Author Topic: Wayne Glowacki Retires after 43 Years at Wpg. Free Press  (Read 82 times)

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Offline Ken Gigliotti

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Wayne Glowacki Retires after 43 Years at Wpg. Free Press
« on: January 05, 2018, 12:22 PM »
Winnipeg Free Press news photographer Wayne Glowacki has retired  after 43 years of  recording images. He started as a young ,lowly and enthusiastic copy-boy. Wayne started ripping copy in 1974, had his first picture in B&W published in 1975. This photographer worked continuously  until retiring healthy and on his own terms mastering with dignity this new digital world.

 The old Free Press newsroom, like most big papers was filled the eccentric ,the colorful and the interesting ,a brass rail street gang of reporters and editors. The newsroom, was the most exciting place to be most of the time. All of the time. A grimy,noisy place ,the booze,the cigarette smoke ,piles of newsprint, the colorful pants of sports writers coming on shift after a day of golf. The newsroom was a sharp-edged place of humor, wit and irreverence. And swearing.

Wayne, Brian, Greg just kids.

One of the things that drew me to Wayne was that he was a true student of photography and all things visual. One of the first things he said to me was to recommended a book ,Pictures On A Page, Photo-journalism,Graphics and Picture Editing  by Harold Evans .( it had to be special ordered) By far Wayne was one of the first people I met that realized the potential of  photographs and imagery in the newspaper business and the Free Press in particular. He lived through the nine column format.

He was a member , and winning monthly awards with NPPA then later WNPA then NPAC and always brought back examples of forward looking visual newspapers from where ever he traveled.

Newspaper photographers and also reporters for that matter  can work their entire lives and not produce a single nationally accepted original work that stands out in an iconic way.
Wayne has two such iconic accomplishments. The first would be his photo of the Gimli Glider an Air Canada Boeing 767 that ran out of gas over Northwester Ontario. The jet glided to a safe landing at the abandoned Gimli Mb. airport turned car race track July 23 1983. (ten injured , none fatal when the nose gear collapsed on the runway)A near tragic tribute to the metric system recently adopted by Canada. Gallons ,gallons ,US gallons, Imperial gallons, liters, smeetres. Fill it till it runs over the captain should have said.

 The second image would be Elijah Harper's eagle feather and no vote ending  the federal governments  Meech Lake Accord in the Manitoba Legislature. (June 19 1990) This would be republished in an anthology ,100 Photos That Changed Canada.

Both were Canadian as well as Manitoba's history making events. In the final test it is a surprising realization seen in hindsight in the clutter of  millions of words and photos.
Many people would report on the events but Wayne had the first or only news pictures.

Wayne is also a good husband, provider, father, traveler, scuba diver, sport fisher,camper, canoeist,mentor, a student of newspapers, art,and photography. Wayne could spell and took the time to write coherent and correct captions. (he worked OT on his last day) He is a nice guy, a good person. He is even tempered but no less bothered by things that cannot be easily changed  as any other. He is a voice of reason , a modern Renaissance monk, quiet, firm, steady and forward thinking. He is an unbiased observer with a camera. A fair dealer.

Wayne could best be described and an all rounded newspaper photographer , a generalist. Even though he worked on major projects, shooting and sending  still and video images from the Amundsen  research ship in the high Arctic , and a major tuberculosis project on First Nations reserves.
He was a person who took the daily work seriously. When ever he covered the Blue Bombers at the Grey Cup they won. (when ever I covered them they lost) He got great pictures of the near riot at Wpg. Airport when overly enthusiastic fans  met their 1988 Championship team.
 News, features, business and entertainment were assignments he took seriously and became and example for others to fallow. A tasteful “nude Yoga”feature pic comes to mind or pelicans in flight at Lockport (2015). Then there were the Manitoba Floods 1979, 96, 97 Flood of the Century and 2009. In non flood years he took his turn with forest fires and droughts.

He photographed this extraordinary scene of one of the first Winnipeg Police Emergency Response Units (SWAT)in action making an arrest while hiding behind a fence. There was no cushy relationship at that time with police,a photog had sneak past police lines to get pictures. It was a clean action filled picture showing police in military camouflage,  a busy take down with a clarity not often witnessed before or since.

Wayne won a prestigious national Firefighters award.

He also won major national horse racing awards for his work at Assinaboia Downs with a night shot of a last place, rain and mud coated jockey crossing the finish line. He got another award for a portrait of a craggy old trainer, playfully  being nudged by a horse. He could find gold anywhere.

He would take thousands of curling pictures all the while remembering when the now sport,then pass time  had ashtrays on the ice and cigarettes dangled from the skips mouths as they released stones. Somethings could not be unseen.

During dark times he would be the one counseling others by saying , the photographer was the highest point of the job. We are a highs and lows people. The highs are short lived and the lows seem longer than they really are. He would say “there is no higher calling than being a photographer,” and  “remember this was a good job” because most people were stuck drearily inside offices or factories doing dull, repetitive tasks. He remaindered us all many times over the years that we had the freedom to leave the office and drive from one adventure to another.

On his last day many photographers and reporters took the time to thank him publicly his for his wisdom and support on the newsroom floor in a circle of friendship at the end of his last shift.

I met my friend Wayne in June of 1979 when I joined the WFP as a staff photographer coming from the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal where I worked for almost three years. We had a lot in common being nearly the same age and both with a passion for the visual. Wayne and I were often confused for each other. He was the tall one often with a mustache. I always took it as a compliment. It seemed that every week either he or I had a story about someone confusing one for the other. It was ironic it happened again on his last day,in the office.
He is the closest person to a brother I ever had.

Wayne Glowacki is a 35mm photographer at heart and a true citizen of the world, a Canon man ,buying into the new, upstart Canon system with it's ergonomic mechanical F-1 body, flange mount, fast lens and  motor and a light and practical 400mm. F4 lens. He rolled film on steel reels,printed on paper, washed pictures in trays, and squeegeed and dried both film and paper prints. Wayne stepped boldly into the future shooting digital and making videos.. He saw change and accepted it.

Happy retirement, congratulations on  forty three years a working photographer.

He will always be one of us, and one of the best ,a Winnipeg Free Press news photographer. By Ken Gigliotti Dec.30 2017

« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 09:55 AM by Ken Gigliotti »


Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Wayne Glowacki Retires after 43 Years at Wpg. Free Press
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 05:02 PM »
Quote from: Ken Gigliott
... A grimy,noisy place ,the booze,the cigarette smoke ,piles of newsprint, the colorful pants of sports writers coming on shift after a day of golf. The newsroom was a sharp-edged place of humor, wit and irreverence. And swearing.

Remember those smoke-filled newsrooms? And the reporters and editors who had a bottle of booze at their desk?  And the yelling and overall noise level? Today's newsrooms look and sound like an insurance company office.


Quote from: Ken Gigliott
He would say “there is no higher calling than being a photographer,” and “remember this was a good job,” because most people were stuck drearily inside offices or factories doing dull, repetitive tasks. He remaindered us all many times over the years that we had the freedom to leave the office and drive from one adventure to another.

A sample of Wayne's adventures:

2010,   2011,   2012,   2013,   2014,   2015


Photographer in Toronto
info@warrentoda.com