Editor’s Note: The following is the final segment of a three-part series on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and the impact the event is having today on a local family.
COLUMBIA CITY — A century after Antoine Temmerman purchased a ticket for the ill-fated maiden voyage of the HMS Titanic, his granddaughter Gail Morris was sent an invitation.
The correspondence came a few weeks ago, inviting Morris to participate in the memorial activities on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic called “100 Years of Exhibition.”
“It’s the Belgium ceremony of the Flemish people who died on the Titanic,” said Morris. “There will be decedents of families there, and even decedents of Jean’s (Scheerlink) family.” Scheerlink was the friend of Temmerman who took Temmerman’s ticket, but survived the sinking.
Morris’ aunt, Rose Beery-Temmerman will be singing “My Heart Will Go On,” the theme song from the “Titanic” movie and “On Eagles Wings.”
The reason her aunt is singing is because she used to sing with the Temmerman Sisters in Ohio, making records during WWII.
“She is a soprano,” said Morris. “She still sings, and she makes several CDs so they know her from that.”
Morris said she and her aunt are the chosen ambassadors of the family, and she visited the country a few years ago.
“The people are so down to earth, and so wonderful, and the countryside is beautiful,” said Morris.
Morris leaves today and plans to return April 23.
Morris is one of 33 grandchildren.
With a heartfelt smile, Morris expressed her gratitude, “I am very happy that my grandfather made it.”