tvordlj: (Halifax)
I usually always have a few words to say about the Halifax Explosion that happened in 1917 and flattened the north end of Halifax. I'm sure i've mentioned that, in gratitude, Nova Scotia sends a 30 to 40 foot Christmas tree to the City of Boston every year. This year, they seem to have made a big deal out of it and it was trucked into the city to day for a noon time ceremony wherein the town crier of New Glasgow, a town near where the tree was cut, did a proclaimation, and a Native blessing was giving to the tree as well. I missed the first bit of the event which was probably  just the Mayor and a few politicians blathering on so I don't imagine I missed all that much.

Later on, a great group called The Stanfields sang a few songs. They're heading to Boston as well to perform at the city's tree lighting ceremony on December 4. I thought we'd been giving Boston a tree for generations but it's only been since 1971. Still, that's quite awhile.

December 6 is a Saturday this year and while i won't get over to the main rememberence ceremony in Halifax, there's one around the corner from me where a bent canon that was found in the area (2 miiles from the harbour) is mounted. They have a ceremony there as well but though I have good intentions, I doubt i'll get my arse out of bed and around there before 9 am on a Saturday. One of these years, though. I will.

There are a few photos from today's event here.
tvordlj: (Halifax)
The cannon was fired from the Citadel this morning around 9 a.m. and that's unusual. It is always fired at noon every day, thus it's often called the Noon Gun. It's fired for the opening of the provincial legislature twice a year in the afternoon, but 9 a.m.? Early this afternoon, a coworker spotted a police officer clip clop by on a horse, another unusual occurrence this time of year and on this street. Our police force has at least one horse but it usually patrols Point Pleasant Park in the summer. They may have taken it out for exercise but a walk through the city streets doesn't seem to be the norm.

Then someone mentioned that it was the anniversary (95th) of the Halifax Explosion and it all connected. The explosion happened at 9:05 a.m. and there are several ceremonies in various parts of the city, one at a big memorial on a hill near the site where it happened. That will be why the gun was fired. Possibly they had an officer and horse at one of the ceremonies as well.

I don't know if there are very many survivors left from the Explosion. Every year there are a handful of elderly people who were infants or young children at the time. Every year there are fewer. You can imagine, though. 95 years ago it was. Soon there won't be anyone left but I hope the event continues to be remembered.

The new mayor must have been scheduled for the ceremony. I saw him at 7:30 this morning at Starbucks and he was looking very smart in a dark suit and coat. I don't know if he's usually at the office that early though he may be, I suppose. City Hall is across the street from here.

Some snow flew this morning!! Agggh! Not much and only for a few minutes. But it's the beginning. The Iceman Cometh!
tvordlj: (Halifax)
Today is the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion in 1917. I thought I knew most of what there was to know but today in the newspaper there is an article about one of the ships, the Imo which was the one that ran into the Mont Blanc which  had all the explosives on board. You'd think the ship would have been blown to bits but apparently not. According to this, the Imo was blown ashore on the Dartmouth side of the harbour, damaged to be sure, but it was patched up, renamed as Guvernören (It was owned by a Norwegian company) and became a transport for whale oil for a few years. It was scuppered near the Falkland Islands in 1921. Seems like it remained a bad luck ship.

There are memorial services around the city today on the 94th anniversary. There's the official one at the main memorial on Fort Needham but also one at a nearby fire station and also there's one just around the corner from where I live. The anchor of one of the ships was found nearby.
Here's a few pictures of the official memorial and the view over the harbour, the view of the spot where the event actually happened.
memorial photos )
tvordlj: (Corrie)
I was contacted by email last Friday by a reporter from CBC television. They are apparently doing a feature on tonight's news about Coronation Street's 50th anniversary which is this week and celebrated all week with some pretty explosive storylines, quite literally. They want to interview me in conjunction with that theme! I think it will be set up at lunchtime today though the weather is not that great. It's raining a bit with very high winds so i hope i don't have to go too far. He had suggested a pub downtown since i can't really have a camera man and reporter in my work cubicle!  I guess worst case scenario i would take a cab to the cbc studios but that's at my expense so i'd rather not. They're supposed to contact me this morning so i'll know more then.  I hope the weather doesn't cancel it but fate rules.

I don't know how they got my name but i suspect it's because of that Corrie Crazy documentary they filmed over the summer in which <lj user=gramie_dee> and i appeared. They would have had my email address from the people doing the doc. I don't expect it to be a long thing, just a few words from a fan, more likely.

It's the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion today, too. I wonder if the weather will cancel the services they always have at the memorial on Fort Needham.

ETA: Just heard from the CBC guy that emailed me last week. No interview after all, they've done something on Corrie's anniversary yesterday apparently. Oh never mind. The Corrie Crazy documentary airs on Thursday night so that will have to be my 2 minutes of fame. Just as glad really.
tvordlj: (Halifax)
If you've lived in Halifax a long time, you'll end up hearing about the infamous Halifax Explosion that happened on December 6, 1917 when two ships collided in the harbour and one of them, filled with explosives for the war effort (WW1) blew sky high and took the north end of the city with it. There are very few people left that were alive and survived the explosion, all of them were children at the time, obviously. There is a memorial service on the hill overlooking the site every year. This is the memorial to the explosion in that park.
Halifax Explosion Memorial

Also today on local television is the Christmas Daddies telethon. This is a 46 year tradition here. The telethon raises money to give underpriviledged kids Christmas, kids who are from families that wouldnt' be able to do it and I believe they distribute the money and gifts through the Salvation Army. They started off doing it in Halifax and it's spread across the Atlantic provinces now and they raise a good deal of money for the cause. The telethon has local acts, school choirs, lots of people that want to perform and donate their time. The Navy divers run, there are items auctioned off, it's quite a thing here. I can remember it being on when i was a kid. We'd go out in the morning to the woods behind my Aunt Phyllis' house in the country to cut down our Christmas tree. There was always snow on the ground. We'd get home, get warm with hot chocolate and watch the telethon. Happy days. :)

And we're having our first winter storm of the year today. It was raining when i went to bed but it's white out this morning and coming down in all directions. The wind is whistling at the windows but it doesn't really matter. It's Sunday and i think i'll drag the Christmas tree out of storage this afternoon and get it put up! Good day for it!

December 6

Dec. 6th, 2006 08:15 am
tvordlj: (Halifax)
In Canada, today is the 17th anniversary of the day a man entered a college in Montreal and killed 14 women. He specifically went after women and then killed himself. There are memorial services across the country to commemorate the loss. Today is also the 89th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, where 2000 lives were lost because of an accident involving two ships that collided, causing the largest man made explosion before the nuclear age. I bet Halifax is the only place that commemorates that event. Two very different events from very different circumstances. I certainly don't belittle the events in Montreal. Women are the victims of a lot of violence in this world today, even in so-called civilized countries like Canada. Even though there are very few people left alive that remember the Explosion (Just about where this picture was taken), it still has an impact on this city, on the architecture, on what makes this city what it is. There are constant reminders for me even though i have no relatives that were killed or injured. My grandparents still lived in New Brunswick at the time but if they lived on the street where my father was born in the 1930's, their house would have been flattened. It's only a few hundred yards away from where the Fort Needham Explosion memorial is today.

There's a twisted ship's cannon mounted on a corner not far from where it was found, over a mile from the harbour. I pass it every day on the bus because it's just around the corner from where i live. There's a twisted enormous ship's anchor in front of a now-closed museum building closer to the harbour. The anchor was found 3 miles away from the harbour where it was thrown from the explosion. I pass that every day on the bus too. So today i remember a devastating event in Halifax's history. I remember how Halifax pulled itself back up from its knees and rebuilt homes, businesses and lives.
tvordlj: (Doctor Who)
88 years ago at 8:55 a.m. local time, two ships collided in Halifax Harbour. One was filled with over a ton of explosives and blew up. It was the largest man made non-nuclear explosion before WWII. nearly 2000 people died and 10,000 injured. There is a memorial service starting just about now at the memorial on Fort Needham, a hill overlooking the spot where it happened. Lots of interesting information in these websites.

http://www.cbc.ca/halifaxexplosion/
http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mma/AtoZ/HalExpl.html
http://www.halifaxexplosion.org/index.shtml including transcripts from survivors.
tvordlj: (Lady)
87 years ago, two ships collided in the Halifax Harbour. One of them was full of explosives which caught fire. The result was the largest and most devastating man made explosion before the nuclear age. The north end of Halifax and Dartmouth were leveled, 2000 people died and nearly 10,000 were injured or blinded. The shockwave was felt as far away as Truro, 60 miles, where dishes rattled on shelves. The day after the explosion, the city was hit with a winter blizzard. There aren't many survivors left, those that still remember are now elderly. December 6 might be the "day of infamy" for the U.S. when Pearl Harbour was attacked, and it might be the anniversary of when a very disturbed Marc Lepine shot 14 women in a university in Montreal in the early 1990's but today Halifax remembers it's own disaster, predating both of those events.

The CBC has an excellent interactive website here, http://www.cbc.ca/halifaxexplosion/

There's a good written description here. http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/kylet1/halifax.htm

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