader, who was well known to his family, through their musical connections and their Methodist faith.

“Wallace Hartley was very well known to my grandparents throughout his life and he was three of 28 friends, who were all musicians, who used to meet at my grandparents’ home to play.

“It was almost Easter in 1912 and they gathered to celebrate the birth of my late father, who was six weeks old, and they were celebrating the fact that three of the 28 were joining the orchestra on the prestigious trans-Atlantic ocean liner the Titanic.

“One of the three was engaged to my father’s Aunty Ciss – she never married.”

Marcus first became aware of the story and the family’s long held grief on the 50th anniversary of the ship’s demise at the age of seven in 1962 when his father gave a talk on the Titanic and their family connections.

The experience had a profound effect on Marcus who will play both Wallace Hartley and Titanic chief baker and survivor Charles Joughin, opposite Janice Haynes as The Unsinkable Molly Brown, a first class passenger and socialite who helped fellow passengers board lifeboats.

The Titanic Theatre Restaurant is being offered at the Lightkeeper’s CafĂ© and Bar and includes a four course dinner, based on the menu served to second class passengers on the night the Titanic famously struck an iceberg.

The night, which includes an after-dark tour of the 1848 lighthouse, has been planned for International Lighthouse Weekend from August 16-18.

Other weekend activities include a ghost tour and dinner and Characters of the Cape live history performances.

At the Lightstation’s Aboriginal Heritage Centre children can throw a spear, make open-fire damper, paint an abalone shell, meet Willie the Whale, and receive a free activity pack.

Searoad Ferries will be offering special prices for people visiting Cape Otway Lightstation over the International Lighthouse Weekend, details on their website.

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