There were several bauxite mines developed by DEMBA in the area. Each mine had it’s own name. As children my father sometimes took us to play in one of the older mines called “Three Friends Mine“.
Old mines are plenty good for somethings. Probably a big improvement over what was originally there.
I always thought “Three Friends” was a great name for the mine and wondered where it came from. Now with the internet I have found this reference:
from Manly Binning Recollections Note: I am copying the original text here rather than just linking as I fear the link may disappear.
Derived from the Tri-Clan of the Spencers; DeNieunenkirks; and Allicocks of Watooka; Noitgedacht; Retrieve; Speightland ; Christianburg and Three Friends (Akyuma)
About Manly V.H.L. Binning
ManlyV.H.L.Binning, a man of assets to those who touched his life; was born July 15, 1898. Grew up on the Demerara River vicinity; helped his father George Alexander Binning who was at that time owned a Timber Grant along the Demerara River; told stories about “trying to be like , One of the men,” at the age of sixteen forcing down “beers and the popular Guiness Stout.”
Manly at the age of seventeen, attended Queens College School for boys in Georgetown. Graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
His first job; Second Engineer to Mr. Dawson for Spronstons at Wismar. He then proceeded to work at the Steam Loco Motive at Demba, then to the Power House. Continued his career to the Machine Shop where he was made foreman and reported only to the Main Chief Engineer, where he spent many years. During his time at Demba Manly was a very adventurous man, always with a unique idea, he ,at one time converted “Big Bertha” an old Steam Engine to a Pile Driver and proudly named it “Lord Manly”. He always seem to have answers for problems concerning his field of work, and of course his household too.
One of his favourite people was his boss Mr.J.G.Johnson who worked at Demba around the 1950’s. Mr. Johnson was a Canadian, and loved to fish like Manly, they went on numerous fishing trips “Up the River”, to Malalli and Canalli, but mostly to Rock Stone. Fishing was one of the better hobbies Manly had, along with the making of “Speed Boats;” the one that I recall is his first boat, “Flash,” unlike the looks of the modern speed boats today. It was long and slender in width, and slid through the smooth Demerara River. His next boat of my knowledge is Jet. His last boat, in which I had the pleasure of assisted him with the making was the “Vamp”. A much shorter boat than the first two.
I loved the River as much as my father did, so I was always along with him on various expeditions. We also did a lot of repairs on the boats too. Manly took several trips to Ituni too. One of them I will never forget. My dad and Joey London, a close friend of his, decided to go hunting to Ituni via motor cycle(Joey worked at the electrical department at the Bauxite Company) We had expected the fellows to return, give or take nine or ten o’clock at night. About after midnight my mother, imagining the worst, was almost out of her mind along with the rest of us. About one o’clock my Dad walked in , he looked like he had a fight with ten mad dogs, grease all over, pants legs rolled up to his calves, my mother exclaimed, “What happened to you? ” “I was worried to death!”
My Dad said, “Joey hit a hole in the road, I was at the back of the bike, next thing you know, I’m sitting in the hole, and Joey went pelting in the air.”
From the Machine Shop to Demba Trade
The last years of his career, Manly V.H.L.Binning was assigned to work with young men forwarding in the trade of Mechanical Engineering. During that period, he worked along with Mr. Eloctte, John Hammond, and John B.MacRae, all from England. Manly was liked very much by all of his colleagues, including the students. Even after retirement, he donated his time to help out with the exams at the Trade School.
Manly continue to occupy his free time by going up the river to be among family and friends. Manly left this universe on February 9th. 1986, leaving an impression on the people who benefited from his gifts of caring. His last years were spent in close contact with his three grandaughters; Michelle, Franciene and Maria.
I miss getting his letters. He was an excellent letter writer. Whenever he wrote to me in the past; he had a way of telling me that he misses me by saying. “The fishes up the river are asking for you.” Please read about “River Stories.”
“My trip to great falls and back.” By Manly himself.
First Generation/ Tri-Clan Family of the Upper Demerara River.
1820- Sir John Spencer arrived in British Guiana in the Upper Demerara River area with two firm friends—John Dalgliesh Paterson and John Blount. Called themselves “Three Friends.” Or on other occasions “King’s Friends.”
The land at Three Friends was posted “For Sale” in the Royal Gazette dated May 13th.1820. Sir John Spencer bought the land. He then espoused a wife by the name of Anna LaRose Simmons. Anna LaRose Simmons was the sister of his friend the Amerindian “Chief Simmons” of Arrissabato, an Arawak settlement of the Demerara River.
Sir John held Commission of Post Holder and Deputy Governor of Demerara.
1821: Sir John’s Great House was built at Three Friends.
The Great House had moat and Cannons around it like a fort.
The Union Jack flew at Staff Head during the day. From the house to the embankment on which stood the Cannons was a draw bridge. The Great House also carried two Grand Pianos and a Billiard Table, the table made of marble base. The rooms and Hall were richly adorned with exquisite carpets tapestry and curtains; a large and elegant chandelier hung in the large Hall.
Sir John Spencer’s first son John was born in 1820.
1822: Sir John settledown to a life of luxury, entertaining distinguished people, mostly from England. They arrived in a Brig. The Amerindians of the Upper Demerara River were his friends. He liked them, and they he.
Two Tribes of Indians predominated the River–the Arawaks whose settlement was at a place called Arrissatabo, and the Akawais whose settlement was at a place called Kanaimpoo
1823: Sir John’s second son William was born.
1825: Sir John’s third son Charles was born.
1826: Sir John’s fourth son James was born.
1828: Sir John’s first and only daughter Mary-Elizabeth was born.
1829: His fifth son and sixth child Edward was born,(Edward died at the age of 19yrs. Old)
In 1830, the early part of the year, Sir John Spencer sailed for England , taking with him his two older sons John and William with him to be educated.
Seven years later, after Sir John died, John and William were returned to their mother through the Bank of England to their mother at Three Friends, bringing with them an abundance of household items, including silverware.
All of Sir John”s children together with their mother were buried at Three Friends (Old England) in a particular spot identified by a clump of Palm Trees. Later the district became known as Akyma-an Amerindian word of surprised wonder as “Oh My”.
John Spencer: 1837
John Spencer returned from England along with his brother William in 1837 and continued to live at Three Friends with their mother. His mother died in 1840.He married Nancy Allicock, daughter of R.F.Allicock of Noitgedacht. Nancy lived with her Aunt, (his mother) and shortly their issue of three children; Maria-Elizabeth; (named after the bauxite mine) Lucy, and John. Nancy died, and the children were placed under the care of his sister Mary-Elizabeth. John, cultured and courteous, but firm , and somewhat austere, and those who admired him the most were women. He became more reserved and quiet after the death of Nancy, cared only to travel up the river to be among the Amerindians who gave him the same respect his father received from them. Generally his vocation was Greenheart Timber cutting, being also the usual occupation of the Colonist.
During the period of these travels and sojourns, the Amerindian Chiefess Kaiwailee bore him a daughter named Amelia. John took Amelia and had her sent to Basrkley’s Bank Manager household, there she was raised and sent to Urseline Convent for schooling.
At the age of eighteen, she was returned to her mother Kaiwailee who had her settlement at a place called Wiribirisiri, Canalli; in the Upper Demerara River, which is of an Akawaian Tribe settlement.
Shortly afterwards, Benjamin DeNieunenkirk, the only son of Richard DeNieunenkirk and Abigail Burton, married Amelia Spencer and had ten issues: Andrew; Gustavas; Richard; Benjamin; Wilhelmina, Jane; Abigail; Sarah; Madgie; and Eva.John’s three children by Nancy; Maria-Elizabeth, Lucy and John, also known as “Uncle Boisy” grew up under the care of John’s sister at Three Friends to eventually marry.
With the marriage of George Binning to Abigail DeNieunenkirk, married the daughter of Wilhelmina and had an off spring of ten Binning children.
John Spencer died at Canalli while uner the care of his daughter Amelia, was taken to “Three Friends” and was buried there.
This information was handed down
John Spencer-Amelia Spencer