Devastating blast recalled

A memorial service will be held today in honour of the children and staff of the Halifax Protestant Orphanage who died in the massive explosion that devastated the city 100 years ago.

About two dozen children and three caretakers at the orphanage were among the 2,000 people killed in the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

People are expected to gather at their gravesite in St. John's Cemetery on Sunday afternoon for a service including the naming of the dead, readings and prayers.

The event is being hosted by the St. John's Anglican Church and Veith House, a community centre that traces its history back to the orphanage's founding in 1857.

According to the Veith House website, the orphanage was rebuilt shortly after the explosion, and operated for more than four decades before it was shut down around the late 1960s.

The Dec. 6, 1917, blast — the largest human-caused explosion before the first atomic bomb — followed a collision in Halifax harbour between the French munitions ship Mont Blanc and the Norwegian-flagged Belgian relief vessel Imo.

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