"Life Stories" of ex-City students.


In no particular order:


Alwyn Hollins.

I did the full-time Computer Science course from 1971 to 1974.

I married Mary (a student nurse at Barts) at the end of my 2nd year in July 1973.

We spent my final year in a married students flat in Hackney - for which we still have fond memories.

I graduated with First Class honours in July 1974 and around 20th July start my first job which was a junior analyst/programmer for the NHS near the Elephant and Castle in south London.

We continued to stay in the flat at Hackney but shared with the married students , Angie and Joe Mason from Ireland , until we moved out in November. We still exchange Christmas cards with Angie and Joe who now live in Cork and have two children.

From Hackney we moved into a very small one-bed room flat in Herne Hill - but at least it was ‘ours’ - courtesy of a 100% mortgage from the GLC (pre-Ken Livingstone I may add!).

I worked for the NHS for just over 2.5 years . I left because the pace-of -life was very slow and the remuneration was not based on performance but related to length of service. I did have one interesting period of about six months when I was travelling to Canterbury every day to install a new system in the Pathology department at the Kent and Canterbury hospital.

On 2nd May 1977 , I joined JP Morgan (an American investment bank based in Wall Street with branches in most major city in the World) as a junior analyst. The prospects and perks much better - especially the mortgage and pension benefits.

Since my new job was based in Stratford , east London, we looked to move into Essex. On 21st December 1977, we moved to Laindon - we have we have been ever since. I tried to get Mary to move several times over the years - but she always says she his very happy with the house and the area.

We moved from our small one bedroom basement flat in Herne Hill to our large four bedroom detached house. It was quite a shock! There was still just the two of us and all our possessions fitted into two transit van trips. It seemed like years before we even went into some of the bedrooms.

Anyway, Mary had been working as a night sister at St Marks down City Road and she got a new job as a senior staff nurse in the theatres at Basildon hospital.

Just over a year later on 23rd February 1979 our first child arrived - Daniel - who was born in Basildon hospital. Anyway, we decided we should ‘fill-up’ the house ASAP, so along came Craig on 22nd September 1980 (the same birthday as Mary) and finally Jennifer on 24th April 1983. Jennifer was 7 weeks premature and only weighed 4.5 LBS at birth. She had to stay in hospital for three weeks until her weight reached 5LBS. She was incredibly small at the time. You wouldn’t think about that now at the age of 17- she is 5 ft 6ins and quite athletic. She is hoping to go in the army as an IT engineering officer after university.

There were no obvious medical reason for Jennifer to be born so early. All we can assume is that Mary was having to cope with two small (and demanding young) boys at the same time I was being stretched at work with many weeks of continuous late nights and weekends - you don’t get anything for nothing in this life!

I had a long , exciting , challenging and rewarding career at JP Morgan. I retired on 23rd July 1999 after just over 22 years which was just about 25 years to the day since I started my career in IT.


The Bank’s business revolves around IT (as far as I was concerned) and so they always continued to invest in the latest systems and equipment. I have been very fortunate to see 25 years of IT evolution. I could go on for hours, but I think the biggest single advancement was the introduction of the PC in the mid to late 80ties which revolutionised how people worked at their desk. Email ,voicemail and video-conference have also made amazing difference too.

With the exception of just 10 months in 1990 when I was the JP Morgan London Data Centre manager , my work has been involved with application systems development/implementation/support . For the first 10 years at JPM , the Bank’s systems were pretty much regionally independent. Once they started to globalise the businesses and share systems, my roles started to become global and I did lots of travelling into Europe and New York.

One key factor for me planning to retire from full-time work at the age of 46 was due to this amount of travelling. I calculated that not only had I done 250,000 commuter miles(trains) in my career but I had also done at least another 350,000 business air miles. A drop in the ocean for some of our group - like Steve Midgley - but way enough for me!

So , I am now ‘supported’ by Mary who returned to work 12 years as a school nurse and is now the school nurse co-ordinator for our local area. I walk the dog every morning rather than getting on the train and I work out for an hour most days (Monday to Friday only!) at the local gym. I’m trying to make up for years of neglecting my body. The only thing I did mange to do for almost my entire career at JPM was to play 5-a-side football after work every Wednesday night.

The children have nearly all flown the nest :- Dan (now 21) has just finished his second year at university; Craig (19)starts at Southampton in October (he had a year out working first) and Jen has one more year at A-level.

So it could be that in September 2001, the house will seem as big and empty as it did in December 1977.

Time for another change perhaps?

I could go on and on.............just like Dr Hall........but I think that’s enough for now.

ps - my claim to fame is that I met Sir Richard Branson at his house in Oxford in 1997 - along with another 4,000 other Virgin Atlantic frequent flyers!


Berin Gowan.

‘My sojourn at City was sponsored by the Civil Service and they demanded my attention for the subsequent 2 years. Then I escaped to a small computer systems company, and 4 years later set out on my own. After a turbulent start we moved into designing and building large scale publishing systems for prestigious organisations, and more recently have been introducing software products for publishers. Our work includes pagination (eg BT phone books), authoring and content management, and is now dominated by web database activity.

One of our clients is negotiating to acquire the company so it may eventually be propelled from its modest position into the limelight. The company is Abbey Information Systems Ltd (www.ais.co.uk). Personally, I am still happily married to the same wife (Gill), and our youngest of 3 children has just taken his ‘A’ levels. Tragedy struck when my brother was killed in the Ladbrooke Grove rail accident last October but otherwise we enjoy a good life style in the comfortable Surrey village of Bookham. I still jog for pleasure, travel and sail when I can, and take the occasional service in a couple of local URC churches.’



Bernie Webber.

I went back to IBM after graduation and after moving to Bath in the mid-70’s I worked for a software house for a few years on various 3-D graphics projects. Then some friends joined together to form our own company and I stayed with them until I left England in 1983 to go to live in California. Since I have been over here I’ve discovered the meaning of what the recession can do: five layoffs in ten years! But more recently things have been far more stable, and I have written programs for NASA among other employers: it was part of the guidance and control system for the X-33, intended to be the replacement for the current Space Shuttle. I have always lived just outside Los Angeles but recently I have started transferring my life up to Santa Barbara, since I have met someone and will shortly be getting engaged. It’s a beautiful city and I’m looking forward to living up there.

I’m sorry I won’t be able to join you all at the reunion but I have sent off a video tape so I can at least say Hello to you all. My e-mail address is bernardwebber@hotmail.com - and I look forward to hearing from you before too long!


Brian Dobbing.

I’m not going to be able to make the reunion, so here is a brief summary of what I’ve been up to in the last quarter century(!) Hopefully it doesn’t read too much like a CV!

First the personal stuff: Got married in September ‘75 so we’re also approaching our silver wedding anniversary. Chose not to have those noisy, smelly, unruly things called kids, and have owned three horses instead. My wife Cathy has had great success in dressage, show jumping and eventing over the past 10 years especially.

Then the business stuff: Started off working for Logica and greatly enjoyed working on the software for the 1979 General Election. Got to meet interesting people like David Dimbleby, Peter Snow etc. Moved to SPL International and got into software tools, compilers, runtime systems and language standardization. The languages stuff led to an opportunity to work on the definition of the emerging Ada language in ‘80. This in turn led to setting up a consortium to develop the UK Ada development system for MoD, but this ultimately failed due to lack of funding. Was a founder member of Alsys, an Ada products software house that developed compilers and runtime systems. Became a member of the ISO in 1989 and was in the UK delegation of 6 that participated in the revision to Ada - Ada95 - over the next six years. Company was merged/acquired a few times and we are now called Aonix. My prominence in Ada led to many talks and papers at international conferences, and about 50 publications. This led to the opportunity to be involved in the definition and standardization of Real-Time Java in 1999, and I have been a key member of the J Consortium for about 18 months now. Am currently involved in developing a real-time Java product line for Aonix in San Diego, and am presenting at all the major conferences e.g. ESC West 2000 in San Jose at the end of September. Am quite close to emigrating to California for good (already spend most of my time there) as soon as the domestic situation allows....

That’ s it. Have a great time at the reunion.


-- Brian Dobbing




Jane Hawthorn.

I found this quite difficult to write, as I couldn’t think of any particular achievements to report!

When I left University I had no idea what to do, and opted for a job as a Trainee Accountant. However, I did more and more programming and realised that I was more suited to a career in the Computer industry.

I joined an Oil Company as a Trainee Programmer and left as a Systems Analyst. I then worked for a number of Banks in London, still in IT. I now work for a software house, which sells Banking Systems.

I have had all sorts of job titles over the years, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Account Manager, Consultant. I now answer to anything!

Towards the end of last year I went through a ‘what is the meaning of life’ crisis and asked to do a four day week.

It has been great. I don’t like being poorer, but I love the extra free time. On the down side, my workload has not reduced at all and I find myself working very hard on my remaining four days.

I have travelled a lot through holidays and work. I am a keen skier. I share a comfortable home in North London with Neil my partner of 6 years and two cats!

Sadly the good life has taken its toll and I am not as slim as I was in 1975.

I have fond memories of my miss-spent time at City (particularly in the Games room and bar) and of the friends that I had at that time.

I hope some will be at the re-union.


John Lederhose.

Well I finally graduated in 1976. I joined Kings Road Tyres & Repairs Ltd as a management accountant later that year, and have been here ever since!! Am now FD and own 50% company.

I married Janis Emmerman ( 1976 TCU Ophthalmic Optics Graduate ) in 1981. We have 2 kids ( Jamie 12 and Susannah 9 ).

We have lived in North London since 1981 - Southgate, Palmers Green, and have lived in Winchmore Hill since 1993.

Have been very close friends with Martyn Caswell over the years. He was my best man, and I have been his twice ( His first wife Dorothy ( 1974 TCU Ophthalmic Optician Graduate - nee’ Davies ) died of cancer in 1995. Still see Nigel Williams and Carole Flavelle ( nee’ Tillett ) a lot.

I cant think of any other relevant info!!



John Snell.

I retired in 1995 but then did one year part-time with X2 students. It soon became apparent that the reward for doing this was not enough to compensate for commuting to London and the sweat involved in setting examinations !!

Upon retiring I started to learn golf. I enjoy it but am still not very good. I shall not beat The Tiger just yet.

I have continued to collaborate with Raoul Franklin in solving his plasma physics problems numerically.

Retirement is great and to be recommended.



John Yardley.

Here are the highlights of the last 25 years of my life...

After graduating from City in 1975, I went back to the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington. It seemed a reasonable thing to do at the time since I was on full pay while doing the degree. After a couple of promotions and the opportunity to register for an external PhD, I decided to stay on for a bit.

After getting PhD (subject = Speech Recognition) in December 1981, to form my own company (see www.jpy.com for details), backed by £6,000 government company start-up grant (ironic, I know). JPY specialised in system and network software for DEC PDP-11 and VAX computers (serious XX3 students will remember the PDP-11 and DOS/BATCH-11 - a real man’s operating system).

After spectacular growth throughout the 80s, culminating in a balance sheet bottom line of -£400,000 (yes, minus) by 1990. Learnt rule 1: "Turnover for show, profit for dough". Prior to moving children and furniture onto street, somehow managed to reverse the situation by the end of the 90s to hopefully taper me into retirement with an IPO by the end of this year. No, not another dotcom.

Along the way I have added 2 extra kids, bringing the total to 3; O extra wives; 4 extra cars (the joys of kids); a reasonable standard of alto-sax improvisation; a silly mortgage; an obsession for all things Italian and learnt rule 2: "Life is too short".

Things I especially miss about City University: the long lunchtime philosophical discussions; algebra; the PDP-11; hollerith cards.

Things I don’t especially miss about City University: travelling up every day on the Northern line; numerical analysis; the food; exams.


Keith Stanley.

Left City Uni and joined Data Logic, got married a couple of months later. Left DL after 6 months and joined Burroughs machines in Cumbernauld (Scotland). Two years later left B and joined IBM at their PC manufacturing plant in Greenock Scotland. Left IBM in 1998 and joined a small SAP consultancy (MAS) which has just been taken over by IBM (I knew they wanted me back....). Along the way we gained a mortgage, two children (Gael and Gareth) and a dog. I gained some extra weight and lots of grey hair. We have moved house several times but stayed within the same Scottish locale (two golf courses within walking distance, great running trails, great countryside and 30 minutes from Glasgow shops/theaters etc. .....).

In July Janis and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary by spending a month visiting Honk Kong, Singapore and Oz.


Keith Stanley MBCS CEng PhD

Senior Project Delivery Manager

SAP Practice, IBM Global Services

E-Mail :Keith_Stanley@uk.ibm.com

Mobile Number : 0403 105 013

Mobex Number : 270018



Ken Marchant.

After leaving University in 1975, I worked for BARIC on the Marks and Spencers project. After six months, the project was cancelled and I was made redundant.

I then moved to ICL and worked at Kidsgrove, Staffordshire as a programmer. In 1978 I moved to ICL marketing supporting Comms, TP and Database products on ICL/VME.

In 1981, I jumped ship to become a contractor and have been independent ever since, specialising in Test, Integration and Project Management.

On a personal side, I met Joy in 1977, we married in 1978. We have one son, Christopher who is now 15 (GCSEs next year!). We have never moved away from Staffordshire, though we have moved twice, each time 10 miles south.


Michael Frost

Left City University in summer '75 with 3rd class honours degree in Statistics.

Started job at Dunlopillo a subsidiary of Dunlop Ltd in Pannel near Harrogate as a trainee Cost Accountant. Was transferred after about a year to another division of Dunlopillo in Hirwaun, South Wales where I continued in the same job till May 1978 when I resigned.

I started my own business in June 1978 'Engineering & Foundry Supplies (Colne) Ltd which I am still running. We have about 11 employees 4 of whom are sister, 2 brothers and brother-in-law and are quite successful. We supply Crucibles, foundry hardware and Safety equipment to the foundry industry mainly in the North of England although we have customers all over Great Britain.

I lived at home with my parents after Dunlop till 1988 when I got engaged to Sue and we bought a house together. We are still living together , we met in 1985 the week after I ran the London Marathon for the first time.

I have the London Marathon twice since my best time was 3 hours 22 mins in 1991 when my father also ran it in 4 hours 22 mins. Unfortunately my Dad died in 1995 of cancer.

I mainly run Mountain or Fell races these days and am hoping to complete my fifth successive 'Ben Nevis Race' tomorrow , 2nd September.

I do a lot of Mountain walking and climbing in Scotland and the Lake District and have climbed over 150 Scottish Munroes (mountains over 3000 ft).

I still support Burnley Football Club and myself and Sue are season ticket holders since 1990, if I am a little late to the reunion it will be because we may go to watch Burnley play Crystal Palace in London in the afternoon.


Pete Hook.

Career: I have remained with ICL having been sponsored by them through University. During that time I have progressed through the technical stream taking on roles as programmer, system engineer, development team leader, development manager, process consultant and technical manager. I currently operate as a service manager interfacing to many customers and providing internet based services. I have travelled to Germany, Finland, France, Japan, USA and Singapore with the company. I got heavily involved with the business process re-engineering band wagon and more recently with internet based systems.

Personal: I married Jan in 1976 (I was engaged at University) and have three children: Sarah (20), Pippa (17) and Duncan (13). Sarah was the first female Hook for over 20 years! I don’t seem to remember when I had spare time and fill my non work time with the many DIY activities - keeping up with Jan’s interior design projects (City & Guilds course), and various church related activities. I read a yearly book on holiday (just finished it) as well as play our family game of tennis!



Richard Marchant.

Thanks for the inquiry and the chance of re-uniting with everybody. Unfortunately I am presently living in South Africa in Johannesburg and working in Pretoria for the ‘South African Revenue Service’. I was back in the UK just last week so I will unfortunately be unable to make it on 9th September.

Bit more info:

Married 1990

Two children aged 8 and 9 both boys

Address: 89 St Patrick Road, Houghton 2198, South Africa

Work History

1975-1976: Esso Petroleum, London .. Computer Operations 1976-1981: British Leyland, Oxford .... Computer Operations 1981-1986: ARAMCO, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia ... Systems Programming 1986-1990: Barclays/First National Bank, South Africa ... Systems Programming (1990-1991: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg .... MBA -Full-time)

1991-1992: First National Bank, Johannesburg ... MVS Consultant

1992-1998: IBM, South Africa .. Professional Services

1998-now: SARS, Pretoria ... Storage Management Consultant

Please let me know if you plan any further reunions and if you have any information about the other guys, I really would appreciate a copy or an E-mail.

When are you going to aggressively sell FDR in South Africa?


Wynn Jones.

I’ve been tracked down by Richard Suggit for XX3. Here’s a summary of what I’ve been up to in the last quarter century.

I started by getting engaged to Hazel and a job with CAP in Alderley Edge.

29/07/78 Got married.

June 1980 Moved to New York, working for Lambda Technology Incorporated. Visited Niagara Falls twice and saw New England in the fall. Fostered a Puerto Recan 7 year old boy for 6 weeks - hard work, but rewarding. Had a alcoholic Vietnam veteran come and live with us because he reckon he was dying. When he had gone from crutches to a wheelchair he left us to get married!

September 1981 Moved to San Francisco. Managed a week’s holiday in Hawaii and several weekend trips. Lived in a 14 room house on the Pan Handle with three other people which pre dated the 1905 earthquake/fire. Liz was born 1 week before Christmas 1981.

September 1981 Moved back to the UK. Finally got a job down south the following April and moved to our present house in Harpenden. Two months after moving Michael was born. Life since then has mainly been working and family life - Sarah being born July 1987, 11 weeks early and weighing 1.3 kg. She’ll be 13 on the 14th and is 5’ 9" tall! This August we’ve off to Australia for a holiday with Hazel’s parents who moved out there in 1987.

About six years ago I took up scuba diving and am training to become an instructor. The highlights have included diving in Cyprus, Norway and the English channel in December!

In 1997 I went to visit a Gypsy church in Leskovac, Serbia to take them some aid. It was a real eye-opener and I’d like to make another visit some time.



Richard Suggitt.

Straight after University I joined the Meteorological Office, working for the first 2-3 years in an instruments branch which was implementing the 'Mark 3 Radiosonde' no less. This used a Ferranti mini-computer and huge amounts of programming, which could probably now all run on the laptop on my desk.

As the Met Office likes everyone to be Meteorologists, they sent me on a course (which I did terribly badly on), then rewarded/punished me by putting me in a Systems Programming role for the IBM MVS mainframe. After a few years of that, and unlikely to enjoy the blisteringly fast promotion I hoped for, I did what most people from the systems team did and quit to join something with more pay and prospects. That was 1984,and the company I joined was Westinghouse. This was a software sales division of Westinghouse Electric, and we sold software packages (and provided support for them) for MVS mainframes. This involved a house move, from Bracknell (which I still have a soft spot for) to the St Albans area.

In 1990, Westinghouse sold off the software arm. One of the other companies for which it acted as an agent - Innovation Data Processing - took the opportunity to set up its own marketing and support in Europe. So I did a sideways shift to work for Innovation.

And here I still am. We've just completed our first full decade in Europe, though the parent company is now over 25 years old. The work involves a bit of everything, from just phone support for the products to client pre- and post- sales visits; running some training courses; creating sales presentations and sometimes writing the marketing material. I've also done a lot of work with the office PCs and networks, email system, and I've most recently been investigating what SANs mean to us and also taken a look at Linux for the first time. I get sent over to the USA every 2-3 years, but again, I'm not sure if it's a reward or punishment.

In 1976 I married the girl I met at University - Barbara - and we're still together. We don’t have a family (just never wanted one), but over time the heady air of youth has been overtaken by a mellower outlook as we somehow developed an interest in gardening, would you believe.

I've not really given up on the horse riding that I started at University…. I just don’t have time to go any more (and after two slipped disk episodes, I've no immediate inclination to restart). Riding became eclipsed by another hobby, flying; I now have a private pilot's license. Flying is a lot of fun, but like a lot of things one talks about it and thinks about it more than one actually does it. I cant say I've done anything really exciting - the furthest afield I've been is to Blackpool - but accidentally climbing into cloud near some Welsh mountains a couple of years ago was certainly a white knuckle moment ('cos you cant see what you're about to run into).

Barbara and I have also done a bit of sailing…. just the easy stuff on a few flotilla holidays around one Greek island and another…. but it's likewise been a lot of fun.

The activity that really does take up a lot of time now is involvement with the local village drama society. This also continues a theme from University, as I worked backstage for two or three productions in those days. No, I've never been on stage (though Barbara has, to great acclaim), apart from taking press photos occasionally (I get a real buzz when I see them in the local papers) I've somehow ended up as the sound and lighting man. A technician to the end, I suppose.



Sunil DAS.

Sunil Das went on secondment from 1977-80 with the Computer Networks Research Group, University College London. He returned to the newly formed Computer Science Department at City where he was instrumental in setting up the Digital Systems Lab containing Unix systems linked by a Cambridge Ring LAN. From 1984-1992, Sunil was Chair of the UK Unix Group and spoke at Conferences as far apart as Australia, USA, China and Russia. In the late 80s he brought the architects of the Unix system: Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie from Bell Labs to give presentations at City. Promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1990, Sunil served as Undergraduate Course Director and Admissions Tutor.

At the end of September, Sunil is leaving City although he will remain as a Visiting Fellow. He will be keeping himself occupied in the Technology Transfer field by providing training, project and development services to a range of companies (e.g. QA Training, RedHat, Sun and Vignette).

In addition, Hazel and Sunil have exchanged their London 3-bedroom-semi with postage stamp garden, for a Suffolk 6-bedroom detached property with an acre of land, midway between Aldeburgh and Snape Maltings (home of the Aldeburgh Music Festival and other events). Hazel has moved from her Local Government management job to running a B&B (classified as 4 diamonds by the English Tourist Board on Thursday 27 July, 2000 ! ).

Advert time :-) While under development, the web page is temporarily

located at http://www.soi.city.ac.uk/~sunil/handsel


Carole Flavelle.

After leaving City University I stayed in London and joined a firm of Chartered Accountants and became a student Accountant. Another three years of training and examinations followed, at the end of which I became a fully qualified Chartered Accountants. During this time I transferred with the same firm to Bristol where I met a colleague who became (and still is) my husband. We married in 1981 and have three super children aged 16,15 and 11. I became self-employed when my eldest son was born and have been working from home ever since. This suits me because I can take time off when I like!

We moved to Cornwall in 1987 and love the life here. Our nearest beach is about 10 miles away and one of the best surfing beaches in the County. I spend my spare time playing tennis (badly,but I’m having lessons) and gardening (I’ve reached that sad age when I enjoy watching Alan Titchmarsh on a Friday night).

Apart from tennis,I keep fit mainly by walking our two dogs who are very lively and need to be worn out before they settle down and sleep while I work.

My greatest achievement was to take part in and complete the New York Marathon in November 1998. Credit has to go to my husband who convinced me I could do it (I took a lot of convincing!), took charge of the training and accompanied me along every step of the way. It was a great experience and a good way to see the sights of New York.

I have always kept in touch with Martyn Caswell, John Lederhose and Nigel Williams. We meet up with our families once or twice a year.



Chan Cheong-ki.

Having read some of the very interesting "stories" from XX3 fellows, I thought I must also do my part. I am sorry that I could not make the re-union on Saturday and I hope you all have a great time. I realise that this "story" is getting too long and I suggest that you read as much (or as little) as you can tolerate and read the rest when you have nothing else to do.

I left City in the summer of 1975, with an Ordinary degree. Realising that I had wasting some of my time (academically), I wanted to do further study. After applying to a number of places to do a postgraduate degree, I was eventually admitted to do a M.Sc. course in Computational Methods and Fluid Mechanics by University of Salford. Of course, I had to do a preparatory year first due to my poor first degree and also due to the limited amount of Fluid Mechanics I had learnt. I was the only student for the first year and five other students joined me for the M.Sc. year proper.

It turned out to be two very rewarding years and in fact steered the rest of my academic (working) life. In the summer of 1996, my supervisor introduced and sent me to two summer training programmes. First, an eight week "summer training programme" in a Ministry of Defense establishment in Gosport working on a supposedly confidential project. Then a four week "summer student programme" in the famous (in the field of Fluid Mechanics) von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Belgium (known as the VKI). It was that four weeks that changed my whole life.

Although I did not manage much in that four weeks, I was totally impressed by the Institute as a place to learn. I therefore applied and got accepted to go back to the VKI as a diploma student in 1977. Initially, I wanted to study for a Ph.D. at VKI, but that was not to happen. The VKI was and still is supported by the Scientific Section of NATO and therefore students had to come from certain countries only. Britain decided to stop contributing to fund the VKI (or even the Scientific Section for all I know) from 1978, I was therefore the last student from Britain to study there. I learned a lot academically during that year as well as meeting lots of long-lasting friends. I am in fact expecting a visit by my German friends (Siegfried and his wife Rosie) at the end of September.

Having spent one year at VKI was an asset to anyone and I was then given a studentship to study for a Ph.D. at the Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology (now called Robert Gordon University) although I only had an Ordinary first degree. A Ph.D. is never an easy task, but I managed reasonably under the circumstances.

Towards the end of my Ph.D. years, I made up my mind to come back to Hong Kong. As it happened, I was offered the post of Lecturer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic (now called The Hong Kong Polytechnic University). I of course accepted the job, came back two weeks after my Ph.D. oral examination and stay here ever since.

When the institution's name was changed to University, my job title was changed to Assistant Professor. During these years, I have been teaching Mathematics at all levels (subjects include basic Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Numerical Methods and also Fluid Dynamics). Apart from teaching, my research work is in the area of Fluid Mechanics, Combustion, Turbulence etc. and these research work has taken me to a number of visits and attachments to University of California at Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA. I also went to many conferences in Asia, Australia, USA and Britain. I in fact attended a big conference in Combustion at Edinburgh in August of this year.

Those who remember me might remember that I was heavily involved in two extra-curricula activities while at City. I was Chairman of the Chinese Society for two years at City. I was also Chairman of the Chinese Society at University of Salford for one-and-a-half year. I was the Founding Chairman of the Hong Kong Students Association in Aberdeen. These tasks influenced my life a great deal. To some extent, student union activities extended to staff union activities for me. I have been an Executive Committee member of the Hong Kong Polytechnic Staff Association for 14 years and within those years, I have been the Chairman for 8 years. Staff union affairs had led me to become a member of the Polytechnic Council for 7 years and numerous confrontations with Management on staff benefit issues.

The other extra-curricula activity while at City was Table Tennis. I was member of the University Team at City, Salford and also Robert Gordon. I also joined a Table Tennis Club while in Belgium. After returning to Hong Kong, I wanted to continue to be involved in the sport although there were far more people who played far better than I could. I joined a Table Tennis umpire course and became a qualified umpire in 1982. By 1986, I had passed my International Umpire examination and became an International Umpire. Over the years, I had been involved in the sports umpiring at all levels, from local school kid competitions to Pro-Tour Finals and World Championships. In 1999, I passed the International Referee examination and became 1 of 5 International Referees in Hong Kong. In fact there are only around 50 International referees in the world and I am honoured to be one of them. In the last few years, apart from actually doing umpiring work, I have been involved in umpire training, organising umpire courses and seminars. Sadly (only a figure of speech), I have not played very much in the past few years, perhaps a couple of times a year.

I suppose I ought to say something about my family. I got married to Pauline (an English name) in 1984. She is an administrator at the Academic Secretariat (similar to the Registrar's Office) of our University. We have a daughter, Wing-yan (also with an English name Bianca), aged 12 and a son Chi-him (without an English name yet), aged 7 in 2 weeks. They have just started their first year in secondary and primary school respectively last week. Needless to say, these two members of the family occupy a lot of our time during the evenings and weekends.

Just to put everyone in the picture, we had two other sons in between. Our 1st son, Yuk-ling, died while taking milk (the milk powder literally blocked his throat) at 11 months old in 1986. I was spending my sabbatical on my own in Glasgow when the accident happened and we were very upset at the time. I had to cancel my sabbatical and re-joined my family (only Pauline). Our other son, Chun-yin, died of Viro-myocarditis at 6 months in 1992. We did not realise that flu virus could be "deadly" when they attack the way they did. We were (this time three of us although Wing-yan was still too young to appreciate life) once again shocked and grieved. The doctor assured us that the two incidents had no connection and we have been gradually returned to "normal" although occasionally we cannot stop thinking how they might or might not have been.

I realised Keith Stanley and his wife visited Hong Kong in July. While I have absolutely no recollection of what he looked like or any moment of our encounter between 1972 and 1975, I wish he had contacted me while they were here. I now issue a general invitation to all XX3s, their family or even friends who happen to be in this area to contact me. We will be delighted to show a little bit of hospitality, show them around exciting Hong Kong or the parts tourist do not usually go etc.

My contact is

Dr. Chan Cheong-ki

Department of Applied Mathematics

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hung Hom


Hong Kong

Tel:?(852) 27666919 (office)

?(852) 25785017 (home)

?(852) 96885638 (mobile)

Fax:?(852) 23629045

E-mail: mackchan@polyu.edu.hk



Reza Pourzia

After graduating from the City University in 1975, I started my first job as a software engineer with Digital Equipment Corporation in Reading, England. I really enjoyed my job at DEC working on the operating systems for PDP-11 and VAX processors. I developed a great deal of admiration for the original authors of these systems and decided then to work in the States. While I really liked my work, as a single guy I didn’t want to give up my personal life and the room I had in central London (29 Percy Street). So most of my income was spent on British Rail commuting to Reading from London.

I finally decided to work somewhere closer so I joined Zeus Hermes which was about 5 minutes walk from my house. It was a consulting job working on microprocessors and real-time operating systems which was a great learning experience.

In 1977 I came across an ad in the paper for an American company (Arthur D. Little) recruiting programmers for work in Burlington Mass. This was my chance to move to the States. I applied, the interview went well, and I moved to Massachusetts working for ADL as a software consultant. The work involved writing software for several companies and it was a great experience. Also, my girlfriend from London (Jo) came to live with me in the States. After about a year or so, I left ADL and joined a smaller company (Paramin) which was the most fun place I have ever worked. In 1979, I decide to leave the cold New England weather and move to sunny California.

I joined Autologic in 1979 and have been there since. Jo and I got married when we came to California but the marriage lasted only one year.

I started at Autologic as a software engineer and soon got promoted to a manager and then director. I met Susan, my wife, in 1983 and we got married in July 1988. In June 1990 we had our twin daughters Alexandra and Olivia. We went through a lot of emotional roller coasters as our daughters were born premature and had to spend a lot of time in the hospital before coming home. They are now healthy and great girls and we live in Oak Park, which is well known for their quality of schools. Susan works for IBM and is very involved in the school and the girls education.

At work, my current position is the VP of Software Development for Autologic Information International. My group consists of 40 software developers and IT people. We develop software for the high end publishing market.

I am really bummed out about not being able to come to the reunion. I have a lot of fond memories from my days at the City. John Yardley and I have been in touch occasionally. John visited us last May for a couple of days. I wish I had spent more time with Bernie Weber who, as it happens, has lived about 10 miles from me for the last 20 years!

I hope I’ll be able to see some of you before another 25 years goes by. I look forward to hearing how the reunion went.

Here’s my contact information: rpourzia@aol.com 818-889 6148.



Martyn Caswell.

Left TCU in 1975 to join NatWest Bank as a "Management Trainee". Spend 12 years in Branches before realising that IT had much more to offer. Went through a Business Analyst / Tester / Project Leading / Project Managing / Programme Manging route. The last assignment was a mere £55 million development - a very tense period.

I now manage a group of 60/65 technical specialists (mainly NT4) which keeps me active.

On the private side, I married Dorothy (nee Davies - TCU Optician graduated 1974) and had two daughters (Jenny aged 15 and Fiona aged 12). Sadly Dorothy passed away in 1995 from bowel cancer, and married Sue (not TCU!) in 1998.

Other info: I am a Christian and very active in local church, bridge (just like TCU), golf and a taxi driver to the kids.

Hope to see you at the re-union

Martyn Caswell


Lis Barlow Jones

Behind any residual appearance of a calm and well organised person is a manic working mother.

The mother part has to be for me the most outstanding and rewarding achievement of my last twenty five years.

Paul (Steele, Civil engineers 1971 — 1976) and I have two children Deian, 10 years, and Tesni, 7 years. The first 15 years post graduation we spent as any other couple having a good time and enjoying our earnings, and the more recent last ten years the children have been enjoying our earnings for us.

We both work full time and so our household is run on a very finely tuned basis which is code for a fridge that seems more often to be empty than full, and we are eager subscribers to On line shopping of any description, in particular Tesco.

On the work front I had a brief, enjoyable but not overly stretching, fling as a VAT inspector before deciding to try the IT scene. After an obvious history of Systems Analysis through to Senior Project Management, I moved into Account Management and then Sales. I now operate in a commercial team that formulates major deals between FI GROUP (current employer) and key customers in the form of Applications Management outsourcing (TUPE) deals and more recently Joint Venturing. Eg the Joint Venture between FI and Bank of Scotland which provides a full range of business technology services to the Bank and all its subsidiaries.

FI — yes that’s the company started by a woman, Steve Shirley over 30 years ago, floated some 4 years ago and we’re now a £307m turnover company. And yes Hilary Cropper and two of our other main board directors were in the top 50 women earners list recently.

We’re in the top 100 best employers in the UK and see me on Saturday if you have some interesting skills.

Paul and I, though we do not originate from the South, have only moved out of London as far as Hertfordshire — Harpenden. However we do like to spend as many of our holidays as possible in far flung places round the world — in particular visiting other friends from City who have moved a little further away from Northampton Square than us.

We will both be at the reunion.



Stephen Midgley.

In 1974 at the end of my third year of four, I married Lorna Christine (Lewis) also from City, and lived in a University flat in Stamford Hill. I was a kept man for one year, as Lorna had just graduated and had a job with Camden Council. In 1975 I graduated and went to work for CAP in Holborn, in the big city. We moved from our £6 a week University flat, to a rented flat in Ealing. My first six weeks at CAP was to be spent on a COBOL course. After three weeks, I was taken off the course and put to work at IFC on the South Bank, using my FORTRAN knowledge from University and my two six months industrial courses. Six months later I was sent for an interview as a CAP contractor to Bank of America in Whyteleafe, Surrey. I was offered a three month contract programming in FORTRAN.

My contract was extended to nine months and included travelling around Europe to implement the new system we had developed. At this stage the Bank of America offered me a permanent job. Unbeknownst to them, they offered me double my existing salary, still much less than the contract rates they were paying CAP. Of course I accepted and have been here ever since. No I am not still programming in FORTRAN, but I never got to finish the COBOL course. I progressed through the ranks unitil I became a manager and did not need to program any more. I progressed even futher, so I didn’t have to manage either. I am now the Senior Consultant and as Alwyn Hollins mentioned already, I have been able to visit most parts of the world courtesy of Bank of America. Some of the most memorable moments were when I got to fly on Concorde, was in the middle of a coup in Bangkok and was held up at gunpoint in Buenos Aires. The additional benefit from all this travel was the air miles, which has allowed me to..................travel even more. Enough of work.

Lorna and I bought a house in Godstone, Surrey and after a few years we moved to a new house in Horley, Surrey. We were now 27 years old, time to start a family. Our first daughter Claire was born nine months later on a cold snowy night on February 19th, 1981. Nineteen months later our second daughter Laura was born on a warmer September 22nd, 1982. Several happy years followed, but in May 1992, Lorna and I separated and subsequently divorced. This was the saddest moment in my life. A friend at work, another Christine was now the woman I loved and we moved in together. Last year we married and now live in Caterham about one mile from where I started at the Bank of America building in Whyteleafe. The Bank moved to sunny Croydon in 1982. I see a great deal of my daughters and Lorna, who still lives in Horley, just a few miles from me.

My proudest moment came last year when Claire attained 5 grade A, A-levels and was accepted at Cambridge, where she is just about to start her second year. Laura has just started her upper sixth and has her A-levels to come. Unlike Alwyn, I cannot afford to retire and based on my current pension projections I will be working (or travelling) until I am very old, I have been grey for years already.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank City University for teaching me FORTRAN, because without it I certainly would not have been where I am today. Cheers.


Richard Mode.

Left City and joined IBM on July 1st 1975. Just completed my 25 years! Had various jobs, all customer focused, based in the City, South Bank and now "in the country" based in Welwyn Garden City. I have just one customer, a small food retailer (clue: starts with T - 5 letters), with some 800 stores in the UK, Ireland, Eastern Europe and the Far East (and one in Calais), with whom I spend all of my time. I’m responsible for the "technical relationship" - I never wanted a proper job and that what I’ve got - not a proper job!

Married Ry in 1980. We have three boys: Daniel(19) - reading music at Goldsmiths/London, Matthew(17) and Mitchell(nearly 14) both still at school. Ry teaches kids with special needs in a local comprehensive.

I play tennis whenever I can, but no more than 6 times a week, at our local club where I’m men’s captain. Also, into backgammon.

Just returned from a month’s holiday in Tuscany and the French Alps, finding getting back to work very hard, and looking forward to see if I can recognise anyone on Saturday. Just found my NUS card - did I really look like that?


Doug O’Malley.

It’s a bit "last minute"ish (totally out of character) but here goes ...

After graduating in ‘75, I joined Data Logic (like one or two others from our course) and moved to Southall. Did a few small office-based projects at DL first and a combination of some other boozy grads there and joining a couple of local football clubs meant there was always something happening socially. DL’s offices were in the same building as Data General, and consequently we started using DG systems when DEC’s lead times went out of the window. After a couple of years I landed a project leader role on implementing a stock/sales system for Express Dairy Foods on multiple DG Nova’s. Whilst there, made good friends with one of their staff who - after we’d backpacked round the Greek islands, and thrown ourselves out of aeroplanes together - became best man at my wedding.

In 79 I joined Computerplan, a Hounslow-based commercial DG software house. Whilst there I worked on early 3GL commercial packages - that inevitable ended up as bespoke systems by the time they were bedded in - and go hooked on dinghy sailing. Oh, the other significant thing that happened there was that I met Martine, who I married in 83. We have two kids - Guy (16) and Kiki (14).

Martine & I both went to work for Microfin, a small Egham-based company building hand-held data capture terminals. I worked there as their software manager and traveled a lot as we set up distributors in Europe and the Far East.

Following that I joined Precision Software (setup by an ex-director of Computerplan) and got involved in early Unix systems, RDBMS’ etc. The final outcome of that was that - with my partner - we split one division of Precision from the rest and started our own business. Care Business Solutions now employs 40+ staff. We’ve specialized quite a lot in the not-for-profit sector (that’s our clients, not the company!) and have many prestigious clients on our books. Excuse the name dropping for a moment (somebody else started it!), but we’ve implemented the major fundraising and marketing systems for RSPCA, RSPB and Imperial Cancer Research, and the Membership systems for RCN, The Labour Party, Unifi (the banking union) and many others.

As you might imagine, lots of long hours but great fun overall. To try and keep the stress levels down I’ve continued to play football regularly until the end of last season, but an injury persuaded me to retire this season. I’m still playing 5-a-side, though, as well as tennis whenever I can in summer, and this year have taken up canoeing.

Five or six years ago I won a place on a ski weekend in Chamonix and - despite never having wanted to give up a saturday afternoon for such a wimpish sport before - decided to go along to see what it was like. Of course I got totally hooked the first day, and have been skiing at every opportunity since. We now have a regular family ski holiday, and I also still sneak off for a week on the slopes with some friends.

So all in all life’s been pretty good but rarely quiet. I love reading but if I manage more than one book a year it’s unusual. DIY is certainly not top of my list - as John Yardley said in his story - "Life is too short".

What really worries me is - will I recognise anyone on Saturday? Will failing eyesight and fading memories be enough, or will we need name badges for our zimmerframes?