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Titanic Ball relives grandeur of famed ship

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – The Pillars Estate held its fourth annual Titanic Ball on Saturday night and about 75 people dressed up in formal attire for the event, including Nick and Mary Kersch of Lyndonville, pictured with Captain Smith look-a-like Al Schumacher of Middleport.

Titanic ball attendees were offered a glass a champagne from servers wearing recreated uniforms of the White Star Line, the company that owned the Titanic.

Pete Lockwood portrayed the first mate for White Star Line.

The Greycliffe String Orchestra played songs from Titanic era throughout the evening, including “Nearer my God to Thee.”

The Greycliffe String Orchestra plays in the grand ballroom, which includes a large chandelier.

Julie Parker and Timothy Garrison of Brockport are congratulated after Garrison proposed and Parker accepted, the first engagement at the Pillars.

Three couples who are members of the Lyndonville Lions Club attended the Titanic Ball on Saturday night. The group includes, from left: Jeff and Lynne Johnson, Russ and Pat Martino, and John and Laura Belson.

The event included a five-course meal, dancing and retelling of the Titanic, including details of the ship. Pillars owners Tony McMurtie and Scott Root had fireworks on Saturday night to signify the distress signals from the flares that were released on the giant ship after it struck an iceberg.

The sinking of the Titanic claimed the lives of 1,514 of its passengers, including two men from Holley, William Joseph Douton and Peter MacKain. They were quarrymen visiting family in Britain that winter and they were on the Titanic to return to New York City and then travel to Holley. They escorted Douton’s 19-year-old god-daughter, Lillian Bentham of Holley, on the trip. She was one of 710 survivors.


Tony McMurtie (pictured) started the Titanic Ball on the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s fateful voyage in April 2012. The inaugural gala also launched the opening of the grand ballroom at the Pillars.