Meanwhile in Washington

I left Monaco on Monday for Paris, flew to Montreal on Tuesday and drove to a place called Rimouski on Wednesday. Not much motor racing goes on down there but I was not there for noisy cars but rather for more reflective activities, specifically the centenary of the sinking of the RMS Empress of Ireland. Regular readers may recall that I dropped in to Rimouski two years ago just to see the place. Why? Because my great-grandfather was captain of the Empress that was sunk in 14 minutes in 1914 with the loss of 1,012 souls. They don’t come much bigger than that…

It was a weird week. I switched from being a reporter to be the reported and I met folk linked by fate 100 years ago. Including the grandson of the captain of the ship that hit the Empress. There wasn’t much real news in the F1 world and so I concentrated on another world… I’ll be back in Montreal next week. Right now I’m in Washington, catching up with my son. Sometimes family is more important than F1…

33 thoughts on “Meanwhile in Washington

  1. Frankly Joe, there’s nothing more important than family.

    Enjoy the time away from the madness and frivolity known as Formula One.

  2. Thoughts on the Clippers NBA team being sold for $2 BILLION?
    Seeing Williams with a market cap of around 180mil euros, could you see any F1 team getting near that?

    Enjoy the time off and the family. πŸ˜‰

    1. QC Peter! Yes, family is what counts as one strives in life. All the rest are strangers. Fascinating that your family has this long tie back from 100 years of seafaring Joe. My Paternal Grand Dad, was a WO in the D turret of HMS Agincourt, a Dreadnought Class Battleship, and the first ship of the line to open fire on the German Grand Fleet at Jutland in 1916. This remains probably the single greatest, and most brutal, engagement by the Royal Navy, in it’s history.

  3. The advantage of F1 reporting is that I can have a sense of where in the world you are at any given time – so far from Blighty. Hope you enjoyed the Canadian events. Have a great time with my dear nephew. Love to you both!

      1. If this thread wsn’t about family I would’t post this but……..
        We went to Church on Sunday to hear our banns read and ended up singing one of your Dad’s “songs”. πŸ™‚

  4. Agreed – family wins every time. I’m going to re-read your book again soon, now that my ‘library’ has been tidied up (and I’ve found it!)

  5. One knows one has been in or around F1 for too long when one thinks F1 is more important than family – or anything else for that matter!

  6. Udvar-Hazy flight museum, or you’re bluffing. Take Rte 66, hard by the NRA redoubt.

    How bout that DC traffic? I know, I know

  7. Have checked out the news articles. Must have been a very strange, sobering and moving experience for you. Have a good week, Joe.

  8. Hey Joe,

    Been a huge reader for many years, just take exception to this β€œ. Sometimes family is more important than F1…”

    Family is ALWAYS more important than F1!!

    Enjoy your time with your son and looking forward to your jottings from Montreal.


    Chris Griffiths

      1. 35+ grandchildren. I’m not too sure how many in my generation, the great-grandchildren, but “a lot” is a good estimate πŸ™‚

  9. When my sister graduated from college in Washington, D.C. My parents and I went to see her. I was amazed at such a beautiful city! I was about 14 then. 50 has come and gone at this stage of the game and every time I’ve been there again since, they’ve been tearing up the roads. I don’t know if they’re still tearing up the roads still, 40 years running, but I hope you have a great time with your son!

  10. Such a tragedy for the families of those lost 100 years ago, My family is also reminded these days of this tragedy and this gives us pause to reflect and pass this story on to our children. My Great Grandfather was Captain Pouliot of the Lady Evelyn which responded to the distress call and rescued over 300 of the passengers from the RMS Empress of Ireland.

  11. Wow. I’ve read a bit about the sinking of the Empress of Ireland after first reading about the tragedy in Clive Cussler’s novel Night Probe as a boy. I more recently read Dark Descent about penetration wreck diving the on the Empress. I also read Erik Larson’s book on Crippen a few years ago, but never really made the connection. There are stories about crew that survived the Titanic in 1912, the Empress of Ireland in 1914 and then the Lusitania in 1915. Conceivable, but highly improbable. Still it would make a hell of a story.

    Enjoy some time off.

  12. Right, my grand-father Jean=Baptiste Pouliot was the captain of Lady Evelyn the first boat that went to the rescue

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