As reported in the News last week, 100 years ago May 29, 1914, the Empress of Ireland (“Canada’s Titanic”) was rammed by the Storstad and, in 14 minutes, was on the bottom of the St. Lawrence River. 1,012 people died, 465 survived.
My grandfather, Ernie Green, survived. His mother, father, and sister did not. A horrible disaster.
But at the Salvation Army mass funeral in Toronto, Edith Jacobs came from New York as part of a Sally Ann contingent.
She re-connected with Ernie Green, whom she had known in England. A love blossomed. They eventually married.
And so, out of this tragedy, my family exists.
My grandparents, mother, father, aunt, uncle, brother, nephew who spent their lives touching thousands of people across Canada and in Central America as Salvation Army officers and soldiers.
My sister and I as educators have had the opportunity to work with thousands of young people. My own children, nieces and nephews connecting with people through social service, the arts, education, and work.
The ship went down. Lives were lost. But hope was kindled. Love was found. Life was lived. A heritage was passed on. And much good came from it.
What happened to get you to where you are? Out of tragedy comes hope.