Annual Commemoration Service for the Halifax Explosion

101 years ago, on December 6th at 9:04am, both sides of Halifax Harbour were rocked by a massive explosion, changing this place forever.

When the SS Imo collided with SS Mont-Blanc (laden with explosives) in Halifax Harbour, around 2,000 people died. So many more were injured, and so many lives were changed forever.

The Mi’kmaq village of Turtle Grove on the Dartmouth side was destroyed, and they would not be given the opportunity to resettle and rebuild.

The Annual Commemoration Service for the Halifax Explosion took place this morning at Fort Needham Memorial Park. I’m told there was quite a crowd in attendance. (I’m in Ottawa)

Local poet George Elliott Clarke recited his poem, “Achieving Disaster, Dreaming Resurrection: The Halifax Disaster of Dec 6, 1917”

Mayor Savage took a moment to remember and reflect on the heroism of Vince Coleman. Coleman, a train dispatcher, sacrificed his life to save a train filled with passengers.

Coleman’s last message said:

“Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbour making for Pier 6 and will explode. Guess this will be my last message. Good-bye boys.”
-Vince Coleman, Train Dispatcher
December 6th 1917

Here are a few photos from the ceremony this morning.