Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 6th 2014 Contents My name is Colin Lee and I am
a structural engineer in a Canadian
I ve lived for 26 years in Kitch-
ener-Waterloo, west of Toronto.
But I grew up in Barataria. Even
though we lived right next to St
George s College, my parents want-
ed me to attend a "prestige" school,
scholarship in 1977 to UWI, St Augus-
tine. It seemed everyone either wanted
to do engineering or medicine. I never
liked chemistry, so that made it easier
to choose engineering. That was the
"Money is No Problem" Eric Williams
era, and Trinidad s building boom
meant there was a huge demand for
My mother was an only child
from Port-of-Spain, but my father
was from Cumuto and had 12
brothers and sisters. And, since he
is Chinese, you can probably guess his
parents had a shop, which my father
Dorothy and I have been married for
over 30 years. Our two sons attend uni-
versity in Waterloo.
About 40-plus years ago, a priest
in Saints (said), "There is a horse
way and a donkey way to solve a
math problem"---the hard, stupid
or "donkey" way, taking pages and
pages of calculations, or the short,
smart, easy "horse" way, in a cou-
ple of lines. Today, anytime I have to
do anything for the first time, I try to
think through and find the best, easiest
or "horse" way to accomplish it.
My dad worked with Insect Vec-
tor Control (who longtime used to
go house-to-house, spraying for
mosquitoes). During school holi-
days, 45 years ago, I used to go with
him to check on the men working
under him. When he finished, we
would catch four-eye fish for bait on
Manzanilla Beach, pick watermelon in
Plum Mitan field, chataigne in Biche
forest, see how cocoa was dried in Rio
Claro. On a visit to Trinidad ten years
Monday, January 6, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Tiger Tanks Trinidad Unlimited is seeking the best candidate to manage their accounting
function. The Incumbent will provide the general manager with meaningful and timely
information on the status of the company's performance. They will also be required to
assist proactively with cost containment, revenue enhancement, profit improvement
opportunities and safeguarding of the company's assets.
o Maintains proper and complete accounting records that are accurate and correct at all times.
o Supervises accounting staff, ensuring proper accounting records and accounting policies
are adhered to for all transactions, reviewing data entry to ensure complete and accurate.
o Implements all necessary controls to safeguard assets.
o Prepares and interprets the financial statements and reports.
o Provides financial information to management as tools for maximizing profits and
planning for the future. Reports which should stimulate management action.
o Compiles, together with the General Manager, budgets and forecasts covering all activities.
o Ensures that there are, at all times, proper procedures and controls for receipt of cash,
purchasing, receiving, stores and requisitioning.
We will consider various combinations of experience and/or qualifications. Our basic
guideline on what is required is as follows:
o ACCA Level II or equivalent, or relevant Bachelor's Degree with significant experience.
o Excellent knowledge of accounting principles and practices
o Attention to detail and accuracy
o Very effective organizational and time management skills
o Effective verbal, listening and written communications skills
o Excellent interpersonal, analytical, problem solving and decision making skills
o Computer skills including the Microsoft Office (Word & Excel), e-mail at a highly
proficient level, knowledge of Peachtree would also be an asset.
o Honest and trustworthy
#1-7 Fitz Blackman Drive
(next to the National Stadium)
Port of Spain, Trinidad W.I.
Fax: 868 623-6766
with quali ed MRI Technologists,
MRI Radiologists and MRI Physicists.
The country's most
TRINI TO D BONE
As Told to BC Pires
Shark 'n' bake on ice
ago, I took my sons to Fishing
Pond, thinking I would show them
how I used to catch crab. But the
mangrove had all dried up.
After UWI, I worked for five
years in Port-of-Spain. My
master s degree at Waterloo in
Ontario (led to a job) designing
buildings and bridges. After six
years, I left and have been working
on my own for the past 20 years,
out of the basement of my house.
To relax at night, I play chess
on my laptop and set the level
low enough to ensure I win.
Losing to a computer is not relax-
I was always one of the
shortest people in class. I
don t think it was a disad-
vantage though. In school pic-
tures, it was easy to see me, as
I was always in the front row.
back home to Trinidad every
year. Now our sons are older,
and all their friends live in Cana-
da, they don t want to travel back
home with us anymore.
Getting off the plane at
Piarco, the wall of heat and
humidity hits you. But it s the
traffic and the aggressive way
Trinis drive that reminds me
right away I am back home.
My work day starts as soon
as I head downstairs to the
basement. I don t have to worry
about snow or traffic. Or about
wearing long-sleeve shirt or tie.
In days of old, a blueprint
drawing was actually blue
because of the process by
which it was made. Now every-
body has laser printers so there
really is no such thing anymore.
The last time I used a real drawing
board would be in Trinidad 30
Once you have a computer
and (modern) printer, you real-
ly don t need other staff.
The best part of working for
yourself as a structural engi-
neer is you have more control
over the projects you take on,
and how they re managed. The
worst part is you can t take a
three- or four-week vacation.
What I miss most about
Trinidad is the spontaneous
liming. In Canada, if you want
to make a lime with friends, you
need to make an appointment a
week or more ahead of time.
A Trini is someone who is
friendly, easygoing and likes
to lime and old talk.
Even though Canada is
where I live now, Trinidad and
Tobago was my first home.
Which I will always want to go
back to visit. I could definitely
retire to Trinidad and live by the
Read a longer version of this
feature at www.BCRaw.com
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