At the Tesvikiye home of Nina Eskenazi

At the Tesvikiye home of Nina Eskenazi

This is a picture taken at my brother’s engagement ceremony.

The others in the photograph: Seated on the left, my uncle Saul Modiano, the person standing, my sister-in-law’s brother Beno Eskenazi, next to him the girl he was dating, she was an Armenian when they were engaged, next to him his sister-in-law Nina Modiano, next to her my older brother, next to him my cousin Renata Modiano who currently lives in Switzerland. I remember one of the children. The first one on the right is Geovanna Modiano, the sister of the deceased Renata.

My brother, Mario Mair Modiano, was born in Salonika in 1921. When he was only six months old, my parents decided to move to Istanbul. He began studying at the French St. Benoit High School when he was six. He had to transfer to an Italian high school when he was at the seventh grade because of the 1932 Mussolini official notification. He completed his education at the Italian Lysee, and graduated with a degree in Commerce. After high school, he attended the Istanbul University's Business and Commerce School. He graduated from the university with a degree in Commerce.

In 1942, he and one of our neighbors in the apartment became partners, and opened a wholesale dried-goods store. This continued until 1950, when he resigned because of irreconcilable differences with his partner. That was when he and I started working together. We founded our own store, and named it the 'Terakki House of Dried-Goods - Mair and Eriko Modiano.'

We worked together until 1958. That year, my brother decided to move to Canada. He had gotten married to Nina Eskinazi in 1948. He became diabetic because of all the stress he endured during his last partnership. The disease later spread to his eyes, and he unfortunately lost his sight. I always thought of him as a very brave person for undergoing eye surgery only two years after losing his sight. After the operation, one of his eyes regained about 25% sight. He had this operation in Canada.

He was a very alert-natured person. He always liked responsibility and being busy with something. This is probably why, after he lost his sight, he enrolled at a local university and became interested in photography. He studied the art of photography at the university. After he regained 25% sight on one of his eyes, he took many beautiful photographs. I remember him going through really hard times when he first moved to Canada, but he did not give up. He worked as a regular employee at several different companies. After a while, he became partners with a friend of his, and the two of them founded an import business for men's and women's shoes. For the business, they imported a wide variety of shoes from East Asia, Italy and France.

He had a son named Sonny Modiano. Sonny completed his education in Montreal, Canada. After gradation, he initially began working with his father, but he was not entirely interested in the job. Therefore, he decided to move to Detroit in the United States with his wife and two children. Today, he still lives in Detroit, and operates a successful yoghurt manufacturing business there.

My brother got really sick after catching a virus. He passed away despite all efforts to save him. That was in 1992.

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