On May 27, 2011 The QUEEN MARY celebrated the 75th anniversary of her maiden voyage with hundreds of well-wishers, many locals and some traveling from the UK. Guests in attendance included revelers in period costume, former crew members from the liner’s heyday, past travelers and a group of World War II squadron members who reunited aboard the QUEEN MARY for the first time since she carried them across the North Atlantic during her service days as the “Grey Ghost” in World War II.
Festivities kicked off Friday night during a General Manager’s Champagne Reception and Commemorative Ceremony honoring the QUEEN MARY’s storied past. Proclamations were received from the California Senate and Assembly, County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, the Long Beach City Council, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster as well as Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, who expressed pride in having the QUEEN MARY in Long Beach and the city’s dedication to maintaining the ship’s historic value. Congratulatory letters from the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and the Cunard and Steamship Historical Societies were also presented.
The Steamship Historical Society of America presented a series of lectures over Friday & Saturday that included topics like the Art Deco Movement and Ocean Liners, Fashion of the Maiden Voyage Era, the SS NORMANDIE and QUEEN MARY’s Maiden Voyage Attempt at the Speed Record. Speakers included notable Hollywood costume couple Shawn and Coleen Crosby and current cruise ship guest lecturers Bruce Vancil, Chris Butler and William Keene.
The merriment continued into the night and throughout the weekend with a Captain’s Dinner inspired by original menu items from the ship’s inaugural cruise in 1936, themed entertainment and fireworks. The weekend also marked the debut of the all-new 75th Anniversary Tour and paranormal Spirit Box Tour – both of which will run through the rest of the year – as well as an art installation featuring 25 winning submissions from the ship’s recent ‘75 Years of Queen Mary Memories’ contest. The installation spotlights short stories written by people whose lives were touched by the ship in some way and will remain on permanent display in the ship’s historic exhibit.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.