Santas Anonymous was started in 1955 on 1080 CHED Radio by Jerry Forbes. Jerry's real name was Murray McIntyre Forbes and he adapted the name Jerry for his on-air work. Jerry started in broadcasting at CFRN in 1947. He is also known for his CHED Good Guy program, his daily humanity editorials "Thought for the Day," and for his amazing singing voice.
When 1080 CHED signed on in 1954 Jerry was their first production Manager. He worked his way up throughout the years to become the station General Manager. CHED moved from 1080 to its familiar 630 dial position a few years after their debut as 630 was a better frequency, which reaches virtually 75% of the Province of Alberta.
Jerry's quote on why he started Santas Anonymous was "wouldn't it be great if there would be no needy kids..and every kid had a present...not a used present...with wheels stuck on and repainted....but a brand new present. From that modest start we said well...lets do it. So we went ahead and for the first few years we ran it up on the second floor here just with my staff and from there it just grew and grew and now its part of the overall system of the Christmas Bureau ."
Now more than 25,000 presents are delivered each and every year in Edmonton through Santas Anonymous.
Jerry spent 28 years at CHED and retired in June of 1981. He passed away in September of 1981 and is buried in Innisfail, Alberta, his birth place.
Jerry Forbes was asked how he'd like to be remembered after he died. His response was simply 'just to be remembered as a 'decent guy.' Jerry would never know how many people he has helped since that simple beginning of Santas Anonymous in 1955.
President - Radiowise Inc.
Morning Man, CJAY-FM Calgary