Cartoons from the 1950s
|When I was 17, and a student at the old National Art School in Darlinghurst, I did a few cartoons and showed them to my fellow students. Although I was then just a second year student, I was friendly with students completing their fifth year of studies. One of them, a young woman called Mitzy Finey, asked me if she could take the cartoons home to show her father. I had no idea that her father was none other than George Finey, the chief cartoonist with the Daily Telegraph in Sydney.
Two days later, the Telegraph printed some of those cartoons of mine, with a kind introduction to them written by George Finey (see the article below). A few days after that, I received a summons to see none other than Sir Frank Packer, who was then the owner of the Telegraph. Their headquarters were on the corner of Park and Elizabeth Streets.
I arrived there and was ushered up to a room with five distinguished gentlemen sitting behind a large desk. Sir Frank wasn't there but I recognised one of the Suits as David McNicoll, who may have been the Editor of the paper at that time. McNicoll said that they liked my cartoons and were offering me a cartoon cadetship with the Telegraph. That meant that I had to quit my full-time studies at the National Art School, although I could still be a part-time student.
I was stunned by their offer, and was seriously tempted to accept it, as I was a penniless migrant kid, and could use the salary they offered. But then a strange thing happened to me. I felt as if the 'Hand Of Destiny' had its fist up my nether regions and was using me as a glove puppet. I heard myself saying "Thank you very much for your kind offer, but I have decided to become a painter". I have no idea why I said that, but the 5 Suits just looked at me with a slight degree of contempt and bid me adieu.
As I went down the lift towards the ground floor I thought "Why not?" After that interview, I changed my studies from the Illustration Course to the Painting Course. I am glad I did, but I sometimes wonder how my life would have been had I accepted their sweet offer.
|These images were scanned from ancient newspaper clippings, which explains their condition.|