Polar: From Titanic to Tuxedo Park

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  • Photographs provided by the Tuxedo Historical Society. Young Douglas Spedden of Tuxedo Park plays with his top on the deck of the Titanic.

  • Tuxedo Parkís Spedden family: Douglas, Frederic and Daisy. They travelled on the Titanicís maiden voyage in April 1912 and were among those who survived.

TUXEDO PARK — Leighton H. Coleman III will present a multi-media program in commemoration of the centennial anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic at Tuxedo Historical Society headquarters on Sunday, April 15, the exact date of the Titanic disaster.

Coleman’s program will be based upon the award-winning children’s book, “Polar, The Titanic Bear,” which was originally penned by his Great Aunt Daisy Spedden in 1913 and was rediscovered by him in an about-to-be-discarded steamer truck.

Daisy Coleman, her husband Frederic and young son Douglas travelled on the Titanic’s maiden voyage and were among those who survived.

“Polar” is a real toy stuffed bear, made by Steiff of Germany in 1909, and his grand travels with his American family culminated with the Titanic disaster in 1912.

Shortly thereafter, Daisy Spedden wrote the story from the perspective of the toy bear and gave it to Douglas for Christmas of 1913 so that he could remember the adventure he had with his constant companion.

“Polar” was nearly lost with the Titanic but was rescued and re-united with his Master Douglas.

Coleman tells how he came to find and publish the story and lavishly illustrates his talk with remarkable original photographs, journal entries and water-color illustrations that transport the reader to the Edwardian age of “Downton Abby.” His program is in demand by school, library and historical organizations around the country.

The program will be held at THS Headquarters, 7 Hospital Road, Tuxedo Park and will begin at 1 p.m. A reception featuring period refreshments will follow.

The program is open to the public; children are welcome. Seating is limited. Register with number attending to 845-351-2926 or tuxedohistory@gmail.com.

A suggested donated of $5 for adults is appreciated.

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