Henry Chan Chow (5th Nov 1925- 25th Dec 2006)
Henry Chan Chow was born on November 5th, 1925 in his father’s shop in St. James, Trinidad. His father was an immigrant from China and his mother was a Trinidadian of Chinese descent. As a child, he attended Nelson Street Boys’ RC School and won a College Exhibition scholarship to attend St. Mary’s College. After completing his secondary education, he accepted a teaching post in Chaguanas and moved there.
At age 32, Chan Chow decided to leave for Canada to read for his Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree at the University of British Columbia, majoring in mathematics and minoring in nuclear physics. At that time, the latest research in mathematics and physics was published by Russian and German scientists who had been involved in rocket research during and after World War II, so he had to learn these languages in order to facilitate his studies.
After graduating in Vancouver, Chan Chow returned to Trinidad after deciding not to accept his immigration residency for Canada, and resumed teaching at Presentation College, Chaguanas where he taught Additional Mathematics and Advanced Level Mathematics. Although he worked briefly in the petroleum sector, he realised that teaching was his true calling, and he sacrificed a much higher salary to continue nurturing students. He mentored many Open Scholarship winners including Jerningham Gold Medal and President’s Medal winners. His past students have since become successful in engineering, medicine, mathematics, actuarial science, education and industry. Near the end of his career, he was made Vice Principal of Presentation College, Chaguanas and served in this post until retirement in 1985.
In 1998, Mr Chan Chow was honoured for his contribution to education by the Rotary Club. This dedicated educator passed away on December 25th, 2006. He touched many lives through his teaching and his encouraging excellence in students.