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Taj Charania
Academic Field:
Civil Engineering
Years at RTC:
Town of origin:
Mbale, Uganda
Recent Residence:
London, England
Life after RTC:
By the time I joined RTC during 1963/64, after completing the HSC in Mbale, Uganda, it was already the University College, Nairobi offering East African degrees. Being unsure of its status in the future on the World stage, I only stayed for a year before proceeding to UK to study Civil Engineering. How wrong I was about its status! It was not easy to study for this London University degree as an external student

My fond memory of RTC is the excitement of waiting and watching ‘Bonanza’ on the TV once a week, although for some reason the best sit in the TV lounge was always occupied by Aziz Bhaloo and I dare not challenge him! Maybe it was because he had a ‘double’ acting in Bonanza? Other fond memories are the lovely accommodation in the new Hall 4 and the delicious food, although in the first few weeks for some strange reason the food often landed on my head, later to be told that it was due to the gravitational force of the infamous ‘initiation ceremony’!!

Student life in UK for me was made more difficult by the fact that I had to work my way through education although it certainly had long term benefits since by the time I qualified, I already had a lot of practical knowledge & experience. My first job was with Wimpey when I offered to work for them for free – they did however start me up on £6.00/wk and sent me on a dam project in Wales

All my life I have worked with Civil Engineering & Building Contractors including Wimpey, Fitzpatrick, Tarmac, Limmer & Trinidad, etc; but my most formidable years were with Tilbury Construction which later became Tilbury Douglas and now trades as Interserve. I worked my way through from being a setting out engineer to becoming the CEO over a 13yr period. For my sins, when it was time for me to sit behind the Financial Times and just think, I had an itch to own my own company and so I left my lucrative position and bought a company in the mid-eighties which was followed by a long period of deep recession and between 1993 & 1999 I ended up being in Uganda to work for an Anglo/Irish/German company

I have been back in the UK ever since working for contractors and developers but for the last 7 years I have my own consultancy practice which I am thoroughly enjoying in my old age, mainly providing an all-round service to the Eastern Europeans Contractors

This will be my first RTC re-union and I am very much looking forward to finding out what has faded more; my eye-sight or my memory! Fortunately Shamim, my wife of 45 years will be with me and she was a frequent visitor of RTC events when we were courting then

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