The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic will commemorate the 97th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion with special events on Saturday, Dec. 6.
It will begin at precisely 9:06 a.m. when the CSS Acadia will ring its bell, along with other ship bells and sirens, for 20 seconds. The time is significant because the explosion happened at 9:06 a.m. on Dec. 6, 1917. The Halifax Citadel gun will also sound off to acknowledge the lives that were lost, those who suffered and those involved in the rescue efforts.
“The Halifax Explosion is the tragedy that families in Halifax and across the province will never forget — not in 97 years, not in 197 years,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince. “On Dec. 6, we think of everything that was lost on that terrible day, but we also think of the aid that came from Boston and other places, and the hope they brought with them.”
At 1 p.m., artist Laurie Swim will share her proposed community art project for the 2017 centenary of the explosion. An Introduction to Hope and Survival: The Halifax Explosion Memorial Project, is an initiative that includes a special Scroll of Remembrance of the Dead sewn by volunteers. She will also show textile quilt pieces depicting the images of the aftermath of the tragedy.
“I find it technically challenging and endlessly interesting to find ways to interpret an image with texture and colour,” said Ms. Swim. “The fact that the image is bits of fibre adds intrigue to works that document a personal journey that brings me spiritually closer to the core of the place that I have always called home.”
At 2 p.m., songwriter David Stone will tell the story of the explosion through a cycle of ten songs that he wrote based on his research into the disaster and conversations with survivors and their families. The concert will feature the song, All of the Questions, a tribute to harbour pilot Francis Mackey.
Admission to the museum will be free for the day. Donations to support the museum’s Mission to Seafarers and Boatload of Toys campaigns are welcome.
For more information, visit http://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca.