Eighty years’ reading brings its reward
By PHILIP KITCHIN
NAPIER widow Constance Horne, 93, is a swimmer, a world traveller, and probably The Dominion’s most loyal reader.
“Except when overseas for short holidays I have read it every day since its first publication on September 26, 1907,” Mrs Horne said yesterday.
Last month she wrote to the paper suggesting she might have earned a concession of some kind on her subscription.
In a surprise visit to the Greendale Rest Home in Taradale yesterday a Dominion reporter told Mrs Horne she would never have to pay for the paper again. She was delighted.
“They said someone was coming but I didn’t know who it was . . . My goodness, what a big surprise,” she said.
‘I can remember the day The Dominion first came out as clear as anything. It was Dominion Day (when New Zealand attained dominion status).”
More than eighty years later, the wife of the former long-serving mayor of Woodville, the late Henry Horne, reads The Dominion every day she can get her hands on a copy.
Mrs Horne said she first read the paper when she was a schoolgirl at Chilton High [House] School.
“Our teachers bought a copy each day.
“We had to have it for current events but in those days we had a real scrapping match to see who could get the paper first.
“In 1913 I left school and went to live in Woodville and my father took The Dominion there. Then I went back to teach in 1917 and 1918 because all the teachers were going off to make munitions. I read it then.
“Later I got married and my husband took The Dominion. I came to Napier in March 1961 and I got it from the Ahuriri bookshop and now I’m getting it here.”
Mrs Horne, who lives at the Taradale Rest Home, said she loved to travel and had visited many countries in Europe and Asia. She said these days her copy of the paper was delivered with her breakfast every morning.
“I read it. Then Sister Napier, she has it. And then her son reads it . . . he lives with his mother. And then her son-in-law reads it and then the crossword puzzle goes to her mother in Auckland.
“So you can see I’m not the only one who is going to benefit from this kindness.”
Mrs Horne said her favourite section of the paper was either the feature pages or the editorial, which she usually agreed with . . . but not always.
She said she had a stroke last year but is still hoping to return to her Harding [Hardinge] Road home some day.
“I can be a stubborn old fish when I dig my toes in.”
But there are few things she dislikes.
Among them are hard pavements, shops which are a temptation to spend money on things you don’t need and the “filthy brute” of an evening newspaper she reads. “The print on that paper comes off all over you,” she said.
Photo caption – MRS HORNE With a copy of The Dominion, which she has read since 1907. – Photo, BILL KEARNS