First Class

The prominent victims

Probably the most notable amongst the list of fatalities was the leading Argentine businessman, Francisco Garovaglio. He was the joint founder of the conglomerate, Garovaglio y Zorraquin, that still quotes today in a much diminished form on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange. In 1886, Francisco founded a company in the province of Tucuman that was dedicated to trading agricultural products, particularly sugar. In 1898, he joined forces with Federico Zorraquin and they became a corporation in March 1926. It owned the Banco de Credito Immobiliario and the sugar refinery, Cruz Alta. Garovaglio died without leaving any children and his wife died some twenty years later.

Edward Galtiero, another victim, was the only US citizen aboard. Travelling in First Class, he was en route to Sao Paulo where he was the general manager of US Steel's plant in that city.

Evangelina Novillo de Quiroga and Amalie Millan were two members of the Argentine landed aristocracy. Evangelina was a widow, though only 30 years old. Amalie was her cousin and had agreed to accompany her on a grand tour of Europe. Both went down with the Mafalda.

Jose Parma, a prominent fruit packer and exporter from the city of Avellaneda (adjoining Buenos Aires) also was a victim. He was 39 years of age. He was seen near the end, nonchalantly smoking on the deck as the waters rose over the Mafalda.

Vincenzo Cherubini was a prominent rancher and doctor from the city of Mendoza in the west of Argentina. He had made the trip to Europe for study purposes. He was the head of one of the wards of the Hospital San Antonio.

Fritz-Henning von Lücken, 29, was a member of a German (Mecklenburg) aristocratic family that dated back to the 1300s. It is claimed he died because he had a young girl on his lifesaving ring. 

Antonio Diaz, his wife Marta Silberstein and their daughter, Flora, were numbered amongst the victims. Diaz was the retired general manager of the Banco Hipotecario, the national mortgage bank in Argentina.

Wilhelmine (Minnie) Bucherer-Heeb (pictured below) was the wife of the owner of a prominent jewelery store in Santiago de Chile. She was also the daughter-in-law of the founder of the famous Swiss watch maker, Bucherer. Her father was the owner of an embroidery factory in Switzerland.She was travelling with a sizeable amount of stock for the jewellery store and this went down with the ship. In honour of Minnie, there is a watch in her name. 

Fritz von Luchen was a German aristocrat.

A survivor & a victim

Carlos Costa relates "My grandmother's name was Helena Frigeri Cyrino. But she was known as a socialite as "Helena Cyrino". She was a young widow. She was 16 yo when she got married and became widow before she turn 18 y o. At the time of the accident my father was about 11 years old. She has passed away. I was told she was the only woman survivor at the Formosa ship. The people on the Formosa were the last to be rescued and they had to endure the longest in the water knowing the two rescue ship had left not hoping to be saved after all. Many gave up fighting. My grandmother was unrecognizable I was told. She was this glamourous independently wealthy woman and she was brought back in oversized sailor's uniform and totally distressed with the things she had seen and lived... including her brother (Antonio Daneri) who committed suicide after seeing the ones who were already in the water drowning or "being eaten by sharks" (the controversial story but I grew up hearing that was the reason he took his own life).

I grew up with this hero image of my grandmother. She owned properties in Lake Locarno, Milan and Rio. She had to fight her way through the crew who refuse to help the first class passengers (it was a sort of rebellion on board, if you read the statistics of the number of victims against survivors, you realize it was like a French Revolution situation, where the crew together with the 2nd class passengers tried to express their resentment to the 1st class passengers by literally leaving them behind) and also the fellow passengers who refused to hear her out about leaving their belongs behind to avoid drowning with it... Fortunately, in spite of the incident with her brother, she threw herself in the ocean and tried to reach further away from the ship to avoid the water vacuum it would make once it went totally down.

She was found on a floating board. She was a great long distance swimmer and she had to fight other who tried to hold on to her to avoid drowning... she broke a leg and was totally crazy by the time they finally rescued her, so due to the fact that there were not many way to provide treatment on board of the Formosa, they administered morphine. So, it was a beginning of an addiction that led her to spend a fortune with prescriptions and many trips to Buenos Aires, once in Brazil the medication was controlled. She made many trips to Europe and even Argentina and Uruguay by ship. There was no other option...and after passed away in early 60's". 

Here is a photo taken on the rescue ship, Formosa, of a group of First Class survivors.They are most likely Gina and Ines Bachherini, George Beraud, David Campodonico, Antonio Fontana, Robert Skelton and Louise Ellis.

Ines and Gina Baccherini in Rio de Janeiro after their landing.  

Here are more survivors (unnamed) from a Brazilian magazine.

First Class Survivors 

 Name  Nationality Age   Destination  Rescue Ship  Notes
 Baccherini, Gina  Italian    Rio  Formosa  
 Baccherini, Ines  Italian   Rio   Formosa  
 Beraud, Georges        Formosa  Granade, Georges?
 Campodonico, David      Bs As  Formosa  
 Cyrino, Helena Frigeri      Rio  Formosa  
 de Rosas, Patricio  Argentine 52   Bs As  Alhena  Fabrizio?
 de Rosas, Vittoria  Argentine 42   Bs As  Alhena   Victoria?
 Ellis, Louise  British      Formosa  Luisa?
 Fontana, Antonio        Formosa  
 Gini, Corrado  Italian      Alhena  
Micheli, Iole Ernesta        Formosa  Yole?
Micheli Guarnerini, Laura         Formosa  
Marini, Santo        Formosa  
Ottaviani, Mario   Italian  Buenos Aires  Formosa  2nd Class, from Treviso, to Bs As on Duca degli Abruzzo
 Pecci, Pascual Paraguay 35  Alhena 
 Pecci, Armando Paraguay 4  Alhena 
 Pecci, Isabella Paraguay  34  Alhena 
 Pecci, Maria Paraguay 6  Alhena 
Pozzi, Lina        Formosa  
Rivarola, Camilo   Argentine      Formosa  ship's doctor?
Skelton, Robert   British      Formosa  
 Vercellino, Elsa    Formosa Elza?
 Vercellino, Eugenio    Formosa 
 Vercellino, Hebe    Formosa Ebe?
 Vercellino, Juan        Formosa  Joao
 Vercellino, Mathilde    Formosa Mathilde
 Vollrath, Carlos A.  German  44    Alhena  Karl Vohlrath?

First Class Victims

 Barboza, LeonorBrazilian    Mother of Celina & Jose
 Bucherer-Heeb, Minnie Swiss 29   
 Cherubini, Vincenzo Argentine 58 Bs As 
 Collentini, Velia Italian 23  
 Daneri, Antonio Italian 29 Rio? Brother of Helena Cyrino
 Diaz, Antonio Argentine 60 Bs As 
 Diaz, Flora Argentine 23 Bs As 
 Silverstein de Diaz, Marta Argentine 53  
 Fernandez, Juan C.    
 Fontana, Eduardo Uruguayan 44  Brother of Antonio
 Galtiero, Edward U.S.  47  
 Garovaglio, Francisco Argentine 70  
 Hidalgo, Maria L.  Spanish   
 Micheli, Amilcare Italian 50  
 Kappus, Richard German 30  
 Mayol, Luis S. Spanish   
 Mazucchelli, Carlos Italian 52  
 Mazucchelli, Maria Italian 45  
 Mazuchelli, Rosa Argentine 26  
 Meyer Barboza, Celina Italian 26 Santos 
 Meyer Barboza, Jose Italian 22 Santos 
 Millan, Amalie Argentine 34  
 Novillo de Quiroga, Evangelina Argentine 30  
 Parma, Jose Argentine 43  
 Polacco, Giorgio Italian 24  
 Re, Antonio    
 Suore, Filippo    
 Suore, Luigi    
 Von Lücken, Fritz-Henning German29