Napier Dunn (1938 - 2005)
In memory of
Napier Dunn was the Sunday Tribune Newspaper sports cartoonist until 2005.
Napier Dunn arrived in South Africa as a baby after his father, Edward Dunn, had been appointed musical director of the Durban Civic Orchestra. Napier started school at Treverton (Mooi River) and then went to Hilton Road for a brief spell before attending Durban\'s Glenwood High School.
He later joined his father\'s orchestra where he played for two and a half years. Being a rather wild and unruly French horn player, his father decided to send him to England to join the Grenadier Guards Band where he received more than his fair share of spit and polish, army discipline and military band experience.
After studying at the Royal College of Music he started freelancing with ballet and opera companies before returning to South Africa to play with the SABC Symphony Orchestra in Johannesburg for three years. Then it was back to England and after working at various non-musical jobs, he became a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra - probably the pinnacle of his orchestral performing career. Ever seeking further adventures and new pastures (or orchestras) he sailed out to Australia and worked at various manual jobs until he joined the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
He later travelled with the Australian Ballet Company (not as a dancer) and eventually played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for 14 months. It was during this time he sought relief during many long orchestral rehearsals by sketching fellow musicians and began selling a few cartoons and caricatures to them. However, it wasn\'t until he went to Hong Kong via Indonesia, Singapore and Borneo that he became serious about cartooning.
It was later in Hong Kong, where Napier played with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, that he was able to sell cartoons to the local newspaper. It wasn\'t long before he started selling his work on a regular basis. A year later he packed his pencils and headed off to Japan where he taught English and got a job with the Mainchi Daily News in Tokyo for three years. Learning to speak reasonable Japanese, Napier then set off to explore Japan. After another three years the wanderlust struck again.
Working his way on a cruise ship, he arrived in San Francisco (still his favourite city) where he stayed, freelanced with various newspapers and magazines and eventually bought a camper van to travel and work his way across the States and back.
Four years later he sailed up to Alaska, and worked in Anchorage for 14 months, sketching and working for the local paper before life in the twilight zone became too depressing and he decided to return to Hong Kong. Here, Napier spent several years working for the South China Morning Post, teaching English, learning Tai Chi (Chinese exercises), working as lecturer and entertainer on cruise ships and developing watercolour techniques.
In 1991 he returned to South Africa working his passage on a container ship to take up a position as Cartoonist/ illustrator with The Mercury. Napier Dunn, a self taught artist, practised