In the Herald - The late, great Frank was an inspiration

Date Published 
Fri 11 Dec 2020

Herald edition - 02/12/2020

Frank Healey passed away on the 11th of November aged 95. He was someone that any camera club would be proud to have as a member. Clubs such as Irvine thrive on those who enjoy their hobby enormously and are keen to pass on their enthusiasm to other members. Well Frank was one of these chaps. He had been in to photography for many years and was really knowledgeable and practiced. Frank came to us when we were known as Townend Camera Club in the late 90s, along with Eugene Duffy, who was a big friend. Not long after he started he threw himself into educating other photographers in the arts of the darkroom. He ran classes out with normal club hours, and it was not uncommon to see freshly processed film reels and prints hanging up to dry from the ceiling , when the members met on a Wednesday night. I can still remember him wearing an apron as he leaned over the enlarger table - the room dimly lit with a red safety lamp - moving his hands around in the beam of light dodging and burning with his eyes and face lit up, as he worked away in just the right areas to create the image on the paper the way he wanted it. Then, it was the magical process of watching the image appear in the developing trays. Frank would explain to his students each step before stepping aside and letting them try their hand. He was involved in our studio too, taking many portraits, and using his well-honed skills to get the image he was after. Back then before digital, photography was very much a hands on process, and Frank was there showing us how it was done, even with quite basic equipment, all the way from setting up the camera, through the processing of film and print, to the mounting of the finished product. With these images it was no surprise that he represented Townend in local and national competitions. Within the club there was one year that he famously won all the competition sections, a feat that has yet to be repeated. He was a no-nonsense type of chap, old school, always wearing a shirt and tie. He would partake with the banter between the club members and still provided a solid base of knowledge from which members used to grow their love of photography from.

Frank Healey may not have been to the club for a few years, but his name is still mentioned from time to time. Frank was not a tall man but his legacy to the club was monumental. I doff my cloth