December 5, 2017 7:52 pm

All the events available for Haligonians to commemorate the Halifax Explosion

A crowd of several hundred gathered at the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower on Fort Needham in Halifax on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Ninety-nine years ago, on Dec. 6, 1917, the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship loaded with wartime explosives, collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the harbour. Nearly 2000 people were killed and thousands more wounded in the blast.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Halifax will mark the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion on Wednesday and ceremonies and memorial services are set to be held throughout the municipality.

On Dec. 6, 1917, the Norwegian relief vessel, the SS Imo, collided with a French munitions ship laden with explosives, the SS Mont Blanc.

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At 9:04 a.m. the Mont Blanc blew up, its 2,600 tons of explosives levelled swaths of Halifax and Dartmouth, raining down shards of white-hot iron, blowing off roofs and shattering glass – including the windows of a small wooden house in the city’s north-end Richmond neighbourhood.

The horrific blast that claimed nearly 2,000 lives, injured 9,000 and left 25,000 homeless.

READ MORE: How the Halifax Explosion was nearly forgotten

As the city plans to memorialize the 100th anniversary of the explosion, Haligonians planning on attending anything on the peninsula should be prepared for traffic congestion and limited parking.

Here’s a list of events happening throughout Wednesday.

Fort Needham Memorial Park – 8:45 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.

The municipality’s commemoration ceremony will be held directly across the harbour at Fort Needham Memorial Park, which overlooks the former neighbourhood of Richmond, an area that was devastated by the explosion.

Guest speakers and special guests will then take part in the 100th anniversary memorial service. Music will be provided by the Royal Canadian Navy Stadacona Band at the new Memorial Plaza in the Park.

An original poem of commemoration, commissioned by the municipality, will be read aloud by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke as part of the memorial.

A moment of silence will recognize survivors of the explosion at exactly 9:04 a.m. and invited delegates will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony.

100th Halifax Explosion anniversary reception – 9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

A reception will be held at St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary School on 5389 Russell Street.

The event is open to the public and free of charge.

WATCH: N.S. teacher using family history to bring Halifax Explosion lessons to life

100th anniversary book of remembrance – 9:45 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

A 100th-anniversary book of remembrance will be available for the public to sign at various locations throughout the day.

  • St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary School: 9:45 am – 11:00 am
  • Alderney Gate Library, Dartmouth: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Halifax City Hall: 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm
  • Halifax Central Library: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Halifax Regional Fire Services memorial event – 10:30 a.m.

The Halifax Regional Fire Services are set to house a memorial event at Fire Station 4, 5830 Lady Hammond Rd.

READ MORE: The Halifax Explosion killed nearly 2,000 people. Here is where most of them lived.

Pinehill Park service of remembrance – 11:30 a.m.

A service of remembrance is set to take place at Pinehill Park, located at the intersection Albro Lake Road and Pincecrest Drive.

Time capsules on display – 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Halifax’s municipal archives will exhibit contents from both the 1985 and 2017 Halifax Explosion Memorial Time Capsules on Wednesday in City Hall’s Halifax Hall. Other artifacts, including one related to the aftermath of the explosion. will also be displayed.

— with files from The Canadian Press

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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