Taking its cue from the ship’s band of The Titanic, the temporary closing of one of South Africa’s pre-eminent luxury hotels, The Table Bay, Cape Town, made sure that noise was heard. GM Joanne Selby captained the farewell, photographed by the property’s icon, a lifesize golden statue of Oscar the seal. Interestingly, the ship sank in the North Atlantic at 11.40 pm exactly 108 years ago today, namely on 15th April 1912.
Last week Joanne Selby posted: ‘Y’all wanna know how it feels to be in the Travel industry during this Coronavirus pandemic? Remember when the titanic was sinking and the band continued to play, well we’re the band’.
The Titanic’s eight-man band, by the way, was led by violinist Wallace Hartley. Every day he and four others, in rotation, played at teatime, after-dinner concerts, and Sunday services and special occasions. According to a survivor the last tune the band played as the ship sank into the waters was “Nearer, My God, to Thee”: a Bethany version of the song was used in the 1943 Titanic movie and another version, the Horbury, was played in Roy Ward Baker’s 1958 movieA Night to Remember.
The 329-room The Table Bay, temporary closed for Coronavirus reasons, was opened in 1997 by Nelson Mandela. It is owned by Growthpoint’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Co, and it has a 400-strong team. Canadian-born Joanne Selby works for the luxury hotel’s management company, Sun International.