Santa drops in at children’s party

Santa drops in at children’s party

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

A deployment to the Indo-Pacific region didn’t stop HMCS Calgary and the Esquimalt Lions Club from hosting the 33rd annual Children’s Christmas Party.

In previous years the party was held onboard Calgary, but with the frigate deployed on Operation Projection the event was moved to the Gun Room at Work Point.

With landed members from the ship and volunteers from HMCS Winnipeg sporting festive Santa hats and Lions Club members dressed as elves, they played host to a group of 25 deserving public school students from six Victoria elementary schools.

“It’s an annual tradition and great to have the community engagement between the Esquimalt Lions club, local schools and the navy,” said event organizer, Petty Officer Second Class Brad Warford. “It’s great to be able to reach out to the local community and show children what we do and what the navy has to offer.”

Retired Saanich Firefighter and Lions Club member Daryl Driemel began his involvement in the Christmas party when it first began back in 1985. He says participating puts a smile on his face every year because the kids really seem to “have a ball.”

“That is what makes this event so special because it gives these children some free time away from class where they can experience some holiday joy,” said Driemel.

The party kicked off outside of the Gun Room with fire extinguisher and fire hose drills performed by CFB Esquimalt Fire and Rescue. Firefighters also brought their ladder fire truck to show off to the kids and arranged for a visit by Sparky the Fire Safety Dog. Festivities then moved indoors where the children made Christmas crafts and played games before enjoying a lunch of hot dogs and chicken fingers.

But the biggest surprise came at the end of the party with an appearance by Santa Claus himself. That’s when Jolly Old Saint Nick handed out personalized Christmas presents to the children.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author: The Lookout Newspaper can trace its history back to April 1943 when CFB Esquimalt’s first newspaper was published. Since then, Lookout has grown into the award winning source for Pacific Navy News. Leading the way towards interactive social media reach, we are a community resource newspaper growing a world wide audience.

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