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Real-life Santa giving away toys

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September 09, 2017

Here’s how you do it: Nathalia’s Allan Fowler, 92, shows youngster Ruby Henningsen, 4, how to put her wooden car together.

Nathalia’s Allan Fowler, 92, has been woodturning with the Woodturners of the Goulburn Valley for more than 20 years.

Yesterday, he passed some of his knowledge onto kinder children at Arthur Dickmann Children’s Centre in Shepparton.

‘‘People from all walks of life enjoy woodturning from bank managers, teachers to farmers,’’ Mr Fowler said.

‘‘When I retired I got into woodturning because my friends were ... (and) I really enjoy the social aspect of it.’’

Mr Fowler’s great grandson Jack Barton, 5, was one of the many avid youngsters learning from the woodturning master — who is often mistaken for Santa Clause.

‘‘I grew my beard after my wife passed away ... I wasn’t game enough to have it before then,’’ he said.

Kinder teacher Marni Thomson said the children regularly had community members visit the children’s centre.

‘‘We like to hear from locals ... they often visit to share their interests with the kids,’’ she said.

‘‘Alan taught them how to put the wooden toys together ... he made all the bodies himself and would’ve likely spent hours on them (ahead of his visit).

‘‘We’ve also been talking to the kids about old toys and what to do with them after they are no longer wanted.

‘‘We visited an op shop to see where toys can go and the kids carried them down and dropped them in the donation boxes.’’

Mr Fowler spends most of his spare time making children’s toys which he often gives away to children at Fairley’s IGA in Numurkah Rd, Shepparton.

‘‘I sit in the cafe and give the kids toys compliments of the GV Woodturners,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s just great to see them happy and enjoying themselves.’’

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