Alberni’s ‘flag lady’ leads double life and loves it

Sally Anderson has donned a red hat, red jacket and white gloves and waved at Alberni's steam train for more than a decade.

Sally Anderson has been busy these days in her role as flag lady and Mrs. Claus.

What an outfit will do for a girl.

Alberni resident Sally Anderson has donned a red hat, red jacket and white gloves and waved at the Port Alberni steam train as it trundles by her house for more than a decade.

With her ensemble, glasses, warm smile and rosy complexion on a cold afternoon, Anderson bears a striking resemblance to Mrs. Claus — Mrs. Santa Claus.

She started at the behest of her late mother 11 years ago.

That winter, she donned a red skirt, Santa hat and red jacket on a whim, waving as the train rode by.

During one winter ride, the character who played Santa shouted to Anderson that ‘I’ll be home late for dinner,’ “and that’s how the legend started,” Anderson laughed.

Anderson’s grandson usually dons an outfit and helps her. “He plays Santa’s elf or Santa’s helper,” she said. “I have more fun than everyone on the train.”

Anderson has a life and activities she’s involved with outside of her role but the line blurs in funny ways. “I’ll be downtown or in a checkout line at a store and people will see me and know me as the flag lady,” she said. She plays the role of Mrs. Claus for free but reaps rewards from it. “It’s a blessing to be able to give more than it is to receive,” Anderson said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

BCHL: Bulldogs fall to Capitals in third preseason loss

Alberni Valley Bulldogs will be on the road starting Wednesday, Aug. 28

Casual car show will put the drive into food drive

Port Alberni’s Cars and Coffee will wrap up with a food drive in September

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port Alberni bands ‘out of the basement’ and onto an album

Two bands, products of the Alberni Valley’s school of rock, celebrate their CD debut

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Most Read