Children at Dubai English Speaking School looked forward to their Christmas Party and meeting Father Christmas.
Joe enjoyed being "Father Christmas" for the kids. He had his own Father Christmas suit! He was a big man and every child's expectation of how Father Christmas should be.
"Father Christmas" usually arrived in Joe's old 1960s Landrover. This year (1971) Father Christmas was arriving by helicopter. But there was a problem! "Father Christmas" fell asleep after lunch. Joe awoke realising he was late for the helicopter rendezvous. He quickly put on his Father Christmas Suit, stuck his white beard into place, jumped into his old Landrover and sped off down an empty Jumeirah Beach Road.
1960s Landrovers are slow. But Joe's old Landrover went fast enough to attract a Police Patrol Car's attention. The Patrol Car gave chase and soon overtook the old Landrover.
"We were a much smaller, more tightly knit community. We were Arabs and Europeans together. At Christmas time we would go to their houses and wish them a merry Christmas and, during Eid, they would come to ours. But of course, those days could not last. Now there are so many more Europeans, so many more people. Then we were all much closer."
Khalifa bin Juma Al Naboodah (Khaleej Times 1981) talking about life in Dubai in the late 1960s
Joe's attempted to explain. The Police ignored his explanation and his "Father Christmas" disguise. Father Christmas being late for his helicopter cut no ice with Dubai's Police! Joe had exceeded the speed limit. He was to get a Speeding Ticket. Joe sat patiently as the Constable filled out the Ticket. The Constable handed the Ticket to Joe for him to sign. Joe did so with a flourish. Then there were handshakes and smiles all round, Joe drove off at an marginally slower pace intent on meeting the helicopter and delivering his presents albeit later than scheduled.
Deep in the archives of Dubai Traffic Police is a Ticket for a 1960s Landrover caught exceeding the speed limit on Jumeirah Road in 1971.
The Ticket is signed by the Offender as