For Zachary, what your dad meant to me...

Sept 2001

Introduction Who Am I

My reasons for writing this to you

Hi there Zachary,

Before I begin I just want to let you know that this is not going to be sad. It is hopefully going to to give you an insight into what your father meant to me. I want this to be a positive experience for you, even if you only understand 1% of my feelings for him, that will be enough for me.

Also I don’t want you to think I am writing these things just because he isnt with us anymore.

These things that I am about to tell you…well everyone around me knows about them e.g. my mum, Jeff my partner, my brother, my neighbour, even work collegues… its just I havent told you about them – its that simple really.

This tells you a bit about me Zachary,

I am an Australian living in London, with Jeff who is also an Aussie.

We have been in London for the last 5 years and don’t know where we will be in the years to come… maybe Australia, maybe London – who knows. At the moment we are enjoying Europe and our work in London.

I am a computer programmer and Jeff is an Architect. I will tell you a bit more about my family later on…

This is me at Sydney Harbour

When I worked for your dad When I first met your dad

I worked for your dad for about 18 months

 From about September 1997 – April 1999

So as you can see I only really knew him for 18 months yet he really changed my professional life.

Its amazing that one person can do that for another… he really bought out the best in me.

No one has ever taken the time to do that in the past and I can only hope that my future bosses can be like your Dad.

I was working for NatWest Markets in London. Rumours were spreading that this really big Hawaiian guy was taking over our area and was making his way to talk to us all. So initially I had this scary image of this new person… I didn’t know what to think. Then I finally met him, I thought where is his high powered business suit? Where is his pompous nature? Well, he was none of that – he was a cool, casually dressed and serious about his work. He really wanted to make a difference to where we worked. He listened to all of us, and what we thought. He told us that we should make decisions together. I felt like this was the first time a boss of mine was interested in what I thought…. So I thought “Wow this guy is really cool”.

Meetings My work with your Dad

Most meetings with your Dad were normal but there were a few occasions when all 70 of us were put to the test.

Out of the blue he would ask us to answer questions. He made me get up once and answer a question that I really didn’t know the answer to – I felt quite embarassed, I attempted to bumble my way through it… he did save me and answer it for me.

After we got to know him we realised that he wasn’t there to embarrass us – he was trying to make us think about what we were doing. He was trying to pull out the best in all of us.

Another funny thing your Dad did in meetings was to make analagies… e.g. he told once that something was like punching a shark in the face. Well we all laughed and then forgot about the topic.

Your Dad always talked about work and how important it is, but its no way near as important as your family. He always told us about your mum and how much he loved her.

Now you could be saying to yourself why have I put this in the meeting section…. Well that is when he would talk about his family – he would tell all 70 of us about love and how important your mum was to him. It was then that I realised that he was really an emotional guy… he didn’t care when was the right time to say certain things, he spoke from the heart.

“Work is a trade… you come in everyday and work for me and in return I will give you a skill set that you want.”

 These were your Dads famous words… he never wanted us just to come in and do our hours – he wanted us to get the most out of what we were doing, enjoy it, get the best skills. In my opinion, as a programmer this is one of the most important things to have i.e. the latest and greatest skills.

Your Dad made that happen for all of us. Working with your Dad was for me the best part of being with your Dad – it was amazing… it’s a pity I was a bit shy to get to know him better on a social level…

I thought wouldn’t it be great if I had him and your mum over for dinner. But I thought it wasn’t a professional thing to do…

Anyway back to the work…. You may not understand all of it but its important for me to tell you the details and who knows when you are older you may be an IT professional and therefore understand it.

My first experience was with Oracle and the Web. Your Dad gave Chris and I one week to get a website of an Oracle database up and running. This to me meant learning new skills – so I’d go home at night and study up so that the next day I could be productive and not waist time. Well we worked hard in that week and when we finished we called your Dad over and said “what do you think” and he said “WOW!!! This is great work guys” he totally embarrassed both Chris and myself and then called over all the other guys he worked with.

That was your Dad…all heart.

He then got enough courage to give us something a bit more complex. It took Chris and I 1 month to create another Oracle Web Application that was used by your Dads Managers…and again he thought it was great.

One more thing… your Dad worked hard – boy did he work hard. He was always in by around 6am and made sure he answered all his emails and did all of his administration.

He was super efficient.

His Gifts to us My best work experience

He was a generous guy…he didn’t need to do all of these things, but he did and that’s what made him so special.

All of us thought he was special.

 • Palm Pilots Can you believe he organised for each one of us to have a Palm Pilot, he said it was thankyou for all the work we had done but also we were to use that for timekeeping. In your time Palm Pilots will probably be out of date – but in my time they were the latest gizmo that we all wanted. In fact I still have mine today and use it extensively.

 • Books on Software design He gave everyone a book on how to survive bad software design – or something like that – I tried reading it but it was pretty deep stuff about software design. When he first handed them out we all looked at each other and thought what a “Rich” present…

• Hawaiian Chocolate Yum Yum – he must have bought in about 50 boxes of this stuff

 • Book on Finance I asked him what book I should read to get a brief understanding of the Money Markets and he gave me his guide.

One day I suggested to your Dad that I thought we could do something in a better way. He made me do an Analysis to convince him that it was a good idea. I actually didn’t think it would go any where.

He called me into his office and said he agreed with my proposal, I have 3 months to finish it and I could have who I wanted to work on the team, but I had to take his 2 Personal Assistance (Jamie and Brenda) and one other former Assistance (Paula) to teach them and also allow skills transfer. So I agreed. Like I said before he wanted all of us to have the skills.

Well this was my biggest project with your Dad - the PMO web application. He made me work my butt off.. I made a trade with him… I would only charge him 40 hours per week (as I was a contractor) and in return he would get the product delivered on time and with the architecture that I would like – bascially I only wanted to work like mad if he allowed me the skills that I wanted. So we agreed.

I spent my weekends reading like mad and experimenting so that when I came in on Monday I knew what I was talking about. They were tough times but now I know the best times.

My skills I use today, some 2 years later, are those skills that your Dad gave me. I am far better off now professionally also in money terms as well and I really enjoy what I do.


Techo Guru After our work together

I will never forget all the gadgets he had in his office – he had the latest in Music, speakers, Palm Pilots, Digital Camera etc…


He always had the best gadgets and he would always be happy to show us how they worked.

After BankersTrust was taken over by Deutsche Bank quite a lot of us decided to leave… including your Dad.

I kept in touch with your Dad only via Email.

A couple of weeks ago I asked how you and your Mum were and he sent me the most amazing photo of all 3 of you in front of your huge house. It looks amazing, the all American dream, beautiful wife, successful husband, new baby, new house and great car.

A young American kid of Chinese/Hawaiian origin studies hard, works hard, marries his dream wife, then his pride and joy was born… that’s you!

Zachary you can be proud of your Dad. You and your mum are always welcome in our home – and I mean that. It would be the least I could do for your amazing Father.

The sadness... what do I say

I don’t want to say too much about the sadness but I think its important you know how we feel.

I knew your Dad was working for Cantor and someone told me they were in the WTC. I felt sick. I needed to know where he was, what floor he was on so that it couldn’t be true.

The whole weekend I spent watching CNN and reading all the newspapers. I didn’t want to bother your mum as I knew she was going through enough as it was. But the more I investigated the more upset I got.

Then the dreaded email from your mum… it was closure.

A week later Mohamed, a collegue at work said I heard you lost a friend in the WTC – how terrible.

He asked who he was and I said an Amazingly Inspirational Boss. And before I continued Mohamed said to me “it wasn’t that Hawaiian guy you thought the world of?”

Well that sums it up about your Dad a truly inspiring person who always drew out the best in people.

He will be missed.

Some more pictures of me and my family
 My Brother Tony
My Mum Mica

My Neice Lauren


My sister in law - Jocelyne and Alex my nephew

Jeffs beautiful cousins below... Pete Margie Lizzy and Sophie

My Godson Lars and my aunty Dragica

Jeffs Family