Over Christmas I finally picked up Laura MacDonald‘s Curse Of The Narrows (indigo | amazon), a Christmas gift from my parents a few years back. I always think of the Halifax explosion much more each year after December 6th, and especially once the first snowfall hits. I’ve read several books about the explosion, but reading MacDonald’s book was like learning about it all over again. Anecdotes from observers, survivors, doctors, relief workers, and average Haligonians gave me a more vivid picture of the event than whatever I’d read before.
Not that we should be in the business of prioritizing tragedy, but since Canadians now tend to associate December 6 with the École Polytechnique massacre, it seems the 97-year-old Halifax Explosion — the greatest disaster in Canadian history — has increasingly slipped from our country’s collective memory. For anyone who chooses to remember, I recommend books such as MacDonald’s.
Cover photo by Library and Archives Canada, used under Creative Commons license