Bob Browne was one of the Pacific Islands region’s best-known and most-loved cartoonists.
He provided a generation of Papua New Guineans with a deeply insightful and often hilarious commentary on life in the region - especially its political processes - seen through the eyes the Papua New Guinean Everyman, Grass Roots. Born in Erith, London, Bob studied graphic design at the London College of Printing and worked in a number of jobs before travelling to Morocco in 1970 where he was deeply shocked by the poverty he witnessed.
On his return home he joined VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), and was sent to Wewak in Papua New Guinea, where he worked in the Catholic Mission’s Wirui Press and started drawing cartoons for ‘Wantok’ newspaper. After two years he moved to Port Moresby where he helped to establish the new Centre for Creative Arts. When it became the National Arts School, Bob became Head of the Graphics Department.
In 1980 he started drawing daily ‘Grass Roots’ cartoons for the Post Courier, and a year later started his own ‘Grass Roots Comic Company’. He became a PNG citizen in 1990 and re-joined the National Arts School as Head of Visual Arts as it was being integrated into the University of PNG.
Bob was also a church pastor, teacher, counsellor, overseas missionary and manager of Port Moresby City Mission, all the while keeping up his love of cartoons.
Bob was a keen player, coach and supporter of basketball. He served on government advisory bodies and received PNG’s 10th Anniversary of Independence Medal for Services to the Community.
Bob died in Port Moresby General Hospital, PNG, on the 2nd of March 2011. He left his wife, Segana, and their teenage son, David.
You can read a longer tribute to Bob Browne at -- DogBitesMan.