Ipswich Santa retires
AFTER 37 years, thousands of presents and the creation of a community unlike any other in Ipswich, the city’s favourite Santa is hanging up his reindeer reins.
This afternoon will be the final sleigh run for Order of Australia winner and 2006 Ipswich Citizen of the year Bob Green.
Mr Green will have a bitter-sweet Christmas Eve as he delivers presents to residents of Moores Pocket from the back of his famous ute for the last time.
And despite decades spent delivering parcels to smiling children, one memory shines brightest for Mr Green.
“I delivered a present to a young girl who had cerebral palsy and I picked her up, she was happy, but then she peed all over me. I put her down and her mum was upset, but then she said, ‘that’s the first time I have seen her smile’,” Mr Green said.
The man known as the Mayor of Moores Pocket said he decided to ditch the white beard and red suit because he wanted to travel.
He hopes a neighbour will guide the sleigh in his absence
“I feel its time for someone else to take over the role,” Mr Green said.
“Its getting harder every year and I’m getting on a bit. I’ve had a good run and now its someone else’s turn.
“I’ve given presents to four generations of kids, which is amazing.”
Mr Green was set to quit his Santa duties five years ago when his wife Judy passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer.
The pair began their annual toy run down Moores Pocket Road a few years after marrying.
“It has been hard without her these past few years, and to be honest I was not sure if I would be able to keep doing it once she passed away,” Mr Green said.
“We did it together for all those years, and without the help from my neighbours I would not have kept doing it.”
The annual Christmas run began on a whim.
Mr Green and a friend had a lot of chocolate and goodies for Christmas one year and thought why not hand them out to the Moores Pocket community.
“We just got in the back of my ute and went around the neighbourhood just giving them away to whoever was about,” Mr Green said.
“It’s become a lot more organised since then. But the best part is the community we have here.
“There will be people having street parties and barbecues as we come down delivering the presents; its quite amazing to see what it has become.”