Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Pivotal Part Of Our History

In 1917, in the narrow section of Halifax Harbour, two ships collided. One was filled with ammunition that was heading for Europe to WW1.
This event is known as the Halifax Explosion. (click)

It was the biggest man-made explosion to have ever happened up until Hiroshima.

Thousands were killed immediately and more were injured seriously.
Homes were flattened especially in the north end of Halifax and Dartmouth.

My father was born a year earlier and remembers being told that his mother 
had to wheel him to the Central Commons where everyone was gathering.
It was a cold and stormy day on December 6th.

My father is one of the very few remaining survivors of this devastating explosion.
He is 97 years old and a few members of his extended family (cousins)
either died immediately or shortly after.

This memorial  (click), for those who perished, is located in my childhood neighbourhood
in Halifax's north is called Fort Needham.
We played here as kids way before this monument was erected.

A few days ago we were up at 'the Fort'  with Sophie.


  1. Your Dad is "living history" in so many ways, eh? There can't be too many people anymore who lived in Halifax at the time of the explosion. I visited this memorial the last time I was in Halifax.

    1. It is a great part of the city and we would move there in a flash should we ever decide to live in the city again.
      Debra, you are correct that Dad has witnessed so much in his 97 years......a LOT has happened on Planet Earth!

  2. Funny, I was just reading about this disaster only last week

    1. Really? It is commemorated every year with a very formal ceremony and a moment of silence. It is 'the' moment in history that has shaped this city (Halifax) and its people. I remember when I was an altar boy and held the tray under each person's chin as they received communion. There was one 'older' woman who had most of her face covered as it was severely damaged from the explosion......left an impression on this kid's psyche.

  3. Wow. We learned all about the explosion when in Halifax but didn't know about the memorial. What a horrible experience it had to have been. And that your dad was a part of this history must be very precious to you. Thank you for sharing this. Now another reason to return!


  4. I didn't know about that. How sadly fascinating.


  5. What a terrible tragedy. Your dad has experienced so many interesting things in his life. What an amazing path he's walked.

  6. I have always been fascinated with the Halifax Explosion, Jim. My grandmother remembered it, but I don't remember what she said. I'm kicking myself now, of course. Thanks for sharing!


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