Hundreds gathered for a special send off for the Nova Scotia Tree for Boston, and enjoyed musical performances by Dave Gunning and the Nova Scotia Mass Choir, today, Nov. 18, in Halifax’s Grand Parade. Each year, Nova Scotia sends a Christmas tree to the people of Boston to say thank you for their help in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion in 1917. This year’s tree is a 15-metre (49-feet), 72-year-old white spruce from Bill and Andrea MacEachern of Lorne, Pictou Co. “Every year, a Nova Scotia family, like the MacEacherns, comes forward and offers to keep this tradition going, in the spirit of friendship,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “I experienced the gratitude of the people in Boston last year when I had the honour of representing Nova Scotia at the tree lighting, and tens of thousands of people gathered to see our tree lit.” The tree made its way through Halifax today via Halifax Police and Fire escort and stopped at St. Stephen’s Elementary School, which became pen pals with Mather Elementary school in Boston to learn more about the tree tradition. “Boston’s residents treasure our long-lasting bond with the people of Nova Scotia,” said Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston. “The arrival of the tree is a sign that the holidays are upon us and the goodwill we showed toward our friends to the north in 1917 has been appreciated and returned year after year.” The tradition inspired a song called We Will See You Through, composed by Mark Despault of Digby, Tom Leighton of Moncton and Suzanne Pasternak, a former Massachusetts resident, who was at the ceremony for its first performance today. “This annual tradition is a stellar example of both international relations and one of the finest models of hope and courage born from the most tragic events in Canadian history,” said Ms. Pasternak. “It is a great honour for me to be the representative from the writing team at such an important, heartfelt event.” The tree is now en route to Boston on a Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal flatbed truck. It will stop at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre in Truro and in Victoria Square, Amherst for a public viewing and photo opportunity. It will arrive at Boston Common on Friday, Nov. 20th, under police escort, and will be decorated with thousands of LED lights. The tree-lighting ceremony on Boston Common, Thursday, Dec. 3, will feature a live musical performance by Pictou County artist Dave Gunning. The ceremony attracts about 30,000 people and is broadcast live on the ABC Boston television channel to an audience of about 300,000. “I’m always proud to represent my home province of Nova Scotia. And coincidentally it turns out that this year’s tree and I both grew up in Pictou County,” said Mr. Gunning. To learn more, go to novascotia.ca/TreeforBoston . Follow the tree’s journey on Twitter through @treeforBoston and “like” the tree on Facebook at www.facebook.com/treeforboston .