Santa Claus is coming to town

Return. Smithton District Hospital’s Leighton Poke remembers a time when Father Christmas watched over the town in December.

From the roof of the local hospital atop the hill, he stood tall for all to see.

This year, he returns once more.

“It was a tradition here,” Leighton says. “I remember as a kid, as soon as you saw Santa on the roof of the hospital, you knew Christmas was close.”

The festive decoration was adored by patients, staff and visitors alike as well as the many motorists who spotted the figure from the road.

However Leighton believes the figure was lost or discarded sometime in the mid ’90s after many years overlooking the town.

Memories of this time rushed back as Leighton and local nurses were swapping stories a few weeks ago. And so Leighton decided to recreate the tradition.

With plywood donated by Ta Ann Tasmania, Leighton created a jigsaw cutout of Santa Claus and his offsider Rudolph. Finishing touches were added by Karen Pyke of Circular Head Bodyworks to prevent the display from weathering.

So, you better watch out . . . as Father Christmas will be making his list from the rooftop, with Rudolph nearby.

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