Day 43 - Dwardu (1st person I approached)
February 12, 2014 - Dwardu is originally from the island of Malta. “I had been working in the British Shipyards as an electrician, working towards becoming an Electrical Engineer. I decided to leave Malta, to look for better opportunities. I knew that things would be better elsewhere. I lived there until I was 21.” Malta was a British Colony at the time, but not under British rule. “They were, if you like, guests in Malta. It was not because of any product. The British wanted to be in Malta because of it’s geographic position, between Sicily and North Africa. Having been through two world wars, it was desirable for the Brits to have Malta available as a base. Eventually, they were ‘invited to leave.’ And they did so.”
Dwardu, or ”Eddy” to his friends, had a choice between Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, “and to some extent the US,” when choosing where he would move to. He chose Canada as it was a sponsored program. It was also the only country that wouldn’t require three years military service. In return for a commitment to work and stay in Canada, which at the time had a skilled labour shortage, for a minimum two years, the Canadian Government paid for his travel. “I didn’t become an electrician because they wanted me to do an apprenticeship. They told me it would take six months. I said no thank you,” Eddy tells me, with a sly smile. “I told them, ‘You want to teach me something in six months that the British Military couldn’t teach me in six years?’ No thanks. I was a bit of a rebel in my youth.” After time in Montreal, then Toronto, Eddy moved to Vancouver.
Eddy didn’t become an electrician, but remained in the electrical supply business for his entire working life. “I became very good at going in to businesses that were struggling and I would help turn things around for them. Eventually I got tired of making other people good money, and set up my own business. I had skilled labour available and became a contractor. My wife is Chinese and through her family and then word of mouth, I would do renovations. We worked a lot on large homes that had a fallen into disrepair. The contracts would be for complete restorations, except for the kitchens. Everybody wants a new, modern kitchen. I didn’t charge by the hour. I would determine what needed to be done, and give a quote for the entire project. I never had to advertise. I made good money, and was able to retire at 60.”
At 77 years old, Eddy is a published author. He writes non-fiction books dealing with the relationships between astrophysics, astronomy and mythology. “Mythology is my religion. I was born into a Roman Catholic family. At age 15, I became what we now call an atheist. I had to keep it secret from my mother of course. I think later in life she sort of figured it out. When I was leaving Malta, at 21, she wanted me to stay. You may have heard, the Pope had the third letter (FACT CHECK - Three Secrets of Fatima http://bit.ly/1dyxWqk), and she wanted me to stay until the Pope opened that letter. I couldn’t stay, but I made a promise. I told her ‘I promise you one thing. If there is a heaven, I’ll meet you there.’ ” #notastranger