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BNE November/December 2016 |

37

SANTA’S

FAVOURITE

T H I N G S

Christmas markets

South Bank

Coffee break

Vito’s Espresso Bar

Seafood by the bay

Morgans, Scarborough

Wooden toys

biome eco stores

Many people think you live at the

North Pole but I’ve heard a rumour

that you live in Brisbane? Where

do

you live?

My ancestors are from the North Pole

but I grew up in Brisbane and live in

Everton Park.

How many children do you think have

visited you over the years at South Bank?

Over the last 30 plus years I have had more than

100,000 children visit me at South Bank and

more than 300,000 in South East Queensland.

Many have visited me every year until they grew

old enough to bring their own children to see

me. I can even remember some of the presents

they asked for. Of course, this is only a fraction

of the children I see all over the world each year.

What’s been one of your most memorable

experiences?

Talking to all of the children and receiving

a present from some are great pleasures, but

holding a newborn experiencing their first

Christmas or having a parent of a child tell me

that they sat and talked to me when they were a

child are wonderful experiences.

How will you spend Christmas with your

own family?

On Christmas Day I will visit the children

having lunch at Jupiters Casino on the Gold

Coast but after that Mrs Claus and I and our

number one Elf will visit other family members

here and interstate – we have two babies having

their first Christmas this year so I’d like to be

there with them even if it is not until Boxing

Day, so Santa will be doing some overtime this

year.

Any favourite spots you like to go?

When we’re not busy working with the elves,

Mrs Claus and I leave the red suits at home

and go to Vito’s Espresso Bar (768 Stafford Rd,

Everton Park in the Woolworths Centre) for a

coffee. Vito and his staff are very friendly and

quick if you need to get a coffee and go, or

you can sit and enjoy a coffee with breakfast or

lunch. The coffee is good – I like a flat white

with an extra shot and Mrs Claus likes her

cappuccino with honey instead of sugar – and

they serve breakfast all day.

What do you like about your neighbourhood?

Everton Park is a fantastic suburb only about

15 minutes from the city and it has many

convenient facilities nearby, including several

shopping centres, easy access to highways that

go north and south and the airport is only 10

minutes away. All these things make it very

central for everything that I do and quite quick

to get wherever I need to go.

What’s your favourite meal to eat out?

Mrs Claus and I both love seafood and we

visit Morgans Seafood at Scarborough (Bird of

Passage Parade) at least once a week to enjoy

the takeaway fresh prawns, crabs and oysters or

hot food from the selection of fish, calamari,

mussels, cuttlefish and prawn cutlets. We eat it

overlooking Deception Bay and sometimes buy

extra prawns to take home.

What’s a favourite way to spend the

weekend after a manic Christmas?

Sometimes we like to spend time on the

Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast relaxing on

the beach, but by then I have swapped my

Santa suit for board shorts and an Hawaiian

shirt. When I was growing up I spent a lot of

Christmases at Dicky Beach and Currimundi

at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. We’d play

for hours in the bush and on the dunes, go

in for lunch then go back out again and play

around the shores of the lake. It’s more built-up

now. Mrs Claus grew up at Kirra on the Gold

Coast so we have enjoyed the best of both.

I like bushwalking and the hinterland, from

Lamington National Park to Mount Tamborine

has many places to enjoy that.