Parnaby Doodlings.

David Parnaby graduated from the Victorian School of Forestry (VSF) in 1940 and initially worked for the Forests Commission’s Assessment Branch.

He later had postings to Heathcote, Powelltown, Dandenong’s, Bruthen and Beechworth Districts.

Promoted as District Forester in 1951, David moved to Cann River, and then later back to Heathcote (1955), Castlemaine (1958) and Daylesford (1971). Following a period with the Forest Protection Branch in Melbourne he retired in 1980.

David was an accomplished cartoonist who provided insightful and humorous commentary through the Victorian State Forester’s Association Newsletter.

His cartoon foresters only ever wore a shirt and tie, but no pants or shoes, as a tongue-in-cheek poke at the stingy departmental uniform policy at the time.

David also carved two fire awareness totem poles that stood for many years outside the Forests Office at Noorinbee and then later at Cann River.

His keen eye for the antics of sleeper cutters at Cann River in the 1950s remains a classic…

The sketch is a bit like “Where’s Wally”… the more you look… the more you will see…

See if you can find…

  • the forest assessors.
  • harvesting by axe and cross-cut saw.
  • broadaxe, adzes, wedges and mauls for sleeper cutting,
  • harvesting bark.
  • trees dropped across the road.
  • bogged flattop trucks.
  • man’s best friends.
  • new regeneration.
  • hard workers and somebody always willing to watch.
  • even some wildlife action.

A signed version of this amazing drawing was a gift to the FCV’s Chief Forest Assessor, Murray Paine, in 1978.

Prints exist at the Beechworth Forestry Museum, Creswick Forestry School, Altona Fire workshop and in private hands.

A high-resolution copy can be found here…

Taken at the VSF in about February 1940. Two students had a significant role in this Forest Faces story. Jack Gillespie (standing third from left) collected photos including Mr Stringy and one of Alfonso Spaghetti, while David Parnaby (sitting third from left) gave us his many humorous doodlings and carvings of the Noorinbee Totems in 1951. Source FCRPA Collection.
David Parnaby drew insightful cartoons for the Forests Commission’s staff association newsletter. His foresters only wore a shirt and tie but no pants or shoes as a tongue-in-cheek poke at the stingy uniform policy at the time. State Foresters Association Newsletter – August 1975. Source: FCRPA collection.

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