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Reprinted from the Cape Breton Post, November 16, 2020
HALIFAX, N.S. — Even Nova Scotia’s Christmas tree donation to the city of Boston is affected by COVID-19 this year, as the ceremony for the annual gift was held on Monday under pandemic restrictions.
The 45-foot white spruce represents the gratitude of the people of Nova Scotia to those of the American city for their support after the Halifax Explosion devastated the city on Dec. 6, 1917, resulting in the deaths of about 2,000 people and injuries to approximately 9,000 more.
Heather and Tony Sampson donated this year’s tree, which is from Grande Anse, Richmond County.
“Nova Scotia will never forget those who were lost and injured as a result of the explosion, and the support from the people of Boston,” Premier Stephen McNeil said in a news release. “This year’s Tree for Boston is dedicated to health-care workers, honouring both the 1917 response and those taking care of us on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are thankful for the compassion and kindness shown in times of need.”
The tree’s journey is also being affected by the pandemic. Instead of the usual trucking route, it will be sent via a shipping container vessel. The tree will leave Halifax on Wednesday and be delivered to Boston Common in a few days.
Nova Scotians and Bostonians can take part in the celebrations by following the Tree for Boston on social media leading up to the one-hour virtual tree-lighting ceremony on Dec. 3 at 8 p.m., according to the provincial news release.
“The broadcast is expected to reach an audience of more than 200,000 viewers on WCVB Channel 5 Boston, and highlights the Celtic Colours International Festival featuring performances by the Barra MacNeils and Sarah and Elizabeth MacInnis with Jenny MacKenzie,” the news release said.
Watch the virtual broadcast: 8 pm (AST) or 7:00 pm (EST) Thursday, 3 December 2020 on WCVB-TV