Santa and Mrs Claus quit, cite political correctness risk
TWO of Gympie's iconic Christmas figures are hanging up their winter hats after 14 years, a choice they say has been driven by the rise of political correctness.
For than a decade Bill and Barbara Moore have entertained children around Gympie as Santa and Mrs Claus, but events over the past few years have led the couple to call it quits.
"It's getting too politically correct," Mrs Moore said.
Mr Moore pointed to one example which happened on Mary St when he was approached by a child and his mother.
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As per the tales, Mr Moore told the youth something needed to be checked first.
"I said 'Uh oh, we've got you here on the naughty list for a little while but now you're on the nice list', and this woman took offence to it," he said. "'Don't you accuse my son of ever being on the naughty list', she said."
And this was just the tip of the iceberg on how our culture had changed.
Mrs Moore said it was at the point where they had to see if the parents were around before even interacting with children that came up to them, and Mr Moore was concerned about how mud could stick to someone's reputation.
"If I say the wrong thing, or happen to grab your son or daughter in the wrong way and in front of parents, I could wind up in court," he said. "When you do it it is beautiful, but now it's not as enjoyable."
Instead, the couple expect to spend their future holidays with their own family. But although the Santa suits will be mothballed, the Moores said their wonderful memories of bringing Christmas cheers.
One which stood high in Mr Moore's mind was a couple who came up and placed their seven-day-old baby in his arms.
"That was beautiful," he said.
And Mrs Moore hoped the world would not become too far gone.
"Children are innocent," she said."They love Santa Claus and they should be allowed their fantasies."