Santa comes to Pennant Hills


 
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In 1961, the children of the district were excited to learn that Santa Claus was coming to the vacant land between Mathers’ Boot shop and the shop conducted by Mr Glass. The business houses had banded together to give the children a memorable day. Sid West, the local school bus driver volunteered to be Santa with Johnny Wilmore, motor garage owner, his assistant. Chemist Alex Crawford provided his vehicle and handymen built a realistic looking chimney for Santa to stand in and stuck hundreds of cotton wool balls on to the vehicle to represent snow.

Santa and crowd 1961
Santa and crowd 1961

Local policeman, Doug Crampton, with his motor bike and sidecar, would control the few vehicles expected to travel along Pennant Hills Road. Hundreds of children greeted Santa and were delighted to receive a packet of sweets provided by the businesses of the suburb.

It is hard to imagine vacant land in the heart of the Pennant Hills shopping centre today. The Santa Claus site is now occupied by the Fitness Centre, Restaurant, St Vincent De Paul shop with the council car park at the rear.

Trevor Patrick is a local historian of the north-west of Sydney, Australia. His latest book, In Search of the Pennant Hills, recounts some of these stories (and others) in more detail.