Former Stran lecturer Maurice Blease reports on how he and two former Stran students have been working with Andrews Memorial Primary School in Comber to commemorate the Titanic’s strong links with the town:
‘This past year has seen many events to commemorate the Titanic. One school for whom the year has had particular poignancy is the Andrews Memorial Primary School in Comber. Thomas Andrews, the shipbuilder in charge of the plans for the Titanic was among those who perished in the disaster. His home town of Comber built the Thomas Andrews Jr. Memorial Hall to his memory.
The Memorial Hall was opened in January 1914 and is now maintained by the South Eastern Education Board and used by The Andrews Memorial Primary. The school’s principal, former Stranmillis student Mr Ralph Magee said that “Whilst the school has always incorporated aspects of The Titanic into its curriculum, this was a particularly important time for the school. One of our core events was the publication of 'A Titanic Memorial' - the Andrews Memorial Hall', a book celebrating the Hall and telling the story of how the hall, and by association the school, helped to shape the lives of the Comber Community."
Another event was the launch of a 'Poster Poem' produced by Malcolm Bennett, a former Stranmillis art student, and myself, Maurice Blease, a former College lecturer and a student at the same time as Malcolm. The Poster Poem was used as a basis for a curriculum project with two P4 classes in the school. The initiative incorporated a collage of the Titanic produced by the pupils, their writing based on the collage and the production of poster poems during ICT lessons. The final posters were reviewed and printed by Greg McCready from the Stranmillis University College Art Department
Thanks must go to all the Primary 4 pupils and their teachers, Mrs Julie Hanafin and Mrs Rosalyn Van Giesen, for their enthusiasm, interest and commitment to the project.’