Titanic message inspires new book from Heap

Andrew Wagstaff awagstaff@citizenrecord.ca
Published on April 24, 2012

JOGGINS – Edmund Burke and the Titanic may be long gone, but the impact they left on this community is still remembered today, thanks in part to the efforts of local author Jamie Heap. Heap's latest book, Edmund Burke, Joggins & the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic, will be officially launched on Saturday, April 28 at the Joggins legion as part of the "Big Breakfast" between 8 a.m. and noon. The project stemmed from research Heap did on one of his previous books, History in Miniature, dedicated to the heritage model work of Reginald "Bud" Johnston, particularly his model, "Titanic Dresser Drawer Model," which depicted Burke and his homemade radio that received the Titanic distress signal after it struck the iceberg in 1912. With all of the excitement in the community over the 100th anniversary of the famous sinking, Heap decided to dig a little deeper. "When all of the activity was going on in Joggins regarding the history of the sinking, both the community efforts and what the school was doing, I was sort of inspired to revise, update and expand what I had written in my previous book," said Heap. "I decided to make it an exclusive book as a commemorative edition that people could have to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking." With a homemade wireless radio, unheard of in homes in 1912, Edmund Burke received the Titanic distress call and further messages from the ensuing rescue and salvage efforts. Many in the community did not believe him at the time. For the new book, Heap researched some newer books into the event, and also included information on the recent anniversary celebrations in Joggins, such as the unveiling of a new heritage sign in the community with participation from local elementary school students and Leo Burke, son of Edmund. The project came together quickly, he said, over the long Easter weekend. "By Thursday night I got started, by Monday I was fine-tuning it the way I wanted it, and it was headed off to the printers on Tuesday," said Heap. "I did a lot of writing that weekend. It was sort of my way of commemorating the 100th anniversary. I guess I sort of got caught up in the excitement like everyone else did."

Local author Jamie Heap will officially launch his new book, Edmund Burke, Joggins & the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic, at the Joggins legion on Saturday, April 28 as part of the Big Breakfast from 8 a.m. until noon.

©Andrew Wagstaff - The Citizen-Record