15 February 2012

Meet Me in the Tepidarium After Temple

On this day in 1936:



The larger private suites on the main deck of the Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary, which will sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton on 27th May, will be of the most elaborate character. They will comprise--

Two sets of double bedrooms, sitting room, dining room, lobby, halls, pantry and other space.

On C deck near one of the swimming pools, are the special baths. They include--

Frigidarium (cold chamber), tepidarium (warm chamber), calidarium (hot chamber), steamroom, massage rooms, electric baths.

On the same deck is the first class restaurant, seating some 830 persons. Private dining rooms, giving off the main restaurant, are situated in each corner.

On the sports deck are a squash racket court, spaces for deck tennis and other games, and the kennels. On the sun deck is a gymnasium, a verandah lounge, grill and cocktail bar.

Plans of eight decks of the giant liner show smoke rooms, galleries, covered and opened promenades, lounges, shops, a lecture room, children's play room, drawing rooms, studio, library, ballroom, observation lounge, and cocktail bar on the promenade deck. Beauty parlors are on B deck.

The Queen Mary will be the first ship in the world to have a synagogue.

Other ships have rooms which are sometimes temporarily converted to synagogues but in the Queen Mary, the synagogue will be permanent and the space will be used for no other purpose except Jewish religious worship.

Mr. J. C. Eprile, F. R. I. B. A., who has designed the temple said: "The synagogue will hold about 50 worshippers.

"It will be about 20 feet square and although in miniature, will be complete in every detail.

"The walls will be panelled in English oak and maccassar, with in ebony bandings. The pews will be oak.

"Inscriptions in Hebrew will be laid in wooden letters round of the panelling. Special wood has been brought from the Dominion for this purpose.

"The ceiling of the synagogue will be in cerulean blue picked out in [illegible].

"The fittings will include a shulchan, or reading desk, which was made from oak, maccassar and ebony.

"The ark contains the scrolls of the law, which are the Five Books of Moses in the Old Testament, written by hand on parchment by Jewish scribes. This task, by the [illegible] they have to do from memory.

"The Queen Mary's engineers arranged for the Jewish Nair-Tomid, or perpetual Light of Remembrance, to be lit electrically on a special circuit so that it will never go out. The fitting holding the light is to be hand-wrought bronze.

"The temple is being arranged so that high festivals as well as ordinary sabbath services can be celebrated."

The synagogue will be on B deck amidships.

The design has been passed [illegible] Jewish council of Beth-din as [illegible] the Cunard-White Star authority.

Source: The Longreach Leader (Queensland, Australia)

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