AVID READER: Goonellabah’s Joyce Cleaver, 85, and her family have been reading The Northern Star for more than a 110 years combined.
AVID READER: Goonellabah’s Joyce Cleaver, 85, and her family have been reading The Northern Star for more than a 110 years combined. Marc Stapelberg

Family have been Northern Star readers for a century

EVERY day for more than 110 years, Joyce Cleaver's family has been buying and reading The Northern Star - from cover to cover.

"I started to buy The Northern Star myself in 1955 and I've still got today's paper here," she said.

"My parents Bill and Isabell Hurnall used to buy it before that for at least 50 years.

"It was a big broadsheet paper back then."

The family's enduring connection with the paper extends beyond being just readers.

"I had a brother-in-law, Alan Cleaver, who lived in Sydney and he started his cadetship at the age of 14 at the Lismore Northern Star," Mrs Cleaver said.

"He went on to be a very good reporter.

"Rupert Murdoch's father Keith saw him when he was working at one of his papers in Brisbane and could see potential in him so he took him over to England and trained him at his English papers.

"He went on to work for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Daily Telegraph and he didn't retire until his very late 70s."

Next year The Northern Star celebrates its 140th anniversary.

These days, Mrs Cleaver enjoys reading about the sporting prowess of her grandsons.

"I always start reading the paper from the back page first," she said.

"I've got to read the sport and see who's played and what the scores were, then I highlight it and cut it out and I've got a folder I keep all the stories in.

"Then when their photo is in the paper I ring up and order a copy of the photo."

Not a day goes by that Mrs Cleaver doesn't find several interesting things in The Northern Star.

"What keeps me buying the paper is I'd hate to think I'd missed out on seeing something in the paper, or a funeral notice, and also it's habit.

"I get it delivered to me still every day and I used to have a neighbour who would read it first and then give it to me to read."

While she loves reading The Northern Star every day, Mrs Cleaver said she would like to see more coverage of charities and lower grade sports played in the region.



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