Of the millions of Christmas trees put up every year, only one carries special meaning for the people of Boston, Massachusetts and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Earlier today, schoolchildren and local dignitaries gathered in Fox Point, Lunenburg Co., Nova Scotia, to celebrate the cutting of a 55-year-old, 15-meter white spruce belonging to Floyd and Elaine Shatford. Author Bruce Nunn was scheduled to read from Buddy the Bluenose Reindeer and The Boston Christmas Tree Adventure, according to the Halifax News. The tree is expected to arrive in Boston, Massachusetts, Friday.
Ever since 1971, Nova Scotia has donated Boston's "Official" Christmas tree to the people of Boston as an expression of gratitude for the help sent from Boston following the Halifax Explosion of 1917. A munitions ship anchored in Halifax harbor exploded, killing 2,000 people. Within 24 hours of the disaster, a trainload of relief supplies was sent out from Boston, and more help followed over the ensuing days.
Because of the signifcance of the gift, choosing the right tree is no small matter. The Nova Scotia Dept. of Natural Resources has issued a set of guidelines. The tree must be a Balsam fir, white spruce, or red spruce, 12-15 meters high, healthy and with good color, medium to heavy density, as well as uniform and symmetrical.
The Shatford's said they were fond of this tree because their children and dog enjoyed playing under and around it.