70th anniversary of Princess Victoria disaster marked
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has worked closely with a number of organisations to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the MV Princess Victoria ferry disaster and remember all those involved.
Despite the valiant efforts of her crew, lifeboat men and other seafarers, The Princess Victoria – A ferry en route from Stranraer to Larne – foundered off the coast of the Copeland Islands with more than 130 lives lost, including all women and children on board.
Poignant events to mark the anniversary included the annual commemoration at the Princess Victoria memorial near Larne harbour.
Organised by the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes MV Princess Victoria Lodge 5050 in association with Council, the service was conducted by local clergy and had representation from the rescue services and maritime bodies - as well as community groups and families who lost loved ones in the tragedy.
Other events organised included BBC Radio Ulster paying a visit to First Larne Presbyterian Church to record a community service to mark the 70th anniversary and a poignant lecture from Peter McCabe about his research into the 1953 shipping tragedy.
A special performance retelling the story of the tragedy was held at the McNeill Theatre. ‘For those in peril on the sea’ was presented by local readers and musicians and was developed by author and historian Dr.David Hume.
There was also an exhibition showcasing the story of the ship and the fateful day on which she sank in Larne Museum.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, said:
“The sinking of the Princess Victoria devastated families and communities here, in Stranraer and further afield. The memory of that terrible day remains with many families who lost loved ones, neighbours and friends in the disaster.
"These events helped to commemorate this important date in history and tell the stories of many of those involved. Thanks to all who joined us and took part in the events.”