In the early 1990s an uncle in England contacted Hudson resident Martin Hofton about an obscure link in their family’s history. Did Martin know anything about John and Sarah Jones and their sons John and Arthur? The Jones had perished on board the SS Atlantic when the ship sank off Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia on April 1, 1873. Martin became curious about these possible relatives and their tragic fate. His research led him to the National Archives, to newspaper accounts of the day, and to books on marine disasters. He learned that 572 Atlantic passengers and crew died off the rocky coast near Halifax, the worst loss of life by shipwreck in history until the Titanic. Years later Martin participated in an annual memorial service to those lost on the SS Atlantic. The only person with relatives on the ship ever to attend, he was invited to read Psalm 107, “They that go down to the sea in ships…” Martin’s research into inquiry records and eyewitness accounts revealed gripping details about this avoidable tragedy. On Monday January 8, Martin Hofton will relate the story of the sinking of the SS Atlantic at the first meeting of the Hudson Historical Society for 2007. Martin Hofton’s last presentation to the Society was in September 2005, when he related the story of the Hudson Hosiery Company. Members and guests can expect the same high standards of research, writing and visual illustrations in this interesting piece of family history. As an added treat, Doug Macaulay will relate his recent experiences in Scotland at the 30th anniversary of the Macaulay Institute lecture series. The Macaulay Institute, founded by Doug’s grandfather T.B. Macaulay, is the UK's leading land use research centre. The Institute tracked down the Macaulay grandchildren through the Hudson Historical Society’s Virtual Museum of Canada program, “T.B. Macaulay and Mount Victoria Farms” available online at http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/English/index_flashFT.html Please note that the Society’s AGM, which normally takes place at the January meeting, will be held in February instead (Monday February 12.) The January meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Monday January 8, 2007 at St. James Church Hall, 642 Main Road, Hudson. Everyone welcome! (A $5 drop-in fee is requested of non-members.) For more information, contact Kevin O’Donnell at (450) 458-5948.
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