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Basil Alfred Angel was born May 27 1934 at St Vincents Hospital in Westminster, London, England. His mother , Irene was 30 and his father Bertie was 33 when he was born. He was the oldest of two male siblings, all living in a rowhouse at 7A Howard St, Lambeth in the South London borough of Wandsworth. His mother wanted him to be called Anthony, followed by Alfred for her father. For some unknown reason his father Bertie was called Basil during his military service and somewhere between his mothers instructions at the hospital and his fathers pub celebration, Tony's name, to the chagrin of his mother, was changed to Basil Alfred Angel. Through this entire predicament, it makes sense that he was a gemini. In early 1939 the family moved to the Pimlico area of London which is quite close to Buckingham Palace. There he went to the local elementary school and started to realize that his two favorite things in school life was math and science, and he started to focus his attention on these two subjects for the future. In 1940, he was evacuated with more than a million other six year or older children from London to the north and western countryside as part of the British reaction to the Nazi bombing threat to the southern parts of Britain. The people up in the Villages were paid a government fee to take London children into their homes and care for them. Unfortunately, some of these country people were just in it for the money, and the one that chose Tony and another boy was one of them.The owner lived with pigs, cats, dogs and rabbits and according to Tony the animals were fed better than the boys. Tony explained that this brief childhood interval in that Cornish cottage village was remembered for life as an unusual experience. After 5 weeks of this woman's treatment, Tony (who was 6 at the time) and the other boy decided that this wasn't good enough for them and they sneaked onto the London train to get back home.They avoided the ticket collector by hiding in the washrooms. When they arrived at Paddington Station Tony remembered that his uncle worked there and was able to be taken back home. Tony went through the school grades like anyone else at at 6 years old he read in a boys magazine about what life was like in Canada before the war and made a promise to himself to go there one day, and he kept that promise to himself his entire life, and when he married Jean , he actually told her, that if she wanted to marry him she would have to move to Canada .Tony finished grade school and graduated about the same time that WW2 was ending. In 1947 Tony's family moved down the street to become part time caretakers of the St Stephens Church Hall, where they lived in another siute.At that time Tony had changed schools to the Hammersmith school for Building for a three year course covering engineering and trades, both practical and theory and incorporating his love of math and science in to this job training. During this period he earned some pocket money from delivering newspapers and magazines. He also worked at a butcher shop and saw sausages being made which took several years for them to became part of his diet. He developed a taste for Jazz music in that time that he still enjoyed his entire life. 1950 is when Tony graduated from Hammersmith School of Building and got a job with a US firm in Battersea as a junior draftsman working on the structural aspects of oil refinery and chemical projects. He also bicycled 15 miles each day to and from work. He also decided his profession would be structural engineer and enrolled in the schools's "sandwich" program which meant the company paid him to attend school one full day a week as long as he also attended night school three times a week for 3 hours for two years. At the end of two years he passed the Ordinary National Certificate exams in Building Technology. 1952 was a time when all fit males of eighteen years old had to serve two years of military service in the one of the UK National Services, or armed forces. Tony was admitted into the army in August 1952. He was assigned to be an artillery surveyor and spent 6 weeks in basic training on the Welsh border and was trained there in field gunnery systems. He was then transferred for three months to an artillery survey training school on Salisbury Plain next to the Neolithic Stonehenge Monument. For the one weekend off a month Tony and some other troops hitchhiked back to London. In 1953 Tony finished his artillery survey training and was posted to the British Commonwealth division serving in the Korean war. In those days all the troops were moved overseas by ship. Bad weather and water conditions flooded the low lying areas of the River Thames estuary and so the troops were moved to the river banks to build sandbag defences against the rising tides Tony recalles that it was a good break from those damn barracks, which legend has it that it was declared unfit for horses in the 1914-1918 war. Tony then had a cruise at his Majesty's expense for atleast 28 days on a 6000ton troop ship with obscure rules of discipline and such. When he finally arrived in Hong Kong after 22 days, following stops in the Suez Canal, Aden, Colombo and Singapore, he discovered that sometime during the voyage it had been decided that the artillery survey work in Korea that his group was to undertake would be taken over by the Canadian army units with the British Commonwealth de=ivision. As a result he spent his remaining 18 months of military service in Hong Kong attached to the British Army's intelligence office in Kowloon. Tony left China and returned tot he UK in 1954 on "the same dinky troop ship". Tony went back to his old job in Battersea and started advanced day and night courses at the Hammersmith School of Building. He was offered another jobchance by a fellow student, (D. Lovegrove) working at the Conniston Engineering Company located at Eagle House in Wimbleton. Tony applied and was accepted and began working there as a junior draftsman. Eagle House is where he met Jean, his future wife. They were married Sept 15 1956.This was the same year that Tony sat and passed his 3 day exams to qualify as a chartered structural engineer. Then they started to plan seriously for Tonys lifelong dream to emigrate to Western Canada. They left the London port of Tilbury on the SS Cunard Saxonia in Late April 1958 and survived a rough Atlantic crossing to Montreal 7 days later via La Havre, Cobh and Quebec City. They then took the CP train across Canada for 4 nights arriving in Vancouver on May 10 with only $100 in their pockets. They almost missed the train in Moose jaw, Saskatchewan whent hey left the trian to get a steak in the local resteraunt that took longer to prepare. They just made it back to the train as it was pulling out, with a hot steak in a napkin tightly held in their hands. Afgter finding a furnished room in Vancovuer at Davie and Cardero through the Travelers Aid kiosk in the CP station, the first thing they did was to rent a typewriter and typwe up Tony's resume with new address and phone number, and started to post it around to try and get a job somewhere. One day later, Tony was opffered a job with an engineering firm design company on Pender Street, where he did the strucure design for the new Lionsgate Hospital in North Vancouver. After 18 months there Tony moved to work in various engineering and management jobs with BC Hydro for 30 years. Following retirement he took a job as the Director of Physical Plant at the Vancovuer School Board for 7 years and then reitee for the second time. He has been a member of the Capilano Lions Club for over 30 years, in which he has served in all official capacities and remained involved until his death. A word of advice to the youth of today is that they always must have a vision for their future, and he didn't mean in the immediate future ," you have to have a lifetime goal, or where will you go in your future if you don't have a destination clearly in your mind."
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