James Kemsley OAM receives posthumous Silver T-Square at 2009 NCS Reuben Awards

I recently traveled to New York and LA with good friend and eldest son of the late James Kemsley, Jed Kemsley whom accepted the coveted Golden T-Square, awarded by the National Cartoonists’ Society. Report below:

From the Southern Highlands News:

FORMER Ginger Meggs cartoonist and Highlands resident, James Kemsley OAM, was posthumously honoured with the Silver T-Square award in Hollywood.

The Silver T-Square is one of the highest honours the National Cartoonists Society (NCS) can bestow and was awarded for Mr Kemsley’s “outstanding service and dedication to the profession of cartooning”.

The award was given to Mr Kemsley by the NCS, the highest body for professional cartoonists in the United States, at the society’s annual Reuben gala night at the Renaissance Hotel on May 23.

The Silver T-Square was accepted by Mr Kemsley’s eldest son, News sub-editor and journalist Jed Kemsley.

“As his [James’] colleagues and peers, a great many of us were very impressed with his tireless and selfless efforts to help fellow cartoonists, his willingness to share contacts and influence, and his eagerness to promote the work and careers of others,” former NCS president, cartoonist, illustrator and friend of the Kemsley family, Steve McGarry said.

“Those of us who have served as officers of the society also recognised the astonishing work he did in breathing life back into the ailing Australian Cartoonists Association (ACA), and the manner in which he transformed the Stanley Awards [the ACA annual cartoon awards].

“When we learned that Jed, Jason Chatfield [new Ginger Meggs cartoonist] and Peter Broelman [SHN editorial cartoonist] were going to make the trek to this year’s Reubens, we realised that it provided us with a unique opportunity to recognise the contribution that James had made to the profession, allowing us to honor his memory in the presence of his eldest son, his chosen successor on Ginger Meggs, and the former ACA president.”

Previous recipients of the Silver T-Square have included such cartooning legends as Hal Foster, Bill Mauldin, James Thurber, Mort Walker, Bil Keane and Walt Kelly, as well as two Presidents of the United States in Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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