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HomeNewsLethbridge residents' Santa collection a Claus for celebration

Lethbridge residents’ Santa collection a Claus for celebration

A Lethbridge resident is being recognized for his wide collection of a Christmas staple.

Ken Orich, who is a long-time volunteer in the area, started his Santa Claus collection back in 1988 when he was living in northern Alberta and since then has amassed various Santa’s in his collection. It first started as a way for him to pass the time during the cold winter months.

“We lived in High Level at the time and the winter was coming along and it’s brutal up there,” says Orich. “I was looking in those Christmas craft magazines and I thought ‘I can make that!'”

The first piece of art was a candy cane holder, the next few years progressed to making two or three more. Then before he knew it, he was collecting Santa’s.

“Somewhere along the line, I became a collector. Suddenly, in the summertime, I would be in some thrift store and would see half a dozen Santa’s and I would pick them up.”

Since then, his collection has grown to more than one thousand pieces, with around 60 of those pieces being Orich’s own creations made from either clay or wood.

As for the purchased Santa’s, the collector says he’s never short on help in that department, with people finding Santa’s and getting them for him.

When it comes to putting the Santa’s on display, Orich spent about two weeks to get 600 of his Santa’s up in his house so that every face was visible.

Along with his Santa collection, Orich helps to support the Helen Schuler Nature Centre, including the Bird Of The Week program, and coordinated the Lethbridge Christmas Bird Count.

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