About Bertha Antonine Mayné
Name: Mlle Bertha Antonine Mayné (Mrs de Villiers)
- Born: Thursday 21st July 1887
- Age: 24 years
- Last Residence: in Brussels Belgium
- Occupation: Singer
- 1st Class passenger
- First Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
- Ticket No. 17482 , £49 10s 1d
- Cabin No.: C90
- Rescued (boat 6)
- Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
- Died: Thursday 11th October 1962
- Buried: Ste-Agathe's Cemetery Berchem Sainte-Agathe Belgium
Berthe Antonine Mayné
(Courtesy: Herman de Wulf / Alan Hustak, Canada)
Berthe Antonine Mayné was born 21 July 1887 in Ixelles, Belgium. She was a cabaret singer who had had a liaison with Fernand de Villiers, a French soldier who joined the foreign legion and went off to the Belgian Congo. She sang under the stage name of Bella Vielly. One Belgian newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws, cryptically described her as "being well known in Brussels in circles of pleasure, and was often seen in the company of people who like to wine and dine and enjoy life."
In the winter of 1911 she met a young Montreal hockey player, Quigg Baxter, while she was performing in a Café in Brussels, and the two became lovers. He persuaded her to return to Montreal with him aboard Titanic, and, for the sake of propriety, installed her in her own first class stateroom, C-90, under the pseudonym. "Mrs de Villiers." The night of the disaster, Baxter rushed her into lifeboat 6 with his mother and sister. She slipped a long woollen overcoat over her nightdress, but balked when Quigg wanted her to go in the boat without him. She wanted to back to her cabin to get some jewellery, but Denver socialite Maggie Brown talked her out of it.
After the sinking she stayed in Montreal with the Baxter family for several months, then returned to Europe and resumed her career as a singer in Paris. She never married.
Eventually she retired to a comfortable house in Berchem-Ste-Agathe, a suburb of Brussels. In old age she tried to persuade her nephew that she had been on Titanic with a young Canadian millionaire, but no one believed her. After she died on 11 October 1962, the truth of the story was found in personal clippings, letters and photographs discovered in a shoebox among her personal belongings.
References and Sources
Alan Hustak (1999) Titanic: The Canadian Story. Vehicule Press, ISBN 1 55065 113 7.
- John Baxter (Quigg Baxters great nephew)
- Alan Hustak, Canada
- Herman DeWulf, Belgium
Berthe was een overlevende van de ramp met de Titanic.
Ze was aan boord gegaan onder het pseudoniem 'Berthe de Villiers'. Berthe had namelijk in het geheim afgesproken met een zekere Quigg Baxter, met wie ze een korte relatie had. Pas op latere leeftijd vertelde ze over haar avontuur, maar niemand geloofde haar. Na haar dood in 1962 vond haar familie knipsels enz die haar verhaal echter bevestigden...
Bron: diverse websites. Het verhaal van Berthe komt ook aan bod in het boek "100 jaar Titanic' van Dirk Musschoot (Lannoo, 2011)