Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Premier Stephen McNeil attends send off for Boston Christmas tree

In this Nov. 29, 2012 file photo, Frank Corbett, then-Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia, is flanked by RCMP officer during the lighting of the City of Boston's Christmas tree in Boston. The annual gift by Nova Scotia of the tree is in honor of aid that Boston sent following the 1917 explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax harbor that killed more than 1,600.

Charles Krupa/AP

Nova Scotia dispatched its annual gift of thanks to Boston today, sending a 14-metre white spruce to the city that pitched in 99 years ago after the Halifax Explosion killed or injured 11,000 people.

Premier Stephen McNeil stood under grey, drizzly skies outside city hall as a flatbed truck loaded with the towering tree headed out on the 1,800-kilometre journey to Boston.

Aboriginal drummers performed in front of the tree, which for the first time was harvested in Cape Breton on Crown-owned land close to the Waycobah First Nation.

Story continues below advertisement

McNeil said the tradition has helped forge close ties with the New England city, which will light the tree during a ceremony on the Boston Common that is expected to draw 30,000 people — with 240,000 more watching live on TV.

Boston Parks Commissioner Chris Cook says the city "could not be more grateful" for the evergreen gift and the bond it has strengthened over the last century.

Boston famously sent medical personnel and supplies after the Halifax Explosion, which killed almost 2,000 people, injured 9,000 and levelled a Mi'kmaq village when a munitions ship exploded in Halifax harbour on Dec. 6, 1917.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.