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He Makes Christmas Live

"Max Meyer"

Because he was born and raised in China, Max Meyer had never experienced the excitement of Santa Claus as a child.

His family returned to Germany where, as a young man, he joined the Merchant Navy. When his ship visited Vancouver he fell in love with Canada and wanted to live here. He applied to immigrate and was accepted. He got a job as a bus driver in Vancouver, and it was while serving in this capacity that the spirit of Christmas inspired Max to unusual heights. Long after his career as a reliable bus driver had been established, Max decided to spend Christmas week dressed as the Santa Claus he had missed out on knowing for so many years. He purchased candy canes for his passengers and led them in Christmas song as they wended their way along Max's west end bus route. Everyone loved the idea; everyone, that is, except the company that employed him.

Max was told to stop such frivolity. His behaviour, he was told, was unbecoming, and it was against company policy to drive the bus while out of uniform. When Max refused to stop spreading his Christmas cheer, the company threatened to fire him. Max was undaunted. The company threatened to transfer him to another route. When Max's passengers heard about the disagreement they raised such a fuss that Max was finally allowed to continue in his role as Jolly Old St. Nick. He continued to act as Santa every Christmas thereafter, right up until his retirement.

Even though Max no longer drives a bus, he still dons whiskers and suit each Christmas season to spread a little cheer at Vancouver area hospitals, senior citizen homes and the huge ferries that travel back and forth to Vancouver Island. This Christmas (1990), Max and his two helpers gave out over 20 thousand candy canes. Mostly at his own expense and without any remuneration.

Max Meyer. . . a real live Canadian Santa Claus. He's another Canadian Achiever.

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