The Daily Post Challenge this week is Home, asking people to show photos of where they live, home being where the heart is and all that. Halifax, Nova Scotia is my home, on the east coast of Canada. Halifax has one of the largest ice-free harbours in the world and is home to Canada’s East Coast Navy. There are two large container shipping ports, and oceanographic institute, and a ship building yard. Needless to say, a lot of Halifax’s life is structured around the sea. There are also 5 universities and colleges and it’s the seat of the provincial government. Lots of lakes and beaches, culture, shopping, food and a gorgeous waterfront where there’s always something going on.
This week, The Daily Post from WordPress wants to see things on the Edge. Here in Halifax, we get a visit from the Tall Ships every few years. I find the ships fascinating and they’re just magnificent at full sail. The crews of the ships are used to some rather precarious spots to do their job. They may not walk a plank but they do need good balance and a head for heights. Here are a few photos from various crewmembers.
In a departure from my usual travel related topics, this post is about pride, in more definitions than one.
Toronto had their annual Pride parade over the weekend. They have a huge parade, one of the biggest in the world. For the first time ever, a Canadian Prime Minister made history by participating and marching in the parade and from all accounts and photos, looked like he had a fantastic time. It’s not the first Pride parade he’s marched in, but the first as the Canadian Prime Minster.
He dressed casually, not in a suit, he allowed himself to be doused with water pistol ammunition. And a young man who marched with him in his group turned out to be a short, gay HIV+ Syrian refugee whose life has probably been saved by immigrating here, considering he had more stacked against him in his former country than just politics.
I am proud to live in a country that took on some of the refugees. I am proud that my Prime Minister even went to the airport late at night to greet the first families that arrived and invited at least one refugee who was gay to march in his entourage in the parade. I’m proud that the PM did march in the parade and celebrated with everyone.
Halifax has a fun Pride parade later in the month, in a couple of weeks and I will probably go unless it’s teeming down. In anticipation of Pride Week here, several main intersections downtown and one in Dartmouth have had rainbow panels painted on them. Awesome!
I know that there’s still a lot of negativity towards LGBTQ folks and they are often still targets for violence, even here in Canada and I’m not proud about that but I think,… I hope, little by little it’s changing for the better.
Be proud of who you are.
And should you wish to travel to Halifax for the Pride festival, which runs from June 13 – 24 this summer, Check out the website for all of the events happening locally. In addition to the Parade on the 23rd, there’s the fan favourite Dykes and Divas softball match, a theatre festival, drag shows, a drag queen Bingo night, family barbeques and picnics, concerts, lectures, a Lip Sync battle, and a lot more.
Cardinal Guzman nominated me to post 5 photos/5 stories. The rules, slightly modified are to post 5 black and white photos, one a day with a story or some text and to nominate someone each day.
I may have posted this photo before but it’s one of my favourites in a poignant way. The man may or may not have been living on the street, his shopping cart full of stuff, with a bag of collected tins and bottles on the back to take in for the recycling fee. The sign behind him, “lost mittens” always seem to reflect what I felt about him, a little lost and looking for a home.
I’m nominating Books, Music, Photography and Movies, blogging about all the things I like, too, including travel! (Don’t feel obligated to take up the challenge, though!)
Actually, I haven’t traveled around this time of year very often. It’s usually expensive and the weather is unpredictable. Ten years ago, I arranged to fly to Manchester a couple of days after Christmas and a snowstorm cancelled the flight. I couldn’t get out for two more days but at least I got there a day or two before New Year’s Eve.
I’ve also done a bit of traveling in November now and then. Sometimes I’m lucky enough that the Christmas decorations have started to go up though normally, I think that’s just a bit too early for it! Still, I thought I’d post a few photos that I do have from my few sojourns, mostly from November visits.
The Manchester town hall always has an oversized Santa. This is a newish one that they put up a few years ago. Locals were dismayed that the old style Santa was gone and don’t really like this new, stylized version. He lights up with glitter after dark. From Mid November on the city centre has a few blocks chock full of the Christmas Markets
Halifax’s Christmas tree, in the Grand Parade square.
It’s a bit early to be talking about the Halifax Explosion on one hand. The anniversary of that isn’t until December 6 but there’s a 13 metre (43 foot) Christmas Tree en route to Boston today. It was cut down from a tree farm in Anitgonish, NS yesterday and will be driven to Boston in time for their annual tree lighting ceremony on December 4.
Today there was a send off in the Grand Parade Square with music from The Stanfields (always worth a listen) and with a “Thank You” book that was available to be signed as well in gratitude the good people of the City of Boston. The tree was blessed with a First Nations ceremony and there were Town Criers from a few places in Nova Scotia there as well, though the one from the town of New Glasgow near where the tree was cut was the one to give the proclaimation. For the first time in over a week, the sun came out and the temperature was lovely and warm for this time of year.
On December 6, 1917, two ships collided in Halifax harbour. One, a Belgian ship, was carrying relief supplies as a WWI effort and the other, a French ship, was carrying munitions and explosive materials, also for the war effort. There was a miscommunication about which channel the ships were supposed to be in, one entering the harbour and one leaving it, and the munitions ship was t-boned. Sparks flew and the barrels of TNT on the deck went up. So did the rest of the ship. It was the larges man made explosion before the nuclear bomb and it levelled the north end of the city. 2000 people died and thousands were injured and made homeless. The day after all this, there was a winter blizzard. The army set up huge tents for people to stay in and schools and churches were used as mortuaries. Dishes rattled on shelves from the impact of the blast 100 miles away in towns like Truro and New Glasgow.
Within that first day, the City of Boston loaded up a train of supplies, medical gear and doctors and nurses and sent it on its way to Halifax. Since 1971, Nova Scotia has sent Boston a Christmas tree for their city hall square in the centre of the city as a thank you.
Halifax remembers the explosion and the victims in a ceremony every year on December 6. There are only 2 or 3 surviors left to attend, all of whom were small children at the time of the explosion. There is a memorial on the top of a hill in a park that overlooks the site in the harbour where they have the main ceremony but there’s also a smaller one just around the corner from where I live in North End Dartmouth, across the harbour. Nearby, a twisted cannon from the munitions ship landed, nearly 2 miles from the harbour and it’s been set up on a cross roads with plaques and information. There’s also a twisted ship’s anchor that’s on display in Dartmouth near the McDonald harbour bridge. That was found 3 miles away across the other side of Halifax. The city really was devastated but with help, pulled together and rebuilt the north end of the city.
Life goes on.
CBC has a good website with lots of information here.
I participate in weekly photo challenges most weeks. Usually the challenge is given as a word or a theme of some sort. I was going to throw my hat in the ring and issue a travel challenge but I realize that there are a lot of people out there that are armchair travellers and haven’t had the opportunity to see beyond the borders of where they live.
I really love where I live, Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s a small-medium city on the east coast of Canada and is a seaport. We have a military history here and we have a large student population as well. There’s lots of history but the sea is always there. Probably my favourite thing about Halifax is the visits by the Tall Ships every few years. I can’t get enough of them! When you see the waterfront lined with masts and rigging, you can almost forget which century you’re living in. Along with the ships, there’s usually a festival along the waterfront so there’s lots going on.
Here are some photos from our many Tall Ship visits.
I’d like to see your favourite thing/event/location where you live or where you’re from! Leave a comment or a pingback link so we can all travel the world through your photos!
This isn’t going to be a weekly challenge, but I might do this again if I come up with another idea.
It’s that time of the week again when Sue at A Word in Your Ear posts a random word for a photo challenge. I can almost never pick just one photo and this is no different. This week’s challenge word is “Traditional”.
I’m lucky to live in a city with lots of history. We are a sea port and Halifax was founded as a military establishment originally. We have a citadel fort on a hill overlooking the city, the fourth structure on that spot since the city was founded in 1749 but it has never fired a gun in aggression or defence.
There is a tradition of firing the gun off at noon every day, though. You could set your watch by it! The fort also has a regiment of infantry foot, a reenactment group representing the original regiment stationed at the fort in 1869 – 1871. They are the 78th Highlanders and there is also a pipe and drum band for the 78th as well. If you visit the Citadel you can see the infantry drills and hear the music of the pipes and drums.
Another tradition that is still kept is a ceremony every summer in front of City Hall, on the spot that has long been a Grand Parade Square (though much smaller than it was when the city was founded). The 78th Highlanders are ceremonially given the Freedom of the City by proclamation of the Mayor. They march from the Citadel down the hill to the parade square for a public ceremony. That’s pretty interesting to watch, as well.
For a number of years, there were Highland Games held in Halifax though they haven’t been held for the last few years. Lack of funding, I fear. Highland Games are a very long standing tradition in Scotland and are also held other places around the world. In addition to the games themselves, you would see music, traditional folk dancing and see lots of booths and displays from the various clans. The town of Antigonish in Nova Scotia still does have a weekend long Highland Games festival and one of these years, I’m going to go.
Here are some photos of local Highland Games and the 78th Highlanders. There’s a video of them in drill formation here. And there’s a video of one of the participants tossing a caber here. It’s quite something to see.
Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack has given us Gardens as this week’s theme.
My first love is architecture but I used to travel with a woman who loved to garden and when we shared our photos, you could always tell whose were whose. Mine were all buildings, doors and windows and hers were all gardens and flowers and plants and trees. Since then, I’ve tried to take photos of flowers and gardens.
Where I live, Halifax, Nova Scotia, We have a beautiful Victorian era public gardens. There is a big duck pond, a little stream, flowers galore, rare trees and other specimens of plants. There are fountains, a beautiful gazebo, statues and a little cafe. It’s a wonderful place to walk in the summer, the annual zombie walk streams through here on it’s way through the city, and is a hugely popular place for wedding photos. Here are a few photos from our Public Gardens.