In the aftermath of the death of former U.S. President George H. W Bush, editorial cartoonists are creating obit cartoons and reposting old cartoons from when he was president from 1989 to 1993. While a few of my drawings (here and here) included Bush Sr. in editorial cartoons during his son’s Presidency, I was a university student at the time when he was at the helm, and submitting cartoons to campus newspaper, The Fulcrum. Back then my political cartooning was in the form of a wordy, densely illustrated weekly comic strip called Alas & Alack. In November 1989, Bush had been President for less than a year, leading in the shadow of his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, at a time monumental changes were happening in the world, among them the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the cold war. At the time the President seemed desperate to put his own mark on history. With references to Ronald Reagan, Leonid Breshnev, JFK, and even Donald Trump.
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday February 7, 2018
“Gentle giant:” Hamilton’s longest serving mayor, Bob Morrow dies at 71
Hamilton’s longest-serving mayor never stopped working for the community he loved.
That sounds like a cliché — except Bob Morrow literally spent the hours before his death working the phones to try to find a Sunday mass replacement organist for his beloved St. Patrick parish downtown.
His death Monday, at age 71, spurred a flood of online tributes Monday from friends, politicians of all stripes and even new Canadians welcomed by the former citizenship judge.
Morrow guided pre-amalgamation Hamilton as mayor from 1982 to 2000 and later stepped up in 2014 to fill a vacant Ward 3 council seat. But his passion for the community was visible outside of politics, too.
Morrow left “a number of messages” in the early hours of Sunday apologizing for missing mass at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church where he served as organist for almost a decade, said Fr. Tony O’Dell by email. “In his last message he reminded me that this was the first time he missed a mass during his time with us. He will be remembered as a true statesman and kind-hearted man in our parish and beyond.”
That was his father in a nutshell, said son George Morrow.
Morrow, who kept his health challenges to himself as much as possible, tried to keep up with his volunteer commitments despite being on dialysis for months due to an undisclosed illness, said his son. He said a complicating lung infection interfered with his father’s treatment and hastened his death.
Morrow is survived by his two sons, George and Kerr.
“He was so passionate about (his church duties),” said George. “He was going into the hospital and he was still calling around, looking for a replacement. It mattered to him.”
Those sorts of stories followed Morrow throughout his political career. (Hamilton Spectator)
RIP Mayor Bob Morrow
News came yesterday of the death of Bob Morrow, Hamilton’s longest serving Mayor (1982-2000). His political career was coming to an end by the time I had arrived on the scene as the Spec’s editorial cartoonist in mid-1997. As the cartoons below illustrate, the issues he had been dealing with at the time were related to a declining downtown, ridicule of Hamilton, and the coming amalgamated city of surrounding communities into an expanded city of Hamilton. While he failed to attain enough votes to continue as mayor in 2000 he proved to be the biggest civic cheerleader of the city, and he served it well.
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday July 8, 2017
Tom Thomson on the 100th anniversary of his death
On a rocky, windswept point jutting into Canoe Lake, up a little trail in a sunny clearing, a modest cairn stands next to a gaudy totem pole. One hundred years ago, a troop of artists and admirers, led by the Group of Seven’s J.E.H. Macdonald, paddled to this very point to erect the memorial to their dead friend, the “artist, woodsman and guide,” Tom Thomson.
He lived humbly but passionately with the wild. It made him brother to all untamed things of nature. It drew him apart and revealed itself wonderfully to him. It sent him out from the woods only to show these revelations through his art. And it took him to itself at last. — Excerpt from the inscription on the Tom Thomson Memorial Cairn on Canoe Lake
It was here in Algonquin Provincial Park where Thomson found himself as an artist, setting out with his cedarstrip canoe and paint kit to collect inspiration for masterpieces such as “The Jack Pine <https://www.aci-iac.ca/tom-thomson/key-works/the-jack-pine>” on protracted backcountry sketching trips he began taking in 1912.
And it was here, at Hayhurst Point, where Thomson most loved to pitch his canvas tent, with the wind keeping off the bugs and the cool, murky water shimmering below; then, at night, the lights of the now-abandoned town of Mowat sparkling across the lake; a beer and warm bed and body only a short paddle away.
And it was here, too, on Canoe Lake where Thomson’s bloated corpse was found on July 17, 1917. He had set out on a solo fishing trip eight days prior on July 8 — 100 years ago today. He was only 39. (Continued: Toronto Star)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday June 10, 2016
Michael Baldasaro, Hamilton’s high priest of pot, dead at 67
Michael Baldasaro, a longtime marijuana activist and perennial candidate for office, has died in a Hamilton hospice after a short battle with cancer.
Baldasaro, a Church of the Universe minister, died early Thursday morning, church member Rev. Juliet Boyd told The Spectator. He was 67.
“It was very quick,” said Boyd, noting Baldasaro had died of prostate cancer that had spread throughout his body.
He leaves behind an uncle, sisters in Ohio and his son, Aaron, who lives in Vancouver.
“And all the church members who adored him,” Boyd added.
Baldasaro, who’d only been in hospice for about week, made it his mission to help those who were ignored by others, she said.
“He bothered with the people nobody else bothered with.”
Mayor Fred Eisenberger said he was “saddened” to hear about Baldasaro’s death.
“Michael was true champion of Hamilton. His commitment to the City and his Church of Universe community was unwavering, but more importantly a genuinely nice man. I will miss his passion and good humour,” Eisenberger said an emailed statement.
“On behalf of the City of Hamilton, our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues. We are sorry for your loss.”
Baldasaro, who ran for the Marijuana Party, sought office at three levels of government in Hamilton since 1984. In 2014, he ran for mayor.
“I’m the common guy,” Baldasaro told The Spectator. “It’s about time we had someone who knows reality.”
He wanted to term limits for the mayoral office and pushed for lower city councillor salaries.
“I’ll take half off the mayor’s pay,” he promised. “I’m encouraging all councillors to do the same thing.”
Baldasaro also advocated for the well-being of drug users, sex workers and the homeless.
“They shouldn’t be in jails. They need help. The police have better things to do than go after these people.”
Church member Karen Coruzzi said Baldasaro gave her a new lease on life after helping her get off the streets and hard drugs 25 years ago.
“He taught me to love myself,” she said. “He’s a great man.”
In 2014, he also ran federally for the Marijuana Party in Hamilton Centre. (Continued: Hamilton Spectator)