“Thank You” note from photojournalist Sylvian E. Ofiara, “Sinch” who worked for the Manchester Evening Herald which was later called The Manchester Herald, a former daily newspaper in Manchester, CT.

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.


A original Sylvian E. Ofiara photo.

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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