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Ernie Poignant – RIP

Cartoonist Ernie Poignant has passed away at age 102.

Ernest Donald (Ernie) Poignant
February 4, 1919 – July 15, 2021

From the obituary:

At the age of four, Ernie discovered his love of doodling after drawing a stickman at his grandmother’s urging.
Cartooning became his hobby growing up and once he enlisted in the army he was producing one-frame cartoons in military publications during the Second World War.
He continued to draw cartoons as he began a job as a compositor at the Swedish Press in Vancouver in 1947 and later at Quesnel’s Cariboo Observer.

In 1958 they moved Maple Ridge where Ernie worked at the Gazette for more than 25 years, producing weekly cartoons and spending most of his free time entertaining everyone from kids to seniors with his chalk talks at venues like the BC Children’s Hospital, Canuck Place and Ronald McDonald House.

After returning to Abbotsford in 2003, Ernie – now utilizing his unique Initial Cartoon technique – regularly delivered smiles to folks at hospitals and schools, prompting the Abbotsford Arts Council to award him a lifetime achievement award in 2011.
Ernie self-published three books of his cartoons, including the latest in 2019 as he turned 100. At the time, Ernie quipped ‘I like to stay busy. It keeps me young.’

above and below:  a couple cartoons by Ernie from August 1958

A remembrance in The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News has more details:

After a stint working as a civilian mechanic at the Canadian air training base at the Abbotsford airport, Poignant enlisted with the Canadian army.

On the side, Poignant continued to draw and – having had his first cartoon appear in Canadian Poultry magazine in 1940 – he had several of his cartoons appeared in military publications during his years of service.

After the war, he used his family connections and was hired at a Swedish press in Vancouver as a linotype operator and page layout compositor. He also became a regular editorial cartoonist.

In 1949 he moved to a similar job in Quesnel, where he was hired as a newspaper compositor. He continued producing a weekly editorial cartoon for the Cariboo Observer.

… moving to Maple Ridge in 1958, where Poignant took a compositor’s job at the weekly Haney Gazette. And, yes, he continued his weekly gig as a cartoonist.

In 1984, the lifelong cartoonist retired from the Gazette, but said he then “became busier than ever.”

Not mentioned is Cariboo Daze, Ernie’s weekly cartoon panel for the Cariboo Observer in 1956.

Active for 102 years Ernie now gets to rest. Rest In Peace Ernie.


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