This photograph of Father Christmas driving a group of children in his automobile in Roma on Christmas Eve, 1922 was published in the Sydney Mail newspaper on January 10, 1923. The Roma newspaper, Western Star and Roma Advertiser provides more details about this special event as well as providing a glimpse into how Roma residents celebrated the festive season .
“Christmas 1922 passed off very quietly at Roma, more so than usually, the previous day being Sunday. Business places were very busy throughout Christmas Eve, and apparently there was a good deal of cash in circulation, notwithstanding that a large number of residents have departed for the well-known holiday resorts at the seaside. A feature of Xmas Eve was the number of children in the streets, and during the afternoon their principal attraction was the motor drives, under the guidance of Father Christmas, provided by Hunters Limited. Business places closed from Friday evening until Wednesday morning. Services were held in various churches on Christmas Day, and were largely attended. Many Roma residents spent the holidays motor driving and tennis playing. Reports from Brisbane state the Christmas trade was a record, and also the railway traffic to the watering places near the capital.” (Western Star and Roma Advertiser, December 30, 1922)
Myles Sinnamon – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland