Joffrey Francisco Pinto, who is leaving Qatar after putting in 36 years of service with the Gulf Times newspaper, has been all praise for his employers as well as the country for the fruitful opportunity that he received to work in the 'Gulf' for such a long time.
On Wednesday, under the leadership of Gulf Times Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka, members of the Editorial and Production departments gave Pinto a warm farewell in recognition of his dedicated services to the growth of the newspaper since he joined the company on January 26, 1982.
"I was a fresher at the time of my appointment in the company's press and I have all along been lucky to witness the phenomenal growth of the Gulf Times from the modest levels of being a tabloid (Saturdays and Wednesdays) into a full-fledged daily broadsheet over more than three and a half decades," said Pinto while recalling his initial days with the company's temporary premises in the Doha Industrial Area.
The Gulf Times became a daily (six days a week) on February 22, 1981, almost one year before Pinto joined the company.
"On Thursdays, the newspaper had a 32-page weekly edition (tabloid) and no paper on Fridays during those days," he remembered.
On December 10, 1995, Gulf Times was turned into a 20-page broadsheet from being a 24-page tabloid and the Weekly Gulf Times to a 16-page broadsheet plus a tabloid supplement of equal number of pages on Thursdays.
Pinto, who works in the company's Production department, remembers with gratitude the support he received from his colleagues C K Krishnan, V I Joseph and Ronnie Misquita who had all joined the firm before him.
"Since the company had only a few staff in the earlier days, everyone starting from the Founder Editor/Managing Director Yusuf al-Darwish and the newspaper's editor Brian Nicholls to those vendors selling the papers worked like a close-knit team."
The Indian expatriate remembers the shifting of the Gulf Times office and press from the Industrial Area to its present building on the C Ring Road in Doha's Al Hilal area on January 1, 1993.
"The newspaper was printed from the C Ring Road premises until January 26, 2010 when the printing was moved to its state-of-the- art press in the Industrial Area," he recollected.
Speaking about his future plans, Pinto said he hoped to spend adequate time with his family back home in Chinchinim, Goa.
"I may also soon travel to London where my daughter and her family live," he added.