Guyana Then And Now

Mackenzie Today

Keith Gordon has fired over two collections of photos, the first is Mackenzie. Click photo below to go to the collection.

MacKenzie, Guyana

Bauxite Plant North Gate, photo Keith Gordon

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The second of Keith Gordon’s collections is of Watooka. Click photo below to go to the collection.

Watooka,  MacKenzie, Guyana

Riverside Drive, photo Keith Gordon

Note the improved Watooka Day School, contrast that with John’s photo below.
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John den hartog has secretly given us an update from his 1994 photo collection taken on his family visit to Guyana. He has some iconic imagery there. This one of the Watooka Day School, shown below, is my favorite.

Click image below to go to slide show.

1994 MacKenzie, Guyana

Photos from 1994 John den Hartog on Flickr

I’ve seen a modern photo of the old school somewhere on the net and the buildings pictured above have been torn down.

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Featured Comment from Keith Gordon:

“Hi guys just thought that I should let you know that Watooka House is not owned by the Chinese owners of the bauxite company. It is still owned by the state and managed by Linmine Secretariat (Horace James, former CEO Linmine).”

Jerry King has a few words to say about Watooka House, click image below to get to Jerry.

Watooka Guest House, MacKenzie, Guyana

Watooka Guest House 2007 (photo skoodlwump on Flickr)

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The golf course and railway is underwater and the road to Richmond Hill is almost gone. This devastation seems to be a result of mining operations. I wonder what is going on.

Modern day Watooka from Richmond Hill, MacKenzie, Guyana

Modern day Watooka from Richmond Hill (from one of my sister's Guyana visits)

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A fellow that goes by the name of JimB on Flickr has some nice modern photo’s of MacKenzie, Wizmar, Christianburg and Watooka. He has two batches from 2008 and 2009. As I recollect one of his relatives lives in Watooka and if I’m not mistaken I think they live in one of the houses that I lived as a kid. I wonder if the bamboo clump is still there, makes for great rafting, but don’t use nails as she’s gonna sink. Click photo below to get to the collection.

Kids on their way to Watooka Day School 2008, MacKenzie, Guyana

Kids on their way to Watooka Day School 2008 (photo JimB on Flickr)

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Linden, Guyana

Charles Davidson has some images from Video in a Picassa web album, click image to get there

Charles has some more links to photos and video taken of MacKenzie/Linden. To find the links browse through the comments attached to this page. Or jump straight to the links collected here below…

Mackenzie Wismar Christianburg

Alumina Plant

Alumina Plant Silos

Linden

External Link: LindenFund MacKenzie History 1

External Link: LindenFund Mackenzie History 2

External Link: LindenFund MacKenzie History 3
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34 Comments »

  1. Enjoyed reading your (very well written) review of Watooka.

    As a teen-ager living in Cockatara and attending Echols High, I was somewhat facinated by
    the ultimate class separation which Watooka represented, surpassed only by the Arvida Road and Powell Crescent residents reserved for local senior management. At the time, my closest encounter with Watooka was infrequently taking lunch to my uncle, who worked in the Railway yard (shed). As a pre-teen, I was a patient at the Mackenzie Hospital, due to a cricket accident, to remove part of the handle of a cricket bat, which broke into my leg.

    Fortunately, on one of my return vacation to Guyana and day trip to Linden to visit relatives and friends, my wife and I were able to visit with friends who lived in Watooka, the Watooka community and the stately and majestic Watooka House.

    I agree the Watooka House should be preserved as a historic site/monument.

    Please forward my support to anyone who you think will help to make this happen.

    Best regards,

    Bert Bacchus
    ________________________________

    BobW (Bert, Thanks for adding that tid bit concerning Arvida Road and Powell Crescent being reserved for senior management, something I never knew. I think that for some time now it has been in vogue for corporations to reward individuals with status items that are intentionally visible to all. I suspect Demba used to do this with their company provided housing in MacKenzie. Housing was offered associated with your position in the company hierarchy. Demba also did that with vehicles, the top class company managers were given white Land Rovers to drive and things filtered down from there. Today corporations still provide these “perks” but I think the practice is on the decrease. In Canada where I work now, my company gives leased cars to their senior management with the value of the cars being proportionate to their rank in the company. It’s not so visible as in the days of Demba though as the cars do not look any different than those under private ownership. Parking spots used to be given out as perks but that was removed about 15 years ago. In the last couple of years the very highest managers now have their reserved parking spots returned. To my way of thinking reserved parking should only be available to the company’s customers.

    Another thing popular in Canada these days is to reduce the separation of housing by income. This trend goes by city and I don’t think is universal. In Ottawa (Canada’s capital) city residential land is zoned intentionally to mix housing of differing value so that you don’t get as many areas with lots of money and others with not so much. Of course developers have found ways around these zoning plans.)

    Comment by Bert(ie) Bacchus — September 7, 2009 @ 12:21 pm | Reply

  2. Dear Sir;
    I have received these pictures and comments from a friend and I love everyone of them.
    I have not been to McKenzie/Linden since 1961 but these pictures have brought back such nostalgia that I miss my homeland even more now.
    Thank you for reliving the old memories.
    Regards
    Sam
    ___________________

    BobW (Sam, It seems as we get older those old memories take on a new significance, thanks for participating.)

    Comment by Sam Khan — September 8, 2009 @ 11:05 am | Reply

  3. Thanks a million for bringing back good old memories. As a 16 year old,I worked as an Office Boy in the Managers’ Office. Mr.Frazer was the CEO at that time. Also, I attended Trade School,Mr. Hammond was the Principal,ofcourse he lived in Watooka.I would often visit his beautiful home and enjoyed the snacks his maid would serve. Watooka,was ‘THE PLACE’ at that time, seeing pictures of it now is astonishing. Oh, do you have pic. of the Chicken Farm? I think The Alexanders were in charge of the operation. If any of your readers have attended Trade School from 1970-1975 please reply. I enjoyed reading your memories.Thanks

    Comment by Ferioze Samsair a.k.a. Sammy — September 9, 2009 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

    • Hi Ferioze
      It was nice reading about your memories of linden.The year you attended Trade School that was known as the 13TH Intake and the motto was “TOGETHERNESS”.The last time we made contact,was many year ago playing cricket in GUELTH.Which part of the world are you.

      Comment by malcolm lovell — February 3, 2011 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

      • Hi, I just found this message. I am in Kitchener now and I do remember hooking up with you in Guelph. Looking forward to hear from you. email me at rfsamsair@gmail.com

        Comment by Roy Samsair — February 14, 2017 @ 2:04 am

    • Hi It was Mr.Gravesande that was in charge of the Watooka Farm, not the Alexander’s.

      Comment by Thelma — November 27, 2011 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

    • Hi Sammy,
      This is Jeanette Baichulall from Richmond Hill do yu remember me, my email is jeanette.jardine@yahoo.ca, or jeanette.jardine@dhl.com, hope to hear from you.

      Jeanette

      Comment by Jeanette Jardine(Baichulall) — May 31, 2012 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

    • Hi Ferioze,
      Are you one of the Samsair from Kara kara, not sure but I am a baichulall I do know one of the brother I think the big one, can;t remembe r his name but would love to re kindle old ties

      Comment by Jeanette baichulall — November 18, 2013 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  4. Great photo updates.

    Gerry

    Comment by Gerry King — September 9, 2009 @ 10:47 pm | Reply

  5. Alumina plant about four years ago or what is left of it.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/cadpriest/GuyanaTrip?authkey=Gv1sRgCPD85Lansfb4twE&feat=directlink

    Charles Davidson

    Comment by Charles Davidson(Tommy) — September 10, 2009 @ 8:01 am | Reply

  6. Old silos, I think, of Alumina plant

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Fm_A6Kop6nmgjoWZdB-ydA?authkey=Gv1sRgCMKSl_aO_tm_ZQ&feat=directlink

    ____________________________

    BobW (Sure looks like the Alumina plant to me, any more photos?)

    Comment by Charles Davidson(Tommy) — September 10, 2009 @ 8:04 am | Reply

  7. The picture you can’t identify is the Retrieve man road. I can’t remember the exact name of it but it’s the one which all the ovals branch off of.

    Comment by Linden_people — September 10, 2009 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  8. Any suggestion as to how to post video that is not digital.
    ________________________

    BobW (Charles, Video over the internet has to be digital, there is no other way. Does this mean you have some video we all might enjoy seeing?)

    Comment by Charles Davidson(Tommy) — September 21, 2009 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

  9. Bob, maybe will try using my digital camera to copy from television; taken in 2006. Here are some more pictures taken from video.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/cadpriest/PicturesOfMackenzieWismarAndChristianburg?authkey=Gv1sRgCMuOm6jHieioQQ&feat=directlink
    _______________

    BobW (Charles, Great start, I think you may start a trend and we can all pool our media)

    Comment by Charles Davidson(Tommy) — September 21, 2009 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  10. Hope some enjoy this. My recollections of places might be wrong but what the hell. Thanks Bob for causing such nostalgic journeys and the digging up of pictures and videos.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/cadpriest/VideoOfLinden?authkey=Gv1sRgCKDiv6m__qXRCg&feat=directlink
    ________________________

    BobW (Charles, That’s really cool, gives a vision that the stills do not. Love your commentary, what happened to the Gravesande’s (bad phonetic spelling, I know). I remember that they used to live at “the farm”.)

    Comment by Charles Davidson(Tommy) — September 21, 2009 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

    • The Gravesande live in Toronto Canada

      Comment by jeanette jardine — January 14, 2014 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

  11. Those Gravesandes might have been cousins to the ones who lived in Manni Street. Not certain what happen to them; knew them from going to the farm for stuff.

    Comment by Charles Davidson(Tommy) — September 21, 2009 @ 4:49 pm | Reply

  12. Bob,

    Jimmy Hamilton, Demba Digest photographer, might have left alot of photos some place; met his wife a few years ago. If anyone know where she is we might be able to recreate alot of the 50’s, 60’s in Mackenzie.
    ___________________________

    BobW (Jimmy Hamilton, now that name comes rolling back. For sure he must have the mother load of photo’s, someone must surely know how to make contact)

    Comment by Charles Davidson(Tommy) — September 21, 2009 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

    • Hi guys – Heard recently from Tom Wilson (Otter pilot who’s now living in British Columbia – I hope he doesn’t mind my giving out his e-mail(?!) tmwilson1@telus.net – there was a recent interview with Jimmy Hamilton in the Georgetown Chronicle newspaper which Tom sent me and then he asked me if I had Jimmy’s phone number which I don’t! I suppose if one were to contact the Chronicle that might get to Jimmy.
      Hope this is helpful.
      Pat

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — February 4, 2011 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

  13. Hi guys just thought that I should let you know that Watooka House is not owned by the Chinese owners of the bauxite company. It is still owned by the state and managed by Linmine Secretariat (Horace James, former CEO Linmine).
    ___________________________

    BobW (Great update Keith, I wonder if that’s a good thing or bad thing?)

    Comment by Keith Gordon — October 2, 2009 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  14. Hi Bob, the Gravesandes may still live in Toronto. Back in the 1970’s, before I migrated to Canada, I went to school with the youngest boys (Robert and Brian). They used to be alter boys at Christ The King Anglican Church. My mother (Philippa Drakes), who lives in Toronto, still keeps in touch with the Gravesandes.

    Charles…I can’t remember your family name, but Thank you for the video clip. In case you are wondering who I am…my name is Peter Drakes. I lived at 275 Oronoque Drive (right next to the Assembley’s Of God Church, in Retrieve). My late father was Carlos Drakes, and my mother is Philippa. I have older siblings, Anne, Glenn, Lauren and Pamela. I am 47 years old, and left Linden when I was 16 in October 1978. I attended the Multilateral High School (now Christianburg Wismar Secondary School). I may have known you…not sure.

    Regards,
    Peter Drakes.

    Comment by Peter Drakes — November 24, 2009 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

    • Hi Peter,
      My name is Vibert Sankar, we lived in Bourada Oval (the first house on the right as you enter the Oval).
      I knew your brother Glen very well(we are similar age) I had met him too in Canada in the 80’s and I remember you too as a little boy. I used to attend the church opposite you guys and your Mum would make sure you all kept quiet during the service.
      When last you visited? I was there (Guyana) in 2007, unfortunately I did not visit Linden but after reading the above comments, I wish I did, just for the menories.
      Kindest regards to Glen.
      Take care,
      Vibert.

      Comment by Vibert Sankar. — May 24, 2012 @ 11:36 am | Reply

  15. Hi Peter, Robert and Brian Gravesande are from Rainbow City. The Gravesande’s Bob is inquiring about were from the farm. Richard, Mary, Evelyn and others with their mother are living in Toronto. Mackenzie/Linden had and have alot of Gravesandes.

    Comment by Retrieve — November 25, 2009 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  16. could some one tell me where is Edmond Fraser, Morris Fraser and Sam Blacket, Fredrick Hunte, Bowling. Compton London, James London, Rack, Hundred, and the List goes on and on. Kiss Kiss, sweet Eye. Marmite,

    Comment by Dennis Fraser — June 8, 2010 @ 2:03 am | Reply

    • Dennis, are you the brother of Yvette, Learner, Gail, and Pam? In other words, are you Cheboko?

      Comment by Martin Newton — October 8, 2014 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

  17. Could some one tell me where is Wayne, known as {Black Bush} some where in Long Island New York, Boy those were the Good Old Days. with Fredrick Hunte,and the Late Screw Richmond, they were our Best athlete in sports in the early 60s. and its nice to see that the Late Screw Richmond have Left his Foot steps in the signs of times, may he R.I.P

    Comment by Dennis Fraser — June 8, 2010 @ 2:31 am | Reply

  18. Hi Guys,
    Thanks for the memories.

    I also live in Toronto, so I can give you some updates about
    those individuals mentioned in the above post.

    Dennis Fraser (Fraze) is an old buddy who still lives in T.O.
    (Hey Fraze…how ya doin’?)

    Edmond Fraser the champion cyclist, has been residing for years
    in the U.K. Not sure about his brother Morris. Frederick Hunt
    is a known Torontonian, so is his brother, “Ramsey” Hunt.

    My classmate Compton “Chatta” London and I used to “catch up” on a
    regular basis. He resides in Brooklyn, NY. Also his brother
    James is a popular Brooklyn figure. He used to own an extremely
    popular GT hang out (Chatta) in the Apple.

    I’m not sure where the others are located. All I know is that
    Marmite used to crack me up. He was a natural born comedian.

    God bless.
    Brent Ferdinand-Whinfield
    (I used to be known as “Ferdie”)

    Comment by Brent "Ferdinand" Whinfield — January 25, 2011 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

  19. If you grew up in Guyana you would certainly be acquainted with some of these common over the –counter- medicines and remedies that brought relief for various afflictions and ailments. Corner stores carried a wide array of medicines found only in the Caribbean and Guyana. These were augmented with herbal medicines and treatments before a visit to the doctor was attempted.
    Read more: http://guyaneseonline.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/traditional-home-remedies-of-guyana-by-dmitri-allicock/

    Comment by Dmitri Allicock — June 15, 2013 @ 9:09 am | Reply

  20. Some of the greatest cities of old and modern times owe their rise and grandeur to their positions in the fork between great rivers, which gave them unrivaled advantages for defense and commerce. Lyons of France, St Louis in the U.S and Belgrade of Serbia are three striking examples. Bartica occupies such a unique natural location in north-central Guyana where the mighty Essequibo, Mazaruni, and Cuyuni rivers meet.
    http://guyaneseonline.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/bartica-a-missed-opportunity-of-history-by-dmitri-allicock/

    Comment by Dmitri Allicock — July 25, 2013 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

  21. Hi Guys, Love the pictures!! I too grew up in Silvertown and I do have a good one for Dmitri. We did not have corner stores, we had “CAKE SHOPS“ where we could also get a “STRAY BOY TONIC and a BUNS!!!“ Still good for a laugh whenever the guys get together.

    Much Respect
    Oswald ‘matto’ Mathurin

    Comment by Oswald Mathurin — November 14, 2013 @ 4:57 pm | Reply

  22. Hi Peter Drakes this is Valerie London from Yuriballi Street. I remember your family and your sister Ann was my friend. Guys it was nice reading the comments. A group of us started a Linden reunion organization called LIRA (Seventh Day Adventist based) and we hold Linden reunion weekends every two years in different parts of the USA.

    We are planning to hold one in Linden from July 2nd to 6th – Simultaneous Events:
    Commemoration – 50th anniversary of the Sun Chapman Tragedy. It would be nice if some of you are able to attend.
    My contact info is london_trio2002@yahoo.ca

    Comment by Valerie London — January 13, 2014 @ 3:31 pm | Reply

  23. Hello, just wanted to add a bit of additional history regarding the R.H. Carr. As a young child between the ages of 4 – 7 years old, my dad, Sonny Da Silva would leave me in charge of Mr. Gordon, then captain of the R.H. Carr. Each summer he was responsible for delivering me to my grand parents who lived in Silvertown. My grand father’s name is Manny Da Silva. Anyone on this site knew him?The family lived in Kingston until my grand father’ businesses went bankrupt during the Great Depression. My father and his siblings then grew up to Silvertown. I remember wandering around this wonderful steamer munching on sardine and cheese sandwiches. Most of my time was spent looking at the water in the river and marveling how much it looked like cola with its’ white froth. The air was fresh and salty, at least it felt that way, as I held my handkerchief over the rail, which the wind would eventually capture. I enjoyed reading all posts. Thank you.

    Theresa Ann Da Silva

    Comment by Theresa Ann Da Silva — March 24, 2015 @ 5:12 am | Reply

  24. Very interesting photos, I lived on Riverside dr with my parents 1960 to 1966. Many fond memories!

    Comment by Mark stevens — April 18, 2015 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

  25. I just love meeting people on this site who lived in Linden and l grew up from Richmond hill 1966 to 1982

    Comment by jeanette jardine(baichulall) — March 8, 2017 @ 5:38 pm | Reply


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