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PHOTO: Africville Museum marks holiday season with tree lighting

Songs, prayers and Santa Claus for annual start of the holidays

3 min read
caption Surprise visitor Santa Claus greets a child.

Friends and family came together Saturday for a holiday gathering at the Africville Museum in Halifax’s north end.

“Here we are again, just before Christmas, giving thanks, being together and sharing the history, sharing great moments together and looking forward to the future,” said Juanita Peters, general manager of the museum.

Africville was a black community that was historically neglected by Halifax and was condemned in the late 1950s. The museum now stands where there was once a thriving community.

caption It was a full house as attendees listened to speakers and sang together.

Before the New Horizons Baptist Church children’s choir took the stage Saturday, those in attendance joined together to sing Joy to the World and Silent Night. The children sang other holiday songs, like Happy Birthday Jesus.

caption The Saved and Empowered Singing Out children’s choir performed during the event.
David Whittaker

Many Africville descendants shared stories and said the theme of the night was “we are blessed.”

After the singing, a prayer and speeches, everyone walked outside to watch the Christmas tree lighting.

caption Many of the children at the lighting had their photo taken in front of the tree.
David Whittaker


caption Inside the museum people enjoyed time with friends, family and a different tree.

Once the tree was lit and photos were taken, people went back inside for a warm meal and were visited by a special guest — Santa Claus.

caption Downstairs, attendees were giving a warm meal and children were able to meet Santa Claus.

“It’s never too early to start saying Merry Christmas,” said Pastor Brian Johnston.

The Africville Museum will be open this winter. It’s collecting non-perishables as donations for the food bank.

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