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Michael Rielly

Featured Member of the Month - May 2020

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Michael Rielly

Each month, our Featured Member section profiles a ClausNet member. Members are chosen totally at random by me and the staff. Once selected as Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview here. This is a wonderful way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!

We are happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member for May 2020 is Bruce Templeton!

Bruce Templeton
Featured ClausNet Member – May 2020

Bruce

Bruce

Profile: btemple
Real Name: Bruce
Location: Outer Cove, Newfoundland, Canada
ClausNet member since: February 18, 2013
Community Reputation (as of today): 20 – Nice
 

Website: manintheredsuit.wordpress.com
Facebook: Bruce Templeton

May

This month’s Featured ClausNet Member of the Month hails from Canada and has been donning the red suit for over 40 years. Santa Bruce Templeton is a best-selling author, philanthropist, and a 2014 inductee of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame. We caught up with Bruce a few days ago, and here is what he had to say...

ClausNet: How long have you been portraying Santa Claus and how did you get started?
Bruce: "I met Santa 41 years ago when an aunt of mine asked me to portray Santa at a church Sunday School event. That got me hooked when the Minister asked a child if he had his letter written to Santa. The child answered ‘No sir, Santa didn't bring me the baby brother I asked for last year so I am going straight to God this year! I will see what He delivers!’"

ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus?
Bruce: "My Santa has evolved. It has taken me from being an actor, to believing in Santa and in the last several years into the world of St. Nicholas. As I learn more about the young orphan Nicholas and how his ministry evolved and grew, he has influenced me the most. He is there for me, and present with me, in my most difficult Santa visits to hospitals and seniors homes."

ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus?
Bruce: "I once heard from a mother who had been sitting with her very sick child in Paediatric Intensive Care on Christmas Eve. She heard Santa's bells come down the hall. She later said, ‘Santa makes the not-so-normal seem normal again if only for a few minutes.’ Bringing peace, love, warmth and comfort while making unforgettable memories for children is what I enjoy most."

ClausNet: What do you enjoy the LEAST about being Santa Claus?
Bruce: "There is no part that I don't enjoy! Sometimes the parents can be trying!"

Bruce

ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit?
Bruce: "I have assisted Santa for more than 40 years and have over 50 visits a season thus there are many memorable visits. A recent one, in 2019, is to a child on Christmas Eve in Intensive Care. Santa is never allowed to know names or conditions of the patients, but as he approached the bed of this one year old, he saw that one little leg was pink and the other quite black. We had a wonderful visit with giggles and laughs. Her parents took this photo. Then the child was taken by ambulance to the airport, flown to a major child centre and had her leg amputated. Santa was told later that the ambulance and plane were waiting on hold but the parents insisted that their daughter see Santa before they left."

ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig?
Bruce: "For 14 years, we have done the Flight to the North Pole. A local radio station asks this question each day for 17 days. ‘If you could ask Santa one question in the North Pole, what would it be?’ Last year, they got 6,000 entries. The 17 children are selected, taken to the airport, go through ticketing, security, etc., and board a real plane. About 20 minutes later, they land and Santa boards the plane covered in snow to squeals and delight. It is pure magic."

ClausNet: What is your dream gig?
Bruce: "Maybe a huge parade in a large city. We have about 60,000 at our small event and collect 20 tons of food for the food bank."

ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa?
Bruce: "Dreaming about how to make bigger memories for children the next season! One year, we had the inmates in the penitentiary build some of the floats and that was a huge win for everyone. I have written and published four Santa books and they take a great deal of time. The writing is simple. The dealing with company trademark lawyers is a whole other story."

Bruce

ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests?
Bruce: "Photography and RV travel with my wife in our beautiful province. Newfoundland is specular in the summer. I am an active Rotarian and my books have bought polio vaccine for over 300,000 children."

ClausNet: What is your favorite color?
Bruce: "I enjoy finding my wife's favorite color which is Wild Rose Pink."

ClausNet: What is your favorite food?
Bruce: "Putting a huge roast on a charcoal BBQ and having children and grandchildren present is a special day."

Bruce

ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi?
Bruce: "Chocolate milk."

ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie?
Bruce: "Any cookie with chocolate chips!"

ClausNet: What is your favorite movie?
Bruce: "’It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood’ with Tom Hanks. Saw it four times."

ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?
Bruce: "I still watch the original Edmund Gwenn version of ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’"

ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song?
Bruce: "’Silent Night’ first sung in Oberndorf, Austria in 1818."

ClausNet: What was the last book that you read?
Bruce: "’Character of a Man Named Claus’ by John Davis Williams."

ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Bruce: "A researcher of the true history of the evolution of Santa."

ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt?
Bruce: "Sky Diver."

ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child?
Bruce: "My teddy bear which I still have and who is now 74!"

ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up?
Bruce: "We didn’t have much money after my dad’s war service. But I had three unmarried aunts and uncles who had good jobs and lived at home. There wasn’t much under the tree when I went to bed but in the morning, there were skates, toboggans, mitts, books and it proved to me that ‘Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus’."

ClausNet: What is the hardest question you have gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response?
Bruce: "On the flight mentioned above, a six year old little girl once asked ‘Santa, what did I do wrong that caused my daddy to die?’ Her alcoholic father had told her when he was diagnosed that it was her fault that he had cancer. Santa picked her up, gave her a huge hug and then said ‘Your daddy is in heaven with St. Nicholas. He is all better now and he loves you very much. Tonight, when Santa gets back to the North Pole, I will call St. Nicholas and make sure that he is OK.’ The child released her tight grip and simply said, ‘Thank you Santa. That is all I needed to know for Christmas’."

ClausNet: What is the strangest request you have gotten as Santa Claus?
Bruce: "‘Santa, my puppy dog died of cancer. My mommy says that if I am really good, you will bring my puppy back to life and I will find him alive under the tree on Christmas morning’."

ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet?
Bruce: "I was referred to it many years ago and still find it a great source of ideas and support."

ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet?
Bruce: " The real stories of my Santa colleagues as their journeys unfold and we all unite to keep the dream alive for children of all ages "

ClausNet: Is there a Santa or Mrs. Claus over the years that you admire or has inspired you? Can you tell us a little bit about him/her?
Bruce: "My wife and I have been married for 52 years. For over 40 years, she has walked in front of the sleigh on the road in the Santa Claus Parade and quietly whispers into a radio the names of children given to her by parents. Santa turns from the top of the sleigh, names the child and wishes them Merry Christmas. Jaws drop, mothers cry! My wife also flies with me in helicopters and helps me with the answers to the really tough questions which I know will be asked. ‘Mummy died in a car accident. Will her spirit be with you in the sleigh on Christmas Eve?’ I could never do the job without my wife."

ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus?
Bruce: "You don’t play, or portray Santa. You are Santa. And there is a code of personal conduct which comes with it and you will be a role model in your community 24/7/365. Never forget that you give your PRESENCE, not PRESENTS."

Thank you Bruce! Everyone, please join me in congratulating Bruce Templeton, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for May 2020!

Bruce

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Santa Johnny Boy

Congratulations, Santa Bruce, on a well deserved honor!

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Eileen Strom

Congratulations!

A wonderful read!

 

:congrats:

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bllwnkl

dragons celebrate GIF by Minnesota State University Moorhead

Enjoyed hearing your story! :thumbup:

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TamaleClaus

Contratulations,  enjoyed the story, jealous of the North Pole flight.   

:congrats:

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David Dixon

Congratulations!!

 

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Santa Ed K

Congratulations. Welcome to the MOTM club.

 

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Santa Mike IN

Congratulations!

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Felix Estridge

You, sir, are a credit to family of Claus.

Congratulations and welcome to the MOTM Clubl!

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Santa Bruce Geron

Congratualtions.jpg.abd43a368e16926947c862f7b2429be1.jpg

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SCSanta

Congratulations! Welcome to the MOtM Club!

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Black River Santa

:congrats:

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Santa Bill III

CONGRATULATIONS!!!  Well deserved.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading your interview.  You are an inspiration to all.  Welcome to the MOTM Club!

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Legendary Santa Claus

Congrats Bruce!

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jeffh

Congratulations @btemple on this well deserved honour!

I’ve read all of your books and continue to read one every Christmas. You have been an inspiration to many of us.

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Santa TJS

Well Done Bruce!!!

 

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Santa Bill Reiller

:congrats:     Welcome to the MOTM Club!!!!!

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Tommy

Congratulations!!!  Excellent in every way!!!

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btemple

Thank you for your notes.   Here is the link to the "Flight to the North Pole"   This is a beautiful event where 18 children are flown to meet Santa on a Saturday morning.  

 

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Santa Timothy SC
Posted (edited)

dragons celebrate GIF by Minnesota State University Moorhead

I have just finished reading chapter 23 of "The Man in The Red Suit" and I have "The Man With The White Beard" as my next book sitting beside me ... Thank you for sharing your stories they are inspirational.

I am becoming a better Santa because of you ... 

Edited by Santa Timothy SC
word
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Big-Un

Congratulations to MOMC and a great read. I particularly enjoyed the North Pole Flights!

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Black Hills Santa

Congratulations!

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Kevin Fast

Congratulations

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magicsantaphil

Congratulations!! Well deserved!

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Rosyth Santa Claus

Congratulations from Scotland uk

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