Collision LogoThe Relief Efforts
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As news of the disaster spread, offers of help poured in. On the afternoon December 6, a trainload of injured and homeless victims left for Truro. Other cities provided Halifax with as much relief and accommodations as they could muster. Doctors, nurses and workers, all bringing supplies with them, arrived in the city.
Sir John Eaton came in a train, which, was filled with building supplies and donated furniture from his stores. Due to all of the carnage and destruction from the Explosion, Halifax was given the nickname the "Shattered City".
Hours following the explosion, to some people, their reactions were "What can we do to help?" These are the ordinary people who soon turned into hero’s for the city who risked their lives to save and try to save the lives of others.
Massachusetts quickly sent a train equipped with doctors nurses with various medical supplies, money, cookware and other important items. Train and shiploads of aid continued to follow after December 6th. This state also contributed a complete warehouse of household goods. Every year, the Province of Nova Scotia presents a Christmas tree to the City of Boston, in gratitude for the help received after the explosion.
Instantaneously after explosion, those who were not badly injured from the devastating blast helped others. The residents of Halifax made efforts to rescue family members from burning houses. Complete strangers did not hesitate to help those in need.
Soldiers formed barracks for people to stay, and commandeered every available vehicle to remove the injured.
The large numbers of disciplined men were priceless. With astonishing speed, relief efforts were set in motion. Money poured in from as far away as China and New Zealand. The Canadian government gave $18 million to help cover the cost of the damage. The British government gave almost $5 million, also to ease the cost of the disaster. Haligonians remember the generosity of the state of Massachusetts, which donated $750,000 in money and goods and gave vigorously many volunteers. This is offically the biggest pre-nuclear explosion before the two Nuclear Bombs that hit Japan in the Second World War.
Soon after the Explosion, the Dominion Government appointed the Halifax Relief Commission on January 22, 1918. It headed pensions, claims for loss and damage, along with re-housing and the rehabilitation of victims. In June 1976 the pensions were then paid for as Department of Veteran Affairs.
Three thousand houses were repaired in the first seven weeks after the Explosion, as well as temporary apartments were being constructed at the rate of one every hour. Reconstruction continued briskly, and a few months later, construction started on 328 houses in the area bordered by Young, Agricola, Duffus and Gottingen Streets.
These houses were constructed from cement blocks known as hydrostones, had gardens with trees in front, and modern plumbing and electricity. This area, is known as the Hydrostone, and is still considered one of the more good-looking and desirable parts of Halifax in which to live. This was a huge factor in the recovery of the North-End of Halifax, some of which are still standing today.
The Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower on Fort Needham overlooking the explosion site and the area that was Richmond. The bells were was dedicated in June, 1985 from Barbara(Orr) Thompson to the United Memorial Church in 1920 in memory of her entire family, killed in the explosion. A memorial service is held here every December 6th.

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