Ernie Poignant signed copies of his latest book at Trethewey House on Tuesday, his 101st birthday. (Submitted photo)

Ernie Poignant signed copies of his latest book at Trethewey House on Tuesday, his 101st birthday. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford historian and cartoonist turns 101

Ernie Poignant celebrates by signing copy of latest book

Noted local cartoonist and historian Ernie Poignant celebrated his 101st birthday on Tuesday by signing copies of his latest book at Trethewey House in Abbotsford.

Proceeds from Poignant’s latest book, Welcome to the Past!, go to the Heritage Abbotsford Society. The 126-page soft-cover book is full of historical anecdotes with a distinctive Poignant twist.

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.

Over the years, he worked as a compositor and editorial cartoonist in Quesnel and Maple Ridge.

Poignant began a series of “chalk talk” drawings in the 1960s, entertaining kids at places such as BC Children’s Hospital, Canuck Place and Ronald McDonald House.

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

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