Returning a 96-year-old favor, Nova Scotia sends donation to Mass. General

The devastation was incredible. About 2,000 people were killed and thousands more injured when a munitions ship exploded in the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia. That was 96 years ago. Boston responded then, sending doctors and others to help the devastated city. In thanks, each year, Nova Scotia sends a Christmas tree to stand in the Boston Common.

After Boston was rocked by double blasts at the Marathon last week, the province responded with aid, sending a donation of $50,000 to Massachusetts General Hospital’s pediatric palliative care program.

“While there is a border and a number of miles between us, we share a common heritage and ancestors,’’ Premier Darrell Dexter wrote in a note to the hospital. “Massachusetts was there for Nova Scotia 96 years ago during the tragedy of the Halifax Explosion, and many times since then. Our hearts and minds are with the people of Boston now and in the future.’’


The hospital, which treated at least 39 people injured in the attack, also was expecting a special delivery Tuesday afternoon: a BBQ meal flown in from Texas. Mass. General physicians sent pizza to the emergency department at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco, where people injured last week in the massive fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas, were being treated.

Caregivers at Hillcrest wanted to respond in kind. A meal for 100 people was expected to arrive at the Mass. General emergency department at about 12:30 p.m., a spokeswoman said.

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