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THE TUNE “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” happily rings true for the community of St. John’s,
Newfoundland. For 34 years, residents have revelled
in the magic of Christmas with a little help from a
true-life Santa Claus, Bruce Templeton.
An author, business owner and investment adviser,
Costco member Templeton wears one unlikely hat—
which happens to be red—during December. He spends
the holiday season visiting everything from children’s
seniors’ homes to
country clubs and
written a memoir,
The Man in the
Red Suit (available at select Costco locations), in which
he recounts the most memorable stories from people
of all ages that he has heard while on special assign-
ment as St. Nick. He has used royalties from the book
to support several humanitarian causes.
“After 34 years I’ve been asked some incredibly
interesting questions,” says Templeton, who shares
his stories on a blog at http://manintheredsuit.word
press.com. “I just wanted to chronicle and tell my
memories of meeting some extraordinary people.”
He says the true meaning of Christmas—and the
moral of his book—is clear: “It’s your presence, not
presents, that count. It has nothing to do with what’s
under the tree.”—Kim Pallozzi
IT COULD BE SAID that Melissa Webb is taking
a hands-on approach to her business. And it
seems to be working pretty well.
The Costco member is the owner of
Absolute Massage Therapy (www.absolute
massagetherapy.com), a thriving practice with
two locations, in Kanata and Almonte in eastern
Ontario, and a staff of 15 therapists. She started
the practice alone 12 years ago in a tiny space
in a local leisure centre—so indeed she has
built the business with her own two hands.
“I love working with my hands to help people,” says Webb, whose business was recently
A hands-on business
featured on the cover of the my Costco annual
catalogue. “That was always my inspiration.”
Her clinics offer a wide range of services,
from indulgent spa treatments to therapies that
alleviate pain and promote health and mobility.
As therapeutic massage continues to grow in
popularity, Webb sees her business continuing
to expand. But wherever the future takes her,
she knows some things will never change.
“I’m still proudest when I see clients walking out of the clinic with smiles because the
pain is gone and they can move again,” she
says. “It’s always about the people.” C
Bruce Templeton holds Ariel,
a 4-month-old infant who
was born with a heart defect,
in a Newfoundland medical
centre. His Santa duties often
lead him to visit sick kids.
A real Santa