GAMBO, NL – There’s a certain charm about Victor Feltham – a joyful, good-hearted nature – that comes to life every time he dons the big red suit.
The Gambo senior has been playing Santa Claus for the last 60 years.
“I’m 77 now and I still love it,” he said about the continued role. “Just to see the smiles on the kids faces makes it worth it.”
Feltham got his first break as Santa in 1957 at a Christmas concert in Gambo.
School staff were looking for a Santa Claus, so Feltham volunteered. He was 17 years old at the time.
“In them days they would put a tree up on the stage and it would go right to the ceiling. The presents would be tied onto the tree,” he said.
“After the concert, Santa would come in and someone would untie the gifts from the tree.
“Sometimes you’d be there ‘til one or two o’clock in the morning.”
Feltham continued to perform at the concerts and over time, he started taking on private functions, like the annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas Party. He even had a run as a mall Santa back in the ‘90s.
And he’s showing no signs of slowing down, either. This year he had 10-15 functions as Santa, ranging from Gander to the Eastport Peninsula, and along the Kittiwake coast.
And in true Santa fashion, Feltham always goes the extra mile on Christmas Eve.
“I’ll do up 40-50 loot bags and take them around to the kids – they’ll call me up and let me know they are going to be home,” he said. “It’s just something I’ve always loved doing, and I still enjoy it to this day.”