At 90, this ‘paperboy’ still delivers

By | April 16, 2019
Is he Australia's oldest paperboy?: Kevin Naughton, aged 90, delivers the Gazette in Crookwell and could be the country's oldest in such a job. Photo: Clare McCabe

Is he Australia’s oldest paperboy?: Kevin Naughton, aged 90, delivers the Gazette in Crookwell and could be the country’s oldest in such a job. Photo: Clare McCabe

In the volatile newspaper industry, Kevin Naughton has withstood layoffs, closures and even retirement.

But the records say Mr Naughton, at a spritely 90 years of age, is not the world’s oldest paperboy.

That (UK) record is Ted Ingram’s, who delivered until 93 years and 268 days of age.

But Mr Naughton, based at Crookwell in the NSW southern tablelands, could very well be Australia’s eldest.

“They all tell me I have to be. I was 90 on Christmas Day [2018],” he said.

It is estimated Mr Naughton has delivered more than a million editions of newspapers in the past 27 years. He used to deliver seven days a week, the “Telegraph, Herald, The Land … the lot.”

He has had only two long holidays and “few” sick days in his time.

His shift begins at 6am every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at Davies Newsagency, by rolling all of the newspapers then packing them into his car to deliver to Crookwell homes and businesses.

His route follows 60 kilometres, yet he is home in time for breakfast.

“I don’t mind it myself. I don’t mind going around on the mornings, except on real cold mornings,” Mr Naughton said. The coldest ever was -9.2 – and that’s in a twon where the mean temperature for July is -1.9.

“I help the older people who can’t get out and get the papers off the footpath,” Mr Naughton said. “I take it and throw the paper in the back door for them to make it easier for them. I do the hospital, and Viewhaven. I go into all the wards … [the patients] like to see you.”

Mr Naughton took over Sid Davies’ delivery route after what was supposed to be his retirement from Moorlands department store.

“I worked in the main store for 57 years,” he said. “They come and took me from shearing when the war started. I had to replace one of the boys … called up to the war,” he said.

From hardware at Carey’s, he worked his way up to be a manager, leading Downes’ electrical department, then maintaining this position at Moorlands until ‘retirement’ on the newspaper round.

He has seen many changes in town and in the newspaper industry.

“A lot of shops close and re-open; a few people pass away. It has changed a bit,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of people come and go.”

And, while it isn’t common, he says he’s chased a few hounds in order to save a newspaper. “You throw a paper out and there will be a dog there and it will run clear out for it!” he said. “I’ve had to chase a dog … and they’re not real keen on that.”

Will he ever retire (again)?

“It keeps you out of mischief, it gets you up early in the morning. My word, yes, it keeps you fit and well.”

The Star – The Star Life