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Tree for Boston. (Source: Communications Nova Scotia via Twitter)

Massive Tree for Boston being gifted by Cape Breton family

By Skye Bryden-Blom Nov 2, 2022 | 10:55 AM

Get ready to deck the halls! The massive Tree for Boston is being gifted this year by a family in Cape Breton.

The province has announced the 45-foot white spruce will be donated by landowner Roddy Townsend, along with his children Angela, Carmen, and Andrew.

“The Tree for Boston, a deeply rooted Nova Scotia tradition, hails from the aptly named community of Christmas Island this year,” a news release says.

The 37-year-old tree serves as a symbol of Nova Scotia’s deep appreciation for the aid Boston provided after the Halifax Explosion in 1917.

The explosion devastated north-end Halifax and took the lives of nearly 2,000 people. Thousands more were injured and left homeless

“We are grateful to Boston and beyond excited to be a part of such a wonderful tradition. We feel this is going to bring a lot of happiness to the surrounding communities. The tree is such a special gesture of gratitude, hope and continuing friendship,” the Townsend family says.

You’re invited to attend the tree-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, November 16th. It will be held on the Townsend family’s property at 8008 Grand Narrows Highway.

“Carmen Townsend, an award-winning musician, will perform a song she has written about the Tree for Boston, and a local Mi’Kmaq elder will conduct a smudging ceremony before the tree is cut,” the province says.

This year marks the 105th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. The first Tree for Boston was donated by Joseph Slauenwhite from Lunenburg County.

The Tree for Boston will leave Halifax on November 21st and reach its destination for a tree-lighting ceremony on December 1st at 7 p.m. at the Boston Common.


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