One of the most gifted cartoonists the West Midlands has ever produced – who featured in the Birmingham Post for more than 25 years – has passed away.
Tributes have been paid to Bert Hackett, who was better known as Gemini on the pages of the Post, passed away on April 8 after a four-year battle with prostate cancer.
Mr Hackett, who was born in Balsall Heath but lived in Moseley almost all his life, inspired a special exhibition at the mac Birmingham through his work.
Daughter Rosie said he was a joker to the end.
She said: “Art and culture, film and theatre were everything to him. He was absolutely passionate about art.
“Having a joke was also important to him.
Bert Hackett's work in the Birmingham Post
“A couple of days before he died, he was in his nursing home and I opened up his window – but it would only open so far. He said ‘yes, that is defrenestation’.
“When I got back, I Googled defrenestation and found out it was the act of falling out of a window.
“That was the sort of person he was – always coming up with things.”
Mr Hackett, who was divorced and is survived by daughters Zoe and Rosie attended the Birmingham College of Art.
That was followed by National Service in the Navy before he broke into newspapers at the Manchester Evening News in 1954.
He returned to Birmingham to start his own business and began to draw graphics for the Post on a freelance basis.
Together with business partner Graham Gavin, they were invited to draw cartoons for the Post, both under the name Gemini.
Post features editor Sarah Probert, who was on the news desk at the time Mr Hackett contributed to the paper, said his work lived long in the memory.
She said: “During his 42 years at the paper Bert worked with more than a dozen editors and crafted more than 10,000 cartoons. And it was a sad day when he left the Post in 2008 as the paper was on the cusp of major change, including a move to new offices at Fort Dunlop.
“Bert’s enormous contribution to the Birmingham Post will never be forgotten.”