Merry Christmas, Boston

In what has become a Nova Scotian tradition, a Christmas tree is being sent to the people of Boston as thanks for their help during the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion.

Every year since 1971, a Christmas tree is chosen to be delivered to Boston. This year’s tree, a 15-metre white spruce, was cut today, Nov. 16, at a ceremony on Gary and Roseann Misner’s property in North Alton, King’s Co.

“For many of us, this annual ceremony marks the start of the Christmas season here in Nova Scotia,” said John MacDonell, Minister of Natural Resources. “A symbol of goodwill and thankfulness, the Boston tree represents the true meaning of Christmas.”

On Dec. 6, 1917, two ships, the SS Mont-Blanc, a French ship carrying munitions, and the Norwegian SS Imo, collided in Halifax Harbour resulting in the largest man-made explosion in pre-atomic history and much of Halifax was devastated. Nineteen hundred people died and 9,000 more were injured. Boston was quick to respond, sending a train with doctors, nurses and supplies. There were community relief drives in Boston for the people of Halifax.

“It’s an honour to have our tree chosen,” said Mr. Misner. “We’re glad to get the chance to contribute and we’re quite proud to be part of this tradition.”

The Boston Christmas tree usually comes from a private landowner and is selected by the Department of Natural Resources. The chosen tree must be balsam fir, white spruce or red spruce, 12 to 16-metres tall.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal provides staff and equipment to load and deliver the tree to Boston, which will make part of the journey by ferry. RCMP from

Kings Detachment took part in the ceremony, escorting the tree to the highway.

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