Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday Morning Post


This is the Fort Needham Memorial Bell Tower (click).


It was erected to commemorate those who lost their lives 
in the Halifax Explosion of 1917. My Dad was a year old.


On the hour they chime. The other day when I was there
 with Sophie they started and so did we!!


This overlooks the exact location in the harbour where
two ships loaded with ammunition for WWI collided.


The whole of the north end of Halifax was destroyed 
and there were a lot of casualties. I had a few relatives
that did not survive.


Many years later I used to play here as my home was 
but a couple minutes away.


It is a huge park that was paradise to many of us kids 
in the neighbourhood.


This chime tower was not there when I was young
it was erected I believe in the 80's.







38 comments:

  1. That is a beautiful memorial. A little bit of history that I was unaware of. So much tragedy and so much pain behind those walls and chimes.

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    1. The city, to this day, will stop and pause for a moment on December 6th to remember.

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  2. I visited this memorial the last time I was in Halifax, which is getting to be quite awhile ago now.

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    1. I remember you mentioned that once Debra. I am sure you would find a different in Halifax now. Visiting any time soon?

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    2. No immediate plans, alas, but you never know!

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  3. That is a really interesting piece of Canadian history. If ever I'm in that area, I will have to make it a point to check this out.

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    1. And if you need guides, you know whom to call!!

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  4. I believe I videoed the bells chiming one day when we were playing with Sophie.

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    1. Yes you did, come to think of it! Maybe Sophie will post it some day?

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  5. A unique memorial (as many are).
    I read about this on my search, another sad part of world history.
    We will not learn from this power over power thing.

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    1. Another WWI story, Sharon!
      I am afraid you may be right about us humans always fighting one another.

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  6. Dear Jim,
    I had never heard of this tragedy. Thank you for drawing this to my attention.
    I just spent a long time reading about it, such an incredible story. It must have affected so many people, such a huge loss of life.

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    1. My father was told (as he was only a year old) that most of the survivors had to travel to the Halifax Common, a large open area in central Halifax, till things settled down. His mother took him there. And just to add to things there was a snow storm that morning. My Dad is one of a few survivors of the explosions....he is almost 97.

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  7. Replies
    1. It really is Pat. A lot of people pushed for this permanent memorial.

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  8. Hi Jim!
    I didn't know about this memorial! Next time I stop in Halifax, I've got to check it out.

    You have read "Barometer Rising" by Hugh MacLennan, haven't you? Isn't it required reading for every Bluenoser?

    I have a book called "Curse of the Narrows" by Laura M. Mac Donald in my stack of books to read ~ history, not historical fiction. It looks fabulous! Nova Scotia really is an amazing place!

    Have a good weekend!

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    1. Well, next time you are in Halifax, we will take you there!
      I haven't read that book......get up now!
      Actually a Mi'kmaq chief put a curse on anything that would cross over that area said nothing would survive. So far so good!

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    2. You're on, Jim! Barometer Rising is such a good book! Maybe you should add it to your reading pile! I did not know about the Mi'kmaq curse ~ maybe that's the inspiration for Laura M. Mac Donald's title. So much to read! I've often thought "there better be libraries in heaven! Have a good one!

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  9. When we were last in Halifax, a guide told us what you wrote. Prior to then, I'd heard about the Halifax Explosion but it wasn't until our trip that I realized how extensive the damage was. Such a terrible thing! Anyway, as I've mentioned before, Halifax is truly a slice of heaven. So much beauty and history and charm!

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    1. Well thanks again for repeating that, Kittie. We really like Halifax too!

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  10. That is quite a bell tower - I like the architecture.

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  11. I had never heard about this. How horrible it must have been with such a huge impact. The bell tower is very interesting and unusual looking. Have a nice weekend, OK.

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    1. It changed the psyche of the city forever. It affected so many people. The church I attended as a child was blown away! They had services in the 'basement' of the church till the late 1950's! When finally a 'top' was built.

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  12. I just took a better look at your header photo and love the way you captured the birds in the foreground and the lighthouse in the background. Great photo, I thought it was just ocean waves and then I took a second look and found so much more.

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    1. Thanks Inger! This header photo was taken a couple of weeks ago at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax....Sophie's and ours favourite dog park. It was tricky not scaring those gulls away at first.

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  13. I love history. And when the memorials send subtle reminders regularly, it helps us to not forget.

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    1. True Stew. This had such an impact on this city, it is hard to put it into words. I'll let the chimes do it.

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  14. I remember the story of the explosion from a previous post. Before that, I knew nothing of it. It seems a shame that such a big event, affecting so many lives, isn't more widely knowm. Thanks for posting about the memorial. The architecture is striking.

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    1. I believe because it happened when it did before instant world-wide news reporting, this story pretty well stayed in the Maritimes. Actually, you know what place responded pretty quickly? Boston. I believe because so many Maritimers had moved there for employment and stayed, that word got there more quickly than other places. It is still unbelievable how much the state of Massachusetts did.

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  15. I think memorials are so important, this one has a beauty in its starkness, which is probably the point. I am going to read more of this WW2 event! Thank you for sharing this!
    Ivan

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    1. That's true Ivan. It is pretty stark and so was that explosion!

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  16. Would love to hear the bells chime -- an interesting looking memorial.

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    1. Maybe I will record them some day Nancy. Good idea! Stay tuned.

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  17. I like this design and especially those copper accents that we see on so many official buildings throughout the country. Typically Canadian, I daresay...
    A tragic moment in History but it didn't extinguished the flame of this community who went on and thrived to this day. Thanks for sharing this.

    The chime, that would have been nice to hear...
    :)~
    HUGZ

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    1. OK! The chimes will be heard around the world very soon.
      Probably because it affected so many of us here that the community had to move forward in memory of the ones lost.
      I agree that the copper makes for great effects as it ages.

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  18. Love that national flag peeking red around the side of the tower.

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    1. Yes. Couldn't leave out our maple leaf, Barb.

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