By Julie Johansen
Claron Durrant’s obsession for miniatures and his mother’s small cardboard Christmas village began a hobby in 1995 that almost completely covers his home for six weeks every year.
With the help of his children and grandchildren, he starts right after Thanksgiving to display many small Christmas villages and nativity scenes. His display features Native American, Eskimo and other ethnic villages.
At first, the villages were small and made of cardboard, but now they boast of mobiles, lights and remote controls. Each year, he keeps a registry of guests, which normally numbers about 80. He invites all to come and gaze upon the immense display of villages. After the first of January, he once again has help from his family and boxes the thousands of pieces for storage in his shed.
Growing up and attending school in Franklin, Idaho, Durrant’s sixth grade teacher influenced him at a very impressionable age to become a teacher. He graduated from Preston High School and went on to receive his teaching degree from Brigham Young University. Durrant started his teaching career in Pocatello, Idaho and after 10 years, he made the move to Huntington Elementary as a sixth grade teacher in 1979. Durrant has taught every grade at the school except second, and remained at Huntington Elementary for over 30 years.
Upon retirement, he returned as a volunteer to help in is his favorite grade, which is first grade. He then became a teaching assistant for four more years. In all, Durrant taught school for over 40 years.
Durrant met his sweetheart, Vickie Cox, in Orem where she was working and they were soon married. Vickie grew up in Hiawatha. Sadly, Vickie passed away three years ago of ALS disease. Claron and Vickie are the parents of six children, three girls and three boys, and have 21 grandchildren. Durrant is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and has held many church callings over the course of his life, including all callings in the bishopric.
Not only does Durrant raise many small villages in his home during the holiday season, but after teaching for so many years in Huntington, he has had a hand raising that village as well.