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Cartoon captures farewell Warnie would have loved

Mark Knight, March 31, 2022 6:00PM Kids News

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Mark Knight has tried to show in his cartoon how much Shane Warne would have loved his MCG memorial service. media_cameraMark Knight has tried to show in his cartoon how much Shane Warne would have loved his MCG memorial service.

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The premature* loss of Shane Warne to a heart attack at the age of 52 shook Australians still reeling* from two years of Covid and more recently the devastating floods.

It was like the loss of a favourite son.

Warne, the talented, larrikin* boy from Blackrock who changed the game of cricket with his off-spin bowling, had left the stadium too early.

But SK Warne was never going to go quietly, and following a private funeral for his family, a public event was organised at the MCG for the public to bid him farewell.

I had been covering his loss in my cartoons and my editor asked me to do one final drawing on the memorial event.

Australian cricketer Shane Warne Dies Aged 52 Australian Cricket Team Portrait Session media_cameraThe death of Shane Warne, pictured here with the Ashes urn in 2006, shocked many Australians. Picture: Getty Images

I wondered what I could say after so much had already been said since his passing. I thought the cartoon would have to be something solemn* and yet simple.

After watching the memorial I came up with one clear conclusion: Warnie would have loved it.

That is what I wanted the cartoon to convey.

More than 50,000 people attended the MCG for the March 30 memorial. The service started with Greta Bradman, granddaughter of cricket legend Sir Donald, singing the National Anthem.

Former Australian Cricketer Shane Warne Farewelled In State Memorial Service media_cameraCricket mates (from left to right) Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Merv Hughes and Nasser Hussain shared memories of Shane Warne at his memorial service at the MCG. Picture: Getty Images

Then cricket colleagues and celebrity friends were invited on stage to tell stories about Warnie.

We were also treated to his rock star friends, Sir Elton John, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Robbie Williams, performing songs.

SHANE WARNE MEMORIAL media_cameraEd Sheeran was among the international singers who performed at Shane Warne’s memorial via video link. Picture: Ian Currie

His family courageously stood up and declared their love for him, and we even had “When the Saints Go Marching In”, the anthem of his beloved St Kilda footy team, blaring out at the end.

Shane Warne would have had a smile from ear to ear.

So how should I illustrate it? I thought about his statue on the MCG promenade* and how it had become a makeshift* shrine* to the leg-spinner, with people leaving flowers, cards and messages. Even some of his favourite beers were placed at his statue’s feet, like offerings to the gods.

media_cameraShane Warne’s statue outside the MCG has become a makeshift shrine since his death. Picture: AFP

I wondered if the lifelike statue might actually reach down and pick up one of those beer cans! That thought gave me an idea!

I drew the promenade area outside the MCG. It’s night time and the memorial show is on inside the ground. We see its bright glow in the sky.

In the stillness, I drew Warnie’s statue, not in its familiar bowling pose, but sitting there with one leg up on the granite plinth* like someone might casually sit on a grassy hill watching a concert, or even cricket.

The statue is relaxed, laid back, enjoying one of the beer cans left for him. The cast bronze figure of Warne is looking up at the MCG, listening to the sounds coming from the arena. And he is smiling.

RIP* Shane Warne.

media_cameraBrooke, Jackson and Summer Warne unveiled the MCG stand renamed after their dad during the memorial service to celebrate his life. Picture: AFP

GLOSSARY

  • premature: when something happens earlier than it should have
  • reeling: to be confused or shocked by a situation
  • larrikin: a mischievous but good-hearted person
  • solemn: serious and showing respect
  • promenade: a wide path for walking
  • makeshift: temporary and made using whatever is available
  • shrine: a place of worship
  • plinth: heavy base supporting a statue
  • RIP: stands for “rest in peace” and is said after someone dies

EXTRA READING

Warne takes his place beside the great Bradman

Tributes flow for cricket great Warnie

Fans unite to make Warnie a knight

QUICK QUIZ

  1. What does Mark Knight think Shane Warne would have thought of his memorial?
  2. What did Mark want to convey in this cartoon?
  3. How many people attended Shane Warne’s memorial?
  4. Where was the memorial held?
  5. What pose did Mark draw Shane Warne’s statue in and why?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Caption it!
Cartoonist Mark Knight has not used a caption on this cartoon, letting the imagery speak for itself.

Read Mark’s explanation of what the cartoon means again and write two, three or four short sentences, just to make sure you understand what the cartoon is saying.

Using your sentences to help you, write a caption for the cartoon or some thought bubbles or quotes from the person in the cartoon that will make Mark’s meaning clearer for children or people who haven’t been reading the news this week.

Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Humanities, Visual Arts, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
Look through the most recent stories on Kids News and choose one to draw a cartoon about.

Use Mark’s three-step process to get started:

  • What is my subject?
  • What do I want to say about this issue?
  • How do I say it? Do I use visual metaphors (an image that the viewer is meant to understand as a symbol for something else), multiple panels or symbolism (when one idea, feeling or emotion is represented by something else such as a picture, character, colour or object)?

Time: allow at least 40 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Humanities, Visual Arts, Critical and Creative Thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
Describe it!
Look at the cartoon and make a list of five nouns that you see. Then describe those five nouns with five adjectives.

Add a preposition to those five nouns and adjectives.

Now choose your favourite bundle and put all the words together to make one descriptive sentence.

Extra Reading in sport