Stan Callaghan, the Christmas man, has died

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 12:54 08/07/2014
Stan Callaghan
KIRK HARGREAVES

CHRISTMAS FUN: Stan Callaghan shows off his lit-up house.

Stan Callaghan and wife
KIRK HARGREAVES
STAN AND CONNIE: Stan Callaghan, who was a self-confessed Christmas light addict, pictured here with his wife Connie.

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A man who brought a decade of Christmas joy to Christchurch and, more importantly, his wife of 60 years, has died.

Stanley ''Stan'' Callaghan, 81, first set up Christmas lights on his Glastonbury Dr property for his wife Connie's 70th almost a decade ago.

His gift to Connie was lit up each year on November 19 - her birthday.

For three months before the festive period, Connie would watch her husband design and construct his display.

It got to the stage where almost every available exterior space of the couple's single-level Burwood home was dripping with lights.

Together, Stan and Connie welcomed hundreds of visitors to see the Christmas display each year.

When The Press visited last December, the couple's house and lawn were chock-a-block with lights and toys.

Stan, a former butcher but from a family of bakers on the West Coast, told The Press it took a lot of work.
However, he said people's reactions meant it was ''worth every cent''.

A story in The Press in 2011 described the beginning of Stan's ''hobby''.

It was during a shopping trip to Northlands Mall with one of his daughters.

''We saw this big train. It was lit up and going and the lights made it look like puffs of smoke coming out the stack. My daughter loved it, but it was dear - about $300 or $400,'' he said.

''I thought, 'To hell with it, if [my daughter] will not buy it, I will'. It has gone bloody mad ever since. It is addictive, but I do not care, because of what we get back out of it.''

Stan died at Christchurch Hospital yesterday and his funeral is tomorrow.

The Callaghan family have asked for any messages to be sent to, ''The family of the late Stan Callaghan'', via 19 London St, Christchurch, 8013.

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- The Press

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