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October 18, 2011

Marine Museum Offers Stories from the Titanic on Oct. 23

Oswego Town Historian and Titanic Historical Society Chaplain George DeMass developed close ties to several survivors and families of those who perished on the Titanic. Pictured with him is Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean, the youngest and last survivor of the Titanic disaster, taken in the late 1990s at her home in Southampton, England.

OSWEGO - The H. Lee White Marine Museum on West First Street Pier in Oswego welcomes Mr. George DeMass, chaplain to the Titanic Historical Society, as he presents "Titanic: 100 Years Later: A Personal Perspective." The special lecture takes place on Sunday, October 23 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the museum and reflects on his experiences as chaplain of the Titanic Historical Society.

The presentation is part of a new, temporary exhibit called "Titanic: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary." The exhibit includes pieces of DeMass' personal collection and runs from Saturday, October 15 through Tuesday, November 15.

DeMass spent time developing close ties to a number of survivors and the families of those who perished with the ship. During his presentation, he will speak about their personal stories. "They are all gone now, Titanic passengers and crew, but their stories live on," said DeMass. "They are fascinating people from all different classes. Their stories are just as much alive today as they were then."

DeMass will focus on the last survivor, Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean; Titanic orphans, the Navertil brothers; and the Titanic Disaster Fund. He will also discuss several of the exhibit pieces.

"We are fortunate to have someone locally with a connection to the Titanic survivors and their families," noted Mercedes Niess, executive director of the H. Lee White Marine Museum. "Serving as the chaplain of the Titanic Historical Society has allowed George to reveal to us the human side to this tragedy."

In addition to items from DeMass' collection, a 1975 painting by artist Russell Porter, titled "Leaving the Coast of France, April 10, 1912, 9:30 p.m.," will also be on exhibit courtesy of his son Robert Porter, of Auburn, New York. Russell Porter's work can be found at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

A special admission price of $5 for adults and $3 for children will be charged for the duration of this exhibition and for DeMass' presentation.

The presentation and exhibit are part of a series of activities and programs leading up to the museum's premier fund-raising event and commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship, "A Titanic Affair," which will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at The American Foundry in Oswego.

For more information about the exhibit, lecture or premier event, call the museum office at 315-342-0480, visit their Web site at www.hleewhitemarinemuseum.com or find them on Facebook.

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