November 12, 2013 3:38 pm
Updated: November 18, 2013 11:18 pm

N.S. Christmas tree begins journey to Boston

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MILL COVE, N.S. – One of Nova Scotia’s best Christmas trees is beginning its long journey to Boston.

As a sign of gratitude for the aid Bostonians offered in the wake of the Halifax Explosion in 1917, Halifax sends a tree each year. The tree is selected from a private land owner, and it’s considered an honour to be chosen.

“Being the donor — it’s more than just me. It’s the province making this gesture,” said Mary Lou Milligan, this year’s donor.

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The 15-metre white spruce has stood in her backyard for years. A Department of Natural Resources officer estimates the tree is 54 years old.

“A year ago,  last October, a representative from DNR came knocking. He said, ‘Would you be interested?’ and I said ‘Why yes, I would!’,” Milligan said.

The tree was cut and lowered onto a flatbed truck Tuesday as local school children cheered and waved small Nova Scotia flags.

“[It’s] for the good people, what they gave to us,” said 12-year-old Blair Baker as he watched the tree being secured to the flatbed.

“They were nice and so, after they were nice to us, we gave that tree right over there.”

The tree will be lit in a televised ceremony next month before an estimated crowd of 30,000 people.

“It’s definitely appreciated,” said Scott Whitmore, Consul from the U.S. Consolate General office in Halifax.

“Especially this year with the wake of the Boston bombing and the aid that Halifax and Nova Scotia sent down to the people of Boston.”

In April, two bombs exploded during the annual Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured.

The Nova Scotia government gave $50,000 to the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children to help with the emergency response.

The tree still has a long journey ahead of it, beginning with a celebration scheduled at Grand Parade on Wednesday. It will then travel across the Bay of Fundy on the Digby ferry to Saint John. From there, the tree will be driven through Maine and eventually into the Boston Common under police escort.

Fans can follow the tree’s trip on Twitter and Facebook.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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