British Columbia Division

PicMonkey Collage

Commemorating The Empress of Ireland.


On May 28th & 29th, 2014 Lt. Colonels Larry and Velma Martin were in Victoria, BC to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland.

The Empress of Ireland was an ocean liner that was struck by the Norwegian collier SS Storstad on May 29th, 1914. She sunk in just 14 minutes in the Saint Lawrence River and of the 1,477 passengers on board, 1,012 died, including approximately 150+ members of The Salvation Army in Canada, the entire leadership contingent and all but 12 of the Canadian Staff Band perished in what is known as Canada’s worst Maritime disaster.

On Wednesday, May 28th, a dinner was coordinated to commemorate the last dinner served and to recreate the atmosphere on the last voyage. Approximately 65 people enjoyed an intimate evening of Empress of Ireland memories. In attendance were descendants from survivors of the sinking, divers who have visited the wreckage site, collectors and Empress of Ireland enthusiasts.

Lt. Col. Larry Martin offered Grace, spoke about the loss The Salvation Army felt and presided over the closing moments of the event which included a moment of silence to remember the lost. A brass band ensemble from Victoria Citadel performed hymn tunes for attending guests, songs that would have been played on the ship.

On Thursday, May 29th, The Maritime Museum officially opened their new exhibit, Canada’s Titanic – The Empress of Ireland. Opening ceremonies included a performance by Victoria Citadel’s brass band ensemble, some commemorative speeches and the unveiling of two Canada Post stamps. Lt Col. Larry Martin offered greetings at the Maritime Museum’s opening on behalf of The Salvation Army.

Canada’s Titanic – The Empress of Ireland runs until October 20, 2014.

The Empress of Ireland sinking is an important part history for both Canada and The Salvation Army – we are honoured to have been part of these events to remember those we lost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles


Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign Surpasses Goal


The Salvation Army is pleased to announce that it raised over $4.3 million provincially in British Columbia through its Christmas Kettle Campaign, surpassing its $4-million goal.  Nationally The Salvation Army raised over $23.5 million provincially, surpassing its $21 million goal!

“We are truly grateful for the continued support of our donors, volunteers and community partners, who enable us to help 1.9 million struggling Canadians during the Christmas season and throughout the year,” says Commissioner Susan McMillan, Territorial Commander for The Salvation Army […]

Kate Booth House: Domestic Violence, A Story of Survival


The Salvation Army Kate Booth House would like to take the time to thank it’s donors for their continued support.

For over 30 years, The Salvation Army Kate Booth House has supported women and children fleeing domestic violence through providing them with a safe and caring environment.  With your continued support the Kate Booth House has provided a safe place for over 6000 women and children over the years and offers a range of services including counselling, employment referrals, after-departure support […]