I didn’t even realize there were any Titanic survivors left. Imagine, a living link to the Titanic.
It recently came to light that that last Titanic survivor, Millvina Dean, 98, who was nine weeks old when she was rescued from the sinking ship, has had to sell personal mementos to pay her nursing home bills. A photographer, Don Mullan, had taken a picture of Millvina signing an autograph a few years ago, and has recently been selling prints, with all the proceeds going to The Millvina Fund, set up so that Millvina wouldn’t have to worry about her bills anymore. Mullan challenged Winslet, DiCaprio, James Cameron and others involved in the film to match him dollar for dollar. They have, and now Mullan is waiting to hear from Celine Dion and others.
It’s a nice story, and the real Good Guy here is Mullan, whose kindness and decency is an inspiration. And good for Nokia too, which is sponsering the limited edition of photo prints to sell, taking no cut for themselves. It’s good publicity, but it’s still the right thing to do.
Ooops, I meant to include the Wikipedia link for Millvina Dean but forgot and missed the edit window.
Here’s more about Don Mullan. He’s far more than a photographer! He’s a humanitarian, author and filmmaker (several fascinating-sounding films for Ireland’s TV3). He was also “co-producer, source writer, and actor” in the film Bloody Sunday, directed by Paul Greengrass (United 93, Bournes 2&3, and the upcoming Green Zone with Matt Damon).
When I saw the Titanic Exhibit a few months ago in Vegas, the “identity” I was given was Millvina Dean.
(For those who haven’t been, you’re given a card as you enter the exhibit, with some info about a particular person, and you’re supposed to look at the rosters at the end to see if your person lived or died).
I hope she gets all the financial help she needs to live out the rest of her days in peace and comfort.
So do I.
I saw the exhibit in Branson two or three years ago. I still have the shrunken styrofoam cup souvenir (they subject an 8 oz cup–they let you decorate it with Sharpies–to undersea pressure. It comes out looking like a thimble. Very cool.), but I’ve lost my little identity card.
I thought those cards were a stroke of genius. They made me more fully aware–as I searched the lists to see if “I” survived–of the fact that these were real, living people who went through that horror and not just abstract characters in some tragic tale.
I dunno, I find the idea of Mullan publically challenging others to be charitable to be fairly nauseating, frankly. Being loud about ones own charity is pretty crass in the first place, and to then dare others to be as swell as you is even worse. That this all apparently springs from a photographic publicity campaign for Nokia makes me even more skeptical as to his intentions.
Great that this lady no longer has to worry about medical bills, but I honestly can’t muster much respect for this Mullan guy in the way he’s gone about it. Sounds like he’s taken a nice gesture from Di Caprio and Winslet, and made it all about himself. Who’s to say they wouldn’t have helped out if contacted privately, but now it’s all written up as if they had to be dared. Bleh.
That’s the first thing I thought of too, that doing this publicly was a bit tacky. But then it occured to me, this lady needed money pretty fast, how long would it take to work your way through all the agents, managers, pr reps ect. to get to Di Caprio or Winslet? Looked to me that while this guy was semi involved in the entertainment industry, it was at a very low level. Like saying that because I’m a DoD Contractor, I must be able to dial up the Secretary of Defense from my desk. So I choose to give him the benifit of the doubt and say that this was just the fastest way to get their attention to get the money for this lady quickly.
I dunno; you phone up and say “hi, I’m acting on behalf of the last Titanic survivor,” I think you get prompt attention. Neither Di Caprio or Winslet are renowned bastards; quite the reverse. Cameron, well maybe, but still.
And even if you do think this is the best way to go about things, to then give interviews after the fact about how you felt it was only moral that other people give money (i.e. traducing their act of charity to make yourself look big) is, as you put it, pretty tacky.
I did see where one man bought something, paid cash, then immediately returned it to her. That was nice. Of course, until the stars find out about something, you can’t expect much. I was pleased that once they did know, they did at least something.
I can’t speak for dropzone, but I myself wanted to Pit the hell out of you for stinking up this thread with your cynicism about Don Mullan and your, as I saw it, blatant threadshitting (it even crossed my mind that you were a $cientologist, since it’s downstat to show compassion or help anyone). It wasn’t worth the effort. And Millvina’s dead now, so what difference does it make?
Well, I suggest that everyone who is so precious that they can’t distinguish criticism of a self-aggrandising Nokia shill from a lack of compassion for the elderly go right ahead and Pit the hell out of me. It’ll be hilarious.
I mean, really; Scientology? Would you listen to yourself? Christ.
I was surprised to learn that she lived in the UK, I thought they had some sort of universal health coverage over there, as well as some kind of pension or social security. And her single room cost 3000 pounds a month? What’s up with that? You could get a posh NYC apartment for that…