Christmas Island Family Donates Christmas Tree for Boston

The Tree for Boston, a deeply rooted Nova Scotia tradition, hails from the aptly named community of Christmas Island this year.

The 45-foot (13.7-metre) white spruce was donated by landowner Roddy Townsend, along with his children Angela, Carmen and Andrew.

“The holidays are a time of reflection and gratitude,” said Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. “The Tree for Boston continues to be a sign of our deep appreciation for the aid Boston provided after the Halifax Explosion.” 

The public is invited to attend the tree-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, November 16, on the Townsend family’s property at 8008 Grand Narrows Highway, Christmas Island, Cape Breton. Carmen Townsend, an award-winning musician, will perform a song she has written about the Tree for Boston, and a local Mi’Kmaq elder will conduct a smudging ceremony before the tree is cut. 

“It is only fitting that the Tree for Boston this year is coming from Cape Breton’s own Christmas Island. I thank the Townsend family for this wonderful gift to the people of Boston who were so generous to Nova Scotia in its time of need after the Halifax explosion.”
     – Keith Bain, Speaker, House of Assembly, and MLA for Victoria-The Lakes

“We are grateful to Boston and beyond excited to be a part of such a wonderful tradition. We feel this is going to bring a lot of happiness to the surrounding communities. The tree is such a special gesture of gratitude, hope and continuing friendship.”
     – Townsend family 

Quick Facts:
— 2022 marks the 105th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion
— the Tree for Boston is the Province’s annual thank you to Boston for sending medical personnel and supplies to Nova Scotia within hours of the Halifax Explosion in 1917
— the explosion devastated north-end Halifax, killed nearly 2,000 people and left thousands more injured and homeless
— the first Tree for Boston was donated by Joseph Slauenwhite from Lunenburg County
— the Tree for Boston will leave Halifax on November 21 and reach its destination for a tree-lighting ceremony on December 1 at 7 p.m. at the Boston Common

Additional Resources:
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Source: Release

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