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It was back in 2018 when Larry Pickering passed away and went to whatever rambunctious old cartoonists and blog writers call the Rainbow Bridge. He was the quintessential Australian larrikin. The man that offended and seemingly didn't give a hoot. In fact, he managed to offend with ease and incredible skill. 

His pen was mightier than the sword and he wielded it with clever cartoons,words and with much enthusiasm. In fact, he seemingly managed to offend and or entertain Australia with his rapier wit and his astoundingly provocative cartoons depicting modern Australia. 

As we approach Australia Day, I debated who should hold the questionable honour of being my personal Aussie Blokey Bloke to celebrate Australia in her dying days. And it was a chance post on the blog from poster Itsfrankback that made me know exactly who deserved the Patriotrealm medal of honour. 

It could be no one else. It just had to be Larry Pickering. 

Why?

Because he was bad. Bad to the bone. But he was a good bloke... in a blokey kind of way. He didn't give a hoot who he upset. He didn't mind ruffling a feather or two and he always managed to make me laugh or think hard, very hard, about Life, Australia and Everything. 

One of his cartoons caused him to have to get police protection. 

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What people didn't get about Larry was that he was a Patriot.

Larry loved Australia. Of that there is no doubt. But he never shied away from telling it how it is. And THAT made him many enemies. 

I first discovered his blog about 10 years ago. I became an instant fan. I met people there..... people who I still " meet " online every day here. 

 To those of you who did not know him or ever hear of him, here is a brief overview.

Larry Pickering (1942-2018), a well known larrikin and often controversial Australian political newspaper cartoonist, caricaturist, and illustrator of books and calendars. The winner of four Walkley Awards, a #1 in the Australian Best Seller’s list, an entrepreneur, racehorse trainer, adventurist, and devoted father.

Larry is best known for his political satire and nude characterisations through-out the prime ministership of Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser prior to his retirement in the early 1980s and later Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, and Tony Abbott following his return in 2010. His work blew away the nation and his life was just as fun and exciting as he was. Larry passed away from cancer in 2018 at the age of 76 and is survived by 11 children, 18 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren and his wife, Carol.source 

 Larry wasn't a big fan of Same Sex Marriage and his cartoon about that was something that got the leftist tongues wagging and them saying more than " Tut tut. " 

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He was, as Monty Python would have said " a very naughty boy. "

 Larry was also very outspoken about matters in relation to Aboriginal life here in Australia and that made him an even naughtier boy. 

When the incredible cartoonist, the late Bill Leak, published his cartoon about our Aboriginal folk, Bill was lambasted and died not long after. His sin was to draw a cartoon that the left hated. 

The tragedy is that Bill's cartoon was too truthful for the leftie luvvies swanning about in Melbourne and the leafy suburbs and cafes of Sydney.

 

 

 Larry fired back with a response in the form of his own cartoon. 

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 As Australia Day approaches, I salute the man who, upon his demise, inspired me to start Patriotrealm. While my late father inspired the name, it was Larry Pickering who drew me to take a step into the unknown and start a blog. 

I am not sure if I should thank him or curse him but I doubt that Larry would give a bugger either way. 

Sometimes, I feel that I have let him down. 

I am no good at drawing and can barely do an image of a stickman, let alone a cartoon. 

I have nowhere near his wit, his insight, or, most importantly, his bravery.

I am but a shadow of who he was. 

But then again, when he passed away, Australia was a different country. A shadow of its former self. 

Before he died, he said , after  refusing to undergo chemotherapy  “I don’t want the kids to see me wasting away. I’ve knocked back the chemo and will go on as best I can”.

In many respects, I think he said it all. 

We are seeing our beloved Australia wasting away and we are trying to carry on as best we can. 

When Steve Irwin died, I think that a little bit of us died too. 

When people like Bill Leak, Larry Pickering and Steve Irwin leave us, we feel such a sense of loss. 

Because we all know how it ends.It is not If, but When.

I wonder how many will be at Australia's funeral? Or will they even bother? 

Maybe it has already been held? 

 

I hope not.

I hope that Australia will rally around and rise up to fight another day.  

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