Local historian and cartoonist Ernie Poignant is set to launch his latest book. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford cartoonist Ernie Poignant, 100, to launch new book

Proceeds from book sales go to Heritage Abbotsford Society

Well-known local historian and centenarian Ernie Poignant launches his latest cartoon book, Welcome to the Past!, on Friday, July 19.

The launch takes place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Trethewey House Heritage Site, 2313 Ware St.

The 126-page soft-cover book is full of historical anecdotes with a distinctive Poignant twist. Proceeds from sales of the book go to Heritage Abbotsford Society.

Poignant was born in Ridgedale on the Matsqui flats on Feb. 4, 1919.

He started drawing after his Swedish grandmother, Hulda, taught him how to draw stick figures when he was four years old.

His first cartoon was published in Canadian Poultry magazine in 1940. He also had cartoons appear in military publications while he served at various Canadian bases – including the Abbotsford Airport – during the Second World War.

RELATED: Abbotsford historian and cartoonist Ernie Poignant turns 100

RELATED: Cartoonist Ernie Poignant donates $8,300 to Canuck Place

Poignant moved to Quesnel in the early 1950s, where he worked as a compositor – and editorial cartoonist – for the weekly Observer. There, he met his wife, Rose, and both children – Val and Gary – were born in Quesnel.

The family moved to Maple Ridge in 1958, when Poignant assumed a similar role with the Maple Ridge Gazette as compositor and editorial cartoonist until he retired in 1984.

He expanded his series of “chalk talk” drawings that he had started in the 1960s, and entertained kids at BC Children’s Hospital, Canuck Place and Ronald McDonald House.

Poignant also travelled to Whistler from 1975 to ’86 for their Children’s Arts Festival, where he instructed children how to draw cartoons.

After moving back to Abbotsford in 2003, Poignant used his first-hand knowledge and artistic skills to become a celebrated local historian.

“Ernie is a real treasure,” says Christina Reid, Heritage Abbotsford’s executive director. “Had I the option, I would accession him into the society’s collection.”

Poignant still has encyclopedic recall of all things historic.

“If Ernie doesn’t know it, it never happened,” Reid says.

“His cartoons cover all manner of events, from the mundane to the extraordinary; from switching from left- to right-hand traffic, lard pail lunches, and the Gifford Fair to the flood of ’48 and the opening of the Mission Bridge to cars.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: #FreeThemAll group protests for prisoner rights in Abbotsford

About 20 participate in car demonstration outside of Matsqui Institution on Sunday

Abbotsford Christian’s Meinen named 2A all-star

Zach Meinen named to provincial all-star squad for 2019-20

Abbotsford football star Samwel Uko dies at age 20

Panthers star running back dies on May 21, cause of death not yet known

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

VIDEO: Suspected drunk driver caught on dashcam in Abbotsford

Police say they located vehicle, nearby intoxicated man, but couldn’t tie him to the driver’s seat

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

RCMP confirm man dead in Chilliwack shooting incident

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read