Errol Ray Lyn - My Story
Tuesday, 09 November 2010
Errol Ray Lyn - My Story
Errol Ray Lyn
During the 1950s, I attended St. George’s College. I was an altar boy and in the choir at Holy Rosary church together with many friends including Patrick (Paddy) Chung, Professor Dr. Anthony Chen, John, Donald (a Queen’s Counsel Barrister at Law), Rudolph, and Clarence Scharschmidt, George MacFarlane, Floyd and Julio Forbes, Vincent and Arthur Moodie, Philip, Patrick, and Theodore Chin, Joe and Mickey, Leonie, Clare and Nice Richards, Michael Willoughby, my brothers, Roger and Nick Lyn, Iggy Lyn, Winston Lyn, Sir Anthony Irons, and many others. We had some of the most wonderful times going to picnics, serving the Lord, Novenas, Benedictions, High and Midnight Masses…what cherished unforgettable memories.
At the STGC Pageant at Emmet Park, I was the Magician’s assistant; Ronnie Nasralla was the Juggler. Do you all remember the Pageant?
After graduation from STGC, I worked for Singer sewing Machine Co. and met Fr. Easton Lee, who worked at the Singer Machine Office in Cross Roads, near Odeon and Carib Theatres and opposite the famed BRUCE’s patties shop. Then in 1958 I worked for BNS as the Remittance Teller…collecting all the mutilated notes from all the tellers in the late afternoons and replacing them with new crisp bills from the Treasury located in the Post Office Building on King St. The times were very different then from today’s dangerous and scary happenings in downtown Kingston. Every Wednesday, my guard and I would unhurriedly and safely take the bulging bags of worn notes to the treasury without mishap or even stares from pedestrians and people waiting on the chi-chi buses.
In 1959, I attended Iowa State U, got Mononucleosis and couldn't hack the weather and the grades...had to withdraw disappointedly and sadly, of course. During the two semesters, Fall and Spring I tried going to the Newman Center but felt out of place and unwelcomed, so I stayed away. One of my friends was Rex Liu. His dad was an Ambassador from Thailand…I met Rex as he was in charge of the weight lifting Club on campus. We went to a meet at University of Iowa in the dead of winter which was cold and freezing though there was no snow as yet. I won my class as I was the only one in my weight class…although I was bound (Jamaican use of the word of course) to win because I could military press my own body weight of 125 lbs…btw, I didn’t even need to lift a finger to win in my class…needless to say.
Rex had a 1957 FORD hardtop convertible…what a beauty! It was a two door V-8 that was sooo heavy it didn’t need snow tires to drive around in the snow. At the time my friends, Lingson Lai and Arthur Lowe also attended ISU. Rex drove Arthur & I to his sister’s wedding in Fort Collins, Colorado during the blizzards and snowdrifts and even drove over the frozen lake which scared me as Rex’s car was very heavy and Rex was a bit of an extrovert and sooo full of energy. His dad gave Rex a nice apartment in Des Moines with a girlfriend too…what a classy lifestyle, eeeee!!! He claimed he never used it and we believed him because he was always on campus as the studies and class work was very demanding.
In 1960, I went to Los Angeles to Pacific States U....and graduated Summa Cum Laude 4.0 with a Bachelor of Science Electronic Engineering degree...Learned about Digital and Analog computers, Differential and Integration Calculus too. I was editor of the campus newsletter using a Gestetner repro machine.
At Pacific States U., I met some very sharp students who came from UCLA. My buddy, Richard Schwertzer, an Austrian whose parents fled Austria during the war to Venezuela had a 1956 Chevy so with other friends we often toured California with our other buddy, Don Evans. Richard was fluent in Spanish and German and not too shabby in English too. We often toured the many lovely beaches around the coastline of Los Angeles that were very inviting especially being recently from Jamaica and being familiar with Cable Hut, Wicki Wackie, Sirgany’s, Bournmouth, AlTerry, Boston Harbour, etc.
At some beaches during low tide, I could even walk out in ankle deep warm crystal clear water for over 100 yards. In downtown Los Angeles, the city’s old Chinatown was open ‘til 2 AM and we often went there for late meals. Hollywood was close by too, so we’d drive up and down Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard and often got succulent ribs from a small take out place next to the Farmer’s market on Hollywood Boulevard…a nightly ritual. We never saw any STARS or Actors.
At the top of Third St and Beverly Blvd, there was a famous Hot Dog Stand, named TOMMY’s…he’s been in LA since 1946. Tommy’s had the bestest chili dogs. As time went on he branched out into burgers and currently operates 24 successful locations…
In 1963, I then went to San Jose, Capital of Silicon Valley, CA to attend San Jose State U. I wanted to switch careers to Civil Engineering which is what my youngest brother did.
I loved the school environment in Northern California as the weather was very mild unlike Los Angeles that had lots of SMOG from the many crowded Freeways and Highways travelling almost all day and night. Here it was almost a laid-back style then as San Jose was more like a country town with orchards of plums, cherries, peaches and farms of vegetables and no immediate access to Freeways or major Highways…
During the eves I would work on many old autos that were relatively cheap then. I tuned them up and maintained them by changing leaky oil gaskets, replaced rings and bearings in the greasy engines but never attempted to take on any transmission work…my brother tackled one and that was one too many as far as he was concerned. In all we have had over 50 cars and vans. I’ve had 41 myself thus far…just for fun for myself. Looking back I could/should have sold some of them and made some money but as a student on a student visa, I felt compelled not to break any Immigration rules by working as it was not allowed then and probably still is the law.
In 1967, I needed to become a salaried and paying taxpayer, so after counting up my course credits, I had enough to graduate with a Bachelor of Science Math degree…actually I ran out of operating funds, so it spurred me on with my brother’s coaxing to graduate and go to work. By then I had passed my Citizenship tests and was a full Naturalized AMERICAN, so I was legal to seek a job without recourse.
After graduation, I worked as a design Engineer for Philco-Ford Corp, a defense contractor, in their Space and Reentry Division located in Palo Alto, CA. As part of my job requirement I had to qualify for a Secret Clearance, which I did in order to be able to handle classified documentation and information. I was an Electronic Design Engineer on a tactical surveillance computer system that was used in the Vietnam war. The computers then were real clunky, huge, heavy and slow compared to today’s fast, small-footprint, relatively light and portable Microprocessor PCs…
In 1975 there were two MicroComputer Stores in Northern California and one in Southern California. In November 1975, I left Philco Ford and opened the fourth Micro Store in all of California (North and South), called BYTE SHOP III aka MicroBYTE Computer. To my utter amazement, I turned over my full inventory of $18K by year’s end.
Coincidentally, a company called IMSAI (IMS Associates, Inc. in San Leandro, CA) developed, manufactured and launched in 1975 their IMSAI 8080 microcomputer kits that were based on an S-100 buss architecture with an Intel 8080/8085A 2/3 MHz microprocessor CPU (see the image below).
You need to realize that there was no operating software, period, for this device. There was no MicroSoft Corporation, No Apple Computer Company, no radio Shack/Tandy Computer, no Micro Computer Industry to speak of at this time.
In addition, as the MicroComputer Industry was in its infancy, the San Jose Mercury News tabloid and the local Phone Directory had no classification for Micros or Micro Stores…an initial classification was called of all things, COMPUTER ROOMS.
In 1976 and thereafter, we sold every IMSAI 8080 we could get our hands on. In fact these were the only items in my initial inventory. I figured that starting from the bottom ground floor…so-to-speak would be very risk-averse…and it was…and the timing with the IMSAI-8080 was a GOD-send…plus the only way from the ground floor had to be UP and luckily for me it was.
BYTE SHOP I was located on El Camino Real in Mountain View, CA and BYTE SHOP II was located on El Camino Real in Santa Clara, CA. BYTE SHOP III was located at the corner of Bascom and Union Avenues, In San Jose, CA. We were over 10 miles apart from one another, so there no competition to worry about.
The Southern California Micro Retailer, named MITS Altair offered Altair 8800 kits based on the Intel 8080 2.0 MHz microprocessor CPU …they were the first of the HOBBY COMPUTER SHOP.
(see the image below)
MITS Altair 8800
In 1976, I only bought one kit from MITS Altair and assembled it just for the experience. It was a fascinating toy which was not cheap, as a dollar those days had full value unlike today’s devalued dollar, and salaries were correspondingly much lower than that of today’s too.
However, the experience was well worth it from my viewpoint as I quickly determined not to buy/sell these units because of the assembling difficulties for anyone not familiar with soldering and careful handling of semiconductor circuits like CPUs and Memories that are susceptible to damage from static electricity. The same is true for assembling the IMSAI 8080 but there were less soldering of wires and it looked more like a finished product even in kit form before assembly; plus the IMSAI 8080 microcomputer was more colorful and the much larger paddle switches versus the toggle switches of the MITS Altair 8800 really sold me on the IMSAI 8080.
From 1976 to 1982, I sold many brands of Computers that were available based on the S-100 buss architecture and using the now obsolete CP/M disk operating system.
In 1976, my friend, Steve Jobs of Apple Computer brought the third Apple One PCB (Printed Circuit Board) to my store. It was a bare board with 4K of RAM memory, no input or output devices, no power supply. I had to hook it up to a clunky 10 cps KSR 33 teletype machine, with an optional built-in paper tape reader, and a power supply of 5 volts and –12 volts. In addition there was Stanford University’s Dr. Lichen Wang’s Tiny Basic program (in PROM) which had some limited computing power…but nonetheless this was state of the art in 1976, my friends!!!
No other programming software was available at the time too for microprocessors. There were many pac-man games and simple children games for these devices. Microsoft was in its infancy as it started operations in April 4, 1975, Radio Shack’s TRS-80 (affectionately named…Trash 80) was not yet available until December 1977. ComputerLand, a MicroComputer store chain would start its business pretty soon in 1977; it changed its name from Computer Shack…
Here are some Industry launch dates:
• Microsoft’s GW-BASIC was available circa 1983; IBM PCs were available August 12, 1981.
• MS-DOS grew from a 1981 request by IBM for an operating system for its IBM PC range of personal computers. Microsoft quickly bought the rights to QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System), also known as 86-DOS, from Seattle Computer Products, and began work on modifying it to meet IBM's specification. The first edition, MS-DOS 1.0, was launched in 1982. The version shipped with IBM's PCs was called PC DOS.
• COMDEX (Computer Dealers' Exhibition) of Las Vegas, NV (1979 – 2003).
• West Coast Computer Faire of San Francisco, CA started in 1978.
In 1982 I sold the business and relaxed for a few years…then in 1987, a job headhunter approached me about a Technical Writing Contracting work, which fit right in with my technical, writing and English grammar background…Many other writers had Literature backgrounds but little or no technical experience…however, they were often helped by managers who needed writers…To this day, I’ve yet to find out how he got my name.
I could go into more details which may be too verbose at this juncture, so I’ll fast speed to the year 1999, unfortunately, my first wife, Ming died from lung cancer, though she never smoked in her life.
Errol & Jia
In 2001, we had recently returned from visiting my many friends, classmates and relatives in Toronto, Canada, and after the fateful 911 terrorist attack on AMERICA, on October 1, 2010, my second wife Jia and I opened J&R Learning Center, Inc. It’s a Childcare facility, that keeps us very challenged physically and mentally with our preschoolers, kindergarteners, and after-schoolers who we pickup from various schools within a 5-10 mile radius, However, the overall rewards are more than worthwhile, as I can bring all my auto, computer, technical documentation writing, Math, English and STGC/Blake Prep schooling to bear and pass on to the future generations of AMERICANS.
Jia was born in Beijing and resided in Hangzhou, the HONEYMOON CAPITAL of CHINA. Her parents still live right across from famed WEST LAKE…a beautiful lake of LOTUS flowers and plants…by coincidence I chose the LOTUS flower for our logo…and it’s a symbol of PEACE and SERENITY…very befitting me theenks!!!
Errol Ray Lyn You (my dad’s surname)
Archbishop Burke Centre Groundbreaking Video
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
We are honoured to celebrate with you this historic groundbreaking of the Archbishop Lawrence A. Burke, S.J. Centre on January 28, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. The Centre, a three-story building will host 12 new classrooms, teacher offices, lunchroom and washrooms.
Lawrence A. Burke attended St. George’s College, starting in 1944, graduated in 1948, taught there as a layperson in 1951, as a scholastic from 1958 - 1961, and as a priest 1966-1969. He served as rector and chairman of the Board 1969-1973, and finally acting principal from 1980-1981.
In 1973, he was appointed Regional Superior of the Jesuits in Jamaica, the first and only Jamaican to be appointed to that post, which he held until 1979.
Lawrence Burke was appointed Archbishop of Nassau, Bahamas in 1999 and became the fourth Archbishop of Kingston Jamaica in 2004. He was a member for years of the Roman Catholic Council on Ecumenical Affairs in the Vatican. In his final mass as Archbishop of Kingston, Most Rev. Lawrence Burke S.J., passed The “Crozier” a pastorial staff, to Most Rev. Donald J. Reece.
The Archbishop Lawrence A. Burke S.J. Centre will lie immediately south of the Adrian Chaplain Building. Special thanks goes out to Principal Margaret Campbell who coordinated the event with her administrative staff, with much appreciated assistance from Donnette Chin Loy, and to Old boy Carl Chang who played a pivotal role especially as he continues to work long and tirelessly in the fundraising ventures for StGC.
Video Presentation segments:
- Dr. Aggrey Irons - Master of Ceremonies - Intro
- Father Peter McIsaac - Chairman of St. George's College School Board - Acknowledgements
- Fr. Kenneth Richards - Prayer
- Hon. Andrew Holness - Minister of Education
- Hon. Bruce Golding - Prime Minister of Jamaica
- St. George’s College – School Choir
- Ray Chang – St. George’s College and the importance of Education
- Archbishop Reese - Blessing of the Site & Groundbreaking
- Archbishop Burke – Importance of St. George’s
- Margaret Campbell - Principal of St. George’s College - Closing
|27 Oct 1932
||Kingston in Jamaica
|16 Jun 1964
||Priest of Society of Jesus
|17 Jul 1981
||Bishop of Nassau, Bahamas, Antilles
|11 Oct 1981
||Bishop of Nassau, Bahamas, Antilles
|10 Jun 1984
||Superior of Turks and Caicos, Antilles
|17 Oct 1998
||Superior of Turks and Caicos, Antilles
|22 Jun 1999
||Archbishop of Nassau, Bahamas, Antilles
|17 Feb 2004
||Archbishop of Kingston in Jamaica, Antilles
|12 Apr 2008
||Archbishop of Kingston in Jamaica, Antilles
MEET ROBBIE VERNON - ONTARIO'S LATEST STGC HALL OF FAMER
Saturday, 14 March 2009
STGC 2008 Hall of Famer!
Robbie Vernon…STGC 2008 Hall of Famer? Who would have ‘thought it? As it turns out, many of his colleagues on the Board of the Old Boys Association, past and present, and his peers on the committee in Jamaica.
The selection criteria indicate that to be considered for induction into the St. George’s College Hall of Fame, an individual’s record must demonstrate:
- Excellence/achievement in a defined category,
- National and/or international recognition,
- Vision and innovation,
- Inspiring leadership,
- Community spirit.
The school selection committee reviews nominations made in the following categories: Arts, Business & Commerce, Education, Government & Public Service, Law, Religion, Science & Medicine, Social services, Sports, Trade Union Activities, Faculty & Staff, and Support to St. George’s College. It is in this latter category, included just this year “Support to St. George’s College” that Robbie’s name was thrown into the ring- and it came out shining.
Robbie was a founding member of the Association back in 1984 and has been active ever since promoting his beloved alma mater. He held many positions on the Board including President, Secretary and is now our Membership Director.
Many on the Board will remember his outstanding Presidency in 2006 and 2007and his success in lifting the profile of the association in Ontario, representing us at many Government events and other Alumni Association functions, and actively promoting the involvement of the executive at these external events. All Board members were given personal STGC business cards and encouraged to attend and network for us at every opportunity at external functions.
Robbie has been Editor of our highly acclaimed newsletter “Good & True” for the past 12 years…..spending countless hours writing, editing, arranging and re-arranging the layout of the articles and pictures. Largely through his efforts the newsletter has achieved great success in forging links with Georgians around the Globe. It circulates to nearly 600 families worldwide and is a regularly visited sight on our web.
Accepting award at Hall of Fame Banquet in Jamaica from Daniel Ho Lung
And if that were not enough, Robbie makes the time to participate in all of our events. He was there in Boston when a bus load of Old Boys made what is now regarded as a historic trip to the Jesuit Centre in Boston in October 1997. He was back in Boston for Fr. Leo Quinlan’s funeral in November last year. He has made many trips abroad representing our chapter.
A career banker, Robbie in 2003 retired as a Risk Manager for the Royal Bank in Ontario after 42 years service. He held management positions in Jamaica, and Canada and worked for them as well in the Cayman Islands. He was a key member of the banks Black Diversity Committee in Toronto encouraging and promoting links with Toronto’s Black community.
In Jamaica Robbie received several awards for community service and was a member at varying times of the Jaycees, Lions Club, Police Civic Committees, and was appointed by the Government to register and work with the mentally handicapped in Clarendon; sitting on the Board of the mentally handicapped school in May Pen.
In Canada outside of his activities with the Old Boys Association, Robbie was active with the Etobicoke Soccer Association; Metro Toronto’s largest recreational house league of which he was a member for over 22 years; many of these on the Board as Discipline Chair. He was in 2006 granted an Honorary Life Membership Award from them in recognition of outstanding dedication and service to youth soccer in Etobicoke. Robbie since 1993 has ‘mentored’ the incarcerated at the Mimico prison, under the volunteer Prison Chaplaincy programme and sat on the Board of his Church’s Finance Committee for over 15 years.
Robbie now joins our other Ontario Chapter inductees in the school’s Hall of Fame: G. Raymond Chang in the categories of Business & Education and Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong in the categories of Science, Medicine & Education.
Alex, Joe, Heather and Robbie Vernon on grounds beloved Alma Mater (Note Cathedral behind)
He was accompanied on his trip to Jamaica for the Hall of Fame Induction by his lovely wife, Heather and their two sons Alex and Joe, both now budding lawyers. Whilst there, he was able to talk with the current student body and later toured the campus with his sons who were visiting the school for the first time getting a firsthand look at the institution that so many of us are indebted to for a solid educational foundation.
Robbie Vernon …Georgian, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and now STGC 2008 Hall of Famer!
We are all proud of you
2008 New Years Eve Ball
Saturday, 14 March 2009
ST.G.C / JC – The Boys in Blue 2008 New Years Eve Ball
Dawn of a New Era
Presidents Chris Chin (STGC) & Chris Wynter (JC)
On a very cold Wednesday December 31, 2008 evening, in a bold move reflecting the harbinger of greater things on the horizon, the STGC Old Boys’ Association (Ontario Chapter) in a joint venture with the Jamaica College Old Boys’ Association of Canada launched their inaugural New Year’s Eve Dance. This was at the Pearson Convention Centre in Brampton, Ontario.
When planning began for the event, alumni of both schools were already in great spirits as their football teams in Jamaica had made it to the finals of the Manning cup.
We share many things together in Ontario, apart from the blue and white school uniforms (one washed out, one dark- one sky blue one dark drab – opinions varying depending on which school you attended).
We both support each other’s fund raising efforts in Ontario and our joint spiral into the heights of Jamaican, schoolboy football by the local teams gave us even more reason to come together to celebrate.
In a beautifully decorated hall, with blue and white balloons and buntings everywhere, over 150 patrons comprising of Old Boys and their spouses, friends and well-wishers rang in the New Year. Roses were given to all the ladies present and complimentary portrait photographs to all couples who attended.
The last ten second countdown to midnight was beautifully orchestrated by maestro, Milton Hart, 1st Vice President and President Elect of the STGC OBA.
With “the Auld Lang Syne”, all was joy and merriment, and swirling dancers embraced and congratulated each other with the coming in of this New Year.
Revellers on the dance floor
Many thanks to initiators of the event, Immediate Past President of the Jamaica College OBA, David Taylor, and Treasurer of the STGC OBA, Ray Chang. Special thanks too to Danny Ho Lung, Immediate Past President of the STGC OBA and Chris Wynter, President of the Jamaica College OBA for their hard work in making it a reality.
It was great fun! If you did not make this time around, make plans to join us this December 31st for a great time with some great people.
All the Best for 2009!
Cooking up a Storm
Sunday, 27 November 2005
Craig Wong, son of Lipton and Shirley Wong, is a recent graduate of the renowned Institut Paul Bocuse culinary school in Lyon, France, where he has studied for the past two years. Craig has completed internships at 3 Michelin Star restaurants: Plaza Athénée Alain Ducasse, Paris, and The Fat Duck, London.
In June 2005, Craig entered and won the “Sardine Cooking Competition”, which is restricted to French professional chefs and students. The organizer, Sonia Ezgulian, renowned French chef and author of Les Halles de Lyon, chose Sardines as the main ingredient because of her passion for this cold-water fish.
Craig Wong, 1st prize winner flanked by runner-ups
To qualify, recipes featuring Sardines as the main ingredient were submitted and reviewed by a panel of professional culinary judges. Six student and six professional chef recipes were chosen for the finals.
The contest was held at Les Trois Dômes Restaurant, in the Sofitel Bellecour Hotel, Lyon, where the contestants prepared their recipes before the judges and a live audience.
In their commentary on the winning entry, the judges expressed amazement by Craig’s unique balance of texture and taste. The clear bouillon, subtle flavor of the soft interior and crisply braised exterior of the Daikon, pairs immaculately with the crispiness and natural fattiness of the fish. The judges felt Craig’s recipe and cooking skills truly enhanced the definitive taste of the Sardine.
Upon completing his internship in England, Craig will return for Christmas with his family in Markham, Ontario.
His award-winning Sardine recipe follows.
Meunière Style Sardines, with Caramelized Braised Daikon Radish, Sage-Scented Vegetable Bouillon, Tomato Concassé, and a Brunoise of Lime
Demerara sugar/raw sugar or regular granulated sugar
Frying oil (optional)
Toasted Pine Nuts
Salt and pepper
Debone all the Sardines into filets.
Cut the Daikon into rounds like a hockey puck
Vegetable stock for Braised Daikon:
Dice carrot, onion, celery and add to 1L of water, along with parsley and sage.
Bring to a boil, then add Daikon, remove when tender & dry on absorbent paper.
Add salt & pepper to bouillon to taste.
In a separate pot, bring water to a rolling boil and add tomato for 20 seconds.
Remove & place in iced water to shock tomato. Peel skin & halve the tomato, discard seeds & any liquid. Brunois tomato flesh, i.e., uniformly cut into fine, 1.5 cm. long, diamond shapes.
Segment the lime from the rind and the skin, and brunois lime … same size as tomato.
(OPTIONAL) Deep fry the sage leaves in a small pot in 325-degree oil
(OPTIONAL) Toast Pine Nuts in a dry frying pan on low heat
Put sugar and a little butter in a frying pan, and gently caramelize tender Daikon, until outside is crispy.
Pan fry the Sardine filets in olive oil at medium high heat for 5 seconds and immediately add cold cubed butter and “bathe” (spooning the foaming butter over filet) the filets constantly for 30 seconds and remove from pan to a plate with absorbent paper.
Salt and Pepper filets to taste.
Place Daikon on the bottom of the plate, sardines on it, deep fried sage on top, tomato, pine nuts, and lime around, Bouillon in a cup on side.
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