A very Newcastle Christmas


Not even Santa could compete with the staff at John Hunter Hospital’s maternity unit on Christmas morning.

Eight freshly minted Christmas babies had been delivered by 10am, an unofficial Christmas record.

They included Elijah Clarke, who arrived at 2.47am.

“It’s a wonderful Christmas present,” his mother Jodi Clarke said.

“At the same time I’d rather be home with my four other children.”

The hectic delivery schedule was all in a day’s work for the staff of ward K2 and elsewhere in the hospital.

“It’s a fun day to be work; everyone is happy and we eat a lot,” midwife Jess Geary said.

“It’s nice to see the families come in to see their new babies.”

The spirit of Christmas was also alive and well at Newcastle police station where about a dozen officers turned up for work.

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“My family is away this year so working on Christmas day isn’t so bad,” senior constable Adam Burgess said.

“It’s usually a bit more relaxed, but we will see if it picks up this afternoon.”

Down at Nobbys Beach three English backpackers – Sarah Riley, 22, Megan Hudson, 22 and Charlotte Warrior, 22 were enjoying their first Christmas down under.

“It’s quite nice, but it’s kind of bizarre that this (going to the beach) is a Christmas tradition in Australia,” Ms Riley said.

“When it started to rain earlier I thought oh no, this is like Christmas at home. Now the sun is out it’s lovely,” Ms Hudson said.

Christmas church services were also well attended, About 600 people attended midnight mass at Newcastle Christ Church Cathedral.

“The mood has been really happy,” cathedral verger Robert Gummow said.

“It’s always great to see the people who come at Christmas and Easter. They are only here for those two occasions but they keep coming back.”


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