Parrs­boro driver de­liv­ers spe­cial tree

Truro Daily News - - NEWS - BY FRAM DINSHAW

Dave Mac­far­lane has quite a fan base in Bos­ton.

For the sixth year in a row he is driv­ing the city’s Christ­mas tree from Nova Sco­tia to Bos­ton, along high­ways of­ten lined with cheer­ing by­standers and mo­torists honk­ing their horns in sup­port.

“The closer we get to Mas­sachusetts the more peo­ple know it’s their tree com­ing to Bos­ton, so there’s a lot of wav­ing, a lot of peo­ple pulling over and tak­ing pic­tures,” said Mac­far­lane, who hails from Parrs­boro. “Go­ing into Bos­ton the first time, go­ing into the down­town and city com­mon, there was a crowd of peo­ple wait­ing for the tree.”

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

For Mac­far­lane, a veteran truck driver of 20 years who works as a snow plow op­er­a­tor on the Cobe­quid Pass, most of the jour­ney is fairly easy, even load­ing the tree onto the truck with a crane. The trick­i­est part is right at the end, nav­i­gat­ing the wind­ing streets of Bos­ton that lead to the Com­mon – the city’s main park where the tree is dis­played.

Tak­ing Bos­ton’s tree over the Amer­i­can bor­der is fairly easy, as the pa­per­work is filed in ad­vance and the tree it­self is in­spected for pests, pre­vent­ing the trans­port of un­wanted bugs into the United States. The tree is pre­pared by a team from Nova Sco­tia’s Depart­ment of Lands and Forestry.

Be­fore leav­ing for the U.S., Mac- Far­lane took the tree on a mini­tour of Nova Sco­tia.

Do­nated by Ross Mckel­lar and Teresa Simp­son of Ox­ford, the tree was cut the morn­ing of Nov. 15 and made an ap­pear­ance in Truro later that same day. Its next stop was the Chron­i­cle Her­ald Hol­i­day Pa­rade of Lights on Nov. 17.

Af­ter a stop in Amherst Sun­day, Mac­far­lane set out to drive his cargo along the high­ways of New Brunswick, Maine and through New Hamp­shire and into Mas­sachusetts.

Once it ar­rives at the Bos­ton Com­mon, the tree will be lit up in the pres­ence of Nova Sco­tian town criers and mem­bers of the RCMP. The Bos­ton Com­mon hol­i­day tree light­ing is Thurs­day, Nov. 29.

“It makes me feel proud to be a Cana­dian and a Nova Sco­tian and that we still send a tree in thanks for what Bos­ton did for us in our time of need,” said Mac­far­lane.

FRAM DINSHAW/ TRURO NEWS

Dave Mac­far­lane has driven the Christ­mas tree from Nova Sco­tia to Bos­ton for six straight years. He drove the flatbed truck car­ry­ing the tree to Truro’s Rath Eastlink Com­mu­nity Cen­tre on Nov. 15, where lo­cal fam­i­lies and school­child­ren came to check it out. From left, Lynn Chase and her grand­daugh­ter Nora Chase and Dave Mac­far­lane. Young school chil­dren were also quite in­ter­ested in the huge tree.

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