Guyana Then And Now

About

I’ve put together this blog for chronicling some of the activities and memories from the days of British Guiana forward to present day Guyana.

Several others have also made excellent contributions:
John and Pauline Grimshaw
Peter Halder
Philip Jardim
Keith Gordon
Gwen
Dmitri Allicock

The more the merrier, so if you would like to write, or add pictures, or know someone, just drop me a line in the comments.

Early Days British Guiana
Watooka

86 Comments »

  1. I too lived in Watooka for a couple of years and was really interested in your pictures and comments. I was born 1951 so you are not too much younger than me and must have been around about the same time. We left when I was 10. My Dad worked for a British company on a contract with Demba. I think I may remember one of your sisters?
    ___________________________________

    BobW (Blast from the past, couldn’t be better, Pauline I’ve sent you an email under seperate cover)

    Comment by Pauline Grimshaw — August 5, 2008 @ 2:02 pm | Reply

    • Hello,

      I recently viewed some pictures of the launching of the R.H.Carr and at the extreme right there is a gentleman who seems to be of African descent. Folklore has it that my grandfather went to England to bring back the R.H.Carr and I wonder if the person in the photograph is he. His name was John Kennedy Peazer and worked as the chief engineer on the R.H.Carr. He died in 1945.

      Comment by Augustus Rodney — August 11, 2010 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

      • I have only recently come across this site whilst researching the Dathorne family. I did not know that John Peazer served as engineering office on the RH Carr, but you are confusing father and son. John Kennedy was the son of John Osborne Peazer, my maternal grandfather, who died in 1945. As to the picture, I am unsure as to whether it is a photo of John Osborne but, John had come to study in England in the early 20th century. He returned to Guyana in 1909.

        Comment by Michael Dathorne — August 18, 2015 @ 11:37 am

  2. Hi Bob,

    We have visited each other few occasions and started to go through some of the beautiful photos here and I have to say your site has lots of beautiful pictures and full of information and tips. I would like to add your blog to my blogroll so that we can visit each other more often.
    _______________________________________

    BobW (Chrisy, I’ve definitely been lurking on your blog. It’s fun to get a perspective from the other side of the world.)

    Comment by visuallens — October 26, 2008 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  3. Happy New Year, Bob!

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — January 1, 2009 @ 12:36 pm | Reply

  4. Hi Bob,

    I understood that you grew up in British Guyana. My father , native German, lived there in the late 50’s and worked for Fogarty Ltd. He died a few days ago. I found a love letter from his former fiancee and a recent letter to find out her current address. Even if she is not my mother I would love to contact her about his death.

    Can you help me searching for her?

    If yes, I would be very delighted!

    Thank you so much

    Sabine from Germany.
    ________________________________

    BobW (Sabine,Your father and I might have crossed paths when I was but a boy. I feel for your quest of your fathers roots and will help in any way I can, but suspect there is not much I can do. Maybe some other Fogarty’s employees may cross this site in time and can get hooked up with you.

    One of the things you might do is check out another of my sites devoted to old time Guyana http://watookacoffeeshop.wordpress.com/. Maybe some of the group can be of some help?

    Here is an old picture of Fogarty’s from one of my Guyana buddies.)

    Comment by sabine — June 11, 2009 @ 9:14 am | Reply

  5. Unfortunately, I didn’t know any Fogarty employees, as the company had left Mackenzie before we arrived. They had started a business making hollow tile bricks out of clay from the bauxite mines. Our first house on Riverside Drive was one of five DEMBA staff houses built from Fogarty brick.

    Dad

    Comment by Evan & Katy — June 11, 2009 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  6. Hi,

    I’ve been trying to find a wonderful unusual spirited photo to use as the image for a postcard that my group makes for the annual Lake Superior Day (thrid Sunday every July). Stumbled on your web site and am DELIGHTED with your shot of the boy jumpinginto Sinclair Cove. PERFECT!

    I print about 1,500 copies of a free postcard that we offer at no charge to those who are holding events for the public on that day. Can we use your image? If so, what text would you like me to print on the card back to credit you?

    THANKS A LOT!
    Lissa
    lakesuperiorday@northland.edu

    Comment by Lissa — June 15, 2009 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  7. Hi Bob,
    I recall that the name of daughter of the Wong family that lived next to the Crescent Cinema. Her name was Celina Wong. She got married to Carl Harewood. There was also an Evan Wong motorboat accessories store on High Street not far from Radio Demerara. When I was in Ottawa (1980-1983), I lived at 96 Howick Street, Rockliffe Park. I am amazed that as a Guyanese, I never met you. I had thought I had met all Guyanese in Ottawa. My sister-in-law Patricia Small ( once married to Leslie Lui- Hing) and her family live in Ottawa. You suggested that perhaps my Christianburg/Wismar/Mackenzie short tales may be published on a website. Since I lack the technological skills to do it, would you be so kind as to send me your e-mail address if you don’t mind and I will send you the texts. You can then put them on the website. Maybe visitors to the site would enjoy reading them and have a good laugh since they are all funny. You have my e-mail address : peterhalder@hotmail.com
    Sincerely
    Peter

    Comment by Peter Halder — September 10, 2009 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  8. Great archives on Mackenzie. Apparently an Evan Wong, J.H. Evan Wong (originally Wong Yan – Sau) held large tracks of land (land grants) on the Demerara River which proved invaluable for bauxite. (ref. Walter Rodney – A History of the Guyanese Working People, 1881 – 1905; and Cecil Clamenti – The Chinese of British Guiana (Georgetown 1915)).
    Apparently many of the bauxite mines on the Demerara River were on land grants which were held by J.H. Evan Wong. He subsequently received significant payments for these land grants. This family apparently had close relations with Alcan and Arvida.

    Are you by any chance part of this family or is it merely a coincidence.

    Bernard Gouveia,
    Spain
    _________________________

    BobW (Yup, I’m part of the family that you refer to but exactly how all those ancestors fit in is still not clear to me)

    Comment by bernard gouveia — September 18, 2009 @ 7:52 am | Reply

    • I am trying to locate the architect/planner, Bernie Gouveia, who worked at the caribbean Development Bank and the World Bank. Can anyone help me?
      Tony Gibbs

      Comment by Tony Gibbs — February 4, 2017 @ 9:01 pm | Reply

  9. I am wondering who owns the pictures taken at in and around McKenzie, I would like permission to use the picture of the Grumman for my upcoming Memior, I travelled in that aircraft to Rupununi with Art Williams in the fifties but we were not fortunate enough to get pictures. I would appreciate this gesture of good will so kindly awaiting your reply.
    Helena Martin (DaSilva)
    _________________________

    BobW (Helena, I’ve sent you an email. Where the photo is not mine I’ve shown the owner in the caption)

    Comment by Helena Martin (DaSilva) — September 23, 2009 @ 7:24 am | Reply

  10. Hi Bob I am trying to find your brother, my old MHS buddy Scott Wong. Kindly give him my email address. Your site was sent to me by another old MHS buddy. Great stuff, brings back loads of memories. Especially those camping trips that myself, Scott and others used to make in the jungle.
    _________________________

    BobW (Will do)

    Comment by Donald A Miggins [ Merchant] — September 27, 2009 @ 7:53 pm | Reply

  11. Sir Hello there Great to see these old pics of my home town I have recently been taking a lot of pics and posting them on facebook of Linden as itis today and would very much like to use some of your pics to do side by side comparisons of what you have and what it is today if it is ok with you, you can check my pics out on Facebook name: Allan Bakker I promise to acknowledge your pics as your work and your website as well. There seems to be an interest in Lnden and what has been going on here by those ut of the country and I just thought that it would be a good idea to d a then and now you your blessings and consent on this. Thanks for your reply.
    Sincerely
    Allan Bakker
    _____________________________________

    BobW (Allan, Sharing is good, email in the mail)

    Comment by Allan Bakker — October 5, 2009 @ 1:44 pm | Reply

  12. I was born at Mackenzie Hospital and complete my education at Mackenzie Shool in 1954, but later leave for Georgetown to be trained as Motor Engineer with the Rootes Group. I later return to Mackenzie to commission the first Fire Engine to use at Mackenzie in 1957.

    If left Guyana the same to join the Rootes motor Group in England, my early education at Mackenzie has help to accomplish many things, Flght Simulator Specialist in Royal Air Force where I served 12 years, a Brain and Body Scanner Specialist with EMI Medical Department and worked many hospitals around the world.

    I personally have alot to be thankful for my early upbring at Mackenzie which has given me a solid foundation to build a successful career in England.

    My father was James Thomas General Foreman for the exploration DEPARTMENT THAT CARRYOUT THE DRILLING TO LOCATE THE BAUXITE.

    To look at those photographs really brough back memories of my boyhood day, many Thanks.

    By the way Iam now a Professional Toastmaster and a Member of the Federation OF Professional Toastmasters in England.
    Keep up the good.
    Kind Regards. Derrick B Thomas

    Comment by Derrick B Thomas — October 22, 2009 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  13. Hi

    I am interested to read the story about the R.H. Carr built in 1927 on the River Dee near Liverpool. I would be interested in contacting Pauline Grimshaw to discuss how I can help promote their preservation campaign for the ship on my Transport Britain website and also find out more about their plans. Thanks.

    Can you put me in touch with them please? Thanks.

    Alex
    ______________________________________

    BobW Will do.

    Comment by Alex Naughton — April 17, 2010 @ 7:57 pm | Reply

  14. There are a few stories about Guiana, written by A. Hyatt Verrill, circ. 1920 on my blog. Some are historical, and some are fictional. Here is a link to Glimpses
    http://stillwoods.blogspot.com/2010/01/glimpses-of-guiana-wilderness-1918.html
    and one to a Verrill Index.
    http://stillwoods.blogspot.com/2010/01/ahverrill-his-story-so-far.html
    Doug Frizzle

    Comment by stillwaterwoods — June 25, 2011 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  15. Hello
    My Grandfather was Charles Yong Hing (owner of C. Yong Hing Supermarket in Georgetown). I recently came across a picture of the supermarket on Flikr and inquired as to where I could possibly get other pictures of the Supermarket as well as pictures of Bamboo Gardens (the restaurant also owned by my Grandfather). I was directed to try and post something here and perhaps someone would see this and be able to help me.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated as we cannot seem to find any pictures of either one of the properties mentioned.

    Comment by Kim — August 11, 2011 @ 2:26 am | Reply

    • Hi Kim
      I went to School with Pamela and Patricia Yong Hing at the Ursuline Convent in Georgetown! Are you a relative? We ordered Chinese food many times from your Grandad’s Restaurant. It was the best. As well as the grocery store! My maiden name was Johnson! I live in California. I see the above date, quite old! I hope you can still get this! Oh by the way if either of those ladies are still around we were Nora and Jean Johnson.
      Have a good evening!

      Comment by Nora Kawalec (Johnson) — November 18, 2016 @ 4:04 am | Reply

  16. Hello

    Just came across your very interesting site. I wonder if any one can help me trace my family the surname is Croal, my grandfather was James Augustus Croal born in 1895 in Georgetown Guyana. We believe his fathers name was Adallon and he was a carpenter but also there were printers in the family. He came to England when he was about 15 worked as a merchant seaman and married and stayed in England but never really spoke about his life in Guyana. I am researching my family tree and would be so happy if we could find family in Guyana or information about my grandfather and his life before he arrived in England . Anything would be very much appreciated

    Comment by Annette Wentworth — September 1, 2011 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

  17. I don’t know if it will be of any help but there is a Croal Street in Georgetown, Guyana between South Road (north) and Brickdam (south). There also used to be a Croal’s Drug Store at Norton and John Streets, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown. You may also check the Guyana Telephone Directory to find out if there are any Croal’s listed.
    Peter Halder

    Comment by Burnett Halder — September 6, 2011 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

  18. Just came across this info. Kenneth McNicol Croal, DOB January 20, 1933, died March 21, 2011, Husband of Elsie, Father of Liesl, Christopher and Amanda. Check
    http://www.stabroeknews.com/2011/memoriams/03/23/kenneth-croal
    Peter

    Comment by Burnett Halder — September 6, 2011 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  19. Hi Annette,
    Me again. There are 19 Croals listed in the Guyana Telephone Directory. You may wish to contact them to obtain info about your family. To access the Directory go to
    http://www.gtt.co,gy/whitepages/search.php
    When the site opens, type in Croal in the Search space and the 19 names will come up on 2 pages. Hope this helps.
    Peter Halder

    Comment by Burnett Halder — September 6, 2011 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

  20. So sorry. I made a mistake in typing the Directory website address. There should be a full stop after co and not a comma.
    Peter Halder

    Comment by Burnett Halder — September 6, 2011 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

    • Fantastic thank you so much for this information will get on to it asap. If you come across anything else please let me know. So very grateful

      Kind regards

      Annette

      Comment by Annette Wentworth — September 7, 2011 @ 12:21 pm | Reply

      • Hi Annette, I’m a Croal. I don’t know if this helps but my father did tell me about some cousins he had in either Agricola or in Berbice (can’t remember exactly where in Guyana). However I’m not sure it’s the same person but possibly descendants of your Grandfather since the ages would be too great. The James Croal cousin he mentioned was a Mathematician.

        Comment by Amanda — January 2, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

  21. Hi,
    I hapened on your site when looking for an explanation of the word ‘warrup’, which I couldn’t find in Allsopp’s Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage and which I found in one of Peter Halder’s stories. Thanks Peter, and I enjoyed your tales very much, they took me back a long time!

    The question arose, I believe in the comments of a visitor to the site, of how the draglines Lord and King got their names. Might it be because these surnames belonged to people employed in the service of the government? (An E.H. King was Commissioner of the North West District and W.T. Lord – my godfather incidentally – was a surveyor, in the 1920s.) And someone might have thought the names properly majestic, as befitted these two imposing draglines.

    My father, C.H.Parsley, was a surveyor in the same period, becoming, in the 1940s at different times, District Engineer in New Amsterdam (Berbice) and West Demerara. He had an abiding interest in geology and was in the 1950s the Manager of the Columbium Corporation in British Guiana, a columbite mining operation established in the USA.

    My mother was Rita Cendrecourt, well-known in the Georgetown of the 1920s and 1930s as a soprano in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.
    I currently live in a village not far from Málaga, in Spain. It was a pleasant surprise to discover your site.
    Regards,
    Mike Parsley

    Comment by puigpantxin — September 8, 2011 @ 4:21 pm | Reply

  22. Cendrecourt was the name of a major store in GT. There was also a Cendrecourt Drug Store at Ketley and Broad Streets, GT, Charles Cendrecourt, Chemist and Druggist. And the first Policewoman in Guyana was Diane Cendrecourt, PW 1. Additional info online: There was a Henrietta Augusta Parsley (nee Cendrecourt) born December 4, 1901. Her father was Joseph Cendrecourt and mother Catherine Cendrecourt.

    Comment by Burnett Halder — September 10, 2011 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

  23. Hi,
    Henriettea Augusta Cendrecourt was my mother. She married my father, Clifford Hugh Parsley, in 1938 I think it was.
    Best wishes,
    Mike Parsley

    Comment by puigpantxin — September 11, 2011 @ 5:08 am | Reply

    • This is a few years later, but I am trying to find information on the Cendrecourt family. My mother is Margaret Knight, nee Davis, and her grandmother was Catherine Murdock Cendrecourt. I believe she had a sister named Henrietta (Hetta)? Does this sound possible?
      Thanks very much!
      Toni Knight

      Comment by Toni Knight — December 16, 2015 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  24. I miss you so much Dr. Faunda Campbell. This is Jessica Harold girl. You were my doctor so how could you just up and leave like that? I wish you would’ve told me before you just left like that. I know you’re going on to Linden Hospital Complex. You know I had one son this year and another son on the way this November. Get in touch with me wgen you can. I’m having my baby shower on October 16th. My e-mail info is: jayharold10@yahoo.com
    Wish the best for you and good luck!

    Comment by jessica harold — October 7, 2011 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

  25. I recently came across a notice in Stabroek News, 2007, of the 100th birthday of Gwen Kirkpatrick.
    Gwen was the wife of Keith Kirkpatrick, the first Postmaster General, and a friend of my father’s, Clifford Parsley, surveyor, civil and mining engineer.
    A considerable correspondence, maintained by the two men between Guyana and California, where my father ended his days, was apparently lost when Keith Kirkpatrick died.

    Does anyone know whether Gwen is still living?

    Comment by puigpantxin — October 8, 2011 @ 7:58 am | Reply

  26. I am a Guyanese living in the UK for the past 30 years. I was born in 1960 and my best time of BG was during the 60’s when it was a colony, This website brings lots of memory of the olden days. This is the best I have seen of Guyana. Keep the good work going. Wish to see more photos of old Guyana. My wife was born here and I kept telling her about the old days and how nice it was back then.

    Comment by Gary Naipaul — December 20, 2011 @ 11:35 pm | Reply

  27. Hi Kim: I am responsing to you note on Charles Yong Hing and photos of his supermarket, Bamboo Gardens Restaurant and Roof Top Night Club. During my stay in Guyana, I was a frequent visitor to the Restaurant and on Saturday to the Roof Top Night Club. I my friend Godfrey Chin has photos of both. You can contact him at his e-mail address godchin2@gmail.com Actually Yong High began his business, grocery and restaurant at Regent and Alexander Streets.long before he moved to Camp Street. I regret the lateness in applying for I only came across your note a few minutes ago.

    Comment by Peter Halder — December 21, 2011 @ 2:26 am | Reply

  28. Hi….

    My father, Robert (Bob) Devlin worked for Reynolds Aluminumn the mid to late 50’s. I lived there with my mother, Betty Devlin and three siblings. I went to school in Barbados but have many fond memories of my time spent there. Does anyone out there remember us? I would really like to hear from you.

    Penny Devlin Matheson

    penny0425@gmail.com

    Comment by Penny Devlin Matheson — January 11, 2012 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

  29. Hello,

    I have just been directed to this site by a distant family member. I’m doing some research for my mother-in-law who is trying to trace her family history. Her maiden name was Patricia Fernandes and she was born in Georgetown in the early 1930s. Her father’s name was Ovid Fernandes, and her mother’s name was Muriel (maiden name Tucker), although she was often called Dolly. Pat has sisters called Norma and Benita. Other family members were Aurelia Gumbs (a nurse), and Muriel had a sister (Christian name unknown) who married an Isaacs. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

    Julie Smith

    Comment by Julie Smith — May 2, 2012 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

    • Hi Julie,

      I know you wrote your note a long time ago and hopefully you receive this message. Dolly was my Mother’s aunt. Dolly had 2 sisters (Mavis and Gretchen) and 3 brothers (Eric, Joseph, and Steven). My Mom is Gretchen’s daughter. Her name is Carol Mitchell (nee Edwards). My Mom remembers Patricia and her sisters, Norma and Benita. We have been wondering and looking for Dolly’s family for a long time. Hope to hear from you.

      Amanda

      Comment by Amanda Mitchell — July 25, 2014 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

  30. I would like to suggest you contact Mr Chris Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer, John Fernandes Ltd., 24 Water Street, Georgetown, Guyana. Tel: 592-227-3344: Fax No. 592-226-1887. A FAX to Chris Fernandes is advised.

    Comment by Peter Halder — May 3, 2012 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Peter, I will try contacting him. Julie

      Comment by Julie Smith — May 7, 2012 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

  31. Hello ,
    Congratulations on an excellent site .
    I would like to know how to get copies of some of the photos used ( by Pauline ) so could some please email me on jonathan@dwmanagement.co.uk to discuss .
    Many thanks,
    Jonathan Phang

    Comment by Jonathan Phang — June 7, 2012 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

  32. Hello and sorry to bug you. My questions revolve around my grandfather Alexander Vitte who emigrated to the U.S. From Germany with the help of Ralph Sexton who I believe started Isthmian Airways, Inc. in the 1930’s, my grandfather was a pilot so I think he was one of his pilots for Isthmian. He was also sent to British and or French Guyana to look for gold for him and was given an account to draw from and actually brought back some gold in a bottle and a funny related journal. So they found some and he told me at the time all they had to do was poor mercury into the sand and it would draw the gold into a nugget and he had several of these. Anyway I have some cool pictures, he left me a bunch of items but I am most curious about 5 crocodile or caiman teeth that are scribed with different symbols, one looks like a family with pets, another looks like two animals one with tail up and the other down, another has a turtle, another a scorpion. There are some war clubs, a carved canoe paddle, a necklace of capybara teeth and another of nut shells, a woven container that has poison darts and so on. I can’t match up any of the items by just searching on the internet except for the dart container so I’m was hoping to get a little expert help? Anyway, I know you are probably very busy but I’m just trying to identify the stuff so I can pass it on (identified) to my kids. Any help would be appreciated and I can send pictures if you request. Thanks, Sean McArthur

    Comment by mcarthurparks.com — August 25, 2012 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

    • Hi, My grandfather, Burton Brown Barber, was also a pilot for Isthmian in the 30’s. I have many pictures and artifacts of the time. Came across your post right now while doing some internet research. I’d love to share info + picturs back and forth. Regards, Jeremy Barber
      Pls email me at jbarber@sun-tech.biz and barberfour@verizon.net becuase i’m not sure I’ll find this website again to retrive your message.

      Comment by Jeremy Barber, South Easton, Massachusetts, USA — December 21, 2013 @ 6:14 pm | Reply

      • Jeremy, I sent you a couple of emails so you may want to check your junk email folder. My email is sean@mcarthurparks.com and phone is 781 500 0266 if you’d like to text. I would very much like to share what I have. Thanks, Sean

        Comment by pinkshanty — February 16, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

  33. Dear Blogger/Editor (BobW?)
    I am very interested in having a chat with you. I am an historian working on the history of bauxite and aluminum around the world, and have come across your outstanding blog. I can be reached through my university email below. Great work! Very very interesting.

    Comment by Brad Cross — September 17, 2012 @ 1:08 pm | Reply

  34. Brad,
    Two references for your info:
    * Company Towns In The Caribbean: A Preliminary Analysis of Christianburg/Wismar/Mackenzie (booklet) by the late Dr Cedric H. Grant, a former Professor at Waterloo University, Canada and Guyana Ambassador to the U.S.A. published in 1970. Have no idea where copy can be obtained.
    * Nationalisation of Guyana’s Bauxite: The Case of ALCAN by Dr M. Shahabuddeen, former Guyana Attorney-General and until recently, a Judge on the International Court of Justice. It was published in 1981 by the Ministry of Information of Guyana. It may be available at the Georgetown Public Library.
    Peter

    Comment by Peter Halder — September 18, 2012 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  35. i am looking mr. FRANK GILES he was the post master general in guyana

    Comment by gordon kennedy — January 1, 2013 @ 6:23 pm | Reply

    • I am also interested in locating any members of the Giles family. Frank Giles – had four sons and a daughter, namely Frank Jr., Phillip, Keith and Johann his daughter’s name was Diane. The family immigrated to the US when I was very young. They lived on New Market Street next door to what was then the department of Housing and Planning. Keith Giles, Abilar Reece (whose father worked at the Planning office as an architect hung out many an afternoon under the Giles’s house in the garage fixing bicycles to race on the Parade Ground.

      Comment by Leslie Gonsalves — July 9, 2015 @ 5:09 am | Reply

      • I am also interested in finding the son Phillip Giles who attended Charlestown Secondary School with me in the late 60’s early 70’s. My name is Joan Persaud and my email address is philomena_208@yahoo.com

        Comment by Joan Persaud — February 2, 2016 @ 4:23 pm

  36. Hello,
    My grandfather was Major Henwood. He used to conduct the Police Band in the Botanical Gardens. If anyone has a picture of this I would love to see it. I left Guyana when I was 14yrs., 1966. Have tried to contact my best friend Clement Farreia but to no avail. Thanks Alan Vanier, Cornwall, England

    Comment by Alan Vanier — January 15, 2013 @ 5:07 am | Reply

    • Ok Alan, your grandfather Eric and your Grandma ” Billie” were dear friends of my parents, Vernon and Vivian Johnson. We lived at .44 Main Street and 27 Main Street many years ago. Now tell me is your Mum Philippa? If so I am in touch with your
      Aunt Erica in Toronto. I know your aunt Viv pased away. Was sorry to hear that.! Your Grandad’s nickname was ” snakehips” I too wish I had pictures of the old B.G I left when I was 17. Please let me know if you get this. Oh your Grandad also played at the Seawall and conducted all the marching Bands for the Police Bands. He and your Grandma were lovely people. So was your great Grandma, her Mother. However can’t remember her name now. Are you in touch with Erica? I know the name Vanier but it has been many years. I am very old but still kicking and here on this site. Good luck trying to find photographs. Virtually impossible. Nora (Johnson) Kawalec Irvine, California

      Comment by Nora kawalec — April 28, 2013 @ 2:49 am | Reply

      • Hello Nora, I think this is the first time I have seen your comments!! If I have replied before forgive me. My mum is Philippa, she is still alive but is a ‘creaking gate’! My Great Granma was a Moir, she died in here late 80s when I was 5-6 yrs old. Aunt Erica is in Toronto, so is my other brothers and sisters. i.e. Yvonne, Michael, Desmond (Peter) and Anita. Sorry it has taken so long to reply, thank you.

        Regards Alan Vanier.

        Comment by Alan H Vanier — July 7, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

      • Hi Alan, I am in touch with Dohne as well, we just got through chatting via e- Mail! It has been eons since I have been on this site! I send your Mom e-mails as well! If you get this , one question? Were you able to scare up any photographs of your grandad? Just asking! Take care! Ask your Mom is she remembers me! I know she’ll say yes!

        Comment by Nora Johnson Kawalec — May 17, 2015 @ 1:22 am

      • Hi again Alan, FYI I was just on the phone with Dohne! Your Mom and I send e-mails to each other now and again! It’s fun after all these years! Sure you on Facebook? If not you should try it. Lots of people you may know. Including Dohne!

        Comment by Nora Kawalec — July 10, 2015 @ 12:23 am

    • Alan,
      it’s just possible that your grandfather taught me to play the clarinet in about 1954 before I went to England to secondary school with my brothers David and Michael.
      (Clifford) Max Parsley

      Comment by Max Parsley — October 30, 2015 @ 11:29 pm | Reply

  37. Hi Bob… I discovered your blog by accident when I was looking surfing the net for some stuff from Linden to put on my Facebook page. Seeing the pictures of old Mackenzie has brought back some memories of childhood where I barely remember some of the scenes. Thanks for the memories,

    At present I live and work in China and get very little time to return home often,

    I hope you don’t mind if I post some of the pictures on my page. Of course, I will acknowledge that they came from your blog.

    Just yesterday I decided to start a blog on word press… I’m really glad to see you and so many others there 🙂

    Thank you.

    Comment by Keith Whyte — February 14, 2013 @ 9:46 am | Reply

  38. Hi my name is Cathy Rubin (penname C M Rubin) and I was born in British Guyana in 1958. I would like to get a few good pictures of some of the main sites in Georgetown at that time. Can you help? I live in New York and I am a writer. You can also find me on Facebook Cathy M Rubin and I will leave my email below. My mother’s family was the Fitt family who lived at 26 Lamaha Street. They also owned the Shu All store and ran other businesses in town. Please contact me. My best Cathy

    Comment by Cathy Rubin — March 2, 2013 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

    • Cathy,
      I suggest you speak with the Deputy Consul-General for Guyana in New York Mr M.R. Khan. The Consulate-General’s address is 370 Seventh Avenue, Room 402, NY, NY 10001. The tel No. is 1-212-947-5119.

      Comment by Peter Halder — March 4, 2013 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

      • Cathy: Additionally, you may visit the Guyana website at http://www.guyana.org/ and view the pages listed on the Home Page : Guyana Photo Gallery and Guyana Handbook.

        Comment by Peter Halder — March 4, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

      • Hi Cathy,
        The Guyana Deputy Consul General in New York told me you spoke with him.
        I have found a website which has photos of Guyana during 1959-1961. It is:
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/30593522@NO5/sets/72157611815735664/
        you my wish to visit it and to view the photos.
        By the way, I know Shu All very well. It was on Camp Street between Charlotte and Regent Streets. I bought a pair of brown suede shoes there in 1956. I knew one of the sales clerks a Miss Peggy Moshette.
        Peter

        Comment by Peter Halder — March 8, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  39. Cathy,
    If there is a problem with the link above you can google:
    British Guiana 1959-1961 – a set on Flickr
    Peter

    Comment by Peter Halder — March 8, 2013 @ 11:15 pm | Reply

  40. Hello Peter – I really want a photo of the store my Grandfather RJ Fitt co-founded with his Father in Law Manoel Da Silva. Do you know of anyone who has a photo of Shu All in Camp Street (or originally in Water Street)? Thank you so much Peter and I hope to pay a courtesy call to Mr Evans at the embassy at some point (I am a journalist and very busy). Mr. Khan was kind and helpful and I thank you for connecting me. C M Rubin (Cathy!)

    Comment by Cathy Rubin — March 8, 2013 @ 11:21 pm | Reply

    • One of your relatives Victor Fitt still. Lives in Guyana. He is alson on You Tube. You can see a picture of him on it! Good luck!

      Comment by Nora kawalec — April 29, 2013 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  41. Thank you for sharing these memories. Both my gg grandfather Hugh Sproston Sr, and g grandfather Hugh SprostonJr. spent many years in British Guiana during the 1800″s. Very, very interesting.

    Comment by Joy Unterlander — May 24, 2013 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

  42. Bob, I misplaced Katy’s email address.She had provided me with some information of your grandfather’s ranch on the berbice river. the ranch was at Torani. I am interested in the manager , a Mr. Magan or Meigon or Maguhn. Evelyn Waugh in “Ninety Two Days” called him a Belgian. Could you be kind enough to give me a broader description of this man? My email is Kenyon@bellnet.ca.
    Roger Kenyon

    Comment by Roger Kenyon — April 7, 2014 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  43. Hi BobW:
    About 4 years ago I posted a comment regarding my Grandfather James Ramsahoye and was in communication with someone about him but now when I search the site for “Ramsahoye” I find nothing. Do you delete the posts if they are old?
    I would like to know how and where to search birth, death, marriage, baptismal, etc. records so that I find out about my grandparents and my family history.
    Anyone out there knows how to “search” Guyanese statistical records? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
    I am searching for information on James Ramsahoye who is my grandfather and the grandfather of Fenton Ramsahoye, Littleton Ramsahoye, Walter Ramsahoye, Rueben Ramsahoye, Iris Ramsahoye and several others. My mother does not know and is now very old and all of James Ramsahoye’s children are deceased except for my mother.
    Also my paternal grandmother was Hermina Gonsalves and all her children are dead and I would like to know if anyone out there knows anything about her or her family. She had several children all of whom are deceased: Bridgette Gonsalves (Gomes), Jerry Gonsalves (Gomes), Alma Gomes, Agnes Gomes (married Joseph Gouveia brother of Ulric Gouveia -radio announcer and Patricia Gouveia). When Hermina died around 1934 (I think) my father Ivan Joseph was placed in a Catholic orphanage (or boy’s school) in or near Plaisance (anyone know of such a place? Alma and Agnes went to live with Amy (the aunt of Joseph, Ulric and Patricia. — Patricia married Jerry Carvalho). Jerry Gonsalves Gomes died in a drowning accident sometime around 1971 to 1973.
    Thanks
    Anna

    Comment by Anna — July 5, 2014 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  44. I am fascinated with all the comments’stories above. I was born at Blairmont and brought up there and at Rosignol, Berbice,
    Now living in London UK since ’62. I am very proud of my Guyanese multi cultural heritage. Have celebrated it through short biographies of Guyanese, in two books and a website ‘Guyanese Achievers….’ to show where we come from and where we got to.
    Many recollections of past since early 40s. Among memorable ones, lunch at West India Club in Whitehall,London, GM Eccles, and my father Pandit Dindayal, two pensioners, reflecting on their early days. I accompanuied my dad.
    They both started careers at Blairmont. Eccles as junior overseer, my Dad a junior clerk at the office. Later Eccles became manager at Blairmont, my dad became sugar chemist. Eccles built a lab for my dad to do research -selecting cane to grow with greater sugar content, and resistant to harmful insects.
    At peak of dad’s career, Eccles sacked him. Reason dad had attended a meeting of his juniors held to discuss working hours, overtime pay and bathing facilities. Big problem in estate. Black day for dad but another door opened.
    Dad went to Rosignol and opened a shop. The two men soon healed their differences. Dad’s business prospered. Eccles eventually became Chairman of Bookers. The two often met and chatted in GT and when Eccles visited Blairmont he would invite my dad to visit him for a chat.
    Eccles retired and came to live in London. When dad came here to visit us. He contacted Eccles, who invited him to lunch at his club. Dad was vegetarian and Eccles got him a special vegetarian meal. In those days in the 60s vegetarianism was hardly spoken of. I sat listening to the two old men and reflected. In the old days the Estate Manager was like lord god, and other people knew their place. These two men were like close friends. Eccles said, ‘You know Dindayal, the fellows in charge now, don’t value what we know. They don’t ask your opinion. They don’t want to know.’

    Comment by Vidur — October 26, 2014 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  45. Hello…
    My father is Michael Gene Cendrecourt and my dear mother is Norma Stol. They originate from George Town Guyana and left there to settle in the UK some 50 years ago. I would like to know more about my mothers family. I know she was orphaned at 14 and was born out of wedlock . As stated her maiden name was Stol.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Christine Cendrecourt ( last child of Michael Cendrecourt)

    Comment by Christine Cendrecourt — February 18, 2015 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

    • I know you’ve asked for information about your mother, but I am looking for information about the Cendrecourts… My mother’s grandmother was Catherine Murdock Cendrecourt and she married Wilfred Eliot Davis. She had a sister, Henrietta who was called “Hetta”. The family lived in Georgetown. My mother is Margaret (Davis) Knight. If you know anything, please let me know! We may be long lost relatives! 🙂

      Comment by Toni Knight — November 21, 2016 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

  46. This website is a gem for someone like me who is half-Guyanese and has never been to Guyana. It’s taught me so much and I’ve only been scrolling for 2 minutes! #Love

    Comment by creolita — February 23, 2015 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  47. FAMOUS MAN FROM KITTY There was a man born December 17, 1930 in Kitty named John Lloyd Nichols. He was sent to London for his education, but dropped out. He went to St..Croix, and became “The Great John-L” a calypso singer who made 4 albums in the 60s and 70s. I would love to know more about his life in Kitty, and his family as well. He was a Black man, so I don’t know if that influenced his life there as much as the British rule. His song “Green Christmas” is on YouTube. He died in 1984, but his daughter in Florida wants to know more about her father. Any help would be appreciated.

    Comment by Marla Madden — March 29, 2015 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  48. Hi, my name is Jules Stauffer, I was working as Donkey man on board Swiss flagged MV Sun Amelia in 1957 shipping up and down the Demerara river loading Bauxite in Mackency to transport it to Canada up the Sageunay River. just 21 years old at that time it was a great adventure. One time at night we got stuck on a mud bank, it took high tide and lot of maneuvering to get free again. I remember well the winter storms on the way to Canada, with decks fully awash and ventilators going over board, driving through the ice in the Saint Laurence river. I enjoyed all the pictures on this website.

    Comment by Jules Walter Stauffer — July 24, 2015 @ 3:30 am | Reply

  49. Hi Bob –
    Recently, clearing out some papers in my attic, I came across four Peter Andersen prints from Georgetown in the 1960s, and I thought you and your followers might appreciate them. I have put them on line and they can be accessed at the following URL: https://picasaweb.google.com/103098266940589897221/Georgetown?authuser=0&feat=directlink I picked them up when I returned to Guyana on an exploration project in 1966 and visited Pat and Peter in Kitty.
    If you would like to copy them to this web site for ease of access, by all means do so – they are for all to enjoy.

    Comment by Thomas Hasek — September 1, 2015 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

    • My brother, Alan Hunte, has four Peter Andersen prints nicely framed and hanging in his home in Stratford, Connecticut. The Koker, Starbroek Market, Anglican Cathedral and another I can’t remember.

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — March 17, 2017 @ 12:44 pm | Reply

  50. Hi

    great blog! I’m battling to get hold of my father’s birth certificate and grandfathers marriage certificate. The GRO office in Guyana needs a couple of details that have been lost over the years. Could you let me know of anyway I could find those records? It is just the hospital name for the birth and the like. I have all their full names and most of the dates. The GRO offie there is not so keen on helping without every detail handed over.

    My grandfather was quite well known, being the Chemist Ecologist for the Crown and Chairman of Booker Sugar Estates Limited, his name was Robert Redvers Follett-Smith.

    I didn’t realise getting an ancestral visa would be such a nightmare 🙂

    -Best

    Comment by Dominic Follett-Smith — December 8, 2015 @ 11:50 am | Reply

    • I saw your post today and am amazed that you heard back from the GRO at all as I have tried several times to obtain my grandmothers birth certificate and my great grandparents marrige certificate and never received a reply. I also contacted two churches and the embassy to no avail. My grandmother was born in BG in 1880 and I have the exact date, her parents names and even the parents wedding date and where they were married. Can you please tell me how you managed to get a response. Thanks so much. Wendy Quinn

      Comment by Wendy Quinn — January 24, 2016 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

      • Hi Wendy apologies for a late reply. I phoned the Guyanese office, and we have a mission here in South Africa that I contacted. They are slow in response. I have a photocopy of the original doc I need, and I am now only trying to get a certificate or some kind from them. I strongly suggest contacting a mission or phoning them directly.

        Comment by Dominic Follett-Smith — March 2, 2017 @ 2:27 pm

    • Dominic – I sympathize. A few years ago I came into an inheritance from an aunt. You should try getting funds out of Trinidad! The stress I went through actually took a toll on my health, believe it or not! Good luck in your quest.

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — March 17, 2017 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  51. Epsie Mcintyre, I am trying to trace any decendents and or relatives of Epsie Mcintyre from the George Town area she had app. 8 children including twins, a boy named Clement Hulbert and a girl named Elma or Joyce born 9th April 1937 in Christianburgh Hospital, midwife Annie Backer. The twins father was believed to have died in an accident. The twins were subsequently adopted by a minister and his wife Mr and Mrs Holloway moving to the UK in 1946 .
    The girl twin is my sister-in-law who enjoyed a happy family life and is trying to trace any relatives. I have done quite a lot of research for her but it is proving difficult. I placed an advert in the Stabroeck News but had no replies. Any info would be greatly appreciated to help her in her quest.

    Comment by Susan Smith — April 11, 2016 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  52. Clement Farraro was my best friend in Guyana 50 years ago, would love to hear from him!

    Comment by Alan H Vanier — April 11, 2016 @ 10:47 pm | Reply

  53. I found this site over a year ago, however have not contributed much while I was searching my family history. I am Mark Melville, son of Leslie Melville and Anna Melville (Lanyi). I do not believe I am from the “infamous” Guyanese Melville family. The family names on my fathers side is Melville, Taitt, McMurdoch, and Gilkes. The Taitt name is from the well known Taitt’s from Georgetown. Gilkes is from the Bourda Gilkes Pharmacy. David Lanyi, the popular designer and Mashramani costume winner, is my uncle. I have traced part of my mothers side to 1835 or so. Lucy and Francis D’Almada came to BG from Medeira Portugal. Fathers side is difficult as I don’t have any records and he has passed. Leslie Melville did go to Queens College in about 1948 where he ran on the track team. I was born in the U.S. and spent the summer in Guyana in 1969, my family stayed at Aunt Dottie Mittelholzers boarding house. I was 10 years old at the time. If any of the surnames are familiar, I would welcome any communication.

    Comment by Mark Melville — November 18, 2016 @ 1:46 am | Reply

  54. Hi, I’m researching the Copp family who ended up in New York USA. Sister and Brother Florence Evelyn (aka Evalyn/Evalina) and Frank George Copp left Panama in 1917 during WWII arriving in New York 14 Sep 1917. They apparently joined their sister Tillie (Matilda) Gunning. Tillie was born in Georgetown, British Guiana 1884 and was a widow of Hermann Gunning, also born Georgetown, British Guiana. They were married in 1904, Georgetown. Hermann appears to have died in British Guiana and Tilly made her way to New York in 1916. She must have had relatives there. The interesting part is that her sister Florence Evelyn Copp was born in Jamaica, and then emigrated to Panama with her parents, where her brother Frank George Copp was born. Frank, an engineer and his sister Evelyn, a housekeeper, moved on to Costa Rica and then back to Panama from where they sailed to New York.

    I figured that Hermann Gunning was actually Hermann Victor van Batenburg Gunning, born to William Edward Gunning and Wilhelmina van Batenburg.
    However, I find no documents – only references to Hermann being “my great grandfather”. I would really like to find the parents of Matilda “Tillie” Gunning and also find out how they came to be in British Guyana, then Jamaica, then Panama. The father Copp and mother may not have been the same for all 3 children. I find lots of reference to the Gunning and van Batenburg families, but nothing on the Copp family.

    Is there anyone who recognises any of these families?
    My connection is via my son-in-law – the Hicks family – Evelyn Copp married George William Hicks in USA
    Thanks

    Comment by Anne Connell — February 10, 2017 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

  55. Thank you for your response. I so appreciate your taking the time to answer my comments. Can you tell
    Me what mission you received help from so that I might contact them as well? Thanks so very much Wendy

    Comment by Wendy Quinn — March 4, 2017 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  56. Does anybody remember or know anything about a plane crash in the Demerara ruver Britush Guyana which occurred on 4 December 1964?
    If there is anyone who knows about this. Please contact me. Thank you
    Anna Grima
    annacassargalea@gmail.com is my email address

    Comment by Anna Grima — March 17, 2017 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

  57. Hello all. I am Mark Melville. Father is Leslie Melville, mother is Anna Lanyi. I live in California and have been researching my Guyanese roots for two years. After being away from Guyana since 1969, I went back on July 1st 2017, and spent time visiting the very few cousins I have there and visiting old haunts. I spent a day in the Archives on Homestretch researching my family. I discovered a little. Unfortunately I found the employees of little help with my quest. If I did not know the exact document I needed, they would not look. I did review a Portuguese Registry of Immigrants to the Colony dated 1845, sadly the pages crumbled as I turned them. The best luck I had finding family history, was talking with people in their late 70s-80s. Former PM Green was in the Archives when I visited. In talking with him, we discovered he ran track at QC with my father in the 1940s. Another resident in the Cara Lodge where I stayed, knew the Melville and Roman side of my family. The Cara Lodge, once a grand house owned by my uncle Dr. Horace Taitt, is now a beautiful Lodge. On my fathers side, I am looking for information on Harry Melville, Catherine Meyer from the Berbice area late 1800s. On my mothers side, Francis and Lucy D’almada who immigrated from Mederia Portugal to BG around 1875. In summary, I enjoyed my visit and plan on returning to Guyana next fall with a stateside cousin. Good luck to all in your quest!

    marksac@hotmail.com is my email. Feel free to contact me.

    Thanks.

    Comment by Mark Melville — August 5, 2017 @ 2:34 am | Reply


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