Nova Scotia giving us five Christmas trees this year

In addition to the standard giant tree on the Common to be lit up on Nov. 29, the province is sending us four smaller trees, for the Pine Street Inn and Rosie's Place, the Parks and Recreation Department reports.

Nova Scotia sends us an annual tree as thanks for the trainload of doctors, emergency workers and supplies we sent to Halifax in 1917 after a relief ship rammed a munitions ship, causing what was at the time the largest manmade explosion ever. Some 2,000 people died, 9,000 more suffered injuries and downtown Halifax was completely destroyed.

Efforts were made this year to educate the public about how the annual gift-giving tradition from Halifax began. One class at the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester began a pen pal relationship with children their age at St. Stephen’s School in Halifax. The students spoke with each other via Skype on two occasions. In addition, photographs taken following the 1917 explosion are on display during the month of November at Boston City Hall.

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Exhibit at City Hall

Currently there is a small photo exhibit at Boston City Hall in the second floor hallway behind the Registry Division commemorating this event. Last year I tweeted a picture of the tree thanking Nova Scotia for it, and it got some enthusiastic responses and retweets from some friendly Nova Scotians. I just hope they know how much we appreciate it.