Larry Pickering was laid to rest yesterday.

Family and friends gathered on the Gold Coast to hear, and tell, yarns of the larrikin we all knew and loved.

Lifelong mate, John Singleton, delivered the eulogy by video (he flew up from Sydney to see Larry days before he checked out). Singo’s memories will be shared on this site in the next couple of days.

Larry Olsen, who goes way back to Larry’s horse training days, and spent a gazillion hours playing golf with Larry, got lost in time keeping the service amused with tales of his great friend.

Two of Larry’s sons, (Little) Larry and Ben spoke of their dad. There wasn’t a dry eye in the joint.

Larry’s family also asked me to say a few words (posted below). We were limited by time constraints, so I kept my memories to my first meeting with Larry. I could fill a book.

The service was filled laughter and tears.

And song, with a brilliant tribute, Ode To Larry Pickering, by Steve Mannix (coming soon).

Following these memories is a short video by Larry’s daughter, Steph, who picked a few public and private photos of Larry taken over his incredible life.

Remembering Larry

by Paul Zanetti

I remember clearly when I first discovered Larry Pickering.

It was 1975.

Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister, making one hell of a mess of the country with his Ministry of Misfits.

And there – in the Sydney Morning Herald – jumping from the pages were these hilariously outrageous, beautifully drawn cartoons making sense of the lunacy that was the political theatre of the day.

Larry didn’t like socialism.

So he was the perfect antidote to Whitlam.

Larry was brilliantly funny and clever – drawing Whitlam as a chook.

The infamous Pickering 'Outhouse Series' which ran in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1975

Whitlam hated the Pickering cartoons – which pricked Gough’s giant pompous ego – but Gough’s wife, Meg, loved the Pickering cartoons.

Meg would go around the Lodge pinning the cartoons up on the walls – and Gough would run around the Lodge tearing them down.

Poor old Gough became so beaten up by his own policies that Larry drew Whitlam with band aids on his face.

Naturally enough when Larry drew his calendars, the band aids were strategically positioned – including on his….donger, as Larry would eloquently explain.

Gough in Pickering's Playmates calendar

Whitlam was furious and sued Larry for implying that by portraying Gough with a band aid on his donger, Gough had a sexually transmitted disease.

Larry couldn’t believe his luck.

In his defence, Larry said that Gough would need to drop his dacks in the court room to prove that he didn’t have a band aid on his donger.

Gough didn’t drop his dacks but he did drop the law suit.

The publicity sold another estimated 100,000 calendars.

Whether he realised it or not, Pickering was a pioneer, blazing a trail for a new generation of cartoonists.

I cut out his cartoons from the Herald and The Australian and glued them in a scrapbook. My late mate Bill Leak told me he stuck Larry’s cartoons on his bedroom walls.

My own connection to Larry goes back to my 16th birthday. It was 1977 and Larry was in his prime as a cartoonist.

I’m from a large Italian family of six boys. We lived in Wollongong, an hour south of Sydney.

For my birthday, my mum planned a trip to Sydney.

I got to choose where we would spend the day – The Zoo….or Bondi Beach…or Luna Park…my choice.

But I had other ideas.

“I want to meet Larry Pickering,” the 16 year-old me blurted out without hesitation.

So off we rode in the family wagon on our quest to find Larry.

When we arrived at the News Ltd Surry Hills building around 10:30am, we just assumed that:

·1) Larry Pickering would be there

· 2) He would allow a big Italian family to just march into his office without an appointment.

And yes, he was there.

And he did say ’Yes’.

The Brady Bunch-sized Zanetti family crammed into Larry’s office while I fired off a million questions.

At the time Larry Pickering was a household name, appearing in TV ads for Dulux Paints – and a regularly on talk shows and Blankety Blanks. He was a cartooning superstar.

Larry filling in for Singo's Mumbleback Radio on Sydney's 2KY

He patiently answered all my questions – and gave me the best present I ever had, a personally signed caricature.

“Who’s your favourite character, chief?” he asked me.

“I love your John Gorton.” I replied.

And quick-as-a-flash, he picked up a box cutter and sliced off a sheet of light drawing cardboard, grabbed a pen, while I watched enthralled as he magically waved his hand around the paper.

He finished off Gorton’s caricature with the ubiquitous flies that dotted his crumpled face- then signed it, ‘Happy Birthday, Paul. Larry Pickering’.

I had it framed and it hung above my bedhead until I left home at 18.

Larry asked me to send him some of my work.

I did.

He wrote back a two line letter that changed the course of my life.

“Your work shows tremendous promise. It’s up to you how long you stick to it.”

That was all the fuel an aspiring kid needed.

Two years later Larry retired to grow tomatoes and train race horses, to follow his childhood dream of winning the Melbourne Cup.

The famous Pickering Tomatoes

If there wasn’t a real Larry Pickering, then Banjo Patterson, Norman Lindsay or Henry Lawson would have had to invent him…the quintessential Australian character that embodied everything that is the Aussie larrikin.

Larry Pickering lived life to the full.

Correction.

Larry Pickering lived multiple lives, each to their fullest.

He was a dad, a grandad, a husband, a mate, musician, punter, poker player, taxi driver, footy coach, mud crab catcher, fisherman, golfer, truck driver, proof reader, story teller, political candidate, TV celebrity, plane and helicopter pilot, philosopher, tomato farmer, race horse trainer, magazine centrefold, magazine publisher, inventor, racing car driver, blogger…too many lives to list….and somehow managed to squeeze in a career as Australia’s greatest cartoonist – a multiple Walkley Award Winner.

Above all, Larry Pickering loved this country – the best country in the world.

He was a patriot who, through his work, fought to preserve its freedoms and values.

'Larry Did It His Way'

Video courtesy of Stephanie, Larry's daughter

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TruckerDanisback
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TruckerDanisback

Thanks for writing this, Paul. Such kind words for a great bloke who lived an amazing life. Thanks also to Stephanie for the brilliant video clip.
Cheers,
Dan

chumo
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chumo

Love it.

ApplePie
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ApplePie

Does 4 hrs make it dry out a bit or do you have a way of keeping it moist?

DeepThroat
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DeepThroat

Great video Paul…..life well lived

1946Hunter
Member
1946Hunter

The ultimate form of child abuse.

I have a teacher friend who told me she is often chastised by students for not spelling or pronouncing their new age names correctly.

1946Hunter
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1946Hunter

Radar I know of several crematoriums (big barbies) within walking distances of retirement villages.

I strongly suggest people take advantage of a tour through one to put their minds at ease. Very industrial but done with respect.

TonyH
Member
TonyH

Lol, she might get ten votes including her own, now that Banks has run off with the lefty so called independents!

BlackDuck43
Member
BlackDuck43

Cont: she went on to do Graphic Design at Monash Caulfield and is now in her own business.

ejada
Member
ejada

Two have been arrested in Queensland for bush fire arson. one most likely a copycat but the other may be one of the original culprits. About 15 years jail time so may make some dickheads think twice before lighting a fire. There are over 100 fires in Queensland at the moment. That is a huge drain on resources. They may have to put the jail time up to 20 years to curb the desire among some to burn the place down. Probably Loony-lefties with the “wreck the place” mindset..

ejada
Member
ejada

Saw that report. Extremely bad taste. Made it sound like a wheelbarrow could be used instead of a hearse.

phantom1
Member
phantom1

not many posting on here have showed any respect for Larry
just more cut and paste BULLSHIT
MEMEEMMEMEMEEMEMEMEMEMMEMEMMEMEMMEMEME
for christ sake get a LIFE

Observer-GC
Member
Observer-GC

Apalling abuse of the judicial system but then again there are probably other powerful people involved.

buraq2
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buraq2

” .Putin is something of a hero for western conservatives, stands for old fashioned Christian values…” …. Novichok values, westley?

Shylock
Member
Shylock

Oh I don’t know tigertype…My comment re RED JENNIES is the height of cognitive excellence.

Shylock
Member
Shylock

RED JENNIES trying it on again.

rumpole36
Member
rumpole36

I think the least number of days they do in Parliament with their reduced numbers the better. Why give Shorten and his crowd free kicks. They have six months to right the ship after the Turnbull torpedo’s.

noucg
Member
noucg

and jewish cunt Barbara Spectre is one of the scum supporting immigration of these scum into Sweden

noucg
Member
noucg

maybe her favourtie movie is Kinky boots

noucg
Member
noucg

good God !

noucg
Member
noucg

” Epstein ” hmmmmmmm

noucg
Member
noucg

another fruitloop being called out

noucg
Member
noucg

and now Brain washed school kids protesting ,really scraping the barrel in order to destroy the West

pelican
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pelican

weeelll..bit dramatic…Trump is complicit in this fiasco anyway by not going after the Americans who are running this illegal caravan….a good example is when Pence blamed Venezuela..utterly ridiculous

BlackRoo
Member
BlackRoo

Very Kath and Kim. At least these two are warning the idiot parents out there what not to do. They only name their kids ater fruit etc for he reactions. Also those dicks that spell things as simple as Bradley – Braddlee. The kid has to pick the person up every time they spell it incorrectly(?).

Happy42
Member
Happy42

Sounds like a long term ‘Me Too’ plan in the making here…

pelican
Member
pelican

except Chapman didnt do it…Lennon had known enemies in the USA (govt/intel)..and they got him…

westley
Member
westley

Repeat after me therussiansdidittherussiansdidittherussiansdidit and there you’ll have the entire foreign policy of the Democratic party and most of the western world.

ejada
Member
ejada

The absurdity of calling a child Ab-city, spelt Abcde, then expecting to NOT get a laugh from service personnel and others.

Markymark
Member
Markymark

Bloody good at it though, old Turnbull the dog, hey!

Shylock
Member
Shylock

Bin out all morning….What have the RED JENNIES achieved whilst I was away ?

Shylock
Member
Shylock

XXXXXT

Hunter02
Member
Hunter02

Bloody amazing. I occasionally get a few bights but as you say nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Oh well, just keep chipping away….

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