This year’s Christmas tree for Boston is cut, wrapped, and ready for send-off after a well-attended ceremony in Purlbrook, Antigonish Co., today, Nov. 17.
“This tree will be part of the proud, annual tradition of thanking the city of Boston for helping Nova Scotia in our time of need,” said Randy Delorey, Minister of Environment, on behalf of Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill. “It is a great honour for Antigonish County to be providing this year’s tree and we are grateful to the MacPhersons for donating it to represent the province in Boston.”
The tree was donated by John and Ethel Ann MacPherson of Purlbrook. It will be given to Boston as part of Nova Scotia’s annual thank you to that city for help provided after the 1917 Halifax explosion.
“Our kids used to swing on this tree but now they’re fully grown and so is the tree, so we are glad to make it part of this great tradition,” said Mr. MacPherson.
Nova Scotia has been sending a Christmas tree to Boston yearly, since 1971. This is the first time the tree is coming from the northern half of the province.
The 13-metre (43-foot) white spruce is about 55 years old and will be the 43rd tree sent to Boston since the annual tradition began.
The Halifax explosion claimed about 2,000 lives and left thousands injured and many homeless. Boston was quick to provide medical personnel and supplies.
“Nova Scotia and Boston have long shared a neighbourly relationship so I want to thank the MacPherson family and the province for continuing this wonderful tradition which I know Bostonians greatly appreciate during the holiday season,” said Scott Whitmore, U.S. Consul for Atlantic Canada, based in Halifax.
The tree was cut on the MacPhersons’ property by staff and students from the environmental technologies program at the Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus. The tree-cutting ceremony included Mr. Delorey, Mr. Whitmore, Colette Wyllie of the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia, hundreds of local school children, a town crier, RCMP and Nova Scotia conservation officers, an Antigonish bagpiper, and a visit from Santa. Television meteorologist Cindy Day acted as MC.
A public send-off ceremony for the tree will be in Grand Parade in Halifax, tomorrow, at 11:30 a.m. The musical group, the Stanfields, will perform and people may sign a thank you book for Boston. The tree will also be brought to the Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre at the provincial border near Amherst at 3:45 p.m. for a public viewing and photo opportunity.
The tree lighting will take place on the Boston Common, Dec. 4, at a ceremony that attracts about 20,000 people and is broadcast live on the ABC Boston television channel.
Nova Scotians can help continue the tradition by reporting on the perfect Nova Scotia tree for Boston, for future years. Anyone knowing of a white or red spruce or balsam fir that is 12 to 15 metres high (40-50 feet), with good symmetry, and easy road access, should contact their local Natural Resources office at www.novascotia.ca/natr/staffdir/offices.asp .
Details on this year’s tree-cutting ceremony are at novascotia.ca/treeforboston and people can follow the tree’s travels on Twitter through @TreeforBoston and like the tree on Facebook at www.facebook.com/treeforboston.