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So, Nova Scotia sent Boston another holiday tree.( Sad story, very sweet ending.)

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-12 07:47 PM
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So, Nova Scotia sent Boston another holiday tree.( Sad story, very sweet ending.)
Something you probably never knew about Boston:



On December 6, 1917 (WW I, of course), at about 9:05 a.m., two ships collided in the harbor of Halifax. One was the SS Imo, of Norwegian registry, which was carrying Belgian relief supplies. The other was the Mont Blanc, of French registry, which, sadly, was carrying 2500 tons of high explosives and a deck-load of monochlorobenzene.

The resulting explosion destroyed the 3000-ton vessel and the damage spread over 325 acres. More than 1600 people died instantly and over 9000 were injured, in a metropolitan area with a population of only 65,000 people. More Nova Scotians were killed in the explosion than were killed in World War I.

Schools, churches, factories and private homes were swept away by the force of the explosion. Then hot furnaces and upset stoves ignited the wreckage and large areas were reduced to charred ruins.

Within hours, the Nova Scotians began relief efforts. Within 24 hours of the disaster, Boston had a stocked with supplies and emergency personnel en route to Halifax and this help from Boston was the first outside help to arrive.

I don't know what prompted Nova Scotia to consider these events 54 years later, but it did. In 1971, Nova Scotia thanked Boston by sending us a Christmas, er holiday tree, er, fresh yule log. And it has done so every year since, 41 years and counting.

The tree is sent off by the children of St. Stephen's school with a little ceremony marked with readings of Christmas stories. On arrival in Boston, it receives a police escort to Boston Common, so called because colonists kept that land as a common pasture so that cows could graze in the city. Boston Common remains a green area today, with a little pond that becomes an ice skating rink in winter. (Sadly, a lot of our downtown shopping area has become tacky since 1971. ("Malled," I guess.)



At the common, the tree was met by the children of Mather Elementary School in Dorchester (a section of Boston that is also the site of one of George Washington's battles and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library). They waved flags to welcome the tree. The children of St. Stephen's and Mather have become pen pals over the years. Santa was also on hand to watch the tree going into place.

Two smaller trees were also donated for two of Boston's homeless shelters.

This year's largest tree is an imposing 45 feet tall and will be the star of the tree lighting festivities on November 29.



The Common will also get a huge creche, flanked by supposedly secular symbols of Christmas (oxymoron), like Santa (St. Nicholas) and a symbol of another faith, a menorah.


Now, on principle, I oppose all this church state stuff. But, I ain't made of stone. This is a sweet story.





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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-12 09:47 PM
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1. It Is A Sweet Story
I am very fond of Halifax, which is a wonderful place.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-12 01:42 AM
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2. Halifax buried many of the Titanic victims, too.
There used to be a cruise from Boston to Nova Scotia. If it is still around, maybe that is something I should do next year.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-12 04:33 PM
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5. You might have to drive to Portland
The CAT used to go out of Bar Harbor, but that is no more. I know some folks from NS. Nice people. We live a 2 Hour drive fro the Border. Day Tripping there is fun.

Nice story.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-12 08:33 AM
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6. Thanks. I hate change! Too rigid, I am.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-12 06:51 AM
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3. I like it! NT
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-12 11:29 AM
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4. Of course you do. You ain't made of stone, either.
And, obviously, neither were the people of Halifax.

The cost of Burying about 140 of the Titanic victims in 1912 and relief efforts for the 1917 explosion fell pretty much on the same folks and I don't imagine money or goods were easy to come by in Halifax in 1912 or 1917.

We should probably honor them, instead of vice versa.
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