News release

Tree for Boston Dedicated to Frontline Health-Care Workers

Nova Scotia is sending some love to Boston, by way of Cape Breton.

The Tree for Boston is the annual gift Nova Scotia sends to Boston to thank the city for sending aid after the Halifax Explosion in 1917. Heather and Tony Sampson from Dundee, Richmond Co. are this year’s tree donors. Soon, a 45-foot white spruce will be on its way from Cape Breton to Boston Common, where it will be lit in December.

Nova Scotia is dedicating this tree to health-care workers to honour both Boston’s response after the Halifax Explosion and those who are working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We thank Boston for their kindness during our time of need by sending a big, beautiful Nova Scotia Christmas tree. This important tradition symbolizes gratitude, friendship and remembrance,” said Lands and Forestry Minister Derek Mombourquette. “It’s also our way of honouring those who have worked so hard to keep us healthy and safe during the pandemic.”

There will be no public events for Tree for Boston this year, but Nova Scotians can learn about the Halifax Explosion and join online Tree for Boston celebrations by following @TreeforBoston on social media.

The tree-lighting will be broadcast on ABC affiliate WCVB Channel 5 Boston on Dec. 3.

Quotes:

My stepfather's mother was adopted from Boston when she was two. The tree comes from our property, which was passed down through the family. We've watched it grow for many years. It has quite a bit of meaning to me and my family to send Nova Scotia’s gift to the people of Boston. I also worked in the machine shop at Halifax Shipyards in the 1980s, in one of the buildings re-built after the Halifax Explosion. Only two columns of the original building were left standing after the explosion. When I lived near Fort Needham, I could look down towards the water and imagine the destruction. Tony Sampson, tree donor

I work in the nursing home in St. Peter's. Everybody there has worked so hard this year. We want everyone to enjoy the tree and have a nice Christmas. It's been a tough year for everybody and hopefully the tree will put some smiles on everyone's faces. That's what the Tree for Boston is about, wishing everybody well and staying safe. We won't be in Boston for the tree lighting, but we'll be watching from home, like we do every year. Heather Sampson, tree donor

Quick Facts:

  • the Tree for Boston is the province’s annual thank you to Boston for sending medical personnel and supplies to Nova Scotia within hours of the Halifax Explosion in 1917
  • the explosion devastated north-end Halifax, killed nearly 2,000 people and left thousands more injured and homeless

Additional Resources:

Tree for Boston website: https://novascotia.ca/treeforboston/

Tree for Boston on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TreeforBoston

Tree for Boston on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TreeForBoston

Tree for Boston on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/treeforboston

Lands and Forestry on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NSLandsForestry

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Media Contact:

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