Unique jour­ney

Bos­ton Christ­mas tree com­ing from Ox­ford

The Amherst News - - FRONT PAGE -

For the first time, Nova Sco­tia’s an­nual Christ­mas tree gift to Bos­ton is com­ing from Cum­ber­land County.

Ross McKel­lar and Teresa Simp­son from Ox­ford are do­nat­ing the 14-me­tre tall white spruce that will soon be­gin its 1,100-kilo­me­tre jour­ney to Bos­ton.

In July, McKel­lar and Simp­son were ap­proached by the prov­ince of Nova Sco­tia and told that their tree was in the run­ning for the trip to Bos­ton.

“When we found out in the first part of Au­gust that it was selected, we were very hon­oured,” said Simp­son.

Simp­son is happy the tree is com­ing from Ox­ford.

“It will be nice to have Ox­ford on the map for some­thing other than a sink­hole,” said Simp­son with a laugh. “It’s very ex­cit­ing for the town, as well as for our fam­ily.”

Since 1971, the tree has been given as part of the an­nual thank you to Bos­ton for send­ing med­i­cal per­son­nel and sup­plies when nearly 2,000 peo­ple were killed and hun­dreds more were left in­jured and home­less by the Hal­i­fax Ex­plo­sion in early De­cem­ber 1917.

“The Tree for Bos­ton is one of our proud­est tra­di­tions as we hon­our the kind­ness Bos­ton showed us in our time of need,” said Lands and Forestry Min­is­ter Iain Rankin. “This year, we will mark the 101st an­niver­sary of the Hal­i­fax Ex­plo­sion at the Bos­ton Tree Light­ing on Nov. 29.”

The tree will be cel­e­brated here at a pub­lic cut­ting cer­e­mony at 10:30 a.m. on Wed­nes­day, Nov. 15.

Stu­dents from the Ox­ford Re­gional Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre will at­tend the cer­e­mony to learn about the Hal­i­fax Ex­plo­sion. Af­ter the cer­e­mony, the tree will stop in Truro and Hal­i­fax. It will then be on pub­lic dis­play at the Rath Eastlink Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Truro, on Nov. 15, at 2 p.m.

There will be a pub­lic farewell at 11:30 a.m. on Fri­day, Nov. 16 at the Grand Pa­rade in down­town Hal­i­fax.

The tree will also ap­pear in the Chron­i­cle Her­ald Hol­i­day Pa­rade of Lights on Satur­day, Nov. 17.

It’s ex­pected it will also make a quick stop in Amherst on Nov. 18 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Su­per­store park­ing lot prior to cross­ing the New Brunswick bor­der on its way to Bos­ton.

The tree light­ing at the Bos­ton Com­mon is Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.

The an­nual event at­tracts more than 30,000 peo­ple to the cer­e­mony in down­town Bos­ton, while an­other 300,000, or more, tune in on tele­vi­sion.

For more in­for­ma­tion and im­por­tant dates re­gard­ing the Tree for Bos­ton, visit www.no­vas­co­tia.ca/treefor­boston and fol­low Tree for Bos­ton on Face­book, Twit­ter and In­sta­gram.

SUB­MIT­TED

Ross McKel­lar and Teresa Simp­son of Ox­ford have do­nated the 14-me­tre tall white spruce to Bos­ton that con­tin­ues a tra­di­tion that sees a Nova Sco­tia tree given to the U.S. to say thanks for send­ing med­i­cal per­son­nel and sup­plies to Hal­i­fax fol­low­ing the Hal­i­fax Ex­plo­sion in 1917. -Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Nova Sco­tia

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