Max Meyer (Santa Max) passed away last Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2002 at the age of 84, due to cancer.
Born on April 11, 1918 to German and English parents in Shanghai, China, Max Meyer grew up in a cosmopolitan community. He had a natural ability learn languages and soon was fluent in German, English, five Chinese dialects, and Russian. With such an upbringing and such a command of languages, Max was at home in almost any crowd or venue – people naturally became Max’s friends.
Before migrating to Canada in 1954, Max had travelled through and lived in more countries than most people visit in a lifetime – China, Germany, Manchuria, Mongolia, the Philippines, Russia, and the United States of America, just to name a few.
“Santa Max” came to life over 25 years ago when Max first donned a Santa Clause suit while driving buses in Vancouver. Passengers and pedestrians on the Beach Avenue route were surprised by Santa Clause driving their bus! He made the CBC and CTV evening news. Santa Max became a Christmas tradition. Every Christmas people looked forward to seeing Santa Max on the buses, on the Sea Bus, and on the BC Ferries. Santa Max also made it a point to visit schools, homes for the elderly, hospitals children’s wards – especially the children’s cancer wards. Santa Max never missed a Christmas, and was still going strong during Christmas 2001, doing Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, and Harrison for the last seven years.
Upon retiring from bus driving, but without interfering with Santa Max at Christmas, Max accepted a position as manager of the Ronald McDonald Shows in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. Again, Max brought much joy to so many people and children. Max Meyer loved life, his wife and family.
He was predeceased by his first wife Hilda in 1991.
Max is survived by his second wife, Waltraud; by his son and daughters, Edward, Marilyn, and Deborah, and their families; and by his relatives and many neighbours and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on September 6, 2002 at the New Apostolic Church, located at 6665 Beaufort Rd. in Sardis/Chilliwack.
Max Meyer (Santa Max) will be missed but his spirit lives on.