Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Very Special Event

I told you I was working on dresses for a very special event at our church.  What I didn't tell you was what the event was.  

In early March one of the men of our church mentioned that he would like to organize an event to tie into the Titanic 100 event being planned by Vision Forum.  He is the father of two young sons and was wanting to have an event to encourage them to be men of honor, who lead and protect.  He asked me if I would organize an English Country Dance to go along with what he was planning.  I said yes, of course!  We do love a good English Country Dance!

The men discussed the idea and came up with a program that would include a formal dinner, with several speakers, a history of the Titanic and the disaster, and the dance.  

I volunteered to handle the table settings, and the dance.  Two favored things.

 As much as I wanted to borrow real plates from everyone, I settled for a nice disposable plate, when the number of attendees reached 70 plus.  White tablecloths (I used white interfacing purchased at $1.65 a yard from a fabric warehouse), real flatware, and red candles in silver and crystal candle holders.  

 Right after church, the event got underway.  Here everyone is greeting our Captain.

 Captain Edward John Smith - captain of the White Star Lines ship Titanic. 

 Lots of handsome young men.

 This is such a lovely family.  Two of their sons played Nearer My God, To Thee near the end of the event.  That was the last song that the orchestra played that night the Titanic sank.

 Our family with Captain Smith.

 The girls and I in our dresses.  We sewed all week to get these done!  The pattern is from Sense and Sensibility patterns. We modified it to make ours evening dresses with inserts and overlays.  I think they turned out very well...

 The young men all looked great!

 Some of our lovely young women...

 Great photo of Denny - he was our historian for the event.  His presentation included video clips from the excellent 1958 movie "A Night To Remember."

 Gathered before the dinner to learn a bit of history.

 Here is my Dad filling out their ticket to sail aboard Titanic.  Our pastor Mike, found authentic tickets on line and made copies for us to use. 

 Preparing to board Titanic...

 The purser collecting the tickets...families boarded together...

 And waited to sit down, after Captain Smith gave an authentic greeting and then prayed.

 I gave a brief etiquette lesson, and then the dinner began.  Salad course: fruit cups and green salads.

 Then Tim spoke on Servant Leadership.  The main course was next. 

 Hand written place cards.

 Jeremiah Eldredge spoke about The Strenuous Life. After he spoke, we had dessert and then the Captain spoke of chivalry.  The idea of "my life for yours."  One of our young men already mentioned that that phrase will stay with him for the rest of his life.

 Afterward, we all moved to the ballroom.  Here we are dancing "Lucky Seven", which includes the Grand Chain!  Fun!

 I am the caller of the dances.  After two dances an awful noise and commotion as the Titanic hit the iceberg!
The men gathered their families and seated them in the 'lifeboats.'  Then the men, including boys over twelve left the room.  They stayed out while we sat in the dark for a while.  Some of the younger children got anxious, with one little guy crying for his daddy.  This added to the sense of what it would have been like for the women and children in the boats...they eventually realized their would be no reunion with their men, while we were reunited.  The concept of Women and Children first and the giving up of your life for others was taken to heart.

 After this we had some more of the story...with some of the men reading tales of heroism from that night.

 The real folk on the Titanic didn't have iphones...

 The Captain and his beautiful Katie!  She loved the music and dancing!

 These delightful young people are amazing.  They all danced with each other, with younger siblings, with friends. 

 Mother's danced with their children and father's did too.  They all learned and caught on so quickly.  We did the Virginia Reel, Lucky Seven, The Long Set, The Bridge of Athlone and more...

 I love Emily's dress...

Yesterday was a blessing to us all.  

After we got home about 7:30 pm we relaxed for a while.  Then after struggling to stay awake, I took myself to bed.  Several nights of sewing into the week hours of the morning caught up to me.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

If you'd like to read more about the day, Becky has written about it here.


  1. You all look beautiful!
    From the pictures it looks like every one had fun! (except for the tears part!)

  2. Your church does such a remarkable job of fellowship that ties together so many things...history, dance, eating together, etiquette, and those big issues like "my life for yours." Amazing.

  3. What a splendid evening! I'm more than a tad "jealous" of your whole experience. I'm sure it will NOT be soon forgotten - and what lessons for all.

  4. What can I say!! I am almost speechless, and that rarely happens. OH! what a fun evening, and you did a wonderful job with the table settings and the dances look like such fun too! I am so blessed when I see churches plan activities like this. It was not only fun but so informative.Thanks for sharing.

  5. There are some fun action shots here. I love the photos of the young guys too.

    What a special day.

    I was exhausted too.....and I hadn't all of the preparations you did this past week.

    It was worth your hard work though...definitely.

  6. You guys are incredible! What a fantastic way to commemorate such a tragedy and build character into your kids at the same time. Whichever dad suggested it deserves an "atta boy", for sure!

    I loved reading about your day together here and at Becky's blog. I appreciate you both taking the time to share it with us.

  7. Looks like a terrific event! Lots of work and your program was very well thought out. Truly - a "night to be remembered" - and lessons well taught.

  8. Thank you so much for posting this, Deanna! I'm still disappointed we didn't have our camera and so thankful others took some shots with our family in them! We had a BLAST! Thank you for the hard work you put into making it such a wonderful day!

  9. What an amazing and meaningful event! It looks like everyone had a grand time too! It will not be soon forgotten...

    The dresses that you made are also amazing! And I'm amazed that you were able to make them in a week! (I keep using that word "amazing"...because it is!)

    I am glad to learn that you had a somewhat restful day after all of the crazy busy-ness of the past few weeks.


  10. That looks like a lot of fun!


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