constanius Posted April 2, 2009 Report Share Posted April 2, 2009 Circa 1890. ANNUAL PROVINCIAL EXHIBITION NOVA SCOTIA AWARD FOR MERIT. Rev: ARTS AGRICULTURE HORTICULTURE FISHERIES MINES INDUSTRIES HALIFAX E MARI MERCES. 57mm. Bronze. The Exhibition is now held in Truro. The next year (1917), in Amherst, President R.J. Messenger remarked: "The Halifax exhibition is supposed to be a child of the Nova Scotia Farmers’ Association. If so, it is a difficult matter to recognize its parentage. It has almost lost its plain country appearance and is now in the full dress of a be-tinselled city vaudeville." The association’s board of directors also took a moment in its report to "protest against the increasing menace of morality and decency of the midway exhibitions" at the Halifax fair. The embattled commissioners had to defend their position as best they could. "While we make no attempt to uphold everything in connection with the Midway," their report read, "it does seem strange to us that the Provincial Exhibition should be singled out and so much fuss made regarding the Midway, while other Exhibitions, and even Institutions which claim to be exclusively for the moral and religious benefit of humanity, recognize and uphold the same things and are permitted to do so without one word of protest." But all these arguments instantly became irrelevant on December 6, 1917 when the infamous Halifax explosion leveled the provincial exhibition grounds.. The tragedy could not have come at a more discouraging time for the association’s two exhibition commissioners , H.S. Kennedy and F.W. Foster. According to their report, 1917 had initially looked like a year of "bright prospects." The Halifax Board of Trade had been more co-operative than usual; the fair’s financial situation was encouraging; and the fall exhibition had been quite successful. But the explosion threw the fair’s future into complete uncertainty. Almost immediately after the blast the fair grounds were taken over by the Halifax Relief Commission and covered with temporary housing for the homeless. The exhibition board would not even regain control of the property, let alone begin reconstruction, for another four years. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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