Richmond County Couple Donates Province's Gift To Boston

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Richmond County Couple Donates Province's Gift To Boston

GRANDE ANSE - A piece of Richmond County is on its way to New England as part of an annual tradition to thank the people of Boston for their city's assistance following one of Nova Scotia's greatest tragedies. 

Tony and Heather Sampson welcomed government leaders, community college students and instructors, and members of the Mi'kmaq community to their Grande Anse property for the official cutting-down ceremonies for a 45-foot white spruce that will be decorated and displayed in Boston during the first week of December. The annual Tree For Boston campaign is designed to thank the city for its help in rebuilding Nova Scotia's provincial capital, following the Halifax Explosion of 1917. 

Shortly after a traditional indigenous smudging ceremony and prayer service held at the tree by local Mi'kmaw elders, several public officials spoke of the connection between Nova Scotia and Boston. These included Canada's new Consul-General to New England, former Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner. 

"Nova Scotia should be proud that this tradition has been kept alive for so many years," declared Cuzner, who served for 19 years as an MP before announcing his retirement from elected politics in 2019.

"I had an opportunity to speak with my colleagues in Boston over the last number of days and weeks, and they're looking forward to the celebration."

Also on hand were Cuzner's successor as Cape Breton-Canso MP, Mike Kelloway, and Nova Scotia's new Minister of Lands and Forestry, Derek Mombourquette, making his first official public appearance as minister since being sworn into the position earlier this fall. 

Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) students from across the province joined NSCC Strait Area Campus instructors Waddie Long and Dan Nightingale for the official cutting down of the tree, which was then taken to schools in Richmond County and Port Hawkesbury before officially hitting the road. 

The significance of the tree donation is not lost on landowner Tony Sampson, who is grateful that his property's tree was chosen given his own family connection to New England. 

"My stepfather's mother was adopted from Boston when she was three years old, and she got married and raised her children on this farm," Sampson recalled. "And then it was passed down to my stepfather, and now it's passed down to me."



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Video Upload Date: 20 Nov 2020

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