Monday, Nov. 13, 2017
Contact: Kristen Muszynski
207-626-8404/ 207-441-7638

Maine State Archives to host Nova Scotia ‘Tree for Boston’ event

AUGUSTA – The Maine State Archives and Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will host representatives of Halifax, Nova Scotia during a World War I commemoration ceremony in Augusta on Monday, Nov. 20, to recognize Mainers’ response to the Halifax Explosion of 1917.

The maritime disaster occurred on Dec. 6, 1917, when the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship bound for Bordeaux, collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in Halifax Harbor. The Mont-Blanc was carrying explosives for the war effort. The cargo ignited during the collision, resulting in a destructive explosion that caused more than 2,000 deaths and 9,000 injuries.

Each year, the City of Halifax chooses a Christmas tree to present to the City of Boston as a symbol of appreciation for the humanitarian aid that Boston residents provided after the explosion. As we mark the centennial of World War I this year, the tree will be making a special stop in Augusta for a Halifax Explosion Centennial Commemoration public ceremony in Capitol Park at 10 a.m. on Nov. 20,  to recognize the Mainers who also went to their Canadian neighbors’ aid.

This year’s Tree for Boston, which hails from Cape Breton, will serve as the backdrop for this brief ceremony in Capitol Park. Several dignitaries will take part, including Minister Leo Glavine of Nova Scotia, Augusta Mayor David Rollins, Sec. Dunlap and State Historian Earle Shettleworth. The Cony High School Madrigal Singers will perform the national anthems and the Maine Army National Guard will present the colors.

A light lunch reception will follow in the lobby of the Maine State Archives in the Cultural Building, where visitors can view the WWI exhibits of not only the Archives but also the adjacent Maine State Museum and Maine State Library.

Follow @Tree for Boston on Twitter to track the tree’s path through Maine to its destinations, and visit the Maine State Archives social media accounts, @MEArchives on Twitter or “Maine State Archives” on Facebook for updates on the event.