January 9, 2013 issue

Community Connection

 
The Subryans' success story: tried and trusted values at work
Trevor, with his wife Marian and sons Pierre (left) and Mark (right), at the company's Christmas party on December 15. The staff were joined by relatives, friends and business associates. Local Elvis, Robert Pooran belted out favourite Christmas tunes. (Pix by Adit Kumar)

By Adit Kumar

Canada is a country known for its immigrants, many of whom have come from humble beginnings and by hard work and commitment, have made it to the top. One such person is Guyanese born Anthony Trevor Subryan, owner and President of ATS Engineering Inc, the leading manufacturer of packaging machines for the Dairy Industry in Canada. Trevor is recognized in the Industry as a “Master Builder” and while he stands tall amidst the crowd he remains firmly grounded to his roots. By virtue of his accomplishments and achievements he brings tremendous pride and joy to the Guyanese Diaspora and is a role model to the community at large.
Trevor arrived in Canada as a landed immigrant in February 1971 at a time when travellers were only allowed to take US$250 out of Guyana; and that was all he came with. He told Indo Caribbean World that while studying Human Geography - The World - at school in Guyana, the Canadian Prairies, the Rocky Mountains, Tundras and the Artic made a lasting impression on him and he longed to visit the country. He added that when the opportunity presented itself for him to migrate to Canada, he made the maximum use of it. He has since made tremendous strides and today his company, ATS Engineering Inc., is recognized as the undisputed leader in the Dairy Industry in Canada.
Trevor is happily married to Marian Bejar, who hails from the Phillipines and together they have two sons, Mark and Pierre and one grandson, Lincoln.
Trevor started ATS Engineering Inc in 1994 with a few part time help, working out of a 1700 square foot rented space in Brampton. At that time Pierre worked as a summer student with the company and today is recognized as its longest serving employee. Mark went to work with other companies to gather experience which he would later share with ATS Engineering Inc. With pride and a choke in his voice Trevor explained the humble beginnings of his company. He recalled that his supportive wife, Marian, used to join him after work to help him in the workshop. He taught her how to use the drill, taps and other mechanical tools and she assisted him to build their first packaging machine starting from scratch. Today the company has 15 full time employees and ships its products all across Canada, USA, Caribbean and many other parts of the world. The packaging machine used by Banks DIH in Guyana for its ice cream was manufactured by ATS Engineering Inc. ATS’s machines exceed USDA, FDA and 3A Dairy Standards, Trevor proudly proclaims.
In his youth, Trevor attended the Port Mourant Training School and graduated in 1969, with First Class in the London City and Guilds Examination. That was the highest level of training in Engineering available in Guyana at the time. After graduation he took up employment as a Foreman at the Blairmont Sugar Estate where he gained valuable work experience which would serve him well in this country.

One of ATS Engineering's state-of-the-art machines that does in-line filling, sealing and overcapping operations all in one pass.
Its output is up to 320 cups per minute.

Upon his arrival in Canada Trevor soon found employment as a skilled worker. He was earning good money and enjoying a good life but was not content with that. His thirst for learning saw him enrolling at Ryerson College where he pursued his studies with a passion, graduating in the field of Mechanical Engineering Technology.
He was always looking for new opportunities to expand his knowledge and joined several professional associations including the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists; the Packaging Association of Canada; Ontario Dairy Council; the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers; the International Dairy Foods Association; the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute; and the 3A Dairy Standards Association.
In 1979, Trevor became involved in the rigid plastic Food Packaging Industry and his travels took him constantly across the North American continent where he earned the reputation as an innovator who could listen to clients’ ideas and requests that he would quickly follow to design and build packaging machines suitable for their needs. His ingenuity was recognized by clients who encouraged him to “go start your own business”. Trevor heeded that advice and in 1994 started out on his own specializing in the dairy industry, manufacturing machines to package products such as cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, ice cream, ricotta, margarine, juices, sauces, dips and an endless list of plastic containers used in food packaging.
Trevor recalls that before he started his own business he had orders for US$310,000 worth of equipment. He “seized the opportunity, started my company and from that point on, the business just started booming. We have never stopped working”. As the business expanded it quickly outgrew its space and Trevor later bought the expansive building which the company now occupies at 104 Hedgedale Road in Brampton.
Mark and Pierre, both graduates in Mechanical Engineering, are principals of the company holding the positions of Vice President, Operations and Vice President, Manufacturing respectively. They are constantly coming up with new ideas, providing innovative solutions to processors’ speciality packaging needs. Like their father, they are on the shop floor working like any other employee. Marian, who holds a senior position at the City of Brampton, also provides support to the company in the areas of accounting and finance. She skilfully juggles her roles as wife, mother, home-maker and business professional. While he spends a lot of time dealing with customers and marketing the company, Trevor makes sure that he is also on the shop floor everyday interacting with employees and testing equipment. He is the first line of contact with customers and spends a lot of time travelling, meeting clients and providing after sale services.
Trevor said his company serves as its own ‘bank’ and is the source of its own financing. He said he never drew a salary from the company and ploughs back all surpluses to develop the business. The company expends a lot of its resources in marketing and participates in trade shows across North America. He and his family just recently attended North America’s largest packaging trade show in Chicago, where their equipment display was hailed as one of the best Dairy Food Packaging Machines. He was happy with the exposure as several new orders for machines were generated from that show.
Trevor’s success is no doubt linked to his belief “that every single day there is another opportunity waiting to be grabbed”, a philosophy by which he lives. He embraces “honesty, respect and appreciation for all”. Despite his busy schedule he still finds time to spend with his family. He describes his sons “as my two best friends. I enjoy golfing with them”.
Trevor recalls the sound advice that his father and mother gave him and his eight siblings: pursue education. Today, thanks to that advice, all his siblings are professionally engaged. His dad passed away at age 79 but his mom lived to the ripe age of 96 and savoured her son's successes. Trevor's father was the Chief Bookeeper at the Bath Sugar Estate in Guyana.
Trevor is also a philanthropist and believes in helping the less fortunate. He takes pride in donating to charitable causes in and out of Canada. He said that his sons enjoyed the generosity of donors who sponsored their hockey teams while they were kids and now it is his turn to reciprocate. Pierre and Mark became excellent hockey players and played vital roles in their teams which won many tournaments in and out of Canada. Trevor presently sponsors two youth hockey teams - the Toronto Black Hawks and the Brampton Red Wings - which his sons are connected to. He also donates to several other Canadian Charities including the Shriners.
He loves his country of birth, Guyana, and supports several charitable causes there as well, including the Doobay Renal Cinic and his Alma Mater, Bath Settlement School, which received several donations over the years. He told Indo Caribbean World that he is happy to learn that his donation to the Global Partnership for Literacy SchoolNet Guyana Project, to computerise the Bath Settlement School is finally bearing fruit.
Trevor promptly donated $12,000 in October, 2009 to have the school computerised when he was approached by former Consul General of Guyana, Danny Doobay. The project was expected to be completed within a year. Trevor said he was relieved when he recently spoke to the Head Mistress of the school, who told him that work has commenced on the building to house the computers and is expected to be completed by the end of April, 2013, when the computers would be installed.
Trevor has also committed to get involved with a much needed library for the school and is looking forward to visiting Guyana this year to have a firsthand look at both projects and to meet with the staff and students of the school he attended.
Trevor cherishes the memories of growing up in Bath, hence his willingness to donate to the school where he had his early education. He recalls excelling in mathematics and the sciences. In 1988 he pioneered a school program soliciting help from libraries in Mississauga and raising funds at annual picnics to support the Bath Settlement School.
He said he also enjoyed his studies at the Port Mourant Training School and values the discipline which his teachers instilled in him there, which helped to shape his early life. He still lives by many of those values. He also cherishes the values instilled in him and his siblings by his parents which had a significant influence on his upbringing and approach to life. Today he is proud to pass on those same values to his children. However, he laments the breakdown in discipline in many of today’s youth which he sees as a big challenge ahead.
Trevor is not carried away by wealth or material prosperity, both of which he is blessed with. He is ever conscious of his humble origins which built in him the strong desire to succeed. He has attained the pinnacle of success as an entrepreneur in Canada and is a singularly outstanding Guyanese achiever, one whom his compatriots can be truly proud of.
For more information on the dynamic enterprise run by this pioneering Guyanese, please visit www.atseng.ca

 

Golden Agers celebrate another Christmas
(Back row, from left): Tulsi Persaud, Karam Daljit, Mac Gurdial, Rabbie Rampersaud, Dilip Chetram, Halima Mohammed, Marilyn Suknandan, Karna Persaud, Indra Masielall, Barb Nandlall; (front): Bibi Barran, Rudolph Singh and Dolly Persaud.

The Indo Caribbean Golden Age Association (ICGAA) celebrated its 2012 Christmas event with 250 members in attendance. The seniors were dressed for the occasion and came prepared to have a good time. Carols were sung by the Christmas choir, followed by the entrance of Santa Claus and his helper who gave out a goody bag. A delicious meal was served then there was live entertainment by musician David Singh and others.
Special Guests attending were Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis, Guyana Consul General Sattie Sawh and Anthony Mohammed, President of the Trinidad Fifty Plus and Seniors group.
ICGAA also celebrated its 20th Anniversary on May 12th, 2012 at the Shinghar Banquet Hall. With over 600 friends and supporters, the evening showcased many Toronto talents, both youth and adults.
The organization has been very active over the last 20 years. Its members are encouraged to attend and share their camaraderie, talents and expertise and they have participated in many events in the community. They also support young people to develop their talents in singing, dancing and acting and the youths in turn are able to volunteer and gain credits for community hours.
Out-going President Leila Daljit notes that the organization also held its elections in December and the new executives are anxious to carry on the good work. As ex-President she will now be the Chair of the organization.
For info call Mac Gurdial at 905-294-3564.

 

Canal #2 seniors get Christmastime treat
Cardiologist Dr Vivian Rambihar (second from left) attending the convocation of his daughters Sherryn (left) in Cardiology and in Internal Medicine, Nadira in physiatry (physical and rehabilitation medicine), and Nadira's husband Andrew Howlett in psychiatry, as new specialists in medicine and Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This took place last November in Ottawa in the presence of The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, who received an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The occasion was considered a first where three members of one family convocated at the same time. (Pix by Dr Vanessa Rambihar)

December 23, 2012 marked the 10th Annual Canal Number Two Senior Citizen’s Social. At this time every year, members of the local business community along with US and Canadian-based Guyanese who hailed from this West Bank Demerara community, would pool their monies and treat the elders to a cultural show, a feast and gifts of food hampers.
Although it was initially meant for the elders, this year saw 340 persons inclusive of children and disabled persons being tended to at the Kawall Primary School.
Apart from the monetary donations, several residents of Canal Number Two would voluntarily prepare and serve meals to those people gracing the occasion.
At this 10-year commemoration, the volunteers of the program were awarded certificates of appreciation for their years of dedication to this “rewarding” activity.
In addition, the top six performers at the National Grade Six Assessment from West Bank, Demerara also received trophies for their academic accomplishments thus far.
The expenditure for this year’s program amounted to a whopping $1.3M.

 

Port Mourant to get Skills Development Training Centre
Artist's conception of the Skills Development Training Centre to be constructed as part of the Humanitarian Mission Village project at Ankerville, Port Mourant, Corentyne spearheaded by
the New Jersey Arya Samaj.
By Adit Kumar
A Skills Development Training Centre will be the first building to be constructed in the Humanitarian Mission Village project at Ankerville, Port Mourant, Corentyne undertaken by the New Jersey Arya Samaj in collaboration with the Guyana Central Arya Samaj, Government agencies and NGOs in North America and Guyana.
The Centre will be built on a 1.6-acre plot of land which was leased from the Government of Guyana. Construction of this building is expected to commence in February 2013 immediately after the completion of the concrete fence which is currently under construction at an estimated cost of G$7 million.
The project is being done in phases with Phase 1 being the fence, Phase 2 the Skills Development Centre, Phase 3 the benevolent home for seniors and Phase 4, a building to offer a safe haven for victims of gender-based violence and orphans.
“At this centre youths and adults would be given an opportunity to learn various skill which they can then use to earn a living and so get themselves out of the cycle of poverty in which many youths and adults are caught up” said Pandit Suresh Sugrim, President of the New Jersey Arya Samaj, who is spearheading the project. He embraces the philosophy of teaching a man to fish rather than providing him a fish; giving a handout is a temporary solution.
The Guyana project coordinator, Pandit Kamal Dhanessar added, “One of our objectives is to reach out to the community where we have single parents and school dropouts, so that by having this centre ready, we can begin the skills training of all these people who are not empowered”.
The aim of the mission is to empower people for social and economic well being.
“We are hoping that this whole project, upon completion by March 2014, will become a hub of activities, and will be of great social and economic benefit for Region Six and other community”, Pandit Dhanessar stated. He added that people outside of Region Six will also be accommodated in the dormitories that will be built later on.
Pandit Sugrim told Indo Caribbean World that the establishment of the Humanitarian Mission Village came about after considering the high rate of school dropouts, teenage pregnancies, gender-based violence, rape, suicide, and poverty in many rural areas in Guyana. He added that in addressing these social challenges, it is the Mission’s firm belief that the only way to break the vicious cycle of poverty is through empowerment and education, equipping individuals to be self sufficient.
Phase 1 and 2 are estimated to cost US$150,000 of which US$100,000 has already been raised. A concert, hosted by Hindu Organizations of Greater Toronto, will be held on February 2, 2013 at the Vedic Cultural Centre, 4345-14th Avenue, Markham to generate funds to support this noble project and to raise awareness of the project. Many young artistes from New Jersey and Toronto would be show casing their talent in singing, dancing and music. They promise a very exciting and heart-warming variety show in this winter season. For more information please call Adit at 647-866-1926 or Dave at 416-918-4038.
 
GOPIO Community Service and Special Awards recipients

Ishwar Ramlutchman - S/Africa

Prof Ajay Rane - Australia

Dr Anil Mehta - Netherlands

Sunny Augustine - Dubai

Vasu Chanchlani - Canada

George Subraj - USA

Murray Bullock - SVG

Dr A. Didar - India

Manpreet K Singh - Australia

Ashok Rao - USA
Seven persons have received GOPIO's Community Service Awards at its annual banquet on January 6, 2013, in Kochi, Kerala, India. In addition, four pesons have received special recognitions.
The Community Service Awards recipients:
Murray Bullock - St Vincent & Grenadines (SVG)
Murray Bullock is chairman of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) National Lotteries Authority and chairman of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) National Development Foundation.
George Subraj - USA
George Subraj, born in Guyana and resides in New York, is CEO of Zara Realty Holdings based in New York. He is dedicated to supporting diverse community projects in USA and Guyana, including medical equipment and services to the needy.
Dr Anil K. Mehta - Netherlands
Dr. Anil Mehta helps people of Indian origin in the Netherlands who, for last thirty years without proper stay-permit or health insurance, are referred through Gurudwaras and ISKCON temples. He is their only medical shelter.
Prof. Ajay Rane - Australia
Prof. Ajay Rane is former Chairman and current Honorary Treasurer of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He serves on the Board of the Australian Gynaecological Endoscopy Society (AGES) and is on the Urogynaecology committee of the apex organisation for Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
Sunny Augustine - Dubai
Sunny Augustine is Managing Director of White Sands Tours and Travel, a leading tour and holiday company in Dubai, and has been in the forefront of a historic humanitarian task. In 1991, during the Gulf war, when thousands of hapless expatriates were trapped in the war zone, he played a key role in their evacuation from Saudi Arabia to the safety of their respective countries.
Vasu Chanchlani - Canada
Vasu Chanchlani is a serial entrepreneur and visionary philanthropist supporting projects having transformational impact. He started six successful technology ventures with world class strategic investors. He is actively engaged with his philanthropic projects, and contributes enormously for planned, sustainable and positive impact. He co-founded Canada India Foundation (CIF) for deepening engagement between Canada and India using public policy advocacy platform.
Ishwar Ramlutchman - South Africa
Ishwar Ramlutchman is CEO of AC Industrial Sales & Services. He is a business entrepreneur and worked for procurement and implementation of water and sanitation infrastructure projects for local government. He upholds corporate social responsibility by building schools, feeding and providing health facilities for the poor and disadvantaged in Kwa Zulu Natal.
Special Recognition Award Recipients:
Dr A. Didar Singh - India
Dr Alwyn Didar Singh is Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). A former civil servant, he recently served as Secretary to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs where he was very supportive on issues of interest and concern of the Indian Diaspora, in particular GOPIO's initiatives on Passport Surrender and Kolkata Memorial.
Manpreet Kaur Singh - Australia
Manpreet Kaur Singh is a well established and prominent journalist in print, broadcast and online media for over 23 years. She developed reference tool on preservation of history of Indian migration to Australia prescribed by Education Services Australia and used by high school students. She worked for community issues/social causes, alongside police and community organizations, for the welfare of Indian Australians
Ashok Rao - USA
Ashok Rao is an entrepreneur with five successful high technology start-ups and one of the first Indian Americans to take a company public on NASDAQ. He is a professional, keynote speaker at numerous Global Conferences, TIE Retreats and Chapters, as well as Rice University and Franklin Pierce University. He is a motivational speaker for Fortune 500 companies and various trade organizations. He is Chairman of TIE Global Board of Trustees, the world's largest organization of entrepreneurs.
Dr. Awtar Singh (Posthumously) - USA
Chair, Board of Trustees, Indian American Heritage Foundation, recognizing and rewarding qualified high school students in Southern California; Instituted Perpetual Fellowship at University of California, Berkeley, covering out-of-state tuition and fees, books, and living expenses. Instituted Awtar and Teji Singh Scholarship Fund at University of Colorado.
 
 
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