The Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower on Fort Needham overlooks the area devastated by the Halifax Explosion of December 6, 1917. It commemorates those who were killed or suffered injury, and those who lost homes and family when the munitions ship, Mont Blanc, blew up in Halifax Harbour. It also honours the survivors, who rebuilt the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth in the years that followed.
The ten original bells hanging in the tower were donated to the United Memorial Church on nearby Kaye Street by Barbara Orr, who lost her entire family in the explosion. That church, dedicated in 1921, took the place of two other churches that had been destroyed by the blast. Explosion survivors formed most of its early congregation.
The bells eventually had to be removed from the Kaye Street Church owing to structural problems. Their new tower in Fort Needham Park was built, largely by public subscription, and completed in June, 1985. Later, four extra bells were added.
An annual remembrance ceremony is held at the bell tower on December 6, with a short silence just before 9:05 a.m., the time of the explosion.
On December 6, 1917, part of the anchor shaft from SS Mont Blanc, weighing approximately 1140 pounds, was blown a distance of over two miles when the munitions ship caught fire and exploded in Halifax Harbour. Raised in 1936 by the City of Halifax, the shaft has now been mounted in a rock cairn close to the Northwest Arm within 200 feet of where it originally landed.
The monument which is 9 feet high, is constructed of black polished granite mounted on a red granite pedestal with a conrete base. On its front, facing Halifax Harbour, is the figure of a fire fighter in full uniform.
Dedicated: 6 December 1992
Location: corner of Lady Hammond Rd/Robie Street