Rev John Harper

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Heather Rhodes

Guest
Does anyone know where I could find out more Info on Rev. John Harper and his daughter Nina Harper? There is something about their picture that is very touching and I would like to learn more about their story and see more pictures if there are any. Thank you for any assistance.
 

Adam McGuirk

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May 19, 2002
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Heather, try the biography here before anything. I don't know how to insert a hyperlink, so you need to go to the mainpage and click on second class passengers were you will find Mr. Harper. It gives you a picture.
Adam

P.S. Welcome to the board.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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There's a little about him on page 129 of Titanic Voices. He's the sort of man who would leave quite a paper trail. Local papers of the time often followed the doings of the local clergy closely. A lot depends on where you are. In London there could be a pile of stuff, as these days even quite minor papers are often available on microfilm.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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There was some detailed, lengthy and excellenet information published about the two in the Titanic Commutator (THS). I have no idea whether this was recent or some time in the last 10 years. I don't have the Commutators, but clearly remember the article.

Daniel.
 

Mike Herbold

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Feb 13, 2001
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Adam:
To insert a hyperlink, all you have to do is click on it once so that it all shades blue, and then press edit and copy. Now it's ready to paste wherever you want to put it.
 

Mike Herbold

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Feb 13, 2001
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Daniel:
The Titanic Commutator issue is Volume 24, Number 152, 2000. "Pastor John Harper and the Titanic" by Rev. Mick Steiner.
 
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Heather Rhodes

Guest
Thanks for the info everyone! I greatly appreciate it!

I am not even a religious person but there is something about him that just grabbed my attention the minute I pulled up his bio & pics. Sometimes I guess these things just happen=)

I am in Texas so I don't have access to the info you have in London but thanks for letting me know about the book!
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Heather,

The good news is that the book by Moody Adams is published in the US, so you may be able to find a copy through your local library or by inter-library loan. It does focus on the 'mythology' of Reverend Harper's last moments at the expense of his real story, but it's an interesting read.

Another book you might be interested in is Tracy Leininger's 'Nothing Can Separate Us: the Story of Nan Harper'. This is a rare-ish Christian picture book for young readers, quite sweet without being sickly. Michael Tennaro has some good information on it on his web site: www.titanicbooksite.com/author%20pages/leiningertracy.html

Dave G's suggestion about following Rev Harper's 'paper trail' is a good one. From what I've read about the man, he was active and there must be quite a lot out there in the historical record that's just waiting to be turned up.

Cheers,
F
 

Ben Holme

Member
Feb 11, 2001
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Thanks for sharing this, Shelley. Fascinsting article! It seems, however, that we are no closer to establishing the identity of John Harper's "last convert".

Ben
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Great article, Shell. I read a similar story a short time ago about Rev. Harper, and was curious to know just who the "survivor" was. None of the men who survived from the water describe such an incident in the accounts I've read. Regardless, the article was moving and truly memorializes the life and ministry of Rev. Harper.

His daughter, Nan Harper Pont, lived in Scotland until her death in April of 1986. She was such a sweet lady who enjoyed corresponding with Titanic researchers and had the deepest Scootish brogue one could imagine. She prided herself on being the only survivor from Scotland and even kept in regular contact with Eva Hart. Eva remembered playing with Nan during the voyage as both girls were close in age (Nan was 6 and Eva 7).

Nan fell and broke her shoulder in September of 1985, but in her last letter to me three months later, she wrote that she still remembered sitting on her aunt Jessie Leitch's lap in the lifeboat. From her vantage point, she wrote "I saw the Titanic slowly sink away....all the lights quickly going out as the cries spread out over the water. I didn't think of my father at that moment because I believed he was going to be meeting us shortly but trust the Lord took him quickly....."

Nan's mother died at her birth in 1905, and her father's death on the Titanic in 1912 left her an orphan. She went to live with her father's brothers and wasn't allowed to speak about that terrible night. As the years passed, her deep religious convictions carried her through, and she never felt her experience was something she needed to hide. When the Titanic was discovered in 1985, she wrote "that I never thought I'd live to see the day..."

Her letters were always bright and cheery, and I think she would have been such a delight to know personally.

Thanks again, Shell.

Mike
 

Arne Mjåland

Member
Oct 21, 2001
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Here is the obituary about Nan Harper Pont from Glasgow Herald April 11 1986:
Deaths:
PONT Peacefully at home on 10 April 1986 Annie J.S. Pont (Nan Harper) dearly belowed wife of Philip, and a much loved mother and grandmother . Service at St. Johns Church, Moffat on Monday 14 April followed by interment in Moffat Cementery. - flowers to church, please.
Have any of you been in contach with the husband Philip or any child and grandchild of Mrs Pont?
 
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Telford George

Guest
As well as the book "The Titanic's Last Hero" published by Moody Adams (in USA!), it might be of interest for you to see the website http://www.harpermemorial.co.uk which is the Church in Glasgow where he was it's first Pastor taking this charge in 1897 at the age of 25 (b 1872)