Halifax Clerk’s Office

City Clerk's Office subject and historical reference files relating to the Halifax Explosion (102-5-1)

The City Clerk’s Office subject files and historical reference files are a rich information source on many events and topics, including some related to the Halifax Explosion. The retrieval numbers are hyperlinked to PDFs containing digitized copies of the files.

Note: Personal information has been redacted from the digital copies provided here.

Halifax Explosion and Related Material, 1918-1992 (102-5-1-39)

News clippings (1992, 1977 predominantly); Letters from Explosion survivors E.T. Davies, West Wales (1973) and D.L. Vasbinder, CA. U.S.A (1976); Readers Digest article, 1977; Brochure unveiling Memorial Bells design, Fort Needham; Copy of report of the Halifax Relief Commission to City Council, June 1918.

Halifax Relief Commission, 1923-1981 (102-5-1-52)

File consists of originals and copies of reports, news clippings and correspondence related to the City's interactions with the Halifax Relief Commission. Includes documentation of the City's claims for compensation, disputes over those claims, efforts by the City on behalf of Explosion survivors to receive benefits from the Halifax Relief Commission Pension, disputes over Commission Lands and the winding up of the Commission.


Fort Needham Memorial Bells file, 1974-1984 (102-5-1-54)

File consists of letters, newspaper clippings and reports gathered by the Clerk's Office about the search for an appropriate location for the bells donated to commemorate the Halifax Explosion, and the eventual creation of the Explosion Memorial in Fort Needham Park.  Includes documentation of discussions with United Memorial Church about the bells, consideration of Seaview Memorial Park in Africville as a site for the memorial, and a Halifax North Memorial Library Official Opening program from 1966.

Fort Needham Park Commission file, 1948-1949 (102-5A-327a)

Fort Needham Park Commission was established in 1948 to determine what should be done with the Fort Needham lands. Oct. 27, 1948, Mayor Ahern suggested at a Council meeting that Fort Needham could be levelled to provide a subdivision for additional housing.

The Commission was chaired by the Mayor, and members included Reverend B.R. Tupper (minister of United Memorial Church), Reverend Canon Clark, Monsignor Charles Curran, Mr. Owen N. Lane, Mr. A.A. Robertson, Alderman R.V. Sullivan replaced by Alderman Walker. They may not have had further meetings, as the Halifax Relief Commission, once committed to creating a memorial, essentially took over the Fort Needham Park improvements project, and simply told the City of Halifax what had been decided for the Park (see City of Halifax Council minutes for August 11, 1949).

File includes: newspaper coverage, and correspondence received by the Commission re: plans to improve Fort Needham Park and develop a memorial to the Halifax Explosion, paid for by the Halifax Relief Commission; and meeting minutes of the Fort Needham Park Commission, Nov. 29, 1948 (first meeting) and May 18, 1949.

Other minutes from the Fort Needham Park Commission are not known to be available elsewhere.

Special Committee Memorial Service 50th and 51st Anniversary of Halifax Explosion, 1967-68 (102-5A.500a)

File includes: invitations to the 51st Anniversary to various people from R.H. Stoddard, City Clerk, dated November 27, 1968; program for 51st Anniversary held at Saint Joseph’s Jr. High School; public notice of the 51st Anniversary memorial service sent to the Chronicle Herald and the Mail Star; correspondence from City Clerk, Deputy Clerk, and Secretary to and from constituents relating to the 50th Anniversary memorial service; correspondence from N.P. Meagher, Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Special Committee Memorial Service for 50th Anniversary; Special Committee meeting minutes for November 24, 1967 and December 1, 1967 (handwritten and typed); public notice of 50th Anniversary memorial service.; and a list of invitation recipients.