An unidentified woman walks past the bell tower before a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion at Fort Needham Memorial Park in Halifax on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Catastrophic Halifax Explosion, 100 years later

Nova Scotia capital commemorates catastrophic Halifax Explosion 100 years ago

Poets and politicians remembered those who died and those who struggled to rebuild a shattered city as a sombre ceremony was held Wednesday to mark 100 years since the Halifax Explosion.

The wartime blast resulted from a collision of two ships in the harbour that led to approximately 2,000 deaths and an estimated 9,000 wounded.

A large crowd turned out in cold rain at the Fort Needham memorial site, not far from where the French ship SS Mont-Blanc erupted and wiped out the city’s north end and a Mi’kmaq village across the harbour.

A bell was rung at the precise minute of the explosion’s anniversary, while a cannon was fired from Citadel Hill and many city residents fell silent for a minute.

George Elliott Clarke recited a poem recalling the poignant moments leading up to the 9:04 a.m. detonation, including the imagined last goodbyes of children as they went off to school.

Mayor Mike Savage asked spectators to remember those “who lived 100 years ago, those who were killed, those who survived and those who rebuilt.”

The Dec. 6, 1917, catastrophe remains the worst human-made disaster in Canadian history and was the largest artificial blast prior to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.

Related: Student and veteran collaborate for project

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Saanich’s most dangerous intersections

McKenzie and Trans Canada Highway leads Vancouver Island for MVIs

SD61 dress code still a debate

Trustee encourages parents to speak up at Dec. 18 meeting, represent a progressive voice

Mount Douglas Park is not a garbage dump, its firs are not your Christmas tree

Furniture and appliances routinely dumped, rare and native plants routinely stolen from park

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

$250,000 sculpture compliments an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing

Omnibus zoning bylaw sent for revisions to prevent blanket upzoning in downtown Victoria

More than 10 downtown properties identified by Downtown Residents Association

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

UPDATED: Truck collision injures cyclist in Saanich

Police continue to investigate a collision between a truck and a cyclist… Continue reading

Saanich prepares for winter conditions

The District of Saanich is preparing for the upcoming winter season and… Continue reading

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Student Voice: Spectrum teachers launch SpecRespect initiative

Spectrum student reports on new school initiative

Former Victoria MLA filling integral business role downtown

Jeff Bray takes on interim executive director position with the DVBA

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Most Read