Here is a home movie of the London, Ontario Santa Claus Parade from 1959. It is grainy and dark but that just adds to the mood. We didn’t have HD video on iPhones back in the day.
Slippery the sea lion escaped from Storybook Gardens in London in 1958 and swam down the Thames River, Lake St Clair, Detroit River and Lake Eerie to be captured in Sandusky, Ohio and returned to London. He was famous.
Gordie Tapp is a London- born entertainer who was prominent on CBC in those days on a program called Country Hoedown. He later became better known across North America as a writer and performer on Hee Haw. Gordie Tapp is now 92.
Bob Goulet was a Canadian-raised heartthrob who was born in the US. His parents were from Quebec. He became famous for his portrayal of Lancelot in Camelot on Broadway in 1960 with Richard Burton and Julie Andrews. His rendition of “If ever I should leave you” was his signature song. In the early 1950’s he appeared occasionally along with William Shatner on the Canadian version of Howdy Doody. Bob Goulet died in 2007.
James Doohan (Scottie on Star Trek) was also a regular on the CBC’s Howdy Doody. My parents knew his family and would sometimes come home from parties, saying that they had spent some time with him, having no sense of his fame from Star Trek.
Whipper Billy Watson was a Toronto-born wrestler who was very popular at wrestling events in Maple Leaf Gardens. He was known for being a “clean” wrestler and fought the likes of Gene Kininski, Gorgeous George and the Sheik. He was also known for his charitable work. He died in 1990.
Santa Claus has a broad face and a round little belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly. He is jolly and plump. He lives at the North Pole. Children like him.