Syracuse Herald

Titanic Survivor to Appear at Auburn Theater.


Meeting Will Be a Public Memorial Service for the Victims

Auburn, April 27. – The people of Auburn will have an opportunity of listening to the details of the foundering of the giant ocean liner Titanic after collision with an iceberg in the Atlantic ocean recently, as related by one of the survivors, for Sidney C. Stuart Collett of Port Byron has consented to deliver a talk on the wreck and incidents which occurred while the survivors were in lifeboats before being picked up by the steamer Carpathia.  The talk will be delivered at the Jefferson theater on Sunday evening, May 5th, under the auspices of the Social Ethics class of this city.  Former mayor Thomas M. Osborne will preside at the meeting.

Mr. Collett is gradually recovering from the nervous strain following his rescue at sea.  He started for this country from England for the purpose of securing a college education, and also to join his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Mawbey E. Collett of Port Byron, before making a selection as to which institution of learning he would enter.  From childhood he has been a student of the Bible and made up his mind that his life work would be in the Christian ministry.  As a schoolboy he was the author of a religious tract which was printed and widely circulated and attracted the notice of theologians.  He also founded the Schoolboy Tract Society of London.

Conducted a Mission in London.

He devoted some time to evangelistic work and while working as a clerk in a London store he saved his money in order to be able to secure a higher ecclesiastical training and education.  Evenings and Sundays he conducted a mission in North London.  Just before sailing for America on the ill-fated Titanic he addressed a meeting of 600 mothers.

The religious trait in Mr. Collett is a family trait.  His great ancestor was the “Colet” who founded St. Paul’s school in England and who was a co-worker with Erasmus. 

As a boy, Sidney Collett was very pretty and attractive and posed for Eleanor S. Manley, the celebrated English artist.  One painting for which he was a model brought the artist a prize of $2,500.

In coming to America, Mr. Collett intended to look up a suitable college and enter at once, but the nervous shock of the disaster has caused him to postpone entering work before fall.  In selecting a college he will investigate and enter one that meets with his ideas in the religious field.  The loss of his savings and his library in the wreck will cause him some slight handicap in his efforts for higher education.  The library which went to the bottom of the Atlantic was one that he had been accumulating for several years.  The books were mostly ecclesiastical works, but some books which had been in the Collett family for 400 years were lost.  All that he saved was the keys to the trunks in which the volumes had been packed.  Mr. Collett also felt badly over the loss of two hats which a friend of his father’s had given him to deliver.

Memorial Service.

The meeting at the Jefferson theater will be a public memorial service for the victims of the Titanic.  Mr. Collett will narrate his experiences and draw some gospel lessons from the great tragedy.  No admission will be charged, but a collection will be taken to add to the fund which is being raised to financially aid the survivors of the wreck.  Mr. Collett refused to accept any payment for his services and has rejected many offers to go on the lectures platform and relate his experiences.

His daily mail at Port Byron is tremendous, most of the letters being from relatives of survivors or victims of the Titanic tragedy.  They include frantic appeals for him to supply them with any kind of information regarding their loved ones in the hope that he may have been intrusted with some last message for them.  Mr. Collett is unable to supply much information of that character, as he knew but comparatively few people on the Titanic.

Related Biographies:

Sidney Clarence Stuart Collett

Relates to Place:

Auburn, New York, United States


Brandon Whited


Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) COLLETT TO TALK OF SEA DISASTER (Syracuse Herald, Sunday 28th April 1912, ref: #19406, published 29 March 2013, generated 9th August 2020 12:30:40 PM); URL :