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Whimsical, perceptive and an enduring talent

The life and work of veteran Royal Gazette cartoonist Peter Woolcock will be celebrated this afternoon at a memorial at St John's Church, Pembroke.

The service begins at 2pm.

Mr Woolcock, who died earlier this month at the age of 89, was an Argentine-born children's book illustrator, comic strip artist and political cartoonist of international standing before he settled here with wife Ethel in the 1980s.

His cartoons and political caricatures appeared in The Royal Gazette, Mid-Ocean News, Bermuda Sun and the RG, Bottom Line and Bermuda magazines from 1983 until his death. He was in the process of hand delivering what proved to be his final cartoon to the Gazette offices on December 4 when he was stricken.

Aside from producing literally thousands of cartoons and caricatures for publication and for private clients, Peter also designed actor Gavin Wilson's life-sized puppet Aloysius “Lock Jaw” Fox, the ornery St David's Islander with uncompromising views about life in modern Bermuda and an unfiltered mouth, and illustrated a series of well-received children's books with local author Andrew Stevenson.

The following was originally written by Bermuda Governor George Fergusson to serve as the introduction to Woppened 26, Peter's annual collection of Royal Gazette cartoons. It appears today as a tribute to our departed colleague and friend.

Bermuda was lucky in having Peter Woolcock as its artistic bard. A year ago I found my car had been ticketed in Hamilton and paid my fine – a sadder, wiser and poorer man.

The next day a Woolcock cartoon appeared in The Royal Gazette depicting me on parade with my ADC whispering to the parade commander that the Regiment would have to march round once more while the clamp was removed from the official car.

When I told Peter that this was a remarkable coincidence, he said that he had received a ticket as he dropped that same cartoon into the Gazette offices.

Peter served us weekly reminders that the real lives of the world, Bermuda and individuals are at least as peculiar as what can be dreamed up in fiction.

He was whimsical, multi-layered, often right on the nail, perceptive, exasperated but never malicious. He was also a great technical cartoonist, whose work will stand the test of time.

“Whimsical and perceptive”: The late Peter Woolcock and his two lizards, which were fixtures in his much-loved cartoons

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Published December 31, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 31, 2014 at 12:12 am)

Whimsical, perceptive and an enduring talent

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