Se­niors and Santa

Could be start of a new tra­di­tion

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Terry and Patsy Barnes of Har­bour Grace donned some fa­mil­iar Christ­mas cos­tumes to spread some hol­i­day cheer at se­nior cit­i­zens homes in the Con­cep­tion Bay North area.

Santa Claus and the Grinch teamed up this past hol­i­day sea­son to spread some cheer to se­niors and chil­dren in the area.

Terry Barnes, along­side his wife Patsy, de­cided to spread some Christ­mas joy through Car­bon­ear and Har­bour Grace by vis­it­ing dif­fer­ent fa­cil­i­ties dressed as the pop­u­lar Christ­mas char­ac­ters.

With Terry dressed as Santa Claus, and Patsy dressed as the Grinch, the duo went out on Christ­mas Eve, mak­ing their way through sev­eral se­nior cit­i­zen’s homes, long term care fa­cil­i­ties, and other spots in Car­bon­ear and Har­bour Grace to spread hol­i­day cheer.

“We went to Lux­ury Es­tates there in Car­bon­ear, the long term care fa­cil­ity at the hos­pi­tal, and a good few homes here in Har­bour Grace,” ex­plained Terry. “We’d go in, shake hands with all the se­niors, wish them a merry Christ­mas and happy New Year, all that. We just wanted to make sure they were en­joy­ing the hol­i­days as much as ev­ery­one else was.”

Santa and the Grinch’s trip through the two com­mu­ni­ties went on for sev­eral hours, start­ing at 4:30 that af­ter­noon, and not stop­ping un­til 10 p.m., and Terry told The Com­pass he would gladly do it again, just to see the bright smiles from those he vis­ited.

“I’d do over and over again what I did on Christ­mas Eve,” he said. “I want to make it a tra­di­tion, be­cause we met around 200 se­niors that night, and the re­ac­tion was just phe­nom­e­nal. Go­ing around and see­ing these peo­ple, who might not get to see much fam­ily dur­ing the sea­son, and see­ing the smiles on their faces? It blew us away.”

Terry hopes to start ear­lier in the day next time, with the goal of mak­ing his way into other com­mu­ni­ties in the area, such as Spa­niard’s Bay and Bay Roberts.

How­ever, he also noted that it was not just him and his wife putting smiles on faces through­out the day. Terry com­mended the work of nurses and other work­ers in these fa­cil­i­ties and said they de­serve a pat on the back for all the hard work they do year-round.

“These nurses, what they have to do on a nightly ba­sis, with so many peo­ple that they have to take care of every sin­gle day and night, they de­serve an ap­plause,” he said. “I saw a lot of them on Christ­mas Eve work­ing and mak­ing sure ev­ery­one was taken care of, and it re­ally was some­thing else.”

Terry’s love for his com­mu­nity served as mo­ti­va­tion for the Christ­mas Eve fes­tiv­i­ties.

“When I was mayor, I told ev­ery­one – I was in it for the chil­dren, and for the se­niors, and for the com­mu­nity. That’s who I did this for too,” he said. “Ev­ery­one should have a smile on their face dur­ing Christ­mas, and that’s why I want to make it a tra­di­tion.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

Patsy (left) and Terry Barnes dressed as the Grinch and Santa Claus re­spec­tively to spread some hol­i­day cheer this past sea­son.

Hav­ing vis­ited sev­eral se­nior cit­i­zens homes in Car­bon­ear and Har­bour Grace, Terry said he plans to make it an an­nual tra­di­tion.

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