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

Wind-up on the way for Alberni Men’s Golf Club

The weather looks promising for Sunday, Sept. 30

ARTS AROUND: Learn watercolour basics at Port Alberni workshop

Victoria artist Joanne Thomas will host one-day workshop

Alberni Pacific Railway temporarily halted

Technical Safety BC discovers ‘regulatory violations’

BCHL: Bulldogs see fourth straight loss at BCHL showcase

Alberni Valley Bulldogs on the road again this weekend

Port Alberni Black Sheep fall to Surrey Beavers in rugby action

Three tries late in the second half cemented the win for Beavers

Alberni Teens Can Rock band Stranger Than Fiction releases first single

Port Alberni group has been performing since 2016

Tempering the B.C. cannabis legalization ‘gold rush’

Retail selling of marijuana offers potential business opportunities and pitfalls

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Most Read