James Kemsley, who drew the Ginger Meggs comic for 23 years before passing last December, has been posthumously awarded Order of Australia Medal. The Daily Telegraph notes that the honor was just not for his work as a cartoonist, but also “for his role as a local councillor and for his other passion, the Bradman Foundation.”
Jason Chatfield, who took over the Ginger Meggs strip after James’ passing wrote this reaction on his blog after learning of James’ award,
He was a true blue Australian, with an undying and unparalleled love of cricket. He was instrumental in establishing the Bradman Museum, and the Don Bradman Foundation.
Kems was also responsible for reviving the ailing Australian Black & White Artistsâ?? Club when it was in considerable debt, and almost dead on its back. He turned it around into the thriving Australian Cartoonistsâ?? Association that it is today.
Kems was one of the most amazing blokes, and one of the best mates Iâ??ve ever had. Losing him in December, after a long and brave fight with Motor Neurone Disease was the saddest and most tragic time for his friends and family. He was one year out from his 60th birthday when he passed away.
The Order of Austrailia Medal was instituted in 1975 by The Queen of England “for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service.”