Peter Pickersgill – RIP

Political cartoonist Peter Pickersgill has passed away.

John Peter Stacey (Peter) Pickersgill
September 5th, 1945 – April 15th, 2023

The Ottawa Citizen, 1986

From the CBC notice:

Longtime political cartoonist, radio commentator and author Peter Pickersgill of Salvage, N.L., has died.

According to an online funeral home obituary, Pickersgill — whose 2003 book Neither Here nor There: Reflections on the Smiling Land chronicled his observations on half a century of his time in Newfoundland — died Saturday in Gander. He was 77.

Despite graduating from the University of British Columbia’s architecture program in 1972, Pickersgill immediately began a freelance career as a political cartoonist, with work appearing in the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Journal, Montreal’s Le Devoir and the Toronto Star. He also produced radio commentaries for CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition and, in Newfoundland and Labrador, The Fisheries Broadcast.

From the obituary:

Peter loved working at the Toronto Star, where he published editorial cartoons as well as a series called Gargoyle Gossip which showed the gargoyles of Parliament making somewhat naughty comments about who and what they saw while looking down on the halls of our government.

He was the first political cartoonist to produce a daily animated cartoon which ran on the newly established Global Television Network. His association with Global continued when he illustrated Gordon Henderson’s book of poems, Sandy Mackenzie, Why Look so Glum? with portraits of each Prime Minister from Sir John A. to Joe Clark. Global’s news anchor, Peter Debarats and Peter Pickersgill worked to produce an animated version of Halibut York, a gift from Debarats to his daughter.

His book Neither Here nor There demonstrated his deep and abiding love of Newfoundland and Labrador which began when he first visited the island with his parents as a very young boy.

Peter did a magical series of paintings evoking the spiritual union among fish, birds and humans. He produced a series of paintings for the Shipowners Association by celebrating the enormous vessels that ply our waters from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

Some later (2015-16) cartoons and writings from Peter Pickersgill’s Blog.

© Mr. and Mrs. Pickersgill