Boston Tree Marks Halifax Explosion’s 100th Anniversary

In the 100th anniversary year of the Halifax Explosion, Nova Scotia’s annual Christmas tree gift to Boston is coming from Cape Breton. 

The tree is given as part of the annual thank you to Boston for the help the city sent Nova Scotia after the 1917 devastation of north-end Halifax. Bob and Marion Campbell and their family from Blues Mills in Inverness Co., are this year’s tree donors.

“This annual tradition represents our ongoing gratitude to Boston for their assistance in our time of great need, a century ago,” said Margaret Miller, Minister of Natural Resources. “I thank the Campbell family for their generous donation of their beautiful tree which will become our provincial Christmas gift to Boston in this special anniversary year.”

The 16-metre (53 feet) white spruce will be celebrated at a public cutting ceremony beginning at the Campbell’s property at 10:30 on Wednesday, Nov. 15. This is the first private donation of a Boston tree from Cape Breton. Last year’s tree was taken from Crown land in the same county.

In 1917, Boston sent medical personnel and supplies when nearly 2,000 people were killed and hundreds more left injured and homeless by the historic Halifax Explosion.

“This tree represents something very special to our province and its relationship with Boston,” said Mr. Campbell. “We have been blessed to have a tree worthy of donation in recognition of the speedy and compassionate response by the people of Boston to the Halifax explosion. 

“Our family is thrilled to be part of the Nova Scotia tradition of honouring Boston’s relief efforts especially on the 100th anniversary of this tragic event.”

Several hundred school children will attend the tree-cutting ceremony from the Whycocogomagh Education Centre, the We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw School, and the Inverness Education Centre. The minister will be joined by Chief Rod Googoo and Tiny Cremo of Waycobah First Nation, television meteorologist Cindy Day and Santa Claus. 

There will be a performance of traditional Mi’kmaw drumming by We’koqma’qewiskwa, a drum group from the Waycobah First Nation. Cape Breton fiddler Kyle MacDonald will also perform. 

After the ceremony, the tree will be trucked to Halifax. At the Grand Parade, 1790 Argyle St., at Halifax City Hall, there will be a final public farewell at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 17. The province will then transport the tree 1,117 kilometres to Boston.

For more information and important dates regarding the Tree for Boston, visit . and follow Tree for Boston on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.