The Pickering Post
Friday, 22nd March 2019

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The Larry Pickering I Knew

Paul Zanetti

Paul Zanetti is a Walkley award winning syndicated cartoonist with over 30 years in the media. He blogs at


Our mate, Larry Pickering remained stoic and cheeky to the end. His indomitable, larrikin spirit never left him. Just last week when the doc told his wife, Carol, to let Larry have anything he wanted, he lit up with that irrepressibly irreverent grin.

"Really? Anything? Can I have two sheilas, love?"

Larry defiantly treated the cancer travelling through his body as a bloody nuisance, dismissing the unwanted intrusion as ‘bullshit’.

It was his positive mindset that carried Larry through his fascinating, adventure-packed life - ensuring he played golf right up to the past few weeks; two years after the medical experts told him he had only months to live.

Just a month ago Larry moved to a golf resort to play more golf. A week later he complained to Carol he wasn't well. Last night he passed away peacefully surrounded by the family he adored. I spent time with Larry last week at his new home. His biggest complaint was that Foxtel hadn’t yet been hooked up. He was in obvious pain, but Larry was always “Good as gold, mate.”

Larry still had too much to do, valiantly looking the reaper squarely in the eye (“I don’t fear death, mate. My biggest fear is being bored”). He had a deep love of his  family and cherished his community of followers on this blog

He loved reading every comment and knew each Pickering Poster (PPer) as if they were part of his gang (at school he was the leader of the Ishbondogla Gang targeting bully teachers. The PP was an extension of the Ishbondogla Gang, targeting idiot pollies).

Larry didn't often engage in the blog comments, believing this was a place for those who had nowhere else to go to express their frustrations and opinions. Larry marvelled at what the blog had become – laughing and quoting the funniest and most outrageous PPers on our regular nights sipping his favourite South African reds and ‘talking shit’.

Between family, golf, news, politics and the PP, Larry lived a rich life.

Personally, I’ve lost a close friend and confidant. Larry had the most influence on my own life than anyone. We had a mateship that can’t ever be replaced. He was loyal, generous, entertaining and simply brilliant.

I understand his PPers have also lost a friend. His memory will live on in his legacy of work and this blog.

Larry’s wish was that The Pickering Post remain a voice for the people who had nowhere to go – an online community. In a time when other platforms are censoring and shadow-banning opinions, Larry’s blog has become more important than ever.

I don’t know of any blog anywhere in the world that generates thousands of comments per blog post. It’s truly a phenomena.

Larry and I canvassed who should take care of The Pickering Post after his passing. We  agreed The Pickering Post couldn’t be in more trusted hands than Harry Richardson, a mate to both of us.

Will share a few memories over the coming days…Larry’s spirit and legacy will endure.  

Portrait of Larry by his daughter, Penny.


mate, well said

That's the Larry we came to enjoy - taunting the Reaper and bad politicians, leading the charge for the forgotten people.

The master of his fate.
The captain of his soul.

Heartfelt condolences to Larry's family and friends. Larry's legacy lives on in his children. Great job from Penny, that girl is talented.

I was saddened to hear of Larry's appointment with the "great God in the sky" that he didn't believe existed. My recollections of Larry go back to the Whitlam years which even the past 10 years haven't matched. The cartoon that sticks in my mind is Fraser chasing Whitlam around the bedroom (with the usual side jokes of course), hatchet in hand.

Good on yer, mate. I hope you're introducing the God above to your favourite red - and having a chat about what to do about the great unwashed mob below.

Sympathies to Carol and family.

I really like this paragraph...
He loved reading every comment and knew each Pickering Poster (PPer) as if they were part of his gang (at school he was the leader of the Ishbondogla Gang targeting bully teachers. The PP was an extension of the Ishbondogla Gang, targeting idiot pollies).

to learn that he did actually did read every post and felt he had some idea of each person. The humour, the anger, the links on news and opinion that none of us could ever manage to find by ourselves. It's been a massive communal PUB type environment where people can turn up and say HEY have a look at this or this is what I think...or am I right? and then there are always shitheads in any pub that you want to ...avoid.

It's been great. I hope it lasts a while longer while it can but nothing last forever

Larry’s daughter, Penny, appears to be very talented.

I wonder whether she would be interested in contributing those talents here on this site as a cartoonist or as an illustrator.

Thank you, Paul and Harry. Larry has some wonderful friends and in turn has been a great friend to all PPers.I have learnt so much on this site.

What an amazing man; he lived life well and his legacy will last many years. I treasure a signed book of his cartoons from 1980 and my meeting with him and Paul at an ALA function in North Ryde a couple of years ago.

Fabulous piece, very sad to read. Thank you for all you are doing here.

Larry is truly deserving of a State Funeral but he ticked off far too many politicians and a whole tribe of media "would-be's if could-be's" for that to happen - but it should! He was a person who has done his absolute best to "keep the bastards honest" while indulging his wit, wisdom and irrepressible larrikinism. He was never afraid of poking a bear - or a puffed up politician - with a sharp stick just to see what happened. He will be missed on many fronts, so here is hoping his irripressible nature lives on in this blog. Just remember - don't feed the jackals.

Wonderful eulogies from yourself and Harry Paul.
Look forward to seeing your next contribution.

Good one Paul, I hope you and Harry (and others) can keep this site going in the way that Larry intended.

Great to hear you on 2GB yesterday Paul, a fine tribute. Have one of those SA reds for sure. Best wishes.

Thank you Paul. The words that I don't have the talent to put together ! It has been a privilege to have been associated with Larry , almost since PP was launched. And forever an admirer of Larry's pictorial talent .A true Aussie !

Well written Paul, thank you

Thanks for that insight Paul. My thoughts are with you and condolences to the Pickering family. What a fantastic portrait by his daughter. The talent passes on.

So very sorry to hear he has passed on.... A strong voice keeping us informed .... will be missed by many for a long time... RIP Larry Pickering... you have made your mark here on earth....

I always feel loss about someone of immense stature dying that I had never met, would not ever likely to have met. But still you have this hope that one day paths might cross.. Now its the finality of the closed door and the key thrown into the sea. Bye Larry.

Penny does have real talent, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. I never met Larry but being in the public eye and through his writing you can tell he was a genuine down to earth bloke. Everyone would be happy to gloat about coming second in the Melbourne Cup but he accomplished so much more than that in his life. He left nothing on the table and will be sorely missed by all.