THIS Sunday will be a very special day for the city I called home for the first 23 years of my life.
Belfast is hosting a string of events this week to celebrate the most famous ship which ever sailed down the River Lagan.
For a tragically short space of time the Titanic was the largest moving man-made object on the planet.
It stopped moving rather suddenly 100 years ago on Sunday when it slammed into an iceberg in the north Atlantic on its maiden voyage.
Fifteen hundred lives – including that of Dewsbury violinist Wallace Hartley who played on as the great ship sank – were lost for the want of enough lifeboats.
The doomed ocean liner was built at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, just three miles from where I grew up.
My native city is not letting the 100th anniversary pass by unnoticed.
Belfast is in the midst of a two-week festival, if that is the right word, to mark the centenary of the great liner’s demise.
A six-storey £60m Titanic museum opened in the city a few weeks ago, followed last weekend by a huge lights show based on the boat’s story which was six months in the planning.
MTV will host a special concert in Belfast on Friday to mark the anniversary of the sinking. And on Sunday the back-slapping will give way to a more sombre mood as a new memorial garden to the Titanic’s dead is opened in Belfast City Hall.
It is hard to know what to make of all these celebrations of the world’s most famous – and most famously flawed – ship.
In one sense I feel great pride that my native city is seizing one part of its troubled history and selling it to the world.
Harland and Wolff – though a mere shadow of what it once was – still has a powerful hold over the minds of Belfast people.
When I land at George Best International Airport it is hard to describe the great surge of pride I feel when I see the two immense shipyard cranes which we know as Samson and Goliath.