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San Carols returns to the village green

After a two-year hiatus, the popular San Carols returned this year. The iconic event has been held annually for more than 70 years, and is the upper north shore’s largest community carols event.

On Sunday 11 December 2022, thousands from the local area gathered with friends and family on the Village Green, the Hospital’s large front lawn area.

CEO Brett Goods welcomed guests, saying that the evening is a very special event on the San’s annual calendar.

“We are delighted to be holding San Carols again after having to cancel the event due to Covid,” he said. “It’s a much-loved community gathering amongst the Adventist Church community as well as the entire upper north shore of Sydney. It’s great to see so many families and friends here tonight for this wonderful occasion.”

The event kicked off at 4pm with a variety of family activities, food stalls and Santa photos, followed by the very popular children’s concert featuring the Bluey and Bingo Live Christmas Experience at 7pm. The main carols program began at 7.30pm showcasing all Australian super-stars with a special connection to the San.

Ian Stenlake and Penny McNamee co-hosted the evening. Ian has performed at San Carols several times in the past.

“To me it’s one of the best carols in the country to be part of,” said Ian. “It’s got so much heart. The overall feeling that you get when you’re there amongst that group of people is fantastic. It has a huge family aspect to it, and there is something for everyone in it.

“The San Carols band is brilliant, and it was great to perform with some of the other musicians – some for the first time.”

Ian was joined by well-known star of Home and Away and musical theatre actress Penny McNamee, who says she has fond memories of the San.

“Both my babies were born at the San, and it was a wonderful experience,” said Penny. “So I feel pretty attached to the hospital. I grew up in in the area, as did my husband, so I was excited to be back there performing with so many of our friends and family in attendance.” 

Husband and wife duo Jess and Matt – X Factor runners up in 2015 and featured artists on Chris Isaak’s latest Christmas album – were also on stage. They, too, have a special connection to the San. Matt was born at the hospital and many family friends still work there.

“We’ve had a break from Christmas concerts over the past few years, so this one actually did feel extra special in getting back to the way things were,” they said. “Playing in our home suburb means a lot to us. Our family and friends came along, and we loved seeing the community coming together again.”

Performers were supported by local carols regular Jana Lombart, the talented Wahroonga Adventist School Choir, and Dave Martin and the Carols band.

Photos from the roaming professional photographer are now available to download via this link.

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