Geoffry Morgan Pike

Born in Tottenham, Middlesex, England on 17 October 1929
Passed away in Sydney, NSW, Australia on 8 March 2018
Aged 88 years
Geoffry Morgan Pike is an English-born, naturalized Australian writer and cartoonist.Geoffry Morgan Pike was born on 17th October 1929 in Tottenham, Middlesex, England. to Sarah Mildred (Mim) Ward, age 28, and Robert Walter Pike, age 35. He had two brothers, Peter Robert Pike and Anthony (Tony) Pike. TIMELINE1929 - Born in Tottenham Middlesex1932 - 1940 - He took an all-consuming interest in art and writing from the age of 3. His early years were spent in the German blitzkrieg of London and as an evacuee in the rural county of Essex. His letter to President Roosevelt thanking him for ‘ ‘Bundles for Britain‘, was chosen from all 12 year-olds across Britain.1941 - He won numerous awards for designing and headlining morale-building posters for Britain's war effort.1944 - At age 14 he entered training on the Navy ship 'Indefatigable'.1945 – Went to sea aged 15 as a deck-boy on the British Trooper ‘Arundel Castle’.1947 – After being blinded by sunstroke in the Persian Gulf, he jumped ship to Sydney.Geoff emigrated to Australia where he worked in the outback breaking horses, felling trees and sailing aboard deep-sea trawlers.1950 – In Australia, he began selling his cartoons and short stories to country newspapers.He signed on as an artistic director on many popular cartoons such as Beetle Bailey and Krazy Kat with American Paramount Studios. Unbearable Bear in T.V. Tours, an animated cartoon series for Artransa Park Television, featured a globe-trotting koala with itchy feet.1954 - After several more years at sea in the Caribbean, he joined the British army at the outbreak of war with Korea to become a Regimental Drill Sergeant, returning to Australia as an immigrant. Working his way through art-school, he became an illustrator and newspaper cartoonist.1973 - He began fulltime writing. Winning the A & R Writers's Fellowship with a debut novel-trilogy, based on his early adventures.1974 - He published the first of many books, Henry Golightly: a novel of the sea. Published by Angus and Robertson, it was the story of a Gweilo (caucasian foreigner) living in Macau and building a boat amongst the locals; a youthful search for adventure and love among the post-war wreckage of 1945 and the horror that was Hiroshima.1976 - He published the sequel Golightly Adrift. Henry Golightly, the young English sailor, is lured to sea on a small, rust-riddled coal burner, by tales of love and riches in distant ports. But things turn out rather differently. 1977 - Pike was diagnosed with throat cancer and learned the art of Chi Kung (also known as Quigong) and traditional Oriental medicine rather than surgery, beating cancer and becoming a master of Chi Kung and creating books and videos teaching others the philosophy and practice of aligning breath, physical activity and awareness for mental, spiritual and corporeal health.1978 - Geoff published Golightly Outback, the third book in the Golightly trilogy. Comic story about a British seaman, Henry Golightly. Into this post-war paradise sails British Able Bodied Seaman Henry Golightly, fresh from the Carribean looking for love. Not the kind of love sailors are expected to pay for with their beer and tobacco, the kind that he has dreamed of under a thousand starry skies at sea. Wealthy young debutante Amanda Mayberry is that dream. It's love at first sight, until Big Quids Mayberry with one eye on a knighthood and the other on his only daughter steps in with a condition: before Henry is allowed to put his feet under the Mayberry table there's a proving ground - the parched and pitiless wastes of Dead Goanna station, under the iron will of Bread'n'fat Jones..1997 - Geoff created the world of Yowie, He drew the characters, wrote the books and worked hard on his project which featured Australian Animals and the Australian environment. He wanted something similar to Kinder Surprise but featuring information about Common, Endangered and Extinct animals, their environment and ecology. He had difficulty launching his project and partnered with author Bryce Courtenay, his friend and former colleague at McCann Erickson International Advertising agency. Most notably they worked on the Louie the Fly advertisement which featured Geoff's drawings and animation plus Bryce's jingle. With Bryce's name on Geoff's Yowie Power concept, books and educational materials they were able to establish a partnership with Cadbury who then made Geoff's dream project come to life. Yowie Power and Yowie Chocolates soon became very popular with many people collecting plastic Australian animals. Teachers could download lesson plans on ecology, environments and more. They then expanded to international animals. Yowie Power and Cadbury dissolved their partnership after many years and the Yowie Power franchise is now run by Yowie Group, who have launched in the USA and recently in Australia once more. 2009 - He published his latest works under the name Pai Kit Fai which was given to him by a family matriarch. 'The Concubine’s Daughter' and 'Red Lotus - A rare beauty. A fierce heart. A destiny she must resist.'2018 - He passed away on March 8th, 2018 due to pneumonia and other health issues. He is sorely missed.BIBLIOGRAPHYFiction:Red Lotus (2010 – pseudonym – Pai Kit Fai)The Concubine’s Daughter (2009 – pseudonym – Pai Kit Fai)Tiger dawn (1997)The Second Sunrise (1995)Golightly Outback (1978)Golightly Adrift (1976)Henry Golightly: a novel of the sea (1974)Non Fiction:Ch’i: The Power Within. (1985)Ch’i:The Power is You (1985)Youth and Beauty Secrets of the Orient (1982)The Power of Ch’i (1980)Animated scripts:Princess Serena and the Magic CrystalUnbearable Bear in T.V. Tours, 13 episodesChildren’s books, 1964: Around the world with Unbearable Bear series (adapted by Laurie Sharpe):Unbearable Bear in Boy Meets Bear[2]Unbearable Bear in London[3]Unbearable Bear in Ireland[4]Unbearable bear in Scotland[5]Children’s books, 1995–2001:Rumble the redgum YowieCrag the mangrove YowieBoof the bottlebrush YowieDitty the lillipilli YowieSquish the fiddlewood YowieNap the honeygum Yowie Read more
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I first met Geoff Pike in the very early ‘80s. He was working as an advertising Creative Director for Peter Alsford at his company, Adrenalin. I had a small, aspiring film company in Adelaide at that time. We made an Elizabeth Arden TV commercial for Adrenalin and it turned out pretty well. Over the following years we did quite a lot of work for Peter’s company, and all of that work was with Geoff as Creative Director. I got to know him well during this period and discovered that he was a prodigious and eclectic talent. He could write, draw, paint, compose music and all to an extremely high standard. He could also fight, swear, drink and occasionally be a spectacular pain-in-the-arse. He wrote a film script which was loosely based on his time as a teenager training for the Navy. I showed it to one of the leading lights in the film industry in Australia and we both agreed that it was the best Australian script we had read. It was however, pretty bleak and never got into production.

After Geoff left Adrenalin our friendship continued. We met occasionally at the Blues Point Hotel, drank plenty of Guiness and the conversation was always great. Around this time I separated from my first wife of about 17 years. I was pretty unhappy, but Geoff remained a loyal friend, listening to me pour out my grief over a pot or two. Thanks in no small measure to him, I recovered my perspective and eventually met Anna, whom I’ve been with for 23 years. Together we have produced three fine children, adding the two I already had.

When our oldest son was four and a half years old he was diagnosed with leukaemia. It was devastating. We got all the best doctors of course but I also turned to Geoff who had beaten his own cancer with both conventional therapy and Chi Kung. He came straight over and offered to be little Celso’s “Sifu” or Master and to train him in the arts of Chi Kung. He paid very close attention to Celso over the next few years. He designed a program for us which we undertook together each morning at sunrise, Celso attended a Kung Fu school (eventually getting his black belt) and Geoff gave him his own red sash that he was presented with back in the Asia many years before. All this was a great fantasy for young Celso. It gave him something to focus on but also taught him some discipline which has served him well ever since. I have no idea whether the exercises Geoff gave us, the letters he wrote to Celso and the affection he offered made the slightest difference - but the fact is that Celso recovered completely and was a model patient. Today he’s nearly 23 and an outstanding student of Engineering and Science at USyd. Geoff also gave us a beautiful statue of the Goddess of Mercy Kwan Yun. His instructions were to place here in a quiet corner where she could look over us all and protect us. She still maintains that position.

As Celso grew Geoff and I stayed close and it became my turn to hear his “girl troubles” when he separated from his wife. Unfortunately his health was also in decline and he made me his “Enduring Guardian” to make health decisions for him should he ultimately be unable to. He made it very clear that he did not want to linger.

As his health declined he had to be moved a number of times from one care institution to another. Peter Alsford was back in his life and was a tremendous help to him at this time.

Eventually he became extremely sick with pneumonia and the doctors and I decided that he should be “let go” peacefully. And he did go peacefully with his wife, whom he loved until the very end, at his side, along with Pete.

He had let me know that he wanted to be buried at sea so a few of his old mates joined me some weeks later. We steamed out through the heads into the great Pacific Ocean, had a few beers, told stories and then cast his ashes back into the sea. I’m pretty sure he would have liked the way we did it.

Geoffrey was a big character from the pages of his own books. He was complex, brilliant, kind, occasionally difficult but always generous - a contributor. I feel very privileged to have known him and to have been his friend.
Justin Milne posted a message for Geoffry Morgan Pike
You were an amazing man who inspired me to be all that I could be. As a teenager, I was given one of your paintings which held pride of place on my wall. It was a cartoon of a beach scene with flamingos, a macaw and stunning waves and black palm trees. You were so talented and creative and I am so proud to have had a relationship with you. We were born on the same day, October 17th and it was a privilege to know you. Miss you
Vanessa Pike-Russell lit a candle for Geoffry Morgan Pike
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