Title and statement of responsibility area
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Physical description area
997 photographs: 906 col.; 91 b&w, 4 contact sheets
1 framed painting: oil on canvas; 32 x 22 cm.
17 objects: 14 plaques, 1 crest, 1 button, 1 ribbon.
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Archival description area
Name of creator
James (Jimmy) William Lomax (1943-2011), was best known as Hamilton's Santa Claus. As a child, Jimmy spent many Christmases in the hospital because of a lung disease that doctors originally diagnosed as likely being fatal. While in the hospital, a visit from Santa changed his young life. Jimmy survived his lung disease and it was this second chance at life that inspired him to become Santa to other less fortunate people, especially children. After attending Delta Secondary School, Jimmy worked as a steelworker at Stelco to support his family and to help support his volunteer job as Santa Claus. He and his wife Susan, who was often referred to as Mrs. Claus, would volunteer their time to a project they called Operation Santa Claus. Along with their young son Ryan, they visited thousands of children and adults annually, distributing gifts and holiday cheer. Jimmy's role as Santa began as a teenager in 1958 with a small bag of candy, a Santa suit and a big heart. Over the years, Operation Santa Claus grew to become a full-scale operation with numerous volunteers and donors. From 1958 until 2010, Lomax volunteered countless hours to fundraise for Operation Santa Claus, raising thousands of dollars annually to buy presents for those in need. The recipients of his generosity were mostly low-income families, children with intellectual challenges, hospital patients, group home residents, nursing home residents, and individuals living in shelters.
Jimmy's selfless dedication and generosity to his community earned him awards and recognition, including the Outstanding Young Hamiltonian Award, the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship, the Queen's Jubilee Medal, as well as membership in the Order of Canada. Even after the death of his son Ryan in 1987, as well as his own health issues, Lomax's dedication to Operation Santa Claus never wavered until he was forced to retire the role in 2010 due to health complications, after more than 5 decades as Santa. Lomax retired from Stelco after 38 years and he died in 2011. The city of Hamilton honoured him by establishing the Jimmy Lomax Beach Boulevard Park near where he and his family lived. However, Lomax's true legacy as Hamilton's Santa lives forever in the minds and hearts of many Hamiltonians, who personally experienced his kindness and generosity during the holiday season.
Scope and content
Immediate source of acquisition
The material in the fonds originally consisted of 23 photograph albums and 1 scrapbook. When the decision was made to remove the material for preservation purposes, this altered the original order and arrangement of material (in scrapbook format), that had been chosen by the creator, and a new arrangement of materials with more series was created.
The photographs in the fonds have been arranged by subject and then by date, and have been given a reference code for identification purposes. The letter s on the end of a code signifies that the photograph is smaller in size, while the letter L on the end of a code signifies the photograph is large (8 x 10-inch size or larger).
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Preferred citation: Jimmy Lomax fonds, 01031, Hamilton Public Library, Hamilton, Ontario.
The following related material can be found in the Local History & Archives (LH&A) department at Hamilton Public Library pertaining to the Jimmy Lomax fonds:
Jimmy Lomax Scrapbooks, Volumes 1 and 2. Library Call Number: RB LOMAX LOM.
Standard number area
Subject access points
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Name access points
- Lomax, James William (Creator)