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Jim – HillView’s Professional Santa
12 December 2017
HillView’s very own Jim Woolley is no stranger to the Big Red suit having been a professional Santa for the last 34 years. Once again this year Jim donned his red suit to put a smile on all of the residents at HillView. With Christmas just around the corner, the familiar HO HO HO & Merry Christmas was echoing the corridors of HillView, Jim practicing to get his tune just right.
Jim hasn’t always had aspirations to become Santa. At the age of 60 Jim retired from his job as Director of the Dental Health and Research Foundation at the University of Sydney. Having always been a busy man he needed to keep himself occupied so he tried his hand at acting. A passion he held close to his heart his whole life. Among a few of his accolades, Jim was featured as an extra in Home and Away. To this day, we’re not sure if Jim found Santa or Santa found Jim? Because for the last 34 years Jims beard has been snow white just like Mr Claus himself.
Jim started his Santa Claus career at Grace Brothers in Sydney and every December for the next 14-years he buttoned up the red suit, got his elves in line and listened to the Christmas wishes of young boys & girls. Jim then moved to the Gold Coast in 1997 and became Santa Claus at Harvey Norman at Bundall.
Stepping into his role as Santa Claus is a passion for Jim, he loves seeing the smile and joy Christmas can bring to those all around him. In fact, it was the role he loved so much, 25-years ago Jim purchased his own Santa suit so he could transform into Santa Claus at community events, play group parties, school functions and now HillView. All of Jims 8 Grandchildren have sat on his knee when he was a professional Santa. Not one of his grandchildren guessed that they were actually sitting on their grandfather’s knee. Jim disguised his voice and his Grandchildren were none the wiser.
In all of Jim’s 34 years as Santa Claus one memory stands out the most. He sat a little boy on his knee, the little boy said to Jim “you’re not the real Santa Claus. You don’t have a real beard and hair.” At this point Jim pulled down his false beard to show the little boy his REAL white beard. The boys face was filled with shock and excitement “you really are the real Santa Claus”!!!!!!! he said.
Since moving into HillView Jim has taken up his post as the residence Santa Claus. Bringing Christmas cheer to all of the residents, resident’s families and staff at the annual Christmas party. After all what is a Christmas party without Santa Claus and what better person to be Santa than the most experienced Santa of them all.
Our very own Santa Jim Woolley is now famous after an article was published about him in the Gold Coast Bulletin.