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City Hall Tree to Remain Standing Until Canadian Frigate Returns
(Friday, January 11/2002)-- The 35-foot Christmas tree in front of City Hall in Grand Parade will remain standing until Canadian Armed Forces personnel serving aboard the HMCS Halifax return to their home port in mid-February.
At that time, there will be a public event organized for the returning military personnel who will be celebrating a delayed Christmas at home with their loved ones. Mayor Kelly said the City Hall Christmas tree will not be lit again until that event occurs.
The effort is in response to a request from the spouse of an Armed Forces member serving overseas aboard HMCS Halifax in the War on Terrorism. The frigate left Halifax last August for a regular NATO deployment and was scheduled to return in November. However, these plans were overtaken by the events of September 11th.
Also, the spouse suggested that residents of HRM consider keeping their Christmas decorations up for the time being and turn their Christmas lights back on for a few days, beginning on February 15th (which is the scheduled arrival date of the HMCS Halifax.)
In this way, the crew members of the Halifax who missed celebrating Christmas with their family and friends in HRM this year would " get to enjoy the beauty and wonder of all the lights, which would be a fitting tribute to their efforts and serve as a remembrance to everyone of their own special Christmas with their loved ones."
Mayor Peter Kelly