“Thank You” from Accomplished Herald Photojournalist ~ Sylvian E. Ofiara
Posted on May 13, 2019
By Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com
Treasures found are one of the great outcomes of spring cleaning. Such is the case for me this May when I came across a “thank you” note from Sylvian E. Ofiara.
An accomplished and locally renown photojournalist, Mr. Ofiara worked for the then Manchester Evening Herald, Manchester, Connecticut, for many years. By the time I began reporting for “The Manchester Herald” he had retired or was retiring and had become a popular professor of photography at Manchester Community Collage.
I do not recall the milestone that brought me to interview him in 1991, nonetheless, I do recall what a tremendous compliment it was to be given the assignment by my editor – who made it clear it was a special assignment that she wanted in my hands. Somewhere in my archives, I’m certain is the article I wrote but it is not easy to locate at the moment.
Mr. Ofiara was well-respected and had done tremendous work for the newspaper.
Thus on a beautiful, warm afternoon I went to his home above Keeney Street. Each with a glass of lemonade, we sat in the backyard for an approximate two hour interview, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I recall what I wore ~ a blue flowered below the knee dress ~ I imagine I recall that so clearly because at some point Mr. Ofiara began taking photos of me ! I never did see the pics he took but most certainly I can still envision him with his camera in hand.
Nicknamed “Sinch”, he was a World War II U.S. Army Air Force veteran. Such a nice man, he was eager to offer photography tips.
My story ran. A bit of time went by and a letter arrived at the ‘The Herald’ office addressed to me. Inside was a gracious “thank you” note for the story – on the cover of the note was a Sylvian E. Ofiara original photo. As well, Mr. Ofiara had enclosed another matted original photo. I now have the first framed such that the note can be read and eventually plan to frame the second – both exquisite blossom photography.
“Sinch” has since passed away ~ August 1, 1926 – May 18, 2012. I am so pleased to have met and interviewed him, to have been entrusted with telling the story of a community gem who became part of Manchester’s town history; and, to have written the article for the very newspaper where he built his reputation. Now, each time I look at the photos he mailed to me, I am reminded of that sweet afternoon.
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