Today I met Andrew Rogers.
The unsuspecting Sydneysider is one of few who have made the epic journey on board a submersible pod to the watery graveyard of the RMS Titanic. The chance competition win that took him to the infamous vessel 14 years ago unleashed an obsession with Titanic and it’s remarkable stories.
Today he sits across from me grasping a black leather case from which he draws a number of items. Andrew is presenting our Cabinet of Curiosities Program on Sunday 15 April for the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking. The objects he pulls out are not souvenirs stolen from the wreck, but small tokens that paint a story of the hours he spent exploring the vessel and the years of research into the lives Australian passengers on board Titanic that followed.
Some of the objects he places on the table include a piece of Styrofoam crushed by the pressure on descent to the wreck, some newspapers from 1912, records from London detailing the Titanic feature film that Alfred Hitchcock never made. There are also spectacular photographs of the haunting skeletal wreckage (pictured here) and film footage from the dive.
The Cabinet of Curiosities is a touch trolley program that invites museum visitors of all ages to engage with historic artefacts outside the confines of a glass display case. Running every day during holidays and on Sundays during term, the Cabinet of Curiosities program invites discussion and hands on discovery of culture and social history through the fascinating and unusual relics that we use to tell these stories. Usually drawn from the museum’s education collection, for the one day of 15 April we will be giving visitors access to Andrew’s personal collection and expertise. The cabinet presentation will take place in the galleries near Remembering Titanic 100 years at 11am and 2pm that day.