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DEATH OF NAPIER DUNN (article first published : 2005-10-19)

Former Mercury cartoonist Napier Dunn has died aged 67. Dunn was an artist of distinction and had just finished preparing a calendar featuring members of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra at the time of his death.

He also produced a series of sketches of historic Durban buildings for The Mercury, which he reproduced in calendar form.

Dunn was the second son of Edward Dunn, the director of the Durban Civic Orchestra - the predecessor of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra - from 1947 to 1955. He was educated at Treverton High School in Mooi River, before attending Glenwood High School in Durban. He joined his father's orchestra, where he played for two and a half years. His father decided to send him to England, where he joined the Grenadier Guards.

Dunn freelanced with ballet and opera companies in London, before returning to South Africa to play with the SABC Symphony in Johannesburg for three years. He also played with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He mastered six instruments in all, including the flute and clarinet.

Dunn spent several years in the Far East. However, it was not until he went to Hong Kong that he became serious about cartooning. In 1991 he joined The Mercury as a cartoonist and illustrator and latterly drew sports cartoons for the Sunday Tribune.

Greg Dardagan, a Mercury colleague, said Dunn had had a distinctive cartoon style, coupled with a dry wit. He is survived by his brother, Roger, in England. Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised. - Patrick Leeman & Xoliswa Zulu, The Mercury (October 19, 2005)




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