Cape Breton couple donate Tree for Boston to say thanks

·1 min read

Nova Scotia is once again sending a Christmas tree to Boston, this one from Cape Breton, to thank the U.S. city for its support during the Halifax Explosion of 1917.

This year's tree is a 14-metre white spruce grown in Grand Anse being donated by Heather and Tony Sampson, who live in West Bay.

The province is dedicating the tree to health-care workers in honour of their response during the explosion and their work during the current pandemic.

In a Nova Scotia government news release, Tony Sampson said his family has a connection to Boston and he worked at the Halifax Shipyards in the 1980s, in one of the buildings that was rebuilt after the explosion.

'Quite a bit of meaning'

"The tree comes from our property, which was passed down through the family," he said.

"We've watched it grow for many years. It has quite a bit of meaning to me and my family to send Nova Scotia's gift to the people of Boston."

The province says there will be no public events in Nova Scotia around the tree this year because of the pandemic, but the Tree for Boston has its own website and social media accounts.

The tree lighting at the Boston Common will be aired on TV by WCVB Channel 5 Boston, an ABC affiliate, on Dec. 3.

Heather Sampson, a health-care worker in St. Peter's, said the pandemic has left people needing a little extra joy this year.

"We won't be in Boston for the tree lighting, but we'll be watching from home, like we do every year," she said.