|Ernest Mills - Winton Senior School 1954-57
(by popular request!)
|I left school at end of term, 1957 and instead of enjoying my six (6) week school vacation, was sent directly to work at Redman's shop in Eccles.
On November 5th of the same year, I started as an apprentice at Metropolitan Vickers, in Trafford Park. (later A.E.I Ltd, later Kratos Ltd) and after being indentured a year later, came out of my time in the Radar department on 31st August 1963. During this time I used the day release option offered to us and attended Worsley, and Salford Technical Colleges. I worked on Radar for about a year then my need to wonder simply got the better of me and I did not finish my exams. Stupid? yea! I suppose so.
In August, 1964 I emigrated to South Africa and got a job working as an instrument technician at SAPPI, a paper company located in Springs, Transvaal. Six (6) months later my fiancée joined me and we got married on the 13th February 1965. I quit that job and moved to Johannesburg to accept a position with EMI.(Pty) Ltd. I was promoted to Production Manager but this was short lived as the wonder lust kicked in again.
|In March 1967, we returned to England on the Cape Town Castle, a passenger/mail ship out of Cape town.
Three weeks later we were stood in the custom line at Southampton. I looked at my wife Fran, who was holding our 13 month old son Neil, and
saw in her eyes that we did not really want to be where we were! ... so back to AEI Ltd. (later Kratos Ltd.)
working on the testing and installation of analytical instrumentation, namely Mass Spectrometers and Electron Microscopes. Our second son,
Robin was born April 1968.
Yea! by August 1969 I was living in Ottawa, Canada after accepting a job transfer with Kratos Inc. Fran came over 3 months later trundling along with all her bags and two toddlers. Canada is a really beautiful country. I was a service engineer serving all the Americas. The furthest south I got was installing a heavy water analyzer at the Atomic Energy Commission in Buenos Aires.
|What do I enjoy doing?|
|This job turned out terrible. I was away 50 weeks of the year, flying out Monday mornings and returning Friday nights, every year until I quit. I was offered a position at SEMCO instruments, in Ottawa running the Mass Spectrometer division and was made Production Manager of the plant until the company went bump! I was laid off in July 1977.|
|Well you have to feed your family so back to Kratos Inc.! I was offered the North American Service Managers job and moved to New York, USA. Fran stayed behind again to sell the house and eventually joined me in Monsey, NY in October 1977. This job took me to the position of North American Service Director and things were starting to look up until, in October 1986, quote " due to the economic downturn of the company..." I got laid off again. Indeed, the company fell of the edge of Wall Street and disappeared within the year. Uhmm! there will no be going back there :)|
|Nine (9) months out of work. Luckily the kids were out of the nest. Neil was in the US Marines and Robin was at Boston University. I was offered a post at New York State Dept. of Health, in Albany as a research scientist. Again, Fran stayed behind to sell the house and tidy up. This took about 4 months. Yea! I know, she's a good woman eh! I was responsible for the labs Mass Spectrometers, GC's and other scientific instrumentation, and for the development, design and building of ionization sources, inlet systems and other peripheral devices, which I used for modifying the mass spectrometers, enabling them to be used to accurately analyze the environmental and clinical samples in specialized contracts.|
|The 12th July 2007 was my last day at work and we have finally retired. No, I don't want a part time job. After 50 years of working I now want to play. :) We sold our house in Saratoga County, New York and bought a nice two bedroom Hacienda in Sun City West, Arizona. This took years of planning and a few visits to boot, but what a fantastic place to retire. No snow and no ice to shift. We are in the valley of the sun in an Adult Country Club Community. There are 30,000 people in this village. We have 4 recreation centers, 7 golf courses and over 200 clubs. I took up Lawn Bowling and play as much as possible and joined the Wood Shop where I make furniture, turn wooden bowls on a lathe and...well generally enjoy myself. There are over 340 days of sun per year. Anyone interested in looking where we are goto http://www.rcscw.com/ or http://www.scwclubs.com/|