Stories from Santa

Bruce Templeton, a longtime member of the Rotary Club of St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador, has also been a member of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame since 2014. Geoffrey Johnson, senior editor at Rotary magazine, profiled Templeton for the magazine’s December issue. Here, in Templeton’s own words, are a few more stories from Santa’s gift bag.

Templeton dressed up as Santa Claus examines himself in mirror.
Bruce Templeton, aka Santa, a member of the Rotary Club of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, and the only living Canadian Santa in the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.

In 1979 – when I was 34 – an aunt of mine, the head of crafts for our province, asked if I would appear as Santa at a child’s event. I told her I would think about it. I went to various places and looked at Santa suits. I didn’t like the looks of any of them, so I called her back and said “No.” And she said, “Bruce, if I make the suit, will you do it?” Well, you don’t turn down the director of crafts for your province. What arrived at my house were a suit made of velvet and lambswool, a beard made of real hair, and prescription glasses. It was absolutely flawless. And that was the beginning of my Santa journey.

When I started, I was acting as Santa. But over time, you become so comfortable in a room with children that you begin to believe that you are Santa. Your behavior changes. You’re aware that there are some very serious responsibilities that come with this. I grew into being Santa. It’s something that becomes a part of your life.

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