Taking the Boy out of Southend
Chutzpah. Brass neck. General cockiness.
When John was 12 years old, his French teacher arranged a student exchange programme with a school in Givors, a commune near Lyon, France. He enjoyed geography, so naturally this experience propelled his interest in travel to other countries.
By the time John started working in London, he realized that if he wanted to accomplish his goals in life, he would need to figure out a way to leave Southend-on-Sea. This town was not going to give him the lifestyle and rewards that he truly longed for, and so the career move to Geneva, Switzerland, became an ideal way to begin his journey. After a few years in Switzerland, his hopes came to fruition. John was finally able to escape the traditional British class distinction between working and upper class (old school tie).
The knowledge John obtained working in Switzerland gave him self-confidence and the business Moxie. From there, he never looked back. He has had a very good life, travelled the world and raised a great family.
About the Author
John Lawrence, born in Southend-on-Sea Essex U.K. on October 8th 1942. Raised in S-o-S, attended Hampstel Road School, Wentworth High School and the Municipal College. In 1960 he started his working career with Mory & Co. at Cunard House in London. In 1962 after two years with them and in order to improve his working knowledge, learn French and increase his opportunity to better himself, he moved to Geneva, Switzerland and took up a position with Somatra SA.
Once he was fluent in French, he was able to join an American company, US Rubber Overseas SA and stayed with them in Geneva until 1966. At which time they changed the corporate name to Uniroyal Inc. and decided to transfer John to Edinburgh, Scotland as they were opening a new export sales department at their factory. In 1968 when the export sales division was in full operation, John was transferred to the International office in Passaic, New Jersey USA to work in a similar position. After spending nearly 3 years in the USA, John then accepted a position as Regional Representative in Singapore and Hong Kong, to cover S.E. Asia. John left Uniroyal in 1974 and took a new job with an Oilfield Supply. He spend the next 22 years working throughout S.E. Asia in the oil and gas business.
In August 1996 John formed Abumas International, the founding company for the Abumas Group, he provided the management and business skills necessary to guide the group of companies through international business contracts focused in South East Asia mainly in Indonesia and Singapore. John spent 40 years in S.E. Asia and developed extensive business alliances with many major manufacturers of oil and gas equipment throughout the USA and Europe.
He and his family had a very good relations with the local and expatriate community. John retired in 2011 and left his son, Jason, to run the business.