Were the waiters held in a little room until too late?

Anne N.

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Apr 15, 2012
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Hi, all:

In the latest miniseries on the Titanic that came out on the anniversary (I mean the one with several stories, like a soap opera), there is a scene in which one of the firemen (?) rescues his brother, a waiter, and several others from a flooding room. Is this part of the "legend" of the waiters held downstairs, or put in there to make for a Jack and Rose-ish rescue, or both?

Also, maybe a little off-topic, but were meals included in the dining rooms? If you took every meal in your class's dining room, they were automatically paid for in the passage? So in the al a carte restaurant, you had to pay for that as you went, I guess. I wonder if they had "charge to your room" options, as most resorts have today. I've also always wondered how tipping was handled on the Titanic or any ship back then; were they supposed to be collected at the end, to be distributed?
 
Jan 6, 2005
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Anne: The meals served in the First and Second Class dining rooms were included in the price of passage, as were the meals in Third Class. Food consumed in the Verandah Cafe (available to First Class passngers only) seems to have been included, too (it was cold stuff like sandwiches, just snacks, really). Food consumed in the a la Carte Restaurant was extra-cost (in fact, extra-extra cost; it was an expensive place to dine), as well as food eaten in the adjacent Cafe Parisien, which was served by the same kitchen and staff as the a la Carte.

However, White Star Line would discount the price of passage if a passenger made arrangements to eat ALL meals in the a la Carte restaurant.

So far as the waiters are concerned, many of them were not actually White Star Line employees; the ones in the a la Carte/Cafe Parisien restaurants were employees of Gaspare Gatti, who was the concessionaire who operated the restaurants for White Star Line. That put them in an odd position at the time of sinking; they were not crew, and they were not passengers. Whatever was or was not done to help them during the sinking, the record reflects that out of sixty-six men, only three survived, and that Gatti was not one of those three.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Technically the entire staff of the restaurant were crew, as they signed articles putting them under Captain Smith's control. No wages were shown against their names but for some unknown reason the two female cashiers were paid by White Star after the voyage. It's not clear why more didn't survive. They seem to have been held back in some way, but the scenes in Fellowe's silly TV show are quite imaginary.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Tipping was done once only at the end of the voyage. It was entirely voluntary of course, but customarily a 1st Class passenger (or head of a family group) would tip all those who had given personal service, from the bedroom steward and table waiter down to the boot steward. The customary amount would vary according to the level of service. The waiter, for instance, who served at a single table, would get a lot more than the boot steward who served many more people and would therefore get more (but smaller) tips. A steward in 1st Class could often double his earnings in this way, and all would go out of their way to provide every possible incentive for 'their' passengers to feel that a little extra was deserved.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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My money says that they were held back, maybe not locked in a room as shown in certain tv shows but held back maybe in a corridor or as Paul Mauge said in their quarters as there is just about no reason why of the 69 staff only 3 survived and in those 3 only one was a male, i cannot think of any reason other than them being held back as to why so many people of only a few different nationalities, some of the White Star Line were against Europeans as Lowe was shown to be, wouldn't survive and also Paul Mauge would have had no reason to lie to the British Inquiry Project
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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We can be reasonably certain that the restaurant staff did eventually reach the upper decks and were wearing lifejackets before the end, as 9 of their bodies were recovered in the following days. It does seem very likely that they were initially held back. But that situation, as well as their very low survival rate, was by no means unique. The male passengers in 3rd Class were held back too, and their survival rates were little or no better. There were dozens of Bulgarians for instance, with no survivors. And there were far more British adult male passengers in 3rd Class than there were staff in the restaurant, but only a handful survived. Whether passengers or crew, all these victims were adult males with no skills or experience useful in a lifeboat, so their chances of survival would have been very poor even if they'd had unobstructed access to the boat deck.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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Well yes they must have eventually got there, with lifejackets yes, well i can't think of another reason of them not getting straight up there except maybe the language barrier, i can't help but wonder which class of steward held them back, my guess is 2nd class as 3rd were busy with their passengers, now i never knew that about the Bulgarians, more then a handful wasn't it?? but by comparrison i see you point, yes that is probably true, i would have said that another reason the men would have been kept down in the lower deck was that the Europeans and especially Italians back then would have had reputations for being very lively and i believe the Officers and Stewards wouldn't have wanted them to cause panic so would have kept them down on lower decks to reduce the risk of this happening, my reasons for thinking this would have been Lowe's testimony to the US State Inquiry
Cheers Bob and everyone
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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You suggest that foreigners in particular might have been held back. Also that there might have been a language barrier. That's why I used the British male passengers as an example. The survival rate of the British in 3rd Class was very low, far more so than that of many other national groups.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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I believe they were but of course not all foreigners and Brits and Us citizens would have been too, i guess 3rd Class in general weren't the priority in the sinking, true but i guess it's because there were more of them
Matteo :)
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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I do though feel that, from Lowe's testimony and the results of it, Italians would have been held back if the Crew should have the same opinions as him which i feel is likely
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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It would have been an easy job to hold back those hordes of Italians, Matteo. You know how many Italian emigrants there were on board? One. And three more Italian-born men who had left their homeland years before and become resident in Britain or the USA. Lowe called everybody who looked foreign 'Italian', just as he called all orientals 'Japs'. He wasn't particularly prejudiced, that was just the way of the times.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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There must have been more than that, i mean Portalluppi of 2nd Class, Finoli of 3rd and they're the 2 i remember, those did however survive, the all the Restaurant staff, there will probs have been more passengers that i fail to remember, i have heard that there were Italian stokers too but i'm not sure, i'm aware of that and i know there were others calling them all Italians but i know that Lowe was the only one to be penalised for it and i know that we was forced to write a letter of apology to a very insulted Italian ambasador to the USA, didn't know that bit about the Japs though
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I'm talking about 3rd Class, which was generally regarded as the source of potential trouble. Finoli was an American saloon-keeper, but I've included him as one of the "three more Italian born" I mentioned above. Portaluppi was one of three Italian/American men in 2nd Class and there was an Italian manservant in 1st, but even if you include all of these extra Italians from 1st and 2nd Class (hardly likely to be found in a steerage mob) that's still only 8.

There were no Italian stokers as far as I know - all the Italian crew members were waiters or kitchen personnel. Unlike the stokers, these were generally quite docile.

Beware, by the way, of thoughts like "there must have been". Either there were or there weren't, and it's easy to check.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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If you're wondering who Lowe's crowd of 'Italians' really were, my money's on the Bulgarians. More than 30 men, mostly young, traveling without the encumbrance of wives and children. No survivors.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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Well yes i am aware that they were considered trouble which would probably be why, in some way or form, they were held back, never knew that about Portaluppi or Finoli, i doubt they would have been in the mob too, sorry on that one i though Van Der Brugge was Italian but he was Dutch, should have known as many Dutch seem to have Van Der or Van de in their name like Van Den Broeck ( Not a Titanic relation ) i'll try to avoid using them in future, where's best to check?? those being Bulgarians seems plausible, wonder if Lowe ever found out that they weren't Italians
Cheers Bob
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Best source to check details about individual crew members and passengers is the CD I recommended earlier (Titanic People)