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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Research Engineer and Author


Friday, March 31, 2006

Research Engineer and Author

Trevelyan A. Sue-A-Quan was born in November 1943 in Georgetown, Guyana. He is the great-grandson of an indentured labourer. Trev attended Queen's College in Georgetown and attained B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, England. He immigrated to Canada in 1969.

Trevelyan A. Sue-A-Quan was born in November 1943 in Georgetown, Guyana. He is the great-grandson of an indentured labourer who had embarked with his wife and son aboard the ship Corona at Canton. They arrived at Georgetown in February 1874 after 78 days at sea. The family was allotted to La Grange sugar cane plantation on the West Bank of the Demerara River. Many of the Chinese immigrants and their second generation descendants became shopkeepers, including Soo Sam-kuan the author's grandfather. In the process of cultural assimilation his name became transformed into Henry Sue-A-Quan thus initiating the distinctive family surname.

Trev Sue-A-Quan's generation was the one that typified the transition from shopkeeping to professions based on higher education. His brother and sister both graduated from Edinburgh, Scotland and became chief surgeon and mathematician/computer specialist, respectively.

Trev attended Queen's College in Georgetown and attained B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, England. He immigrated to Canada in 1969 but then pursued a career opportunity with a major oil company in Chicago where he was engaged in research in petroleum processing and fossil fuel utilization.

Eight years later Trev headed East - to Beijing, China, becoming Senior Research Engineer at the Coal Science Research Center. He spent 5 years there and in 1984 returned to Canada with his wife and son, both acquired in Beijing. They now make their home in Vancouver.

The interest in Trev's family history came from a curiosity about the circumstances that caused his great-grandfather to leave his native land. Almost 20 years after obtaining a copy of his ancestor's contract of indenture Trev has applied his training in analytical research to compile this comprehensive account of the experiences of the first Chinese immigrants in Guyana.

Trev Sue-A-Quan is the Author of Cane Reapers and Cane Ripples

Cane Reapers is the story about the Chinese who were procured to replace the emancipated slaves on the sugar plantations of Guyana (then British Guiana). Following China's defeat by Britain in the Opium Wars in the 1840s the European powers, and Spain in particular, began a recruitment drive to obtain Chinese labourers for their colonies. This was executed using all manner of methods ranging from subtle inducement to kidnapping. Numerous abuses arose from this trade in human cargo and Britain later set up local emigration depots aimed at enlisting willing emigrants, with some degree of success. Between 1853 and 1879 a total of 13,541 indentured labourers arrived in British Guiana from China but by 1900 the resident Chinese population was down to 3,000 mainly because only 15% of the Chinese immigrants were females. The Chinese endured many tribulations both in the journey and after arrival in the new land. In the process of assimilation into Western culture some unique names have evolved for Chinese families, creating both a mystery and a topic of fascination for their descendants and for genealogists.

Cane Ripples is an integrated work that expresses the joy and pains experienced by a vital sector of Guyanese society during the 20th century. . . It uses oral histories, personal recollections, photographs, and archival materials to illuminate an important aspect of Guyana’s complex history. . . We can see the names and the faces that influenced Guyana’s social, economic, political, cultural, and scientific life. Contributors take us into their homes, share family histories, and tell us about the creation of some of Guyana’s most successful institutions and enterprises . . . Dr. Trev Sue-A-Quan must be congratulated for a most valuable and accessible contribution.

From rootsweb

Posted by jebratt :: Sunday, April 02, 2006 :: 0 comments

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