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Written by BRDuran   
Sunday, 22 February 2009 15:08

Hi, 

My name is Bernardo Ramos Duran and I'm not the handsome devil on the picture above, I'm way better looking. From left to right: Bernardo, Nancy, and Leslie.I'm the one on the red cap with my friends Leslie and Nancy on Sechelt, BC.

I was born in the small town of Banaguises, Matanzas, Cuba. I can't believe they have it on Google Earth all covered by clouds mostly, but nevertheless. The population in 1963 was around 1000 only, well 1001 with my arrival. I lived in Banaguises until I was 11 years old, then off to Havana for another 12 years, great part of which I spent it living in San Francisco de Paula where Ernest Hemingway's “La Finca Vigia” is located, it's just a couple of blocks from where I lived and my brother still lives, now a Museum.

At the age of 23 with a College Degree in Metallurgy and 2 ½ years of military experience I earned a scholarship to the Polytechnic Institute of Leningrad I. Kalinin, today The University of St. Petersburg, Russia. I lived in St. Petersburg for around 5 years, back then called Leningrad (I still love to call it by that name. Leningrad is considered by many as the second Venice because of the so many canals, but I always refer to it as the first Leningrad) and after obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgy of Ferrous Metal I headed back for Cuba, only this time I had Canada in mind. I stayed at the airport of Gander, Newfoundland on November 11/1992 (Remembrance Day).

A couple of years in St. John's, Newfoundland and another two in Ottawa for a grand total of almost 10 years in severe winter weather made me realize again from where I was. So in 1996 I decided to head west looking for greener pastures, well more like warmer weather, and that's how I ended up here in Richmond, British Columbia.

While in Ottawa  I finished an Electronics Engineering Technician Diploma at Algonquin College.

On the 25th of April of 1999 after a few part time jobs and working on three of them at the same time, none of which I liked, I decided to join the Self-Employment Equity Program in Vancouver, near Richards and Robson streets, to learn how to operate my own business.

My idea was to provide mobile computer service with the knowledge I had gained in a couple of jobs and a college diploma. Primarily I wanted to cater to the residential sector, so I named the business Residential Computer Services (RCS).

I operated the business from my bedroom for almost 7 years, and despite my efforts I lost money every single year without seeing the day that I would pay it back. I changed the name of the business to Teknician Solutions to make it sound more like a bigger business, and because I also own the domain www.teknician.com ..but that only earned me a visit from the Provintial Sales Tax (PST) inquiring about how could a "big" business with such a great website wasn't sending in any money to them. They couldn't believe how bad things were.

The key lies on the fact that I grew up on communist Cuba, and we didn't have any businesses back home. I grew up with no concept of attaining money or wealth, nor how or why to attain it. All the work was done for the prosperity of the community, through volunteer work mostly. And all the jobs were handed down by the state.

101-8091 Granville Ave, Richmond BCIn 2006 I had a personal debt of more than $55,000 with Banks and Credit Cards and still I managed to keep an immaculate credit rating. The interest alone on that debt was more than $500/month and I wasn't even making that kind of money from the business. I was contemplating to declare personal bankruptcy when I thought, why not spend the last remains of my loans on a commercial site, after all, failure seemed imminent. And so I did, in November 2006 I leased a small commercial place on 101-8091 Granville Ave, Richmond; right between Buswell and  No.3 Road. You might be able to see it when you're driving by, is in the same building as Panda Learning Center.

The business remains a one man operation, nothing big nothing fancy, around the same concept I had at the begining - Mobile Computer Service, only now we also have a place to where you can take your computers, and we work a lot with small businesses. The debt however is more than $50,000 paid as of September the 18th 2009, and now that I can see the end I can relax a bit and have a hobby.

A hobby, everybody's got one. And mine is to play the Lotto 6/49 every now and then but to win, leaving less and less room for just hoping. Joing this group, we'll have a better chance together. Just about every jackpot is won by groups not individuals.

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Please consider this a work in progress. As I feel like writing I might add more or expand more, and if you have any questions feel free to write using the contact form on this website.

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Thank you,

Bernardo Ramos Duran

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 19:10
 

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