In 1961, the children of the district were excited to learn that Santa Claus was coming to the vacant land between Mathers’ Boot shop and the shop conducted by Mr Glass. The business houses had banded together to give the children a memorable day. Sid West, the local school bus driver volunteered to be Santa with Johnny Wilmore, motor garage owner, his assistant. Chemist Alex Crawford provided his vehicle and handymen built a realistic looking chimney for Santa to stand in and stuck hundreds of cotton wool balls on to the vehicle to represent snow.

Local policeman, Doug Crampton, with his motor bike and sidecar, would control the few vehicles expected to travel along Pennant Hills Road. Hundreds of children greeted Santa and were delighted to receive a packet of sweets provided by the businesses of the suburb.

It is hard to imagine vacant land in the heart of the Pennant Hills shopping centre today. The Santa Claus site is now occupied by the Fitness Centre, Restaurant, St Vincent De Paul shop with the council car park at the rear.

Trevor Patrick is a local historian. Find the treasures of the Hills in the new awardwinning book, “In Search of the Pennant Hill” receiving the 2008 Hornsby Shire Owen Nannelli Memorial Award, and Silver Trophy, NSW Printing Industry Excellence Award.

You can connect to Trevor at 10 Lawrence Road Kenthurst 2156 or contact 9654-2224. He is available 7 days a week at the phone and address to talk to interested history persons.