The reference to the Titanic in yesterday’s post did bring something to mind, a slight connection I had with that ill-fated ship that sank in 1912.
Back in the 1960s I had a friend whose grandmother hailed originally from Northern Ireland. Her father had been employed by Harland & Wolff, the Belfast shipbuilder who constructed the mammoth liner. He’d worked on the Titanic.
I don’t remember now if I heard her tell the story, or if I heard it repeated by my mother, but the story passed down in that family is that my friend’s great-grandmother had said right from the beginning that the liner was doomed. Apparently in order to meet the construction deadline, Harland and Wolff required their workers to work on Sundays, something that just wasn’t done. That, it was felt, made the ship unlucky.
Times have changed since 1912. No-one would think twice now about working on Sunday.
The implication I got at the time was that God was displeased with the workers being forced to work on the Sabbath and the iceberg was a result. That of course is superstition. I know that God doesn’t work that way. (How do I know? I’ve read the Bible.)
I do wonder though if perhaps overworked shipbuilders with insufficent rest cut a few corners, or were just sloppy with their welds. Boat meets iceberg, and the rest is history.
I guess we’ll never know.