Man in red makes a special visit

Arthur Marchant this week proved the spirit of Christmas is as strong as ever.

For 15 years, Mr Marchant has dressed as Santa and posed for photos with children at shopping centres. 

Unfortunately this year, due to illness, he had to hand over the duties to his nephew. 

“I got really sick and had to stop,” he said.

However, what came next was a surprise for Mr Marchant.

“I was contacted by parents who were disappointed I wasn’t at the shopping centre, so I arranged to meet with them and their kids for a photo,” he said. 

“I didn’t realise how popular I was around town.” 

Leah Rinaldi said she was disappointed when she heard Mr Marchant would not be dressing up as Santa this Christmas.

“I contacted Arthur and arranged to meet up with him for a photograph,” she said.

Ms Rinaldi first met Mr Marchant when she was the marketing manager at Lansell Plaza. 

“Arthur would come in to me mid-year to talk about the upcoming Christmas preparations and show me how his beard was progressing,” she said. 

Ms Rinaldi said it was Arthur’s big heart that made him so perfect for the role.

“He is really good with the kids because he makes such an effort,” she said.

“He lives to be Santa.”

Mr Marchant said he loved donning the red outfit.

“The children recognise the uniform and it brings them joy and happiness, which in return brings me joy and happiness,” he said.

“I love children, people and life, that is what all it’s about.

“I get out of my comfort zone as Santa and ring my bell, ho ho ho.”

When asked if he was the real Santa, Mr Marchant was straight to the point. “Yes, I believe I am,” he said.

“My daughter said to me, ‘dad, I have never seen anybody play Santa the same as you do’.”

Mr Marchant said he hoped to be back playing Santa in shopping centres next year. 

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