Will Santa hang up his red hat?

scotto

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Posted with permission from the Hamilton Spectator.


After 49 years, Lomax ponders the future

December 19, 2007
Carli Whitwell
Special to The Hamilton Spectator
(Dec 19, 2007)
The city's most celebrated Santa is thinking about calling it quits -- after 49 years.

Jimmy Lomax has been Hamilton's resident St. Nick for two generations.

This year, he'll be glad to just get through the Christmas season.

"It comes to the point ..." he trails off. "We'll start thinking about (retirement) in the new year."

Frank Ernest, who has worked with Lomax on Operation Santa Claus for 10 years, said he thinks Lomax is tired but holding on until his 50th anniversary.

Despite the upcoming milestone, Lomax is worried about the future. "We have no replacement, no one to fill my shoes," he said.

"My son would have been the successor." Lomax's son, Ryan, died of cancer at 15 in 1987.

In addition, Lomax's wife, Susan, has recently been suffering from poor health. On Dec. 7, she was taken by ambulance to hospital with major chest pains. She is undergoing heart tests.

Lomax believes the stress of planning Operation Santa Claus contributed to his wife's hospital stay.

It takes 12 months of the year, he said. "After Christmas, we start again on Boxing Day."

His organization has various fundraisers throughout the year, including a 4.5-kilometre garage sale on the Beach Strip.

Patients at St. Joseph's Hospital were transfixed yesterday afternoon by Lomax's sparkling eyes and the cherry-red scooter he rode from floor to floor during his annual visit.

He sang Christmas carols while his elves handed out presents.

This year, Lomax's Operation Santa Claus raised about $300,000 in donations, he said.

For his 50th anniversary, he is not planning anything special.

But for anyone who wants to celebrate the occasion, "the money raised will go to St. Joseph's Hospital."


Photo- Gary Yokoyama, the Hamilton Spectator
Scooter-riding Santa Jimmy Lomax meets Lillian Harman at St. Joseph's.
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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I tagged along today with Santa while he made his tour of Joseph Brant Hospital, there was a gift for every patient on every floor and he took the time to greet them all, from the newborn to the elderly.
As the above Spec article states, this could be Jimmy's last year as Santa and today's visit was his last of the season and possibly his final one. A great 49 years for Jimmy Lomax.

Photos,
#1 Justin was leaving but wanted to see Santa before he left.
#2 Carol singing on the fourth floor.
#3 Past teacher from Bell cairn School, Shirley Knapman, she also taught Jimmy's son while at the school. (Jimmy's son past away many years ago when he was only 15)
 
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