News from the TTA

Memoirs: Trini, by Birth

Updated: Jun 12, 2019


“What does it mean to be Chinese by heritage, West Indian by birth and Canadian by choice.”

My father migrated from Guangdong , China, in 1938. My mother was born in Trinidad, her grandmother was 100% Carib, (Amerindian).

I was born in Trinidad raised with Chinese, West Indian and British Colonial cultures and values. My Hakka heritage developed my beliefs in hard work, perseverance, education, migration for opportunity, mathematical ability, thrift, family values, culture, appreciation of Chinese foods and ability to multitask. The West Indian heritage taught me to appreciate Calypso and steel pan music, local foods and the art of liming. The Colonial education instilled religion, an appreciation of cricket, soccer, tennis and skills like swimming and writing.

Upon finishing high school, I enrolled at a local technical institution but was unchallenged by its curriculum. My decision to study abroad was fuelled by my ambition to broaden my life experiences, and seek greater economic opportunities. My options were to go to England, too cold and foggy, the USA, rejected due to prospect of conscription, or Canada. I chose Canada. After completing University with a B.A. and B.Ed., I was offered a teaching position at the premiere high school in Trinidad and an opportunity to practice Marine Underwriting with one of Trinidad’s largest companies. These I rejected due to lack of financial and future opportunities.

I enjoy a reputation as a lead Marine Underwriter, respected by peers in Canada and Lloyds of London. Financially I made profitable investments and raised my family in a fertile, safe and encouraging environment. My children are well educated and enjoy opportunities not available elsewhere.

When I migrated, relatives tried to discourage me, they followed, after political instability developed. At times when shoveling snow drifts, I would think “What am I doing freezing myself in the cold”?

However, I would still choose to live and become a citizen of this great country. After visiting foreign lands, like Panama, England, France, Hawaii, Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong, I am always happy to return to my home by choice, Canada.

Winston was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. After he completed his high school education, he migrated to Montreal, Quebec, to attend Sir George Williams University. In the interim, he attended the School of Modern Photography where he studied Commercial and Portrait Photography. After graduation from university he enrolled at Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario where he received a degree in education. Since graduation he has been employed in different aspects of the insurance industry up to the present. Winston currently resides in Toronto, Ontario, where he began writing in 1999. Today he has several books on a variety of topics to his credit.

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