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Dedicated subscribers make The Citizen part of daily routine

Imagine doing anything for more than 75 years, almost every day, without fail. It becomes a part of the routine, a part of life. Evelyn Rebman, 90, has been a subscriber of the Prince George Citizen for more than 75 years.
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Evelyn Rebman reads her copy of The Prince George Citizen on Saturday. Rebman has subscribed to The Citizen since 1945.

Imagine doing anything for more than 75 years, almost every day, without fail.

It becomes a part of the routine, a part of life.

Evelyn Rebman, 90, has been a subscriber of the Prince George Citizen for more than 75 years.

"I've been around for a long time and was born in Willow River and lived there until I needed high school and I was the first one of our family to go - I had two older brothers who never went to high school because of the depression and the war," said Rebman. "I have had a long and interesting life and I have always lived in Prince George."

The move to Prince George took place in 1939 when the Second World War started and the population was between 2,500 to 3,000.

"It was a bustling town and a big city to me coming from Willow River," said Rebman, who attended Baron Byng high school.

Rebman's dad, Carl William Strom, best known as Bill, who was in the lumber industry with his brother Lars Strom, was an avid reader. When the family lived in Willow River the paper came by evening train, Rebman recalled.

"The paper has always been part of my life," said Rebman, who lost her husband, Jack, 25 years ago. After the war, she and her high school sweetheart husband, who was known as Shadow in his hockey days, settled into Prince George. During the war Jack was in the air force and stationed in Winnipeg for a short time.

"We raised five kids here and we always got The Citizen," said Rebman, who worked at Sears for 19 years. "I would miss it so much if I didn't get the paper."

Along with five children, there are five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren in her family.

The Citizen is part of Rebman's breakfast routine.

"I go from the front page and read right through, but I'm still not looking at the obituaries first," Rebman laughed.

"When I get to them I look at them, but you know most people my age are not here anymore."

About 10 years ago, Rebman would go for coffee with about a dozen girlfriends every week. Now there's just three friends left.

"That's the sad part of having a long life, you lose your friends," she said.

Rebman decided a few years back to write her memoirs for her children.

"And I dabble in poetry and I'm just fortunate I am still able to take care of myself," laughed Rebman.

"At this stage of my life I do whatever I want whenever I want. And I will always be an avid reader of The Citizen."

A 60-year reader

Subscriber for more than 60 years, Ellis Douglas is a dedicated Citizen reader and it all began when family would send the paper to her husband, Don, when they were away at McGill University in Montreal.

"I got to know The Citizen before I knew Prince George," said Douglas.

"We came back here in fall of 1951. I came back to Prince George with my husband because his mother was a widow and he wanted to spend the winter with her and, of course, I'm still here."

Sadly, Don passed away in 2010.

For Douglas there's a definite routine when it comes to opening the pages of the Prince George Citizen.

"Crossword first," laughed Douglas, who has two children, Diane and Jim, who still live in Prince George.

"Then the comics, and then the editorial and the rest of the paper. It's such a big part of my routine, I wouldn't know what to do without The Citizen. It's just always been."