Guyana Then And Now

Watooka

Watooka was a residential area of MacKenzie Guyana, named after Watooka Creek (an Amerindian name). It was built to house the staff members of the Demerara Bauxite Company (Demba).

Watooka, MacKenzie, Guyana

Watooka from Sand Hills (photo P Llyn-Jones)

I have recently gained a contributing photographer (P Llyn-Jones). Or I really should say contributions from another family’s collection of photos from the same time and place.

Gwen has fired over a few photos, Ya Hoo

The more the merrier.

We now have an independent blog WatookaCoffeeShop for people that grew up in Watooka just like me.

I grew up in MacKenzie until at age seventeen I was off to university. At the same time Demba was nationalized and my family left for Hawaii. That said, there were two periods of absence. The first was a one year stint in Ewarton, Jamaica during 1961. This was followed by a three year excursion to Arvida, Quebec, Canada from 1963 to 1965.

Downtown MacKenzie, Guyana

Downtown MacKenzie (photo P Llyn-Jones)

A. Choo Kang General Store Mackenzie, Guyana

A. Choo Kang's General Store Mackenzie (photo P Llyn-Jones)

Featured Comment: “Claude Ho providing some background on A. Choo Kang’s
Hi There Mr. Wong,
Your website on MacKenzie, Demerara River, Guyana, is certainly worth viewing by any and every true born Guyanese ( and even some expatriates!).
My connection with MacKenzie is kind of distant as I was not born in, or grew up in, MacKenzie.
I was born in Georgetown and that was where I grew up. However, my father, Benjamin HO, at some time in his very varied lifestyle, did live in MacKenzie, Wismar and Kwakwani at various times with his father, James HO.
One of my brothers and I used to take that long trip up the Demerara river on the R. H. Carr during the August school holidays to spend time with our father.
Just like many of your other readers we used to go exploring the area on our own and yes in our bare feet without any fear of getting hurt in any way.
Benjamin HO was closely associated with the Choo Kangs who owned and ran the A. (Alfred) Choo Kang grocery store (commissary).My father worked at that store for a number of years.
He also did the same at stores in Wismar and Kwakwani.
I would like to say “Hello” to two cousins of mine…Nigel and Robert HO. Their father, my uncle Lawrence (Laurie) HO was one of my father’s brothers. I am presently once again in touch with Robert & Nigel’s brother, Lennox, here in Toronto, Canada.
I am in the process of putting together a family tree (Ho/YIP) and am therefore appealing to all of your readers who might have known of my father in any of those places to get in touch with me. I therefore give you permission to pass my email address on to anyone in this matter.
Robert and Nigel please contact me if you are still in the habit of viewing this website.

On another topic I note that one of your readers spoke about the class society that was instituted by the expatriate Demba personnel.
This was undoubtedly exactly what it was in retrospect. But in our ignorance ( and ignorance was bliss) we youngsters growing up in those times managed to completely disregard that aspect of life and to develop our own identities. Should we forget about that? I think that this has to be resolved by each individual person. Should we blame Demba for what we are now?
And who should we blame for the ugly racial fighting that up to this day still exists in Guyana? Should we continue to live in the past or should we move on??? The decision is ours individually as well as collectively.

Thank you, and this was certainly a journey back into the past.
Claude Ho.”

Barber Shop, MacKenzie, Guyana

MacKenzie Barber Shop (photo P Llyn-Jones)

Featured Comment: “Lawrence A. Munroe (Salar) fills us in on who worked the Barber shop.
Thank you Gerry. Thank you for taking me back to the most memorable years of my life. I, like so many of you, can relate to the McKenzie, Wismar, Christianburg communities in association with Demba, as well as the gated community of Watooka; and thanks to you folks, those pictures created goose bumps as I travelled back in time to those memories of the Recreation Hall, my visits to Mr. Dennis at the Barber Shop. And swimming in the Demerara river as the bauxite ships passed, and so on and so forth.

Great pictures and commentary.”

Royal Bank MacKenzie, Guyana

Royal Bank MacKenzie (photo Gwen)

Two different versions of the Royal Bank, I don’t know the dates.

MacKenzie, Guyana

Royal Bank, MacKenzie, British Guiana

Not sure if this is the Wismar or Mackenzie market.

MacKenzie, Guyana

Market, MacKenzie, British Guiana

MacKenzie, Guyana

Mackenzie Trade School (photo P Llyn-Jones)

Brother Scott attended MacKenzie High School for a short time.

Mackenzie High School, MacKenzie, Guyana

Mackenzie High School (photo P Llyn-Jones)

Featured Comment: “Lincoln Perry gives us background on Mackenzie High School.
Hi All,
Great recap of the “good ole days”. It brought goose bumps to remember the early stuff. I won a Guyana Mine Workers Union Scholarship along with Ronald Hodgson, to attend MHS (free books and tuition), crossed the Demerara River at Dutchie Boat Landing every school day, because we lived at Wismar back then. At MHS Don Hymer taught me soccer, Mr Ogle was the principal, Mr Critchlow was vice principal. My class of 1966 soared with Bruce Ward breaking the GCE “O” Level with 9 subjects; sorry “famous” Blair, “Bottoms” and Joe Bakker. Thank you “Big John” Cummings et al. How can we give back? Keep up the dialog and history of the rise and fall of Bauxite. The saga continues…………
Lincoln

During my youth MacKenzie was a company town, everything existed to service Demba. The town itself had a population of nearly 30,000 and was divided into distinct sections:

Starting Downstream and working upstream on the Demerara river.

Alumina Plant

MacKenzie proper and on the other side of the river Wismar and Christianburg

Bauxite Plant

Watooka”

At this time Bauxite was the big factor in MacKenzie, for more click this link.

Bauxite Plant, MacKenzie, Guyana

Bauxite Plant (photo P Llyn-Jones)

In this next one you can just make out the all important MacKenzie market.

MacKenzie and Wizmar, British Guiana

MacKenzie and Wizmar (photo Alex Hamilton)

North MacKenzie, MacKenzie, Guyana

North MacKenzie (photo Alex Hamilton)

Demba's head office, MacKenzie, Guyana

Demba Head Office at entrance to Bauxite Plant (Photo Evan Wong)

Rail Yard next to the Demba Head Office, MacKenzie, Guyana

Rail Yard next to the Demba Head Office (Photo Evan Wong)

Demba medium sized locomotive, MacKenzie, Guyana

Demba medium sized locomotive at the track control tower

Demba's biggest locomotive, MacKenzie, Guyana

Demba's biggest locomotive (Photo Evan Wong)

Rail Line Leaving Bauxite Plant, MacKenzie, Guyana

Rail Line Leaving the Bauxite Plant (Photo Gwen)

Watooka was were I grew up and it was a very different place compared with the rest of the world or with the rest of Guyana.

It was a self contained and isolated residential area for Demba families who were classed as staff employees. At that time this really meant expatriate employees most of whom were engineers. My dad was Demba’s first Guyanese engineer. The total number of families hovered around one hundred. Everything in Watooka was company owned and provided to the “Staff” as part of their remuneration.

House in Watooka on Riverside Drive, MacKenzie, Guyana

Typical Watooka House (photo P Llyn-Jones)

Watooka was entirely different from the rest of residential MacKenzie and Wizmar. It was built with facilities that would attract foreign engineers. While MacKenzie proper and Wismar were almost typical Guyanese towns.

Culturally Watooka was mostly a mixture of Colonial Britain and Canada with a smattering of Guyanese.

An example of the British colonial tradition was that there was no money. To pay for an item or service you wrote a “chit” (Signed your name on the bill as you would do in a modern hotel dining room if you were a guest). Of course you could only write a chit if you were known as a staff employee or family there of. As an adult looking back on Watooka it seems the “chit” system was a way of enforcing a class system. No one was prevented from entering Watooka but all they could do was look, as they were excluded from the chit system. As a youth it was just a very civilized way to live. It also meant that I grew up with no experience with money. I could go anywhere in Watooka and just sign for things. At the end of the month when the bills came in my parents would make sure that we children weren’t getting out of hand but since that was the way of life no one that I knew of behaved irresponsibly with the chits. As kids we didn’t get an allowance and we didn’t get paid for doing jobs. I frequently caddied for my father on the golf course and things that I needed or wanted would just show up one day but there was no expectation or obligation on either side of the transaction.

As a kid there were very few jobs to be done. Each Watooka family employed several “domestics” that the mothers supervised. Our family usually had a nanny, cooking lady, cleaning lady, washing lady and a male gardener. Each Watooka house had live in quarters for at least two domestics. Each family dealt with their domestics in their own manner. In our house we kids could not issue orders or threats of any kind and in fact were often subjected to disciplinary action by our domestics when we got out of hand. This included getting slapped around. In our house there was no messing around. That was not the case for all Watooka families. My father was raised in a similar manner, while my mother grew up as a homesteaders daughter on the plains of Saskatchewan Canada. Mother had some adapting to do. As a kid about the only job we had to do was clean up any messes that we made. As a kid in Watooka there was no work and all play except for school of course. Watooka had their own primary school run by Canadians on the Canadian curriculum.

Watooka had it’s own farm so there were only infrequent visits to Mackenzie proper to spend real money buying produce that wasn’t available from the Watooka farm. The money thing in MacKenzie had nothing to do with me as a kid, but sometimes I would tag along with my mother and observe the goings on down at the markets. Shopping was not men’s work. I don’t recall my father ever bringing home any kind of food that he hadn’t killed himself. When he did bring home game he always just left it for the women to take care of. My mother having grown up on a farm seemed to rather enjoy dealing with the game herself rather than assigning one of the domestics to the work.

Watooka had it’s own school reserved for members of the “Demba Staff”. It used the Quebec curriculum and most of the teachers were from Canada. I do remember one exception to the Canadian teacher rule and that was a young Guyanese gym teacher.

Watooka Day School, Watooka, MacKenzie, Guyana

Watooka Day School 1960 (Photo P Llyn-Jones)

There were very few toys to be had because of our isolation. On the other hand my Dad had a complete set of tools. These tools combined with the jungle and a bit of imagination made for a different view on life for a kid. Of course as kids we were always leaving the tools laying about and getting them lost and what not. This irresponsibility would really annoy my Dad and he would get very cross with us. But he never took the tools away no matter how many we lost. Now that I have my own son loosing my tools, I know the frustration but I had learned my lesson from my Dad as he probably had from his.

There were four primary sources of entertainment in Watooka for an imaginative kid.

First was a graveyard of old heavy machinery left over from the mines. Things like real steam locomotives and ancient digging contraptions. This was a great place to play hide and seek and find all kinds of useful objects that could be turned into weapons and other toys.

Second were the mines themselves, particularly the exhausted mines. In this part of the world probably as everywhere else Bauxite was mined in open pits. This consisted of removing the overburden which in Mackenzie was sand and piling it up into huge white sand hills. Then the bauxite ore was extracted at the bottom of the hole using a combination of trucks and trains. This meant that there had to be constructed a roadway to the bottom that followed a very low slope. This meant that the typical used mine wasn’t just a hole in the ground but consisted of lots of varied terrain. Being in the Amazonia also means lots of rain and the used mines would quickly fill up with water forming the most amazing lakes and islands. One of the properties of rain water and bauxite is that it acts to create pure clean blue sterile water. The perfect place to swim and explore. Keep in mind that the natural rivers and creeks were infested with Caymen (Aligator), water snakes, electric eels and Pirai making them very spooky places to be swimming. The huge pure white gleaming sand hills were piled high above the jungle canopy making for great lookouts and places to go sand sliding. But the crystal blue lakes were the best, especially during the heat of the day. One useful feature of Bauxite is that it is a clay and it comes in many colors. We used to get as many boys together as we could, form teams, smear our bodies with different colored clays like a uniform and have clay wars among the islands of the blue lakes. Throwing soft clay at each other as we swam from one island to the other in mock invasions, was great fun.

Now a short pause for a rant.

British Guiana has been around in South America for pretty much as long as any other South American country. It is the only country in South America that speaks English. Naturally British Guiana has English names for all the local flora and fauna which is similar to that of the rest of Amazonia. Now, for some strange reason the rest of the English speaking world insists on using Spanish names. What gives? We already have perfectly good good English names. For Pete’s sake get with the program and learn the language, start using the proper English words.

That said it should be easy to guess the Spanish name for Pirai. It’s not what you see in Hollywood. The Pirai in Guyana are big (At least the ones In the Demerara River near our house), typically between four and five pounds and carrying a heavy bite. One of our favorite fishing techniques was to get the left over chicken heads from the Watooka farm, a hook the size of your hand and embed the business end of the hook into the chickens brain through the neck. A chicken head is about the size of your fist and just about as bony. You can guess what kind of powerful bite it takes to get hooked when the pointy part is surrounded completely by bone. After seeing one of these Pirai do their thing, respect comes easily.

Pirai, Demerara River, MacKenzie, British Guiana

Brother Doug with Pirai, maybe 1966 (Photo Bob Wong)

Pirai Stamp, Guyana

Pirai Stamp

Third was the jungle that surrounded us. We could have played endlessly in the jungle, there were creeks and swinging vines and more strange insects and plants every day. There were lots of dangerous things in the jungle and we rarely went alone or unarmed. Our biggest fears were Jaguars and Pumas but as it turned out we only ever saw paw prints. The things that caused the most damage were insects and plants. Snakes were high up on the list of things to worry about. One only had to yell “Snake” at the top of your lungs and everyone in ear shot would drop everything and come running to help kill it. All houses were built on stilts, many people seeing this often think that it’s to avoid floods and things. The real reason is snakes don’t like climbing stairs. For a couple of years we lived in a house on the ground and at least once a month a snake would get loose in the house causing much consternation and dead snakes.

Dead Snake, MacKenzie, Guyana

Me with dead Yakman snake that my father shot (Photo Evan Wong)

Forth was the Demerara river. We didn’t like to do much swimming but fishing and boat building were big favorites. Despite being seventy five miles inland MacKenzie was only three feet above sea level. This meant that the river was tidal, it would reverse itself twice a day. This phenomena was great for boats and rafts and things all you had to do was wait for the right time and the current would change direction and you would get a free ride to wherever you wanted to go.

Fifth were all the man made facilities of Watooka. There were a great many, golf course, tennis courts, badminton courts, swimming pool, fishing lodges, cinema, guest houses, free Land Rovers and best of all the Watook Club House. The club had it’s own restaurant, bar, lounge games room, music room, party rooms, guest rooms and even its’ own barber along with a swimming pool. There were a great many activities organized around the club with at least something fairly major once a month. The cinema showed a new movie every second night and a special Saturday matinée with free pop corn for the kids provided graciously by one of the Mums.

Watooka club, MacKenzie, Guyana

Watooka Club and Pool (Photo Evan Wong)

Most of the kids in Watooka were from North American stock and showed more preference toward the man made facilities.

The Watooka House (a.k.a Watooka Club) was on the Demerara River and housed a collection of boats and docks necessary for transportation back to civilization. The most memorable of those boats was the Polaris. It had been acquired by Demba after World War II as part of Germany’s war reparations. I don’t think it had any thing to do with all that expensive digging to bury the expanded Bauxite plant hiding it from the Germans during the war, but you never know. The Polaris wasn’t real a torpedo boat but a torpedo recovery boat. In any event it was a cool boat in those days.

Bob on the Polaris

Me on the Polaris (Torpedo Recovery Boat) (Photo Evan Wong)

Demba had several other boats for different uses. There was the Suripanna a high speed boat and the Dorabeci a more luxurious motor launch.

Suripanna on the Demerara River, Guyana

Suripanna on the Demerara River (Photo Evan Wong)

There were several periods of time that British Guiana Airways ran an air service to Watooka from Georgetown. A flight on the Grumman was always a memorable experience in more ways than one. A landing ramp was built for the Grumman Goose on the Demerara River at the Watooka club.

They would also occasional land at the Mackenzie paved airstrip (A relic from World War II, built by the Americans to defend the Bauxite industry)

Grumman Goose at Watooka Club, MacKenzie, Guyana

Grumman Goose at Watooka House landing Mackenzie-1959 (Photo P Llyn-Jones)

Watooka Club from the Demerara River, MacKenzie, Guyana

Watooka Club from the River before the ramp was built

Grumman Goose at the MacKenzie Airstrip, MacKenzie, Guyana

Grumman Goose at the MacKenzie Airstrip (Photo Evan Wong)

Piasecki H21 Flying Banana Shawnee at MacKenzie Airstrip, MacKenzie, Guyana

Piasecki H21 Flying Banana Shawnee at MacKenzie Airstrip (photo P Llyn-Jones)

Another mode of public transport to Georgetown was the R.H. Carr. On the other hand anyone who was anyone had their own high speed motor boat.

R.H. Carr, on the Demerra River, British Guiana (photo P Llyn-Jones)

R.H. Carr, on the Demerara River, British Guiana (photo P Llyn-Jones)

R.H. Carr, Demerara River, Guyana

R.H. Carr (Photo Gwen)

Bauxite Ore Ship in the Demerara River, Guyana

Other major shipping on the Demerara were the Bauxite Ore ships traveling to and from Arvida, Canada. (Photo P Llyn-Jones)

For more on Bauxite shipping from Demba check out the Saguenay Terminals of the Merchant Marine.

I was lucky in having two brothers along with two sets of neighbors from Norway and Holland that could usually be counted upon to come out and help terrorize the land. Despite our fears of the natural dangers around, our biggest threat probably came from the guard dogs that every second family had. Followed closely by free roaming cattle. These cattle were not your Hollywood cows but rather the kind that could look out for them selves. We never went anywhere unless armed to the teeth. The best weapons seemed to be long spears because of their versatility. A spear can easily keep big nasty dogs at bay as well as probe delicately along the trails to make sure snakes weren’t up to no good. Of course we had to get into ranged weapons just because of their high tech nature not their usefulness. We spent months learning how to make decent bows and arrows. As soon as we had mastered the art, father would magically show up with real fiberglass bows that put our flimsy efforts to shame. Strangely enough though, he never brought a decent supply of arrows. I guess he figured we should make our own. We learned to gang up and maneuver around in the jungle with enough firepower to stay out of harms way. Like any arms race it wasn’t long before we went on the offensive and began hunting.

When going to school we had to wear shoes and dress properly. As soon as school was out, off came the shoes and shirts. Running around barefoot was the only way to go. Our jungle was not full off rocks but there were lots a wet things that shoes or boots just can’t deal with effectively. Once your feet are toughened up there are some real advantages over shoes when it comes to sneaking around. First; you can feel with your feet allowing you to walk much more quietly. Second; You also have a significant advantage when it comes to multi terrain activities in the jungle. It’s not just the wet parts, but the fact that the jungle is three dimensional. There are all kinds of things up in the trees and feet are great for climbing and fording jungle streams. Thirdly; It’s just more comfortable.

I had taken a crack at hunting ever since I can first remember but with very limited success due to my primitive bows, spears and sling shots. Consequently I didn’t learn much. Then came the pellet gun. As was my fathers custom these just appeared out of now where and were left lying around for us to use. He gave us enough instruction so we wouldn’t hurt ourselves or do any damage. The first air gun that arrived was a very powerful .22 caliber pellet rifle. The spring was to strong for us little guys to cock the gun. Shortly there appear a much smaller and less powerful air gun checking at .177 caliber. With much effort this gun was usable, but it was some time before I ventured into hunting with it. By the time I laid aim on my first prey I had already become a good shot. The first kill was really an accident. I saw a bird land at the top of a tree about one hundred yards away, far beyond the effective range of my pellet gun. Just for the heck of it I took aim about three yards high of the bird and pulled the trigger. I watched the pellet fly in a graceful arc toward the bird and it seemed to pass very close. The bird jumped up and flew away but only to the next tree where it landed. Our German Shepard dog was with me and she sensing something wrong with the pry immediately took off in chase. How she could see what was happening was beyond me. A couple of seconds later the bird flew to another tree. The combination of the excited dog and the erratic behavior of the bird moved me to action and I took off at a run following the dog. As soon as I started running I lost sight of the bird. Every now and again I could see it flapping desperately as it neared the ground. Our German Shepard was right on track and getting very excited as it run through the bush in chase. I mostly followed the dog. By the time I was half way to the bird it was swooping very low to the ground and the dog was right on it grabbing it as soon as it touched down. I was now chasing after the dog and yelling at it as I experienced my first excitement of the hunt . With bird in mouth she ran away from me in a big circle eventually arriving back at the kitchen door to our house with me still in chase and out off breath but with the adrenaline pumping. The dog dropped the bird at the door just as if she had been a perfectly trained retriever. With me yelling and all everyone in the house soon arrived to view the spoils of the hunt. My father was among the spectators. He took me aside and gave some lecture about responsible hunting the upshot being that I had to clean and eat the bird. The eating part was fine but the cleaning part was much harder than expected. From that point forward I was much more discrete with my hunting and quickly learned not to bring the dog, not because of the retriever thing but because she just wasn’t a stalker. With that weak pellet gun you had to get close.

Pretty soon I was killing all kinds of stuff. My favorite target became lizards primarily because it was easy to get within effective range of the pellet gun. Soon it was too easy, so I started throwing a rock to get the lizard to start running and then try and shoot on the move. As I got better I stopped using the pellet gun as it just wasn’t sporting enough. I started using the bows and arrows and sling shots. I even tried my hand at blow guns, but without access to poison, the blow gun is completely ineffectual. My favorite sport with the blow guns was to hunt house flies. I’d make tiny darts out of pins and needles from my mothers sewing kit. Hunting flies was lots of fun. I even progressed to the point of trying to shoot them out of the air as they were buzzing around. I started getting good with the bow and arrow and progressed to the point where I was trying to shoot birds on the wing. I quickly learned that this was almost impossible not because I couldn’t shoot well enough but the birds could see the arrows coming and make evasive maneuvers.

My last store bought arrow, the only arrow that would fly true was stolen by a Parrot. Parrots were tough to shoot with the bow. They flew at high speed and would not let a hunter approach to within bow range. These characteristics just made it more fun. Sneaking up on the Parrots without getting caught was great fun even if I didn’t get a shot off. My last arrow I had was lost on a Parrot hunt. I snuck up to effective range from behind the Parrot and put the arrow right through the bird from the back. Only the arrow had just penetrated the underside of the skin and not the body. The Parrot flew off heading for the other side of the Demerara river. Half way across it ran out of gas and made a water landing. There was no way to retrieve the bird or arrow due to my fear of Pirai in the water.

After several years of this I developed a case of remorse and have not hunted since. I have killed the odd varmit but always as a last case resort.

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So what is happening in modern day MacKenzie? Click image below to read on.

We’ve several updates to this page, so you might want to check often.

Watooka from Blue Mountain Road

Modern day Watooka from Richmond Hill (Photo Jim McTurk)

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Just found a great collection of photo’s showing Modern MacKenzie/Linden. Click photo to go to the collection from GuyMine on Facebook. Now, if only they would give us full screen images.

Ferry across the Demerara River, Linden, Guyana

Modern MacKenzie oops Linden, photo from GuyMine on Facebook

The boys were making a video documentary, now lets see if anyone can find that video on the web.

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More Stories – from other contributors, click image below.

Ferry at Wizmar,  Demerara River, 2009, Linden, Guyana

Ferry at Wizmar, Demerara River, Linden, 2009 (photo keith4709 on Flickr)

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Note: There is a huge collections of comments attached to this page containing all kinds of nifty pickings. The comments might also be a way of locating long lost buddies.
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388 Comments »

  1. Hi:

    Yes. I remember you as a little kid. Your father is Evan Wong, right? There was once a strike, and he came to our house with some of the supervisors (my husband was one) with whom he was negotiating. I had not done any shopping yet, and could not go out because of the strike. So I fed them the only thing I had on hand. Sandwiches made of seasoned mashed potatoes! Very embarrassing. They must have thought it was a strike protest on my part.

    He once had a party at his house in Watooka and invited us, along with some of his other employees. That’s how I saw you, running around all over the place.
    _____________________________________

    BobW (Pleased to meet you Gwendolyn. You’re right about my father, and some kid “running all over the place”, sounds like me. Have you happened upon any others on the net from the “Old Days”? I’d be interested in other stories and what not.

    Now that I’ve had some time to think about it I seem to recall that strike. I also seem to recall my “Old Man” discussing the issue with my mother and saying that in general strikes are derived from management practices and that with good management there would be no strikes. It’s definitely one of those things I’d like to believe was true. Thanks to your comment I now know where I first learned it.)

    Comment by Gwendolyn — September 1, 2008 @ 11:44 pm | Reply

  2. I am curious as to the origin of the name Watooka. I am trying to find more imformation on why the town was named Watooka and who named it. Perhaps even the language the name originated from and it’s meaning.
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    BobW (Peter, Great question. I’ve been scouring the internet for that answer for more than a year with no luck. But your prompting turned on a light bulb. All I had to do was ask my father. Here is his reply. “Named after Watooka Creek, which was an Amerindian name. Don’t know what it means. The bridge going to the staff compound crossed Watooka Creek.”

    As a boy I followed that Watooka Creek to it’s source, which was the “Tailings Pond” for the Bauxite plant. A tailings pond is where they dumped the factory waste water allowing it to be naturally filtered before flowing into the Demerara River.

    I would guess that before the tailings pond it must have been a natural swamp. We used to catch lots of fish in that tailings pond but you had to be very careful of the quick sand made from very fine Bauxite residue that came to be from the factory waste water. Once got my motor bike so stuck had to hoof it home to get my brothers for help.)

    Comment by Peter Styles — September 14, 2008 @ 6:42 am | Reply

  3. Dear Bob

    What a fabulous site.. I have enjoyed reading every minute of it!!! The pictures are great.

    I guess the levels of conservation were not so high in those days to be draining the tailing ponds off into the Demerara River.. eek!!! turns the mind of a conservationalist through degrees of fright.

    I appreciate the effort you have taken to provide us all with such a wonderful presentation of our evaporated past.
    Thank you

    My email is different from what was posted in this letter… I am planning to be in Canada this summer coming and would the opportunity to catch up. I would have so loved to have been with you all in Toronto.

    Regards

    Eileen
    ________________________________________

    BobW (The tailings pond couldn’t have been too bad as it held fish and the water was perfectly clear. “Evaporated past”… you must mean, as in the nose of a fine wine wafting from a brandy snifter as the sun fades into glory.

    We’ll be looking forward to seeing you next summer then Eileen, see if you can coordinate travel plans with those two guys from Brazil and Japan then we could do it right proper. In the mean time I could use a few stories from Australia, maybe even a picture or two.)

    Comment by Eileen Malabre — September 16, 2008 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

    • Watooka was owned by the Dutch Cloot DeNieunwerk.

      Comment by Deanna — June 30, 2010 @ 12:47 am | Reply

      • Hi my name is sunita and am trying to fine my family from lowood demerara river, my grand had a shop up in the demerara river and i thinks people call him sunny Mohabir. My grand father father was an indian and mother was a british women he had four sons and four daughters. one of his son was my father call kenneth. is there any one on this site can help me. please Email me sonia_711m@yahoo.dk. thanks

        Comment by Sunita — December 29, 2012 @ 2:52 am

  4. I did a little research on Watooka …Firstly I wasn’t sure about which of the many Indigenous languages it came from. There are a dozen or so.

    The closest word I could find was Carib “wotoka” which comes from woto meaning fish. Seems appropriate.

    If I find anything else I’ll post it here.

    Comment by meroza — September 18, 2008 @ 6:03 pm | Reply

  5. Bob,

    I was siting here in Houston on a Friday afternoon and thought that just for the heck of it I would Google “Mackenzie, British Guiana” and see what, if anything, it would come up with….and I’m blown away with this your web site and the accompanying photographs and dialogue of days shared long ago in Mackenzie….all of which I remember with complete clarity.

    As I read though your stories, I wondered to myself where are my contemporaries of that time…your lovely sisters Linda and (oops)?, the Quinns (all of them!), Brian Bagatto, Brian McAnallen, Leslie Bromo, Linda Robin, Eileen Malabre, the Flynns, and so many, many more?

    What a idillic life we all lead. You may not have known but my father, John Langham, was a collector of butterflies and insects and anything that crept and crawled…including snakes! As such, I was his indentured assistant in many adventures along jungle trails seeking out rare and elusive species for his fomidible collection. I loved every minute of it and tresure the memories.

    please feel free to share my email address with anyone of my contemporaries who might want to reconnect….and thank you so much for bring back these memories.

    All the very best

    Julian Langham

    ____________________________________________________

    BobW(Julian, This Watooka thing is starting to get real good, I’ve just fired you an email with more details. I’ll bet you and your dad have a real collection of photos. Check your email)

    Comment by Julian Langham — September 19, 2008 @ 6:57 pm | Reply

    • Hi Julian: My name is Gwendolyn, and I was your Dad’s as his secretary around about 1962/63 when he was the Security Officer for the bauxite company. Your Dad has a great sense of humor and liked to draw. How is he doing?

      Comment by Gwendolyn Jones-Persaud Ram — February 7, 2013 @ 1:57 am | Reply

      • Gwendolyn……Thanks for your note from Feb. 7th, 2013, and I apologize for the tardy reply, but I haven’t visited this site for such a long time. It’s so nice of you to have remembered my father, John Langham, and written a note about him. Yes indeed, he loved to draw, and he might be especially remembered by anyone who was on staff at Demba during the years 1959 to 1967 for his caricatures in the Saturday Morning Bulletin which he loved to accompany with quips in the local dialect. Sadly, he died in September 1989, almost a year to the day after the Guyana Days Reunion held in Montreal. It was an event that brought him much joy in seeing old friends once again. My father left Guyana in 1967, but he was totally at home in that country, in the bush, and Guyana never left him.

        Comment by Julian Langham — November 19, 2014 @ 11:32 pm

    • Hi Julian, My name is John Gale, My dad was Jerry Gale. We lived virtually across the street from you folks on Richmond Hill. I often remember visiting and seeing your dad’s insect collection. We also left in 1967, but the years there will always be fond memories.

      Comment by John Gale — November 20, 2014 @ 11:43 pm | Reply

      • Hi Julian, m mom, Rona Williams used to work for the Langham family. Do you remember her? Later, she wed Edgar Leonard from Demba, bauxite company.

        Comment by Patricia Hinds(daughter) — August 7, 2016 @ 4:33 am

  6. Bob, do you remember when the signing of chits turned into a ticket system? I remember Dad telling me the Club committee had met and decided they had to change the way of doing things.

    The adults purchased the tickets and gave them to us at their discretion. I think it came into being in 1966 or 1967 and allowed the parents to have more control.

    Maybe we were all eating too many of those delicious hamburgers and chocolate sundaes at the club every day!
    ______________________________________________

    BobW (I don’t remember them ever switching it over.)

    Comment by meroza — September 20, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  7. I definitely remember the ticket system – we still called them chits and used to trade them just like cash. Those burgers were so good – I always wondered why no fast food joint ever caught on to supplying red relish as a condiment. Malteasers and icecream sandwiches were my favourite treats – I still like them.
    One day at the pool, I was swimming in the shallow end when somebody pushed one of the Grasandy kids (their dad worked at the farm) into the deep end. Nobody realized he couldn’t swim. I knew he couldn’t swim but didn’t figure out he was in the water until he was going down for the third time. Everyone else thought he was faking it, but when I saw who it was, I tore over and dragged him out. He had taken on a lot of water, but survived the ordeal. When he had recovered, he wanted to thank me by offering me his hard-earned collection of “chits”. I refused and shook hands instead – we were pretty good friends from then onwards. We all got in big trouble with the grownups over the incident and the Grasandy kids were not allowed to hang around the pool again. We still hung out with them when we were down at the farm fishing for Pirai, cabadal and dowri.

    Comment by dougwong — September 20, 2008 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

  8. Julian!!

    Was so lovely to see your note. You didn’t give your email. Would love to hear more news of you. I am living in Australia now but we are hoping next summer to all gather once again in Canada.
    Would love to hear from you
    Eileen ogdiva75@gmail.com

    Comment by Eileen Malabre — September 22, 2008 @ 9:02 am | Reply

  9. Margo

    Hi there.. your email was also not on the register. Would love to hear from you too. I heard that you are coming out this way, just to New Zealand or will you visit Aus as well? It would be great to catch up on your news.

    Eileen ogdiva75@gmail.com

    Comment by Eileen Malabre — September 22, 2008 @ 9:04 am | Reply

  10. Great Pictures!
    Anyone have more of these to share?

    Comment by pscottwong — September 30, 2008 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  11. Eileen – where is Mike now and your “little” brother?
    I have a cousin still in Perth, but never managed to get that far, although my late husband did NZ and those parts.
    I remember well when you came home from school in Barbados with the accent!
    Bernie and I have a “cottage” on Lake Erie 45 minutes’ (approx.) drive from Niagara Falls, which would be perfect for a reunion some time. See http://www.cottagesincanada.com/parkview

    Comment by Pat Cusack nee Hunte — October 14, 2008 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

  12. Hello…I came upon your site quite by accident…but enjoyed it so much.
    I was looking for the Wong family that lived in Watooka in the 60’s…I went to Alma College with Linda Chuleen Evan Wong and Jennifer Diana Evan Wong in the 60’s and have lost all contact…I know that their Fathers name was Evan and they had brothers but for the life of me I couldn’t remember those names!(old age you know!) Could you please pass on the message to your sisters that I am looking for them?Keep up the good work here …the site is wonderful!! …wendy

    Comment by Wendy Jones-Prouse — October 20, 2008 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

    • Hi Wendy,
      I was a good friend of Linda Wong when she was in Toronto going to university in 1969, and visited Mackenzie over Christmas with her. I subsequently lost touch with her, but would love to get her email address to touch base and say Hi. If you have it, could you send it to me? David

      Comment by David Etkin — August 29, 2013 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

    • Hello Wendy — and others — I too went to Alma with Jennifer and Linda. I would love to know if anyone has contact information for either of them? Thanks so much.

      Comment by Anne Tayler — December 15, 2016 @ 5:26 am | Reply

  13. Dear Bob, I was randomly browsing sites and what a pleasure to see this one and your pictures. It brought back so many good memories!
    I was one of the Canadians in the crowd at Watooka, swimming in the club pool as young boy, sliding down the sand-hills …. ~ 1963-66, until Demba moved us to Georgetown …. and we went on to Jamaica in 68.
    For a while I lived across the road from Jillian Langham and I well remember his father’s butterfly and insect collection.
    My parents have many pictures of Mackenzie and I will see if
    I can’t get some and scan then in.
    Many thanks for this. Great idea.
    Andrew Thomas

    Comment by Andrew Thomas — January 13, 2009 @ 5:50 pm | Reply

  14. Dear Bob:

    It was very nostalgic to read your blog about your childhood days in Mackenzie, as well as the comments from the others who also grew up in Mackenzie. We remember you parents, Chris & Evan, very well and have also had visits from your sister Linda & husband Jim. We also remember with fondness the parents of some of your correspondents, the Forbes, Mallinsons, Malabres. What fun we all had both at the Golf Club & the Watooka Club.

    Those were the good, old days. Say hello to your Dad for us.

    Bonnie & Jimmy Kranenburg

    Comment by Bonnie & Jimmy Kranenburg — January 15, 2009 @ 11:19 pm | Reply

    • Hi This is a very interesting site. I used to attend St Joseph’s High in Georgetown with Carol Kranenburg and we exchanged a lot of novels between us as we both read alot. Carol was really bright also came first in class every term. She was a really nice person, but I lost touch with her when she went to Bishops for A Levels and I went to QC for same (1983-1985). It would be nice to get in touch with her to say hello.
      Andrew Walker (Andy)

      Comment by Andrew Walker — July 18, 2011 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

    • HI; my name is Andrew Mallinson; the 3rd of 4 sons of Robin & Elizabeth Mallinson. My parents are still alive and my father is in great form at 88, still playing golf etc! Will be sharing this with my brothers and father best wishes Andrew Mallinson

      Comment by Andrew Mallinson — February 27, 2017 @ 12:33 pm | Reply

  15. Thanks you so much for the pictures and also the telling of the great life as a youngster in McKenzie. I often remeber those times and tell my friends and family about those times growing up. Your site reminds me of even more things that were a little further back in my memory. Certainly the farm and fishing the golf course and sand sliding. I do remeber seeing a apir of pantheres from the golf course while caddying and then had to make it back up the hill in the dusk. I certainly moved vary rapidly that night. i also remeber always having some kind of stick whether on foot or my bike to fend off the many dogs that just seemed to enjoy chasing a lone boy on foot or bike. I hope that all iwell with you and all your family’ My Mum forwarded the website to me and iw il certainly let both my son and Daughter see it. thanks so much.
    Vince Chung Jr

    Comment by Vince Chung Jr — January 16, 2009 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  16. Hi
    My name is Vernon Rodd. My fathers name is Allison Rodd and we lived in MacKenzie from 1958 to 1963 or there abouts- not quite sure as I was only five or six years old. Enjoyed your recounts of live there and I have a few similar recollections.
    Thanks for the pictures

    Comment by Vernon Rodd — February 17, 2009 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  17. Hi Folks,
    Found your site today and was blown away with all the photos etc. My dad was Laurie Ho and we lived in the house next to Dr. Rosa. I remember Carol, Patrick, Margo and Robert and Dexter Hutt who lived in the ‘stone house’ back in the early 50’s. I did most of my schooling in Georgetown and Barbados before going to England. I remember your Dad and wasn’t he was useful at golf. Did he represent BG at golf? I still think of all that beautiful fruit that you just picked off the tree. I also remembered getting free popcorn and fresh lime drink after the Saturday morning film show in Watooka.

    Comment by Nigel Ho — April 21, 2009 @ 6:37 am | Reply

    • Hi Nigel:
      I know your family well. I believe I have a picture of your house in Watooka; its a very old picture it is on my FB site; to find me on FB, used my email address. Anyhow, your Dad & my Dad were friends, but my Dad was not much of a visitor. I remember riding my bike all the way from Mackenzie into the end of Watooka, and stopping in on the way home to your Mom to say hi, she always had a glass on lemonade for me. Just the other day I was telling a friend about that.:))

      Comment by Deanna — June 30, 2010 @ 12:59 am | Reply

  18. My brother Nigel pointed me to your site, and blog. What memories they bring back. It was good to see the old photos of the area. When we went back the Watooka in 1997 after Dad’s funeral I did not immediately recognise Riverside Drive let alone Casuarina Drive, the area had deteriorated so much. Our old house on Riverside Drive was a shade of it’s former self, and No. 140 (Watooka) – can’t remember the newer number was on the point of collapse. Sometime in the early 1970s the houses were all renumbered consecutively, starting at the end of the Camp furthest from the Watooka Creek. Must say that I don’t remember the Watooka Day School as I was at Lodge School in Barbados as were Chubby (Lennox), Nigel and Terry (brothers).
    As to the “chit” system at the Watooka Club: I know a man who would have made sure that they were paid up at the end of the month!!
    Then round about 1960 the British Army came to Watooka and successive regiments were billetted in the two houses next to ours – No 140 and the one directly behind it, nearest the river. It was nice to reminisce.

    Comment by Robert Ho — April 21, 2009 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

    • Hi,
      I was googling ” Robert Ho”, who was a colleague of mine during the 60’s. I came upon this site and saw the reference to The Lodge School and was wondering if you might be the same Ho as we only used Surnames in school.

      If you are, I have a photo that I took of you outside our class room in Oct , 1961.
      Sincerely,
      Harris

      Comment by Michael Harris — September 18, 2010 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

  19. Hi Bob( I remember you as Bobby)

    Wonderful memories. I was born in Mackenzie in 1950(A mudhead)and schooled there until 1961. My Dad was the civil engineer for the Bauxite Co in Mackenzie(my parents were Win and Vince Glenn). I went to school with your sisters, Linda and Jennifer in Watooka and many of the others mentioned by Julian Langham. I went off to Boarding School in Ireland in 1961 but did return to Guyana for a couple of summer vacations. Love the pictures, have quite a few from those times and movies of my parents in the bush.I am living in Canada now but just spend 2 years on Roatan, an island off Honduras. Just can’t get the tropics out of my blood. We still own a house there and return when we can.

    Sandra Allison(nee Glenn)

    Comment by Sandra Allison(nee Glenn) — June 24, 2009 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

  20. Dear Mr. Wong,

    My name is Stephanie. It was my wish to contact you via phone or mail. Your email was all that was available so I hope this reaches you in good health. Presently, at my work place, we are putting together a book of memoirs for a friend of ours that past away. In his journal he mentioned Mackenzie. Upon some research, we came across the picture you have posted on your blog “downtown Mackenzie”. The image would work well with our book and, if it is not too much trouble, we would like to utilize your image. You would, of course, receive credit in the book. We would display your name proudly in the book if we are able to procure the image from you. Please contact me if you should have any questions or concerns.

    Sincerely,
    Stephanie Ruwell

    Stephanie@oursecretagency.com
    954-370-0606 x26
    ______________________________

    BobW (Stephanie, I’ll have to refer you to my friend Pauline, her father took the picture, check your email)

    Comment by Stephanie Ruwell — July 7, 2009 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  21. I appreciate your swift response. I look forward to receiving your friend’s email with great anticipation.

    Stephanie Ruwell
    stephanie@oursecretagency.com

    Comment by Stephanie Ruwell — July 8, 2009 @ 10:27 am | Reply

  22. I rember your Dad, Evan Wong, he was a friend of my Dad. My Dad worked at Demba since 1916. He was 17 years old then. He invented the Steam Engine(the Kiln) in his last years at Demba he was a teacher at the Trade School for about 5 years. Manly Binning. By the way, Watooka was first owned by our Anscestors way back in the 1800; Noigdacht by the R.F. Allicocks; the DeNieunenkerks owned Watooka by Cloot DeNieunenkerk. When my father passed in 1986, he left a Legacy that is very beneficial to the rest of families left behind. Thanks for the pictures; brings back lots of memories. I remember once my Dad sent me to Choo Kang to buy some fishing hooks, I stay so so long, that when I came home, he said, “where is the fish”? I was puzzled, he said that I stayed so long, he thought that I caught the fish already. He was a funny little guy. I love your Website.
    Thanks
    Deanna

    Comment by Deanna Binning/ Peterson — September 1, 2009 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

  23. I believe the other boat that was not the R.H. Carr was the Canje Pheasant; we used to call it the “Excursion Boat” that would come up once in a while with people from mostly Georgetown; usually arrive in Mackenzie at about noon, and leave about 6 in the evening, I remember a lot of people who party so much got left behind LOL. Those were “the good ole days”!

    Comment by Deanna Binning/ Peterson — September 1, 2009 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

  24. Yeah, everyone knew Evan Wong, the great local engineer. I used to caddy for him at the Watooka Golf Club.

    This is the best collection of pictures that I’ve seen capture the essence of the Mackenzie (Cocotara)/Watooka area in the 50’s/50’s.

    Where are Georgie Binning and Jimmy Kranenburg?

    Gerry King
    grrdkin@aol.com
    ________________________________________

    BobW (Gerry, Quite the coincidence as I too, used to caddy for my father, man was that bag heavy, on the other hand I was pretty small then. My old man is still playing golf but now he does his own caddying.

    I can’t take credit for any of the pictures. All the pictures I personally took of Guyana went missing long ago. In these pages the pictures come from various sources, some pictures are by my Dad or at least his camera, but some of the best come from Pauline Llyn-Jones taken by her dad.

    Jimmy and Bonnie left a comment on this page earlier but no word since.

    Comment by Gerry King — September 1, 2009 @ 11:21 pm | Reply

  25. Wow!!!! Great pictures.
    These shots brought back memories of Mackenzie that I had long forgotten. The good thing about this, is that it showed the original images and to some extent the care taken to keep that place clean. You wont want to see it now.
    Good memories..especially DEMBA not Guymine nor Bosai…

    Comment by Julian Caesar — September 2, 2009 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

  26. Very nostalgic stuff indeed. Good work BobW.

    Also see some very familar names; Bobby and Nigel Ho. What’s up guys?
    Guess that’s Major J.Langham that was mentioned in an earlier post.

    Gerry; Jimmy K is still up Richmond Hill I think and Georgie B in GT or Mackenzie.

    Deanna Binning/Peterson; presently in Guyana there are a lot of “Boat Cruise” from Parika up to Bartica on the Essiquibo river. Where people usally party no stop. Quite recently I was telling my friends about those excursion that went to Mackenzie in the “good ole days” also making reference about those who got left behind. LOL.

    Comment by John Cush — September 2, 2009 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

  27. Interesting to see these pictures from a Watooka perspective, a view I never had, except very briefly when our Christianburg Boy Scout troop was allowed into the Watooka area to do “bob a job” fund raising.

    As Julian Caesar said, few of you will want to see it now! But if anyone’s interested just email me at David.Yaw@gmail.com, and there will be tons of contemporary pictures to show you what is Watooka 2009.
    _______________________________

    BobW (David, I’ve sent my email, can’t wait for more pics, get them up on the web)

    Comment by David Yaw — September 3, 2009 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  28. Hi All,
    Great recap of the “good ole days”. It brought goose bumps to remember the early stuff. I won a Guyana Mine Workers Union Scholarship along with Ronald Hodgson, to attend MHS (free books and tuition), crossed the Demerara River at Dutchie Boat Landing every school day, because we lived at Wismar back then. At MHS Don Hymer taught me soccer, Mr Ogle was the principal, Mr Critchlow was vice principal. My class of 1966 soared with Bruce Ward breaking the GCE “O” Level with 9 subjects; sorry “famous” Blair, “Bottoms” and Joe Bakker. Thank you “Big John” Cummings et al. How can we give back? Keep up the dialog and history of the rise and fall of Bauxite. The saga continues…………
    Lincoln
    ________________________________

    BobW (Lincoln, I think it would be great if we all could get pics and recollections up on the web for others to enjoy. Anyone reading this, should click on Lincoln’s name, it takes you over to his art web site. For me he has a collection that shows a real Guyanese flair, check it out.)

    Comment by Lincoln Perry — September 3, 2009 @ 9:35 am | Reply

  29. Hi everyone,
    it is a great pleasure to take this step down memory lane, it brings back good memories. When I look at these pictures, it seems like it was just yesterday.

    I would like to thank you all, for such pleasant memories.

    Herman Babb

    Comment by Herman Babb — September 3, 2009 @ 10:15 am | Reply

    • I remember the Bob family very well. We lived on Arvida Rd opposite the snack bar in those days. Y are more likely to remember my older brother, Ernest. Glad to see your comment.

      Comment by Edward Tappin — June 6, 2010 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

  30. Hello to ALL & Bunnie and Jimmy K!

    My life started at Wismar in 1935, my Father was Frank Eustace and my mother Philomena (Phil).

    Lived at Wismar with my sister Sheila until 1939 when we moved over the river to MacKenzie.
    We lived in the bungalow that was located between the VanSertima’s and the Proctor’s down stream (northerly) of the Cheeatow’s who was the DBXCo (Denmba was the later name) Pilot who brought the Bauxite boats from Georgetown to MacKenzie.

    Dad was connected to th MU Stores (Materials Unused) during the World War of 1939 to 1945.
    I remember the Binnings, VanSertimas, Proctors and Cheatows, the later of whom I am I have contact on a regular basis here in Toronto.

    We departed MacKenzie in 1943/44 for Georgetown with our recent addition, son(1943) and brother Richard.

    My wife Mary (Lewis) of Kitty and I together with our son (Frank) and daughter (Diane) migrated to Toronto, Canada in 1964 via Chicoutimi,Port Alfred, Quebec, across the Saguenay River from ARVIDA (ARthur VInin DAvis) an earlier Director of ALCOA/ALCAN, the Aluminum Smelters of ALCAN. Of course I had to see where the Bauxite ended up. (ALCOA) Aluminium Company of America and you guessed it correctly (ALCAN) the Aluminium Company of Canada, noticed the spelling of Aluminum.

    Regards to All
    Frank
    ___________________________________

    BobW (Wow Frank, great contribution to the collective. The derivation of Arvida is particularly enlightening as was the bit on river pilots. I’ll bet you have more. We need to get this stuff up on the net.)

    Comment by Frank B. Delph — September 3, 2009 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

    • Frank can I ask if you knew Edgar Mittelholzer. I recently came across a letter dated 1941 in which Mittelholzer describes Douglas Delph as ‘one of his good friends’. I’m assuming Douglas was your brother and that you might have some info on Mittelholzer?

      Comment by Juanita Cox — July 12, 2011 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  31. I am elated to see these photos of my country and part of the Country that I have considered my home since I’ve left my other home in Hopetown, Westcoast Berbice where I was born. Seeing that my younger years were spent in McKenzie, I have grown to live and love that part of my life. My father worked in the Mills. The constant turning of those Kilns was something to behold. But, at the same time, it took a toll on his life. Anyhow, I would love to trade information about McKenzie\Linden as much as possible with you. Thank you for these memories. Thank you.
    ___________________

    BobW (Joseph, The more the better, looking forward to it.)

    Comment by G. Joseph-Watson — September 3, 2009 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  32. Thanks For sharing your memories of Watooka. Unfortunately my memories are bitter sweet Watooka will always remind me of the segregated society we lived in, where Guyanese were regarded as second class citizens.
    __________________________

    BobW (Bonny, Looking back on those times through adult eyes I can see lots of problem areas. I think the best we can do is to tell it like it was or at least the way we remembered and hopefully we can all benefit from those recollections. Personally I tend to shy away from the bad memories as they don’t seem to do me any good. On the other hand I feel they should not be forgotten as they do serve as warning posts on the road of life. Still it’s painful trying to write them down.)

    Comment by Bonny Waddell — September 3, 2009 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  33. I have visited Mac City several times.
    My work place was Water Works in Georgetown, and we were being supplied with chemicals from the plant for the purification of the water supply.

    Love these pictures.
    Nehru from Kitty.

    Comment by Nehru Sheow from Kitty. — September 3, 2009 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  34. Thanks Johnny! Frank Delph, you are a living history book…DBXco, Material Unused…I didn’t know that. Give us more. What about the Cheeatow that attended Mackenzie High School. Where is he now? Was Lam of Lam Photo Studio related to him?

    Gerry

    Comment by Gerry King — September 3, 2009 @ 9:41 pm | Reply

    • Hi Jerry:
      Yes, Dickie Cheeatow is living in Guyana. Lynton Lam is in Canada. I am facebook friends with Lynton.

      Comment by Deanna Peterson — October 11, 2010 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  35. Thank you Gerry. Thank you for taking me back to the most memorable years of my life. I, like so many of you, can relate to the McKenzie, Wismar, Christianburg communities in association with Demba, as well as the gated community of Watooka; and thanks to you folks, those pictures created goose bumps as I travelled back in time to those memories of the Recreation Hall, my visits to Mr. Dennis at the Barber Shop. And swimming in the Demerara river as the bauxite ships passed, and so on and so forth.

    Great pictures and commentary.

    Comment by Lawrence A. Munroe (Salar) — September 4, 2009 @ 11:54 am | Reply

    • SALAR,How are you? Still toe dancing? What of Leslie?

      Comment by Edward Tappin — June 6, 2010 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

      • Salar will you please email me at Walpetrie@gmail.com This is a great site. I am enjoying reading it and seeing the pics, although I can’t place a lot of faces to the names which I do remember. I really want to be in contact.

        Comment by Walter Petrie — May 15, 2011 @ 3:57 am

  36. Thank you for posting these great memories of Mckenzie,my beloved uncles and brotherS,and great grand parents was from Wismar area ,the famous Poka restaurant,and I do have great childhood memories of Mckenzie under colonialism before Guyana got independent and migrated to Canada ,then the USA,PEACE,LOVE,&UNITY TO ALL

    Comment by Brian Campbell — September 4, 2009 @ 1:18 pm | Reply

  37. Great memories Guyana is great great !!!!!!!

    Comment by Shelda Benjamin — September 4, 2009 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  38. What a refreshing vision and memory of Mackenzie Bauxite Co…aka…Demba…I sailed on the
    S/S Sunbrayton (bauxite carrier) from Linden to Chag Bay in Trinidad…then ‘jumped’ ship to
    work at the Machine Shop under George Parris, and finally Montgomery Mine maintainance Shop.
    these pics are so nostalgic….I am now a resident of Corona Ca…retired and really enjoy
    the heart thumping views offered by these pics…thanks again…I am trying to locate an old
    friend and job steward buddy of mine …Lennox Tommy….we were known as the black panther duo based on our commitment and loyalty to trade unionism…please pass this info to anyone who can assist me in locating him…thanks aqain…ecxellent work
    _____________________

    BobW (Cleveland, I have a page here on the site with a bit about the Bauxite ships. If you click on one of the ship pics it will take you to a flickr account by Charlie Mccurdy. I think he is from a later generation than you but who knows.

    The ship crews seem to have a sort of reunion thing going with everyone getting into touch. If you make contact you may find a way to your old buddies.

    Other names on Flickr you might look up are Ian Waters and Bob Abercrombie)

    Comment by Cleveland Sargeant — September 4, 2009 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

    • Hello. Cleave land. Nice to see your comment. Mackenzie then was a great place. Today olive in new York. And visits. Guyana regularly Let’s hook up. My e mail add is LMTASSOC@HOTMAIL.COM. Lennox. M Tommy

      Comment by Lennox m tommy — June 25, 2012 @ 12:40 am | Reply

  39. Dear Bob, these pictures bring back a lot of memories. I remember my parents buying the chits and giving us whenever we would go to the swimming pool. Those hamburgers were the tastiest ever, the cook’s name at that time was ‘Princess’ I don’t know if she was there when you were a boy. We only moved to Watooka in the 70’s as we lived on Richmond Hill for quite a while. After my Father was recruited from the Sugar Estate ‘La Bonne Intention’ to be Personnel Manager at Demba, we had to adjust to the Canadian curriculum at Watooka Day School.

    I remember the Wong’s when they lived for a little while on Richmond hill on Topira Crescent. I was little girl then about 7 years old. I remember two long haired pretty girls. Moving to Richmond Hill I learned about ‘Halloween’, and ‘Guy Fawk’s Night’ among many other Canadian and North American customs. I went to school with the Porters, Leathley, William Malarbe, Kranenburg, Baichulall, Michael Cole, Hutt’s, Kays, McAllister’s, Smith’s,Too Chung, Godette, that was from back them among many other names. Our Principal’s name was Ms McClean. My siblings and I would go to the Sand Hills with makeshift sleds, to slide down at the back of R/Hill overlooking the Golf club and Tennis courts. So many great memories, thanks for sharing.
    Regards
    Yonette Alleyne (nee) Lewis
    ___________________________

    BobW (Yonette, So you tried sliding down those sand hills too. It never worked well for me, just couldn’t get the right technology)

    Comment by Yonette Lewis- Alleyne — September 4, 2009 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

    • Hi Yonette,

      I have been going through the Mackenzie website and reading all these comments from people and realizing that they were all before my time in Guyana. That is, until you. You mention Kays in your list of names. Do you mean Susan, Pauline Anne & John Kaye? Your name sounds familiar to me. I am Pauline Anne. I remember Cookie & Tessa Hutt. Chris Too-Chung and Laura McAllister were in my class – perhaps you were too? I have wanted to go back to Guyana for a visit, for many years, but have always been to afraid to go alone. Perhaps others want the same.

      Comment by Pauline Anne Kaye — June 25, 2011 @ 10:38 pm | Reply

      • Hello Pauline and Yonette

        I was in Richmond Hill with my older sister and brother from 65-73 with my parents. I left when I was 8. My parents were Mike and Liz Paull.
        I remember the McAllisters, they lived just down the road from us. Howies was our next door neighbour and on the other side Thwaites. I also remember Too-Chungs.
        I would love to get in touch with the Mcallisters.

        Nadia Freeman-Paull

        Comment by Nadia Freeman-Paull — July 31, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    • Hello Yonette,

      I was a British girl living in Montgomery Oval at the same time that you were there and I was good friends with your brother Orin and Michael Cole and it has been so uplifting to read the comments from people on this site. My name is Deborah and my sister was Janene and I suspect that we all played together. Would be great to exchange memories.

      Regards,
      Deborah

      Comment by debs01 — January 1, 2012 @ 12:51 am | Reply

    • My email address for anyone of that time who would like to make contact is bishuk1@aol.com

      Regards,
      Deborah

      Comment by debs01 — January 1, 2012 @ 12:54 am | Reply

  40. HI all: Thanks for the memories and thankz to Eddie Beresford for sending me this site. I worked with Demba from 1957 to 1966. First from at the Demba Head Office on Main Street, Georgetown, as a Messenger, then at the Mills from 1961 to 1966 (am I pensionable..lol). I have a deep awareness of the Watooka crowd as I had to personally deliver the mail for staff to RH Carr and that Gruman plane. I empathize with Bonny Waddell being on his side of the great MacKenzie divide. However, I was not bitter as it was my intention to move to the Watooka side at some point to enjoy those perks that Bob and others so fondly remember. For that reason I emigrated to England in 1966. Unfortunately, that dream was never realized for obvious reasons.

    Being a Georgetown (GT) boy. Mackenzie (Mac City) was only a place of work. GT was where I returned to enjoy the pleasure of my earnings. But the visits to GT grew fewer and fewer as I began to associate more with the Mackenzieites…Leyland (Flash) Blair and Ned Blair adopted me into their family and introduced me to the real Mac City and I had a wonderful time and fondest of memories. Like most of you I look back at Mac City and Guyana with deep nostalgia after living in England. the USA and presently retired here in Trinidad and Tobago. How I wish it were in the Guyano that I knew and loved.
    _________________

    BobW (Like they say, you can never go back)

    Comment by C R Stephen — September 5, 2009 @ 5:27 am | Reply

  41. My name is stephen edwards.
    i must say i know you when you were very small some times my dad will take you and your mom
    home from the market,my Dad was the first to have a taxi service in mackenzie,and your Dad will come a few times to play bridge .with many of is friends at the staff club.please give my regards to your dad I WORK WITH HIM .
    ______________

    BobW (Will do… How is your dad?)

    Comment by STEPHEN EDWARDS — September 5, 2009 @ 9:29 am | Reply

  42. It was very heart-warming to see the pictures that formed a part of my childhood. What a simple yet decent and profound lifestyle in those times. Thank you for sharing theses pictures with the world. I will share them with my children also.

    Comment by Franklin Edwards — September 5, 2009 @ 11:43 am | Reply

  43. What wonderful pictures it’s a pleasure, brings back so many child&teenage memories.

    was the happyest days of my life.life was so uncomplecated then.

    Comment by Diana Allicock Lewis — September 5, 2009 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  44. Iam so excited, after viewing these wonderful pictures.I grew up hearing so many stories, and to actually see them in black&white, it leaves you with such a feeling of pride! MY dad was a contractor with demba, he was very instrumental in building the railroads, and as kids we toured the mines extensively and participated socially with some of our friends in watooka. His name was Clifton Solomon a/k CG. We lived in determa street, McKenzie Linden, if iam not mistaken, your #3 pic. looks distinctly like him, holding a briefcase in front of A. CHOO KANG General store. Thanks you for the wonderful memories!. I can share some of these with my kids.

    Comment by Linda Solomon -Small — September 5, 2009 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

  45. The source of the Watooka Ck was not the tailings pond. While growing up in Cara Cara I became aware of the fact that the waters that seperated the highway & the houses on one side of Cara Cara once were part of the Watooka Ck. As such I am assuming that it was a tributary fo the Cara Cara Ck.

    Dion

    Comment by Dion R Allicock — September 5, 2009 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  46. I would strongly recommend, viewing the pictures that was offered by MR.David Yaw, i have a lot of respect for him, he has a very good eye with the lens of a camera, and i can guarantee you”ll get the quality Watooka 2009 pictures. Continued success on your website!
    ________________________

    BobW (For sure, when he comes through)

    Comment by Linda Solomon -Small — September 5, 2009 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  47. Wow!! This is amazing. When they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, you know that it is true. I am blown away by these pictures. To see the Mackenzie where I grew up; to see the park before there was a pavement; it brings back great memories. It is so important for us to remember our past, bond with those of similar experiences and to assist those coming behind. The town is now just a shell of what it used to be but we will always hold these great memories in our hearts. Mackenzie forever!!!.

    Brey

    Comment by Walter Aubrey Lee — September 6, 2009 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  48. Your web site is the best I have seen on what is now collectively known as Linden. I grew up at Wismar in the 50’s-60’s, but I know very little of Watooka. Thanks for sharing your memories and those wonderful pictures.

    Leslie Sue-Tang
    __________________________

    BobW (Leslie, I have yet to get the hang of using the name Linden. As mentioned in other comments I prefer the approach where things do not get new names. For me new names belong with new things. Now if I ever get the chance to visit Linden then the town’s new name may forge new connections within my brain.)

    Comment by Leslie Sue-Tang — September 6, 2009 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  49. Between the years 1956 and 1960, once every month, as clerk to magistrates FRANCIS VIEIRA and EDWARD GUNRAJ, we travelled on the RH CARR from GEORGETOWN to WISMAR and back, for sittings of the magistrate’s court at CHRISTIANBURG. On those trips we were afforded the priviledge of the use of the captain’s cabin. There we enjoyed, on each trip a typical English breakfast and lunch. The trip lasted for 8 hours each way. It was always a grand journey up and down the Demerara river and always an enjoyable stay in that part of Guyana. Lawyers George Pompey and Llewellyn John will endorse this opinion.The jurisdiction of that court extended to Mckenzie.There the lawyers will party on the Saturday nights before the Sunday departure to Georgetown. The famous pop song then was “LITTLE DARLING”. This was a favourite of the aforementioned lawyers.These pictures relive fond memories in me for that part of Guyana.
    _____________________

    BobW (Satrohan, Wow, the long hand of the law was not something that broke into my consciousness as a kid. But now that you mention, you boys had to be there.

    There was one incident that now pops to mind concerning a fellow named Blacket (I think) who was being taken down to Georgetown for prosecution. I heard he escaped from his police escort through a port hole in the bathroom of the R.H. Carr never to be heard from again.)

    Comment by JUSTICE SATROHAN SINGH — September 6, 2009 @ 10:20 pm | Reply

  50. I grew up on Providence Estate and never knew Watooka existed! Thank you for bringing a part of Guyana’s past to light for future generations to know about.

    Sarah
    ________________________

    BobW (Sarah, It would be good to hear of life on the estates also. It might make for an interesting contrast)

    Comment by Sarah Mair Morgan — September 7, 2009 @ 5:42 am | Reply

    • Hi Sarah… Surprised but it’s Robert from FaceBook. As you must have read in one of the earlier postings made by Deanna Binnings Peterson, the two of us are ” family ” from lots of ancestral ties. ” Our ” great-great-great grandparents were owners of the Watooka / Three Friends area…

      Comment by Robert Kersting-De Nieuwerkerk — April 25, 2011 @ 6:08 pm | Reply

  51. Thanks!
    Fantastic! I really enjoyed viewing this collection; it brought back precious memories of a vibrant, dynamic, and progressive Upper Demerara area. The pictures also afford us a reflective glimpse of the social stratification of that era. It was also a time when the community ‘rolled out the welcome carpet’ for everyone, and especially for Caribbean Islanders. Today it is sad to see the bad treatment some of our folks are getting in certain Islands of the Caribbean.
    ______________________

    BobW (Eustace, Interesting, I’ve never heard of these problems with other Caribbean communities.)

    Comment by Eustace Semple — September 7, 2009 @ 10:13 am | Reply

  52. Hi There Mr. Wong,
    Your website on MacKenzie, Demerara River, Guyana, is certainly worth viewing by any and every true born Guyanese ( and even some expatriates!).
    My connection with MacKenzie is kind of distant as I was not born in, or grew up in, MacKenzie.
    I was born in Georgetown and that was where I grew up. However, my father, Benjamin HO, at some time in his very varied lifestyle, did live in MacKenzie, Wismar and Kwakwani at various times with his father, James HO.
    One of my brothers and I used to take that long trip up the Demerara river on the R. H. Carr during the August school holidays to spend time with our father.
    Just like many of your other readers we used to go exploring the area on our own and yes in our bare feet without any fear of getting hurt in any way.
    Benjamin HO was closely associated with the Choo Kangs who owned and ran the A. (Alfred) Choo Kang grocery store (commissary).My father worked at that store for a number of years.
    He also did the same at stores in Wismar and Kwakwani.
    I would like to say “Hello” to two cousins of mine…Nigel and Robert HO. Their father, my uncle Lawrence (Laurie) HO was one of my father’s brothers. I am presently once again in touch with Robert & Nigel’s brother, Lennox, here in Toronto, Canada.
    I am in the process of putting together a family tree (Ho/YIP) and am therefore appealing to all of your readers who might have known of my father in any of those places to get in touch with me. I therefore give you permission to pass my email address on to anyone in this matter.
    Robert and Nigel please contact me if you are still in the habit of viewing this website.

    On another topic I note that one of your readers spoke about the class society that was instituted by the expatriate Demba personnel.
    This was undoubtedly exactly what it was in retrospect. But in our ignorance ( and ignorance was bliss) we youngsters growing up in those times managed to completely disregard that aspect of life and to develop our own identities. Should we forget about that? I think that this has to be resolved by each individual person. Should we blame Demba for what we are now?
    And who should we blame for the ugly racial fighting that up to this day still exists in Guyana? Should we continue to live in the past or should we move on??? The decision is ours individually as well as collectively.

    Thank you, and this was certainly a journey back into the past.
    Claude Ho.
    ___________________________

    BobW (Claude, The Ho’s seem to be very well represented in these here comments. Since you’re doing the family tree thing maybe you can fill us in on what happened to A. Choo Kang’s, for a time it was the store in MacKenzie.

    On the class thing, I would add that there was also an economic stratification and it is hard to separate the two. I would like to believe that those demarcations would have eroded away as MacKenzie moved into the future. But like you say, that can only happen if at first we can recognize what is currently happening. Definitely fewer problems here in Canada.)

    Comment by Claude Ho — September 7, 2009 @ 10:30 am | Reply

    • Hi Bob and others:

      My father Theo was the youngest of the 4 brothers who owned and ran A. Choo-Kang’s. The eldest brother was Alfred, then Keng, Dick & Theo and have all passed now. They each spent varying amounts of time at each store which was supplied from the Georgetown store. Originally, my grand father William started a store in New Amsterdam (later Kum Seun’s, one of his grand son’s) then the sons started and jointly had stores in Georgetown, Wismar, then McKenzie and Bartica. I lived in Georgetown but visited the Sue Tang’s in Wismar mostly in the 60s but don’t remember visiting the Mckenzie store as it may have been closed by the late 60s. I am living in Toronto for the past 40+ years. I used to visit the HOs in Wismar but don’t remember if it was Claude and his brother. The stores eventually all closed in the 70s and the families emigrated mostly to Toronto are where there are many, England, USA and some in the Caribbean. A couple of them are still in Georgetown.

      I was in Linden this March 2014 and it is still a mining town but quieter and Demba is now owned by a Chinese company Bosai Minerals Group which is continuing the operations at a good level it seems. The A. Choo-Kang store is still standing but behind the high fences of the current bauxite company. Linden is now also a main access city to the interior for gold, diamond and other resource business which likely boosts their economy. People in Linden seem to be getting by fairly well although there are many poorer people but they seem to get by, but not as during the boom times in the 50s & 60s with the relative affluence and privilege of the expatriates of Demba. Watooka guest house is now operating as a conference center and looking good. Richmond Hill is not like in the glory days, Guyanese are living in the houses which is a higher level than other locals and I saw one house which is being renovated into something of a nice North American style. Schools and hospital are running and renovated and maintained to local standards. I can send some pictures if you tell me how to upload them.

      Larry Chookang

      Comment by Larry Chookang — March 30, 2014 @ 1:28 am | Reply

  53. Brings back lots of good memories, both in picture and story. There are many common threads. Love the pics. Have none documenting my growing up. My children can now have an image to associate to the many stories I have told.
    The ponds, creeks and river escapades were very dangerous fun. Don’t fool yourself, there were varying levels of contamination that existed in the waters. Goes to show how stupid we were, all for the sake of finding something to do. Tire racing, playing marble for rubber bands in the afternoon, run racing for no apparent reason or rewards, playing ‘cowboy’ in the mines, struggling in the ticket lines at the cinema (except in Watooka, man, not fair!!) and then Trade School. Oh yea, enjoyed every year I spent there. Participating in the ‘Demba games’ (Guyba for me). Partying at the ‘The Bat’ as a young adult, then departing for Canada. Never returned since.
    ……yep it was fun. No complaints here.

    When I talk about Mackenzie to my fiends, I pride myself on it’s organization, clealiness, modernization of equipment and structure and societal order, given the period, of course. So thumbs up to Mackenzie…..and Watooka too.

    History is what we learn from, not regress to. Unless you were socio-ecomomically deprived or politically oppressed, I find it hard to believe that growing up, as a kid in Mackenzie would not be fun.
    ________________

    BobW (Wazir, Like you I have never been back, Canada is hard to beat, but a visit would be excellent. On the other hand if the Bauxite industry hadn’t gone downhill then I suspect MacKenzie would have progressed and would still be a rocking place (It takes money). Canada back in the day was not what it is today either.)

    Comment by Wazir Samsair — September 7, 2009 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  54. As the years pass, things change. Mackenzie is now part of Linden. To keep up with current events in Linden, folks should visit Lindenfund.org or one of the website such as Guymine.com. We are forever bound by our common past. It is great to communicate and stay in touch in whatever way we can.

    Brey Lee
    _____________________________

    BobW (Walter, I found it strange that Linden doesn’t have a better web presence, sounds like it is time for someone to get cooking)

    Comment by Walter Aubrey Lee — September 7, 2009 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

  55. WOW! THESE PIX DO BRING BACK MEMORIES. I WENT TO MACKENZIE AS A 17 YEAR OLD,STARTED WORKING AT THE HOTEL(YOU HAD TO BE 18 TO WORK IN THE PLANT OR MINES). ALL I LEARNED ABOUT BEING A MAN I LEARNED IN MACKENZIE. MY BROTHER AND I MUST HAVE LIVED ALL OVER THE TOWN. MANY OF THESE PIX BROUGHT A MIST TO MY EYES……THOSE WERE THE DAYS. BY THE WAY ,JULIAN CAESAR WHERE ARE YOU? CAN YOU REMEMBER THE CHESS CLUB WE HAD THERE?
    _____________________

    BobW (Still looking for more pics and stories of past and modern MacKenzie)

    Comment by gordon alleyne — September 7, 2009 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  56. Dion, the source of Kara Kara creek definitely was not the tailing pond or, as we called it back then, Washer Pond.

    The source of Kara Kara creek was White Sand Hill which later became Kara Kara mines. As kids growing up in Kara Kara we played cowboy on White Sand Hill.

    Watooka Creek, Kara Kara creek and Cockatara Creek, amongst others, are separate tributaries of the Demerara River.

    The mouth of Kara Kara Creek is behind the Alumina Plant. The mouth of the Watooka Creek is just north of Watooka house.

    The mouth of Cockatara Creek is in front of the Bauxite Plant’s north gate.

    I spent several years in Kara Kara as a boy. I know the Allicocks (except you) and Nedds very well.

    There was a swamp behind the houses that now back on to the highway. That is where we fished for Patwa.

    Gerry King
    _____________________________

    BobW (Gerry, Now I remember Patwa. We never caught them in the Demerara, only in the creeks and swamps.)

    Comment by Gerry King — September 7, 2009 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  57. I worked at Demba in the MU Stores Clerical Inventory, under Murry Ward

    from 1957-1963.Also assistant Director of Music with the Demba Band under Harry Mairs
    _____________________________

    BobW (Ken, Demba had a band, where were you guys hiding?)

    Comment by Ken Whitney — September 7, 2009 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  58. Great memories of my working at Demba Mu Stores

    Comment by Ken Whitney — September 7, 2009 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

  59. Hi Bob,thanks for the memories you have brought back to me with your wonderful pictures of the Mackezie that I will always love.I found your account and those of the many contributors to this site very refreshing.I am one of the Frasers from 202 Arvida Road, I grew up at Mackenzie and I do remember the the good times, the fun times, and also the hard work we had to put in at school, whether you attended Watooka or any other school in the region.reading the response from the various ex Mackenzieites, many of the names I recognise and am very happy to know how proud we all still are of the old place, best wishes to you all,and a very special well done to you Bob.
    Edmund Fraser
    ________________

    BobW (Edmund, As you say, old MacKenzie was a unique place, today it is easy to see why.)

    Comment by Edmund Fraser — September 7, 2009 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

    • Edmund where r u? What about Morris?

      Comment by Edward Tappin — June 6, 2010 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

    • Hi Edmond:
      If you want to see a picture of old Arvida Road, I have one on my site on FB. We used to live on 99, 202 is going toward the hospital, I think you guys lived next to Mr.Long. there were four houses on each block. Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Griffith, Mr. Fraser & Mr. Long. I am related to Mr. Long’s wife Vida.

      Comment by Deanna — June 30, 2010 @ 1:33 am | Reply

    • Hello Edmund, I grew up in Mackenzie too going towards the Hospital, you had the constabulary compound, the train station. I don’t know if you remembered the Phillips, the Cato’s, the Prince, the Grenville’s. I remembered going to the Mackenzie Sports Club, playing field hockey, all the schools come together for competitive sports, sprint runner, relay i remembered the maypole I left Guyana in 1969. On the main street you had the Grant’s. names are just now coming back to me. Keep in touch. Joy Prince.

      Comment by Joy P. Prince — August 8, 2016 @ 9:10 am | Reply

  60. Surprise, surprise. What a nostalgia the photos and texts provided. Mackenzie/Wismar/Christianburg provided me with excitement, enjoyment, adventure and fun beyond my wildest dreams. I was born in and grew up in Albouystown,GT. My first visit to Mackenzie came in 1956 when I was invited by a young lady from Greenheart Street to visit and stick the cake at her 21st Birthday Party. I invited a group of my friends as well. We travelled up on Holy Thursday and never slept until we travelled back on the R.H. Carr on Sunday. Benjie was its Captain and Pires, the Purser. Little did I know then that there was more of Mackenzie in my life. I was posted to the District Adminustration Office, Christianburg in 1957, replacing Carl Harewood, and I remained there until 1960. Apart from Wismar.Christianburg/Mackenzie, I travelled up river to Mallali and down river to Kamuni Creek, opposite Atkinson Field once a month. I trevalled on the Government steel launch the “Rita C.” I loved travelling along the river, spear fishing at night, hunting for labba, deer and acouri for our daily meals and drinking “sleepy tonic” and warrup with the denizens at the riverside at nights. I recall at Zion Hill, after returning from shooting a 26ft boa constrictor at Kaikuchekabra Rapids, Mallali, I stopped at Zion Hill for coconut water. Trying to climb the tree, I slipped down it scraping the skin along both hands. I was rushed to Mackenzie Hospital. Dr Roza took care of me. I lived at the Government Rest House at Christianburg and loved swimming in and over the river daily. I recall the Edwin Allicocks living at the northern end of Section C C/Burg near the cemetery. There was also the Charters and lower down near the huge waterwheel near the Rest House was Beatric Noel’s shop. She had a laugh that started from her ankles and lasted for over 5 minutes. I visited ever alley in Wismar and went to so many Parties in Christianburg, Wismar, Silver City, Silvertown and Wismar Hill. Senior Supervisor’s Club was my venue for Old Year’s Night and Recreation Hall on Friday’s and Mackenzie Sports Club, my regular hangouts. I had an aluminium dinghy and would row most afternoons on the river, venturing far up the Kara Kara Creek. I loved eating pork slops and rice at Poker Restaurant at Wismar. The Manager of the Wismar Stelling was Hopkinson. I used to check the Crescent Cinema regularly for Entertainment Tax and also the Demba Cinema at Ituni. I recall Blair’s shop at the Arcade. I recall Singer’s On Arvida Road, Royal Bank and The Ration Store (Choo Kang) near the Fence. Although I was an officer of the Government, I was not allowed to pass Watooka Gate, so I did the next best thing… I used my speed boat to enter from behind. I was a frequent visitor at Spinsters’ Quarters on Arvida Road. How can I forget the shout of “Boat” when I wanted to cross the River. I recall Mollyneaux was the Asst.Supt of Police at Wismar and Dick La Borde the Supt. at Mackenzie. Sonny Haniff was the was the most popular policeman at Wismar. Hakkim’s “The Ship” was the oly hotel at Wismar at the Time. The Allicocks, Evan/Teddy/Eileen lived alongside the river. Evan built erected a huge building in Rainbow City intending it to be a hotel. It never happened. There were many parties there on Saturday nights. There was Rita Olita Douglas who lived not far from Kara Kara Creek and the Croft and Allicock (Sam) who lived in Kara Kara Creek. I recall the Gravesandes and Jeanette. The Evans and Cars at Powell Crescent. I am in touch with Gena Evans, now Fiedtkou. I am also in touch with the Fidetkou boys – Garvan, Fanso, Piercy and David. The Wongs lived next to Crescent Cinema. Bunbury has a dress shop under the YMCA. Derek Moseley of Wismar Road now lives in Canada. Hi siblings included Keith, Gem and Star. Then there was Clarence Bourne. We spent many Saturday nights dancing at Renee Park, Kara Kara Creek. Also K.K. Cheong and Chase, Forestry Officers, Bancroft, Headmaster, C/Burg School whose teachers included Iris Allicock, Gwen Walton, Parris and Bremner. Linden Allicock lived in the first aluminum house across from the Rest House. Lieu Ken Pen had a grocery along Wismar. Sue Tang and Sue Wo had their grocery near the stelling. I have written many short stories of the area which I am hpoing to get published and in the meantime, two of my tall tales ” The Pilot” and the “The Chantey” have been published in the Guyana Folk Festival Magazine of 2008 and 2009. I was posted to the Licence Revenue Office in GT in 1960 and went to London to complete my education. How was I to know that I was to return to Mackenzie! While I was in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I was asked to travel to Mackenzie to seek a resolution to the strike in connection with the nationalisation of DEMBA and the Rila Pension Fund. I spent three glorious weeks there living at the Crescent Hotel (Adams) in 1971. I became Deputy Ambassador, Washington DC 1975-1980; High Commissioner to Canada 1980-1983; resigned and took an assignment as Consultant to the Government of Fiji (1985-1994). I have visited over 50 countries but although I was born in Albouystown ( I have a Nostalgia on it), my navel string was also buried in Mackenzie/ Wismar/Christianburg where I ate labba ( not to mention deer, acouri and armadillo)and drank crook water. The adventures travelling upriver and downriver I never forget.
    Peter Halder …peterhalder@hotmail.com
    ___________________

    BobW (Peter, I have vivid memories of you guys traveling in the Government steel launch the “Rita C.”. The peddal was to the metal and the boat created the largest wake of any boat on the Demerara. Allways had to be careful on the water when the Rita C was about.

    Check out this post with a picture of a Camoodi snake, you might be one of the guys in the pic.

    Sounds like your stories should become a part of Mackenzie folk lore, you should write them up and post them on the web)

    Comment by Peter Halder — September 7, 2009 @ 7:09 pm | Reply

  61. This site was forwarded to me and it brought back so many memories. I was a transplant from Georgetown and lived in Mackenzie for 3 years when my father joined Demba in 1970 and my mom and I joined him in the summer of 1971. I do not remember the author, but I did know his sister, Linda and her husband who were very active with the arts. I lived in Watooka opposite the day school/cinema but (perhaps because I was a teenaged girl), my primary memories are of shopping, socializing and tracking the latest in fashions from the boutique on Arvida Road or from Georgetown; hunting or fishing were not high on my list. I am reminded of the healthy respect we had for the river which at high tide would bring in a multitude of wild life. Life in Mackenzie was laid back and we are very lucky to have such memories. I emigrated to the UK in the and made some attempt to keep in contact with a few persons prior to relocating to the US. Thanks for helping to keep the memories alive for me, this has been a very pleasant experience.
    ______________________

    BobW (Donna, As you say my sister’s intests should have fitted in well with your’s, probably still does. She now lives in BC, Canada, still married to McTurk)

    Comment by Donna E. Shepherd — September 7, 2009 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

  62. Hi,

    I arrived in Mackenzie in 1960 for the construction of the Alumina Plant where I supervised the installation of the instrumentation and then trained the local labour in it’s maintenance. I new your father and saw you running around at the Watooka as a child. My two children Stephen and Jane were born in Mackenzie in 1961 and 1963. I stayed until Christmas 1966 and returned to Canada and now reside in Surrey, BC.
    This collection of photo’s and your observations of growing up in this remarkable enviroment i have found facinating. I compliment you for this and allowing me to re-live a very memorable period of my life.

    John
    ________________

    BobW (John check out, the official Demba brochure for the opening of the alumina plant located here, it’s got pictures. (from the Pauline Llyn Jones-Grimshaw))

    Comment by John Watt — September 7, 2009 @ 7:29 pm | Reply

  63. mr. Wong
    I received your Watooka story from Clarence London and it was a very rtefreshing course for me who spent my time in Watooka from January 1960 untill the the Government took over in 1972.
    I hoped to see some pictures of the Alumina Plant where I started. The plant is now probably completely scrap except the power house?
    Evan wong was one of the staff but I don’t think he was born in 1913 He was probably of my age born 1921 And I met him on the last Guyana day in Montreal early in 1990th
    ______________________

    BobW (Bill, I remember your name and if I’m not mistaken was in school with your daughter?? I’ve posted (from the Pauline Llyn Jones-Grimshaw) the official Demba brochure for the opening of the alumina plant located here, it’s got pictures.)

    Comment by W.J.Hibbeln (Bill) — September 7, 2009 @ 7:31 pm | Reply

  64. Respect to all.
    I am so happy and pleased to see these pictures of what my home town Linden in the days
    I was just a little kid at the time may be when some of these pictures were taken.
    thank you.
    __________________

    BobW ( I wish we had more pics)

    Comment by Paul Semple — September 7, 2009 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

  65. Greetings all from Melbourne “Down Under”.
    Congrats on this site with all of it’s wonderful nostalgic photos. Jimmy K, that was great to see that you are still around. Remember those unforgettable times with Chabby Chabrol and Bunny Yearwood ??. I worked at the Royal Bank around ’65/’66 and can still recall the bis events at the MacKenzie Sports Club/Ground, and the time that the RBC entered into the Staff Soft Ball competition. Gerry Bower was manager at the time.
    To Julian Langham nice to see that you are around, I can still recall the time you chopped down the ONLY flowering tree ( Yellow flowers), that your father enjoyed in his view from the living room.
    To Eileen ‘Ogdiva’. Where in Australia are you????.
    Ok ok ah gone Tony.
    __________________________

    BobW (Tony, I fired off an email to Jimmy K but no response, I’ll have to do a repeat. We even have a picture of Jimmy at the golf club, I suspect he still golfs)

    Comment by Tony Phillips — September 7, 2009 @ 8:03 pm | Reply

  66. Hi,
    Just read the articles on this site and I am stoked, I want to know more because I am a Guyanese living in Australia (Perth) and would especially like to know if that is the same aircraft Art Williams took us to the Rupununi in in the fiftiies. I am currently writing my Guyana Life Story (up to age 21) and have written about visiting McKenzie when two of my cousins worked there, they are Kenneth and Brian DeFreitas, do you by chance remember any of them?
    I wish I could remember the name of the boat I travelled to on McKenzie.
    Loved reading the account of your life growing up in McKenzie, it sounds as if you had a very exciting adventure.
    I was born in the Pomeroon so my roots are really there but Guyana is in my heart, you know what we say about ‘My naved string is buried there’, and mine is.
    I hope to hear from you Claude. I bet we will know someone in common.
    Best Regards
    Helena Martin (DaSilva)
    _________________________

    BobW (Helena, It’s nice to see another with similar fond memories, unfortunately mine do not include the DeFreitas boys, but I have heard their name bandied about. My father tells me that Art Williams started British Guiana Airways and I would guess he flew all of their aircraft at one time or another.)

    Comment by Helena Martin — September 7, 2009 @ 9:35 pm | Reply

    • Good evening Helena, I had contacted you some years ago. I am living in the US, but had raced with your brother Charlie, in the late sixties. Last time I saw him was in 2001, in GT. we took quite a few pictures, with some of the other guys that still reside in GT, that I still have. Is there anyway possible you may contact him, for me, I’d love to get in touch once again. He would remember me as Picko, we had many battles (Upright racing)at Bourda.
      I would be grateful for this favour. My e-mail address is
      pyvepicko@aol.com. Sincerely, Hugh

      Comment by Hugh Pickering — March 25, 2010 @ 12:57 am | Reply

    • To: Helena Martin (DaSilva),
      I hope that this is not too late to respond to a post that was dated Sep. 7, 2009 !!
      This is Claude Ho. I attended Smith’s Church Congregational School, Hadfield Street, Georgetown, Demerara, British Guiana a long, long time ago.
      At that time Mr. Jackson was the Head Master.
      The name Martin strikes a vague memory, but Helena does not.
      An older brother of mine, Winston, also was at Smith Church a year ahead of me.
      I would appreciate any ole time memories if, indeed, we are the same persons you remembered.

      Comment by Claude Ho — December 30, 2010 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

  67. I am truly thrilled to be living in central Mackenzie ( note the current spelling, not Mc Kenzie) serving here as a Muslim Missionary and at present there is a Museum in Mackenzie next to the Post office and opposite the Mackenzie market, in which there are very interesting pictures of the past and ancient relics. However your pictures are quite a revelation!
    I must acknowledge that the link to your wonderful site was sent to me from my childhood clasfellow from Zeeburg Secondary School, West Coast Demerara and we both grew up in Leguan, Essequibo Isl. who currently lives in Toronto, Canada.
    Currently. I have 2 daughters and a son attending Mackenize Secondary and my eldest daughter completed her CSEC at Mackenzie High a year ago.
    Mackenzie and Linden has really changed from since the colonial days and it should. However these pictures have brought new revelations with them and would certainly stir up memories of the ” good old days” for those who are still alive and would remember those days.
    Times have changed and we must.
    Thanks for these wonderful pictures which you have shared with the General Public.
    ____________________________

    BobW (Abdur, Good to meet someone from modern MacKenzie. Sure would be nice to see some modern photo’s….)

    Comment by Abdur Rahman Khan — September 8, 2009 @ 1:24 am | Reply

    • I was born in Leguan. And my father if I recall correctly worked in Watooka as driver for sort heavy duty vehicle.

      Comment by Anthony — March 25, 2013 @ 8:30 pm | Reply

  68. Hi Donna,
    Did you mother give piano lessons? I think she taught me to play the piano when I was 5 or 6.

    I lived in Watooka from around 1968 to 1972 and then moved to Fairs Rust until 1979 when we left Guyana.

    I visited Guyana last September but did not make it up to Mackenzie.

    Comment by Alethea Blackman — September 8, 2009 @ 7:03 am | Reply

    • Dear Alethea,

      Finally, someone who I really remember. I lived right next door to you on Fairs Rust! I was in your brother David’s class and unfortunately he was not very nice to us. He used to talk about “yellow motion” and call us “Kayeanballs”. I think us kids were enemies, even though we were neighbours. I remember always teasing my brother John that Alethea was his girlfriend. Anyway, it’s just nice to talk to a real live person from the past. It is like a time machine. My older sister is Susan and I am Pauline Anne.

      Comment by Pauline Anne Kaye — June 25, 2011 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

      • Hi Pauline Anne

        Yes I remember you guys. I remember your dog biting me one day when I was playing with you and John. I was only 7. Your Dad took me to the hospital and I had a couple of stitches. I still have the scar all this time later. I don’t think I was allowed over at your house after that. I hope you are all doing well. I now live in England. Where in the world are you now?

        Comment by Alethea Blackman — February 23, 2014 @ 9:27 pm

  69. Great stuff and good for those of us who are getting over the hill.
    ______________________

    BobW (Charles, my hill is getting rather steep, how about yours?)

    Comment by Charles Davidson(Tommy) — September 8, 2009 @ 9:10 am | Reply

  70. My father worked at the bauxite mine for Alcan in Mackenzie from the late 50’s to about 1962 so this is facinating for me to see. He had many fond memories of Guyana and particularly loved the local people. I was born there in 1960 and have many family photo’s and 8mm movies including our house right on the Demerara River. I love your pictures of the aircraft as I ended up as a pilot as a career.
    Cheers,
    Peter Boruta
    _______________________________

    BobW (When I was young only boats were used for transport into and out of Mackenzie, but later on the airplane came into it’s own and I like you developed a fascination for the planes. I can still hear that special drone of the twin engined DC3 (Dakota). It was also a special treat to see the Gumman Goose make it’s river landings. This was followed by Demba’s Otter on floats. Tom Wilson was the pilot flying Demba’s Otter, on occasion being the good bush pilot he would set aside normal flying rules and do a little playing. One of his favorite maneuvers was to set the floats down on the river and then crank on the throttle and go whizzing down the river like a high speed hydro plane kicking up a rooster tail behind. His most famous stunt occurred when he dive bombed the crowds at a parachute demonstration for independence celebrations. Scared the bejesus out of everyone, helping to make it a most memorable event.)

    Comment by Peter Boruta — September 8, 2009 @ 9:11 am | Reply

  71. Tuesday, September 8, 2009 in Barbados. I just received this wonderful document from my friend Ric Lorrimer who took my husband Don’s job here in Barbados. Ric was born and raised in Mackenzie and his father worked for the company. I now have reading material for the next few days. I have been in Barbados for 19 years and visited Guyana 3 times in the 90’s. Our visit to Mackenzie was such a bitter sweet one in about 1995 and there were many tear shed. I also went with the Barclaysingers of Barbados on a music tour and we put on a concert in Wismar. I will now begin this fantastic journey or remembrance and and new information about one of my favourite place on earth. Myrla Sanderson

    Comment by Myrla Sanderson — September 8, 2009 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  72. I thank you for sharing these pictures. Having received them from several people who are eager to share these precious memories, I have been flooded with a sense of nostalgia. I am also very pleased to see comments from several persons that I recall as childhood friends. As a local, I did not live in Watooka but had some good times visiting. One in particular was to see the movie Dr. Zhivago at the invitation of a good friend (who I would love to reunite with Bunny Fildebrandt).

    Comment by Shirley Ann Vanier — September 8, 2009 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  73. Hi Guys
    I was real exited when I visit this website. It was like re-living in Guiana at that time.
    I happen to visit Mackenzie just before the Wismar uprising and the pictures remind me of some of the few places I visited,awakening cherish memories that is scribed in my mind.
    I was working with GUYTRAC in the 70’s and did repairs to the 637 Scrapers and other machines.
    One particular one that comes to mind is the hugh dragline that has 8 operaters. It was a previledge to work on this monster and I hope to send some pictures as soon as I locate the
    Good work keep it up.

    Paul Kirpaul
    London

    Comment by Paul Kirpaul — September 9, 2009 @ 4:44 am | Reply

  74. Peter Halder…..how much you have contributed to the Mac city info ..I was born in Georgetown in the 40ties…attended primary and high school in the 50s and early 60s..paid my first visit to Mackenzie in 1964 and spent 7 memorable and most productive years of my life in the mining town..attending parties from Kara Kara to One Mile Wismar…standing on the river front at the Mackenzie market and listening to the juke box sounds blaring from Becka Downa restaurant…( correct the spelling of Becka Downa if necessary)…as my aunt ( Mrs Boston) with whom I resided with in Dakama circle would not permit me to cross the ‘pond’ to venture on to the shores of Wismar….aka ..sin city..and Pete I do think Hakim was actually called Big Ship USA..also there was Alumina Cafe and Beauty…did anyone recalled the breadknife handle which became a great product from the Machine shop?..and the brothers who had a tailor shop on Arvida road and opened Terrys?…how can we forget to mention Chapman…the first beer garden on Arvida road that attracted the staff men from Watooka…drinking soapee from teapots..lol disguised as tea beverage..but Blair was the person that kept the upgrade of high expectation when he openend Blair’s Delight..to talk of high risk factor…after 10pm some of the fellas would prefer to swim across the pond with their clothing in one hand rather than pay the increased fee for a ‘boat’ trip…and we had the wanna be police officer Peter Fullington who was as dedicated as they come…patrolling Arvida rd watching for traffic violators who seemed to always be ready to create the race track phenom after a few beers from Chapman…but he did a great service for safety…our 24/7 financial source was Daddy George who provided ‘donzie’ when we wanted to extend the ‘fun’….so much more to provide as time permit …thanks for the input from all…

    Comment by Cleveland Sargeant — September 9, 2009 @ 5:20 am | Reply

  75. Thanks! for the memories. I lived in Watooka and attended Mackenzie High from I think 1961 to 1963 and they were some of the best years of my life. I was there during the strike, when most of the HS kids were sent away from school, so I was like the only teenager there except for summer holidays. I do remember some of the names mentioned. Luckily I am still in touch with a few of my friends and enjoy stuff like this.

    Thanks again
    Butch

    Comment by Mike "Butch" Butler AKA Butch Dyett — September 9, 2009 @ 8:54 am | Reply

  76. What a nostalgic trip down memory Lane, seeing pictures of Sun Brayton and Sun Henderson. I was very lucky to have sailed on both these vessels from Georgetown to Mackenzie and back when I was between ten to thirteen years old (common entrance time). Our Dear departed Dad George McAllister was a river Pilot then and would take my brothers Archie, Colin and George “Junior” and I individually with him, when he took these ships up the Demerara to Mackenzie.

    We would visit downtown Mackenzie and also Wismar and we must have gone by the Watooka buildings although I do not remember now. This will be a great treat for my uncle Joshua who worked at the Bauxite plant for many years.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see the Grumman Goose airplanes which I worked on as an apprentice Enginneer at Guyana Airways in the early 70’s at the Ruimveldt Hangar and also at Timehri.
    Also equally surprised when I saw the letter my brother Archie wrote and now posted at the bottom of the “Saguenay terminals … Marine” link found below the picture of the Sun Henderson.

    Thank you for this site.

    Comment by Winston McAllister — September 9, 2009 @ 9:33 am | Reply

  77. Thought I would read comments before making a contribution. I was born in Silverballi Street near the Supervisor’s Club where my parents went dancing Old year’s Night and we went to Christmas parties. My dad was the GSM and I recall the days of great scouting; I think Mr. Joe Long was one of the scout leaders as well. I remember when folks living in Spikeland had to move out to Kara Kara because the Alumina plant was going to be built; folks like th Jordan and Hoppies had to move. Our bottom house in Ariwa Oval was the picnic spot on Sundays; Combo Seven, Telstar, Rythmaires, the Syncopathers, Rockets; Johnny Braff. boy I use to find alot of small change after the picnic, LOL. Also lived in Manni Street, the days of selling sugar cake, ice block and fluttie; small piece came in handy at christmas for toys. Remember Argosy Book Shop I think belonged to the Gravesandes and the Wrights who sold New Nation and Elsie Punch who sold black pudding on Saturdays; we use to throw stones on her roof top so the black pudding would ‘buss’. Never worked at Demba but heard alot of stuff from conversations at home.

    Comment by Charles Davidson(Tommy) — September 9, 2009 @ 10:16 am | Reply

  78. Postscript
    Springfield, Virginia, U.S.A.

    Please overlook the typographical errors in my e-mail and of course David Fiedtkou passed away and Evan Allicock’s niece was not Eileen but Rita Allicock who now lives in New York. Please excuse any other errors since it was over 50 years ago.
    Peter Halder
    peterhalder@hotmail.com

    Comment by Peter Halder — September 9, 2009 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

    • Allicock and Fiedtkou names seems so familiar. I was the accountant for Demerara Timbers Limited (Essequibo Timbers Limited) in 1991 and 1992 and several individual worked at Wineperu with names like that. Not sure if they were from Watooka as well. I would think so.

      Comment by Anthony — March 25, 2013 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  79. Wow what a suprise seeing Demba and the Watooka Club, and then coming across, a letter to Jimmy and Bunny Kranenbury my old friends we lived almost next door in Linden, so Jimmy are you still playing golf? I still remember when you hit Bob Alveras on the head, ha ha I would love to hear from you guys Robert my son is 38 wow how the years have flown. Please email me. Not sure if they will give you my number I hope that you will view this and respond, my e-mail is jude4you5@hotmail.com
    Love to you both, your kids are all grown up also, how is your brother Jerry and his family.
    Dorothy

    Comment by Dorothy Chabrol — September 10, 2009 @ 1:42 am | Reply

  80. Ole Time Guyana Tale Retold: THE PILOT
    by Peter Halder

    Peter’s story can now be found on it’s own page here.

    Comment by Peter Halder — September 10, 2009 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  81. As good as it gets !…and getting betta every day…boy how could you as a true old timer
    G T banna not enjoy the stroll down memory lane!..recognizing familiar names like Claude Ho..
    and I am hoping you are the same Claude Ho that attended Smith Church on Hadfield St, G’town
    and Stephen Edwards…hey Steve…this is an old work mate of yours from Montgomery Mines and ….how about you Edmund Fraser…we worked in the Machine Shop and we visited my dad when the ship arrived for bauxite weekly…SunBrayton..say hello to your brother Maurice, and I met Lenny in Brooklyn years ago…we resided in the same apt..and adding to the topic of limited transportation during the R H Carr days…dont forget to mention Sun Chapman , Lalta Paul amd Saigon launches..prior the opening of the ‘Highway’ we would ride our motor bikes to the entrance on friday afternoons..and as was required you were required to present a ‘pass’ to gain access to use the unfinished roadway to Georgetown which was granted by official source from Demba…being creative and persuasive we (the motor cycle riders) would all present an envelope to the security guard with our passes…and given the all clear in a ‘flash’…that envelope contained $10..each…what a happy and rewarding moment for the guard…lol..
    What of the contractors Keith Outram. Barry Massey and Lacquer George and for the sports enthusiasts the arrival of Basil Butcher whose presence enhanced the level of our cricket to Case Cup level and the use of luxury transportation on Sunday nights from the ‘Base’ to Mackenzie ..Polaris..are you guys ready for a game of ‘rap’, ‘gin’ and ‘billiards’ ? email me for time and place….guybau44@aol.com

    Comment by Cleveland Sargeant — September 10, 2009 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  82. Thanks for the memories…..it was wonderful seeing all the pictures….I spent a few years in Wismar/Mackenzie/Ituni and attended Mackenzie High School from 1961 to 1964. I remember Mr Ogle, Mr Critchlow and of course Mr Cummings, was sad to hear about his death some years ago, he was an excellent teacher. My father was Samuel Joseph, deputy head master of Mackenzie primary school so we lived in the house in the school yard. Those were the good old days. A lot of the names above are so familiar.

    Sylvia Gonsalves (nee Joseph)

    Comment by Sylvia Gonsalves (nee Joseph) — September 10, 2009 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

  83. Tall Tales of Guyana: THE CHANTEY

    by Peter Halder, Ambassador (Ret.)

    Fr Alfred MacTaggart was the Priest -in-charge of St.Aidan’s Anglican Church
    at Wismar, Upper Demerara River.
    The Church’s congregation was made up of persons from Wismar, Christianburg, Silvertown, Silver City, Wismar Hill and Mackenzie.
    Fr. MacTaggart hailed from Scotland and his Scottish brogue oft intrigued his
    congregation when he delivered his sermon on Sundays.
    His elocution, for whatever reason, was often punctuated by thin streams of spit.
    The Father was also well- known for his strong tenor voice. It gave vibrancy and
    appeal to the Hymns sung in Church on Sundays.
    His Diocese was not limited to Christianburg-Wismar-Mackenzie and environs. Southward it extended as far as Mallali, some 45 miles away. He visited Mallali and delivered sermons at the Mallali School building on a Sunday once every six months.
    On one such visit, he was persuaded by a friend Pancho Fiedtkou to lunch. Pancho, a timber dealer, lived in his beautiful home on the right bank of the Demerara River, above Kaikuchekabra Rapids. The Mallali School was on the left bank of the river.
    After a gourmet meal of tortoise soup and smoked labba, with sweet potato, eddoe, yam and plantain, Pancho and the Father struck up a conversation about the situation in the area.
    Their conversation was interrupted after a long while by a sudden outburst of thunder, lightning and heavy rainfall.
    The tropical storm was also accompanied by heavy winds which felled several trees. The trees blocked the path over the hill that would have taken the Father to his launch, which, due to its size, could not, in any case, navigate the narrow channel through the rapids.
    There was no other way for Fr MacTaggart to return but by river, which Pancho explained. With the Fr’s concurrence, Pancho arranged for a canoe and two oarsmen to take Father by river, through the narrow channel of Kaikuchekabra Rapids to the launch.
    One oarsman sat at one end and one at the other. Father sat in the middle.
    All went well until they reached the Rapids.
    The narrow channel was a maelstrom from the heavy rain and heavy wind. The dark brown water of the channel dashed itself against the protruding rocks on both sides, sending white sprays across and above.
    “Dat ting luk lika hell, Father,” observed one oarsman, “but we goh get ya thru, na foh worrie.”
    “Praise the Lord,” said Father MacTaggart gratefully, “praise the Lord!”
    The oarsmen whispered the 23rd Psalm and made the Sign of the Cross as the canoe entered the channel.
    Fr MacTaggart raised in the air the Golden Cross on the chain around his neck and joined in saying the 23rd Psalm loudly.
    The canoe was tossed from side to side along the narrow channel by the savage turbulence of the water.
    Father finished the Psalm and began the Lord’s Prayer when they reached the middle of the channel.
    The maelstrom was worse there and the boat began to take in water as it tossed from side to side.
    The oarsmen encountered grave difficulty in controlling the canoe and keeping it from being dashed against the huge rocks.
    Sweat ran from their heads, through their hair and down their forehead. Their eyes were rolling in their sockets.
    Fear drove them into their tradition and custom.
    The two, as one, began to sing a chantey as they desperately paddled forward.
    ” Dem ah tell lie pon me
    Dem ah tell lie pon me
    Dem ah tell lie pon me
    Seh me gie gal belly.”
    Their faces were grim but their hands never stopped. Their bodies were soaked with
    perspiration but they showed courage.
    Fr MacTaggart, buoyed by his Prayer, was nevertheless shaking.
    But what worried him most was the bawdiness and lewdness of the chantey.
    He started to sing the Hymn “Onward Christian Soldier” to the dismay and anger of the oarsmen.
    The rapidly churning water was pushing the canoe towards a great big, jagged rock with sharp edges.
    The men shouted to the Father to stop singing his Hymn and join them in singing their chantey.
    “I can’t do that,” shouted back the Father,” only God can save us.”
    “Well in dat case,” shouted back the men in unison, ” we goh down we oars. Ef yoh doan sing we song we gon stop rowing and we all gon die right hey. Up to yoh, sing or die.”
    Seeing he had no choice but to do as they asked. Father told them all right, and launched into the chantey singing:
    ” They are telling lies on me
    They are telling lies on me
    They are telling lies on me
    Saying I gave a young lady abdomen. ”
    and he continued singing the same words.
    The boat steadied. The oarsmen plied all their skill and paddled the canoe safely through the channel.

    END

    Comment by Peter Halder — September 10, 2009 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  84. There’s no place like Mckenzie in the 60’and 70’s, very safe and friendly. Watooka,well that part of the city was off limits. Though,I managed to frequent that area quite often.See, I knew people in places (in otherwords I had LINES– LOL). Anyone who attended Trade School and knew Mr. Hammond knows exactely what I’m talking about.He’ll get a few of us to help him with odd jobs,in exchange we got lots of goodies from England and saw first hand how the rich really lived.Nevertheless,I lived a very fun live in Mckenzie with my other poor friends, playing cricket at the sports club,and hanging out at the market area.Your pic. I do reconize,they brought back much memories,especially Guybau Head Office.I worked there as an Office Boy in the Managers Office(1969). Your history is very imformative. Thanks, keep the pic. coming.

    Comment by Ferioze Samsair a.k.a. Sammy — September 10, 2009 @ 7:12 pm | Reply

  85. Mr. Wong, you have no idea how much “trouble” you have dug up by re-exposing us to our past, evoking memories that undoubtedly rank among the best for everyone who has contributed to this blog to-date, so boundless thanks to you and your collaborators; thanks also to Eton (Thomas) for bringing this to our attention. Full disclosure … Horace Benjamin, native son from Dakama Circle who grew up in the same era as David Yaw and Charles (Tommy) Davidson, aka Davo (arguably the best schoolboy voice to ever serenade the halls of our beloved school); David, Davo and I were classmates at Mackenzie High School.

    My father (James Benjamin, late as of 1/11/2009), worked at the Docks for most of his 40-plus years at Demba, then Guybau, and finally Guymine, and would be at home, hear the horn from one of the ships, and tell us whether it was Sun Brayton or Sun Henderson, or any other for that matter, on its way to, or leaving, the Docks.

    My memories of our mining town include – in the 60s — Sunday School at the Catholic Church, followed by treks with my neighbourhood friends Richard Lewis and Andre Hensford to the Mackenzie Hospital, then on to Watooka, up Richmond Hill, and on our way back, a walk alongside Surapana and the “Washer Pond”, on our hunt for the biggest and sweetest “fat poke” we could find. This is the same group I attended Cub Scouts with, which was led by Mrs. Greaves (our Akela), of Watooka, and which provided us with a rare opportunity to mingle with the children from Watooka area (Andrew Rosen comes to mind).

    It’s quite heartening to note the common thread of nostalgic euphoria from all posters here – some of us who spent all of our childhood days and part of our adult life in Mackenzie; some of us who lived there for a few years, either as children or adults, whether it is Watooka, Mackenzie, Wismar, or Christianburg, regardless of the length of time — we all seem to have memories that we cherish dearly.

    It warms my heart to recognize so many names on this blog … Gerry, Dion, Donna (Shepherd), Shirley Ann, Sargeant, Brey, Salar, Cushy, Steve (Edwards), Julian, most of whom I have not seen in many years, and I’m grateful for your good health and well-being.

    All in all, we have no choice but to be grateful to those who are responsible for the place that gave us so much that we could still look back, after so many years, in our minds and at pictures, and instantly be at comfort and peace, with the inescapable occasional smile curling our lips. Granted some of us were more fortunate materially, with opportunity dictating in some cases how much we could enjoy as children, but even for us regular folk in Mackenzie/Wismar/Christianburg, life was good. As our dear departed friend Colin (Bugs) Joseph would say, some folks were flying high with their B.A, BSc, MSc etc., but our fathers were equally as qualified, and content, with their O.B.E. (Old Bauxite Employee) designation.

    hbhbenjamin@gmail.com

    Comment by Horace Benjamin — September 10, 2009 @ 11:44 pm | Reply

  86. Hi( Sarah Mair) I hope you remember me as you said you grew up on Providence I grew up on Diamond Estate, My name then was Dorothy Howard, and I definetly remember you, I hope we can chat sometime, after I got married in 1968 I lived in Mackensie until 1975, my married name is Chabrol, and my husband was best known as Chabbie. My e-mail address is jude4you5@hotmail.com
    Hope to hear from you some time, and have a great weekend.
    Dorothy

    Comment by Dorothy Chabrol — September 11, 2009 @ 1:31 am | Reply

  87. Anyone recall stories of Malcolm Cliffe? Send him a message malcolm@checher.com.jm

    Comment by EMILY — September 11, 2009 @ 11:35 am | Reply

  88. Bob,there is no place like Mackenzie/Wismar?Christianburg. Thanks so much for taking me down memory lane about our home town. I always remember what a great childhood I had, and always share it with my children and friends. I grew up in Yuriballi Street, my uncle was Demba sign artist. My dad still lives on Riverside Drive, Watooka. When I see names like Lalta Paul,Sun Chapman not to forget Gomes Snack Bar, this is a town that is very dear to me.

    Comment by Jennifer Daniels(Nicholson) — September 11, 2009 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

    • Yes Bob; thanks so much for your website; I understand that Mackenzie /Wismar is not the same today as it was back then. I will definitely get lost.:))

      Comment by Deanna — June 30, 2010 @ 12:41 am | Reply

  89. Hi,
    I’m Jimmy Lorrimer (called Wilton at school)The pictures published and the comments posted bring back very pleasant memories. I can’t say that I have met you,Bob, but certainly your dad’s was a household name in Mackenzie.
    My father, Levi worked with Demba for many years and I enjoyed the occasional company of some his work mates. I started my working life in 1964 at the Royal Bank of Canada (the very one shown in one of the photos)and among your contributors I recognise some of the names. In particular, there is my very close classmate throughout my years at Mackenzie High School-Lawrence Munroe (Salar)as well as a work colleague-Tony Phillips. I am so glad for this brief trip down memory lane and I hope that there may be additional comments from others I may have known.

    Regards

    Jimmy Lorrimer

    Comment by Wilton Lorrimer — September 11, 2009 @ 9:59 pm | Reply

    • Jimmy, just saw your comments. This is Michael Agostini formerly of RBC. You may contact me at magostin@aol.com

      Comment by Michael — November 8, 2013 @ 1:45 am | Reply

  90. I am Guyanese who only ever visited McKenzie once, my cousins Kenneth and Brian DeFreitas worked at Denba, does anyone remember them? Two ‘Putagee’ guys, they lived in one of the company houses when I visited them.
    I see someone made contact with Sarah Mair, I live in Western Australia but will be visiting the state where Sarah resides and hope to meet her.
    I used to know a Chabrol from Stella Maris, I was a kindergarten teacher there in the sixties, I left in 1968 for Australia..
    Although I did not live in McKenzie I feel a kinship with everyone, all Guyanese must feel this way when they read nostalgic stories such as these, thanks everyone.
    Helena Martin (DaSilva)

    Comment by Helena Martin (DaSilva) — September 12, 2009 @ 9:13 am | Reply

    • You are a real Guyanese “two Putagee guys” LOL how cute:))

      Comment by Deanna — June 30, 2010 @ 12:38 am | Reply

    • Hi Helena,
      I read your post on Mr.Wong’s site.Even though I’m somewhat younger than your cousins Brian and Ken, I knew both of them very well.Ken used to rent one of the rooms in one of our houses in Rainbow City.He loved his motor cylcle. Brian lived in Cara Cara Scheme below the Samsair’s.Brian was the taller of the two.As a matter of fact,I think he went out with one of my cousins for awhile.Cheers.By the way, I’m a Gravesande.

      Comment by Walter Gravesande — February 28, 2012 @ 11:48 am | Reply

  91. My wife, Maureen, and I were reading the comments, after a few names Maureen wondered whatever happened to Wilton Lorimer and lo and behold there he was making a comment.

    Tony Phillips whom I saw once [last year] since we both left Guyana. No one mentioned “Dorny” Dornellas, Pokka [Wismar] whose restaurant we frequented, Melanie Hutt, Ron Camacho, B. Andrew Rodrigues and Bunny Yearwood et al.

    I remember travelling up the river in a speed boat run by Walter. Cannot recall how much we each paid, but suffice to say we did so very often. Oh my wife said I did not mention the ladies we worked with in the Royal Bank…Elaine Trotman, Kathleen Hudson, D. Volgeson I cannot recall the rest of the names.
    But thanks guys it was a slice.
    Roger

    Comment by Roger De Freitas — September 12, 2009 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

    • I heard through the grapevine that “Dorny” passed on. He worked with my Dad at the Trade School., Mr. Elcote too. Does anyone know what happened to John McRae? he was a teacher at the Trade School, left Guyana in 1965? If you do, please let me know!!

      Comment by Deanna — June 30, 2010 @ 12:29 am | Reply

    • I remember you from the 60’s. Judy Cass and myself used to “lime” with the “bank boys”. I have been trying to find her on FB and other methods but to no avail. I have pics of you and Terry? and there were four of you. I have so many pictures and have to scan them to post them. Have pics of you and the other “bank boys” as you were called.

      Comment by Jane Macdonald — May 1, 2011 @ 7:29 am | Reply

  92. Roger I am kind of working on the memory bank and I think you missed an employee of Royal ‘Bank named Lorna Frank..her last name being Frank from Marriage..to Maurice Frank..
    and she later was employed by the head office in the Bauxite Division..Maurice was a singer with the Oracles…and since we are on the entertainment connection…how can we forget Joseph Donald…aka …….Joey Dee from Aluminaires…and Brentnol Hall the organist….and Kite the security officer for the Mackenzie Sports Club and Ralph the proctector at the door…and Stretch the financial officer at the sports club… keep the brains ‘racking’ for updates…

    Comment by Cleveland Sargeant — September 12, 2009 @ 11:52 pm | Reply

    • Sad to say that Joey Dee passed away sometime in 2002 in Brooklyn,

      Comment by Hugh Pickering — March 25, 2010 @ 1:18 am | Reply

  93. Does anyone know where Melanie & Ron Comache are living now? they left Demba to live in U.S but have not been able to track them down, they were good friends as was Walter Hutt, & Bunny Yearwood. Bunnt Yearwoods daughter’s name is if my memory serves me right Grasseleia, also does anyone remember Jim & Linda McTurk, Jim being Tiny McTurk’s son I think and Linda is of course Evan Evan Wong’s daughter, there was also Steve Xaviera of J.P. Santos & Dr. Charlie Roza and Later he was replaced by Dr.Gordon Baird.
    Keep the memories coming. Dorothy
    _________________________________

    BobW (Linda and Jim McTurk retired from Syncrude last year and moved to a place just north up the coast from Vancouver)

    Comment by Dorothy Chabrol — September 13, 2009 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

    • I am trying to contact Jim McTurk. He is my grandmother’s nephew. Does anyone have an e-mail address for him and Linda. I need to contact him about one of the last McTurk ancestors.

      Comment by Shelley Lacroix — May 26, 2011 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

      • If you get an email address for the McTurk’s, sould you please forward this:

        Dear Linda McTurk,

        I think you used to play bridge with my mother, Joyce Kaye. She died in 1978. Any memories of her would be appreceated.

        Pauline Anne Kaye pakitwell@yahoo.ca

        Comment by Pauline Anne Kaye — June 25, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

  94. I worked in Mackenzie at RBC from 1964–1966, these pics brought back a lot of memories, drinking beer at “Blairs” those days no road, so really different modes of to/from transport like the “graphic boat” lol that was a trip. wonder what ever became of the then manager Gerry Bower, and the Demba pilot who encouraged me to become a pilot Barney Griffith. and “mr nedd” who was the chef at the watooka hotel.
    _________________________

    BobW (Randal, It’s great that you’ve provided another look from a different perspective. Where are you flying these days?)

    Comment by Randal Roach — September 13, 2009 @ 11:20 pm | Reply

  95. WOW!!!!!!!!!!now I know what a blast from the past is…These images Mackenzie are truly amazing. I remember Watooka as a boy growing up. My father, William Langevine, was a Sergeant in the Constabulary and some times he would take us in the jeep as he went patrolling up there. We lived in the Constabulary next to the WASHER POND where We, as kids, would play cowboys and Indians up. Also, the McKenzie Hospital was up that way and after church on Sundays we would walk up to Watooka or as far as we could go… Just to see the Recreation Hall,Crescent Cinema, the Market , the Square etc as it used to be..Oh man!! Plus all those familiar names and people I know that haven’t seen in ages-Gerry, Lincoln , Johnnie; Salar, Lorimer,Gordon. A shout out to the constabulary people-the Archibalds, Grahams, Roses, Elbers, Wards, the Blanchards, the Blairs etc all whose fathers as Constables at sometime patrolled Watooka. As the song says-Take me back—-
    ____________________________

    BobW (Charles, I’ve looked and don’t see much else on the net for Old MacKenzie or new Linden. Anyone have any links to share?)

    Comment by Charles Langevine — September 14, 2009 @ 8:24 am | Reply

  96. Thank for the pictures, thanks for the memories, I can show my children born over here in the USA about my country of birth.
    _______________________

    BobW (Carl, You’re very welcome. I think all these comments also provide a significant record)

    Comment by Carl Goulding — September 14, 2009 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  97. We have established roots in all parts of the world, but these pictures have clearly reminded us that Mackenzie always was and always will be home. By Mackenzie, I mean the whole Upper Demerara area, including Wismar, Christianburg, Valley Of Tears, Silver Town, Silver City, One Mile, Retrieve, Kara Kara, Rainbow City, etc. Look at the picture of Sun Henderson. Wow! I also remember Sun Walker and Sun Brayton. These pictures indeed are “a trip down memory lane.” Thanks a million!

    Charlie
    _______________________________

    BobW (Charlie, I suspect that there is more to the old MacKenzie memories than than meets the eye. It was a unique place)

    Comment by Charlie Lee — September 15, 2009 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  98. TO ANyONE who now lives in GUYANA

    I will be going to BOA VISTA near LETHEM to meet up with my brother STEVE DE CASTRO
    who has also now retired from his Professor of Economics job at BRAZILLIA UNI:
    WE were from GOLDEN GROVE on the east coast DEMERARA where we grew up with our cousins in NABACLAIS where me and my twin brother were born. 1944…..Yes historical survivals of an ERA. I now live on my farm of OLIVE ORANGE and ALMOND trees in south spain (alpujaras) my nearest GUYANESE neighbour BERNIE GOUVEIA who lives near MALAGA. O managed to read every comment etc and enjoyed the photos. I lived and worked in GUYANA for 10 years before my return to ENGLAND with my GIBRALTARIAN wife and 4 children.
    3 of my children were born in GEORGETOWN but now reside in UK,.
    If anyone who reads these comments wishes to get in touch before my BOA VISTA adventure please do so ASAP: I will visit Georgetown on my trip via LETHEM and MACKENZIE (LINDEN)
    but BOA VISTA has more english speaking guyanese living there than anywhere else I know.
    Of course they speak that colonial language PORTUGUESE…..ENGLISH (guyanese) is much more understood and comes third after CHINESE, and INDIAN in spoken terms.

    I worked in Mackenzie for 2 years with Banks DIH at their branch and supplied most of the “booze” to DEMBA. DEMBA somehow reminds me of JONESTOWN without the forced suicide.
    I will report my findings to all GUYANESE on my mailing list after my return to SPAIN-UK
    on how things are there TODAY without a political agenda.
    Incidentally there are more GUYANESE born people living in other countries than in GUYANA today. I ask myself WHY ! 2/3 of Guyana now belongs to UK in exchange for development aid ! more insurance against CHAVEZ invading GUYANA !!
    GORDON BROWN brokered that deal with JAGDEO a protegee of Janet Jagan RIP.

    Sorry about the political comment but my blood boils when I read of what is acceptable/happening in GUYANA today.

    Please free to e mail me as I reply to all my e mails personally and when I read clippings from GUYANESE born living elsewhere I wonder !

    comdecastro@yahoo.com

    peace and love to all GUYANA born – bred.
    COMPTON of CHERIN ESPANIA
    _________________________________

    BobW (Have a great adventure on your trip, fire over some pics on your return)

    Comment by COMPTON DE CASTRO — September 16, 2009 @ 5:53 am | Reply

    • Hey Compton… I’m Guyanese, born in La Penitence, Greater Georgetown and lived most of my life in Guyana on the East Bank. My father worked with the Demerara Sugar Company. I now live in Brasilia and have known your brother Steve for a long time, I mean, since around 1989. He’s a nice guy and his wife Janet, too. We have played lots of cricket here in Brasilia.

      Comment by Robert Kersting-De Nieuwerkerk — April 25, 2011 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

  99. A blast from the past indeed as Charles Langevine said. The pictures are awesome, a light in the dark furrows of my mind. I am one 0f the Wrights from Mackenzie – my dad worked in the machine shop. I guess I was before your time there (maybe) but I am sure you might remember my brothers Victor, Vibert and Sammy and my many sisters. The picture of bauxite plant, the railyard and Demba office reminds me of walks to Mackenzie hospital on Sunday afternoons after Sunday School or during the week to visit someone. These pictures are right up the street for a project I have in mind and I would like to get in touch with you or Llyn-Jones. The comments are so true and made me laugh because of the memories that errupted.
    ______________________________

    BobW (Gwendoline, I’ve fired off a contact email but it got bounced)

    Comment by Gwendoline Adams (Wright) — September 16, 2009 @ 6:26 am | Reply

  100. These images brought back lost memories for me. I was born in Wismar in the fifties and I do remember these scenes as typical of the period before 1966. That market picture was a good one.

    I remember In the early 1960’s. Living in Wismar that there was no ecectricity or municipal water. Very few people had radios and when there was a cricket test series in Australia or England we would all meet at Mr. Archer’s house since he had a Telefunken powered by a 4ft battery pack.

    That market was right off the river and the boats dumped the wismar residents on the beach right in front.

    Images like these do deserve an archive.
    _______________________________

    BobW (It’s good to here more about the living conditions and we need more old pictures on the net)

    Comment by genyyus — September 16, 2009 @ 10:06 am | Reply

  101. Great pictures! Thanks for sharing. Today I returned to Va after 12 days in Linden. Totally a different place now. I love the pictures on your site. I am glad to have them to share with my daughters. I always tell tell them about what Linden looked like during the days I grew up there. Now I can show them what I saw back in those days. thanks.
    DC
    ______________________________

    BobW (We need more pictures and commentary)

    Comment by Dawn Chesney — September 16, 2009 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  102. Really great pictures , my aunt use to go to Linden with the RHCar i never went until the highway was finish but my buddy and good friend in the 70s Mark Clark, his father Mr. Clark worked at the bauxite company and he would come down often to see him and we as children were fascinated with the land rover and the dust on it and dreamed of going there till we did go eventually.
    ______________________

    BobW (Lindon, Travel in Guyana in those days was definitely quite exciting and often filled with unexpected adventure)

    Comment by Lindon — September 18, 2009 @ 10:19 pm | Reply

  103. Sorry BobW

    Don’t know what happened there. Look carefully at the address, there is an extra letter in it. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Comment by Gwendoline Adams (Wright) — September 19, 2009 @ 3:00 am | Reply

  104. Hello Bob,
    You’ve certainly started something here! Evocatve images and many, many memories that inevitably come flooding back. I remember your family very clearly – your dad as an impressive personality, your mum for the warm smile she always gave me from behind the wheel of her landrover (often with you and your brothers in tow), and of course Linda and Jennifer. I remember feeling very proud when Jennifer came 3rd in the Miss World contest! I remember Eileen, Julian (your dad showed me his butterfly collection housed in those wide, shallow drawers), and the Ho brothers. And I still cannot hear a bagpipe without remembering Mr Elcoat,onetime principal of the Trade School who lived opposite us and next to the golf club – he was also a keen bagpipe player, much taken to practising in the early hours of the morining! And I have yet to find a hot dog that matches the one at that club! I also remember my friends from my year at MHS with affection and many of the staff who worked with my father. Several have been in touch and it was a pleasure to meet Robin Mallinson last year – tell your dad he had just returned from the golf course!

    I suspect the essentially stratfied society simply reflected the world as it was then – but then to quote Omar Khayyam ‘the moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on’.

    Many thanks for taking me back in time…. and regards to all who share the memories.

    Dexter Hutt
    _________________________________

    BobW (Dexter, Great to hear from you. I’ve just returned from Toronto where we had a brief meeting with some former MacKenzieites and your name came up in the conversation several times not least of all from that very same Eileen you mentioned. The news of Knighthood travels fast, chance to say congrats. Still waiting to make contact with some of your other family members. As I recollect Brian was my age and a rascal he was. It would be good to hear how he and the others are all making out. I too remember that famous butterfly collection, it sparked a flurry of butterfly catching and lepidopterology.)

    Comment by Dexter Hutt — September 20, 2009 @ 8:14 am | Reply

    • To: Dexter Hutt,
      This is coming to you extremely late. Your post is dated Sep. 20, 2009, so hopefully this does reach you.
      I am Claude Ho, one of the Ho brothers you mentioned. The others you might remeber …Patrick, Bertram and Winston.
      Winston & I were the ones who used to travel to Mackenzie much more than the others, they were older than we were, to spend our August holidays from school with our father, Benjamin and his father, James.
      My father used to be at the commissary and/or grocery store. He was also with A. Choo Kang’s store. And also in Wismar, and Kwakwani.
      In those days you could roam all over the area without fear. We explored to our hearts delight.
      While our cousins, the sons of Lawrence Ho, also lived in Mackenzie, they were in the compound of the bauxite company and we were on the outside. I do not remember us spending much time together, but maybe my memory is not what it should be.
      I have been living in Toronto, Canada for quite some time now. In fact over 30 years since leaving Guyana.

      I’ve read your comments in these pages but still cannot make a connection. Please let me know a little about yourself and if we might have come into contact in Mackenzie.

      Happy New Year to You & Yours,
      Claude Ho

      Comment by Claude Ho — December 30, 2010 @ 9:59 pm | Reply

  105. Greeting’s. I haven’t visited Mackenzie, but enjoy viewing those photograph also I am not Guyanese, I like to think that I am, I had the pleasure of being in your beautiful country in 1963/64 traveling across the vast land and then organizing a group of local friends, to journey on the Cayuni River, What a marvelous journey it was, crossing devils hole, matup falls, the many rapids, fishing the native way and living on Mora Island with the natives. The beautiful country of British Guiana, as it was called, Forty five years have gone since, Yet I remember what I saw and experienced, most of all the kindness and generosity of the people who shared time,meals and their homes with me. BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE AND YOUR COUNTRY, GUYANA THE BEAUTIFUL!!
    ____________________________

    BobW (Joseph, Great memories from a time when life was different)

    Comment by Joseph Chadwick — September 20, 2009 @ 8:00 pm | Reply

  106. Dorothy check Canada 411 and look for Ron Camacho in Toronto.
    Gerry Bower died and I think Julian De Meister also died last year, Bowmanville area in Ontario. Also, David Martins the manager form the RBC bank.

    Wow! Randy Roach!

    Showed my daughter the pictures of the bunglows we lived in at Watkooka and the first thing she asked was how did you sleep with the trains shunting all night long?

    Take care
    Roger
    ________________________

    BobW (Roger, Your daughter picks up well. For me the shunting trains were very calming and put me to sleep better than anything)

    Comment by Roger De Freitas — September 21, 2009 @ 11:14 am | Reply

  107. Greeting’s. Perhaps, you can grant me some space to reconnect with some of my friends, with whom I lost contact, They was part of 1963/64, “Journey on the Cuyuni” they are : Leo Baird, Bobby Branco, Francis Van Sluytman, Odel Singh and Miguel Ramarez all from Georgetown. Also two pen-pal from Dochfour : Rita Dyal and Nan Sawh. I thank you for your consideration.
    Respectfully, Joseph.
    ________________________

    BobW (Sure thing Joseph, hope it works out.)

    Comment by Joseph Chadwick — September 21, 2009 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  108. I was one of a group of 5 engineers hired in the 60s as a result of a protest by Cheddie jagan that there were qualified Guyanese engineers in North America who could fill positions that were occupied by expatriates. However my salary was much lower than the salaries of the foreigners. It was your dad who gave me my biggest increase after he recognized this fact. My kids VictorII,Sandra,Loren and Yollande were raised in Watooka and subsequently in Richmond hill.
    It is a refreshing, nostalgic experience to read this.
    ______________________________

    BobW (Victor, I wonder if Demba were operating today, if there would be a distinction between Guyanese engineers and expatriates. Heck if they were still around I might be working for them. I also wonder if Jim McTurk was one of your group of Guyanese engineers. He married my sister Linda and I suspect my Dad did not crank his salary as I’ve heard him complain.)

    Comment by Victor B. Smith — September 22, 2009 @ 12:15 am | Reply

  109. Hello Mr Wong,

    My brother Victor Shim brought this web site to my attention. Some of the names mentioned has taken me deep down into memory lane. I’m mostly familiar with Alfred Choo Kang. He was married to my father’s aunt. My father was Richard Shim-Chim Snr and he worked at the Ration Store at McKenzie. Then he was sent by Uncle Alfred (who had 3 sons and a daughter)to run the Store in Ituni which, incidentally, I read today in a local Guyanese newspapers, started to get 24-hour a day electricity only TODAY….unbelievable! but true! I used to travel with my dad on the Pullman at night between Ituni and McKenzie to get ration for the Store at Ituni. The driver of the train was Mr Gravesande. Peter Halder mentioned the Gravesande name in his piece. I also remember Mr Proctor taking us for a ride in those monstrous draglines in the bauxite mines. Frank Delph mentioned the Proctor name. I also remember the Lams from Ituni. Their daughter’s name is Yvette. I’ll try to see if I can retrieve some pictures for you. Bob,you’re doing an excellent job!! Thanks…
    ________________________

    BobW (It’s great to hear from someone that knows of the old A.Choo Kang’s store in MacKenzie. If you don’t mind could you fill us in on more of the details of it’s history past and present.

    Now that you’ve mentioned the “Pullman” the name comes jumping back. I never knew much about it’s operation other than it ferried passengers around.

    Let’s definitely get some more pictures going.)

    Comment by waterman — September 22, 2009 @ 1:28 am | Reply

  110. These are some wonderful pictures of Linden. It reminds me of my first trip there with my mother to Wismar. We traveled on the RH Carr steamer and the trip back was very interesting as I was trying to lean over the side of trying to see what it was that was causing the surf at the bottom. Luckily someone saw me and grabbed me, slapped my butt and took me back to my Mom who was looking for me.

    One more thing of nostalgia was the Grumman Goose. My first trip on an aeroplane was on one of those when it travelled to the interior of Guyana where my father was stationed. On my first trip, my stomach couldn’t take the maneuverings and I threw up. I think what I did was got away from my mom and was staring at the pilots as they flew. I was fascinated by the instrumentation and for a long time wanted to be a pilot.

    Overall, it was great seeing the pics and there should be a site to keep all historic references of Guyana together. Thank you Mr. Wong.

    iain

    Comment by Iain Adams — September 22, 2009 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  111. I have just received a site on line that is a really great way for us and our children and grandchildren to get to know more about British Guyana my birth place and home until 1975.

    Here is the link…

    British Guiana History.

    http://www.gy-saints.com/History/BRITISH-GUIANA-1924.pdf

    The photos that go with the document are stored here.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/blog4saints/BritishGuiana1924History?feat=directlink#
    ___________________

    BobW (The link seems to be busted, have notified Dorothy, maybe we’ll get an update.

    Update now in place)

    Comment by Dorothy Chabrol — September 22, 2009 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  112. Hello Friend,
    You have enriched my memory with the pictures of the Town that molded me. I will always love and be greatful to Linden for its rich sence of community and life, it was full of life,It was unique.
    Lots of love to all the readers,
    Marlene

    Comment by Ms. Ogle — September 22, 2009 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

  113. Fantastic. These pictures bring back memories of a period of my life that I would sometimes prefer to forget and at other times love to re-live. I exchanged positions with Peter Halder in 1960, he to the Licence Revenue Office in Georgetown and I to the District Administration Office in Christianburg. Although my first wife is from the Christianburg area (one of the Fiedkous who lived next to the Christianburg cemetery) and my children from that union are familiar with it, those born in Canada where I have resided for the past 41 years (I have never returned) will be more than happy to learn something of the McKenzie, Wismar, Christianburg era of my existence.

    Much as I am proud of my Guyanese roots it is highly unlikely that I will ever return as both age and the prevaling conditions there play heavily against my chances of so doing.

    Comment by Richard Lewis — September 22, 2009 @ 9:24 pm | Reply

  114. Hello All

    It really brought me immense sense of pride and warmth in my heart to remember what my home town was and i would prefer to keep those memories in my heart instead of the current scene. I was born in wismar in the year 1963 so some of the shots would have been before my time, however having live most of teenager years in Linden i have experienced some of the facilities that are being display in some of the pics, I remember the lovely watooka club and pool, every weekend my brothers and sisters along with myself would walk from Retrieve to the pool to swim, we use to enjoy ourselves immensely. I would watch the engineers with envious eyes as they would pull up with their fancy rides and go into the club. I use to tell my self one day i would be an engineer and be able to enjoy the same status…however that was never to be even though i did fullfil my dream of being an engineer, the climate in linden completely changed with the fall of the bauxite plant, which was the corner stone for the club, hospital , school etc. I was also a product of MHS which instill my educational foundation which continue to benefit me in my life. So Great work guys, keep up the good work!!!

    Albert A Chesney

    Comment by Albert Chesney — September 23, 2009 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

  115. Dear all

    Thanks so much for sending those pictures of Mackenzie. The sad part is that although I was born in 1941 in Guyana Campbelliville, in my later years wanted to but never had the chance to visit Mazkenzie.
    However, scanning through the volumous responses above reflects similar nostalgic feelings of my own days in Guyana.
    The photos and a comment above about the engineerings driving up in their fancy cars to that club etc, reminds me of my early professional working life at the power station in Water street. In those days the engineers were from England who held the top positions, because the generators came from England, etc, etc. Don’t wish to get into the politics.
    Never-the-less, I can see that almost all of us Guyanese who have settled abroad (I with my family in England)gets very home sick when we see such photos.
    I think we can all share our experiences of our days in Guyana before leaving for whatever reason. Seeing such photos only evokes haunting memories.
    For myself there is so much to write about, I am not sure where to start.
    My friends where are they now? The only friend I am in touch with is Winston Ho-Yow. Others like, Hugo Fields, Keith Richards, Barnwell, Bachus, Bar, and others from the Technical Institute. If anyone can help I would be very greatful.

    So what has happened to Mackenzie now since Demba has closed down and the company nationalised?

    Please enlighten me?

    Many thanks
    Sat
    ___________________

    Comment by Satyanand Mohan-Ram (Sat) — September 24, 2009 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

    • Hugo Feilds is alive and well, as vibrant as ever, and works for G T & T (The telephone co. In Georgetown) he looks as though he still thirty years old. He looks great

      Comment by Hugo Pickering — March 25, 2010 @ 1:34 am | Reply

  116. All

    Those pictures brought back memories for me both as a child in the 60’s and later as an engineer in the 80’s working with the company when it was called Guymine. I was born and raised in Chritianburg in the days when there was no electricity or water. Our family had a grocery store Liu Bros.

    Working in the 80’s there were not a lot of North American trained Guyanese engineers left. The newer engineers were trained at UWI, Esat Germay or Russia with chemists from UG. Later on we had Green Construction Co from Arkansas come in to manage one of the mines.

    Today the Linden operations is majority owned by BOSAI a Chinese Co which was formerly Nanchung Minerals. Prior to this the shares were owned by Cambior of Canada whose pricipal business is gold mining and was opearating gold at Omai.
    ___________________________

    BobW (Newton, Way to go. First news I’ve had from someone that knows what really happened to the Bauxite industry in Guyana. Tell us more…)

    Comment by Newton Liu — September 24, 2009 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  117. Came across your site quite by accident and it reminded me of my brief sojourn at McKenzie. A group of graduates including me, from the electrical class at the GITC were taken on as apprentices by Demba, that was around 1970 or thereabouts. Philip Yhap and Woodie the weightlifter were two that I remember, Philip left for Canada a short time before I did. The super at that time was Jim Park and the chief foreman was Clarence London. We, the GITC grads were lucky enough to be sent to the Trade School where I sat successfully two City & Guilds certificates. The lecturer was a Mr. Braithwaite who drove a Volkswagen beetle, can’t remember his first name. In ’72 while travelling up to McKenzie one Monday morning the taxi I was in got into an accident, almost lost an eye. Was off work for a while and shortly on my return to work departed for Canada in October of the same year. Lived for a while In Montreal but am now living in Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
    _____________________

    Comment by Des Wight — September 26, 2009 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  118. Great pictures. What a pity that the town is no longer maintained the same way it was back then. I would love to send some recent picture to illustrate my point. Thank you for sharing your pictures with us all the same.
    ___________________

    BobW (More pictures yahoo, email in the mail)

    Comment by Keith Gordon — September 29, 2009 @ 9:37 am | Reply

  119. Thank you very much for sharing your pictures with us. It’s a pity that the town is not being maintained the same way it was back then.

    Regards

    Comment by Keith Gordon — September 29, 2009 @ 9:40 am | Reply

  120. hi bob , great job with the pics. these bring back so many great memories of growing up in mackenzie . though not having any affiliations with demba , i grew up in retrieve , i think it was , opposite the high school . my dad worked at the insurance co. G.T.M . i did however spend many a sunday at the watooka club and pool with the roberts’ family . uncle skip , was the head of police , i think . his son jeremy and i had lots of fun in and out of the pool , and yes the hamburgers were the best . i can still remember hopping on to the back of the bauxite cars to hitch a ride , or picking fatpork , jamoon , mangoes ,guava etc. those were indeed good old days , and though i was very young i recall that almost all the people i met , both local and expats. were very nice . one of my half sisters was married to christopher cole , who lived in watooka . again , very nostalgic , but great . thank you for sharing .

    Comment by clive too-chung snr. — September 29, 2009 @ 3:20 pm | Reply

  121. So nice to look at some early picture of beautiful guyana, but like anything we have to move on and foward,can you go back now and to some recent photo so we can compare that would be interesting.
    ________________________

    BobW (There is a link at the end of the article to some recent photos)

    Comment by faz — September 29, 2009 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

  122. Hi Bob,
    These pictures bring back a lot
    of memories.I work and live in the high desert of Southern California.Therfore I certainly appreciate the good old days. As a boy scout I did a lot of camping in Pine Apple creek. It was located by the last hole of the golf course in Watooka behind Richmomd Hill.The scene with the barber shop, Royal Bank of Canada and the post office reminds me of the old Arvida Road.
    Thanks again.
    Paul

    Comment by Paul Lewis — September 29, 2009 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  123. Fantastic memories. Thanks for sharing photos. Hi Paul Lewis, good to know that you are still in the high desert of Southern California. Need to get in touch with you. (shackow@bellsouth.net)

    Comment by VICTOR WRIGHT — September 30, 2009 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  124. Thank you for sharing these photos of my beautiful Guyana. I was born in Georgetown but left for Barbados with my mother at the age of two. I was later sent back at the age of six to live with my grandmother for four years. So, you see, I have very little history of my own of a life in Guyana, but the your pictures surely brought back images of a different and intriguing part of my life – Thank you!

    Comment by Paula Hunte-Cox — October 2, 2009 @ 8:38 am | Reply

  125. WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! I NOW HAVE PICTURES TO LINK WITH STORIES I HEARD. WISH I WAS AROUND WHEN McKENZIE WAS IN ITS GLORY. I’M HERE STILL, NOW I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO LOSE SOMETHING THAT WAS LOVED.
    _________________________

    BobW (On the surface the old place may seem run down, but underneath there is plenty of character. I wonder if outsiders see this character?)

    Comment by kEANE ADAMS — October 2, 2009 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  126. I just happened onto this site. I’m from Georgetown, however, the pictures are beautiful and puts me in the frame of mind to visit Guyana soon. My uncle worked at Demba as a draftsman for many years and always talked of Mackenzie — his name was Carl Punch. Let me know if anyone knows any of the Punches from West Ruimveldt.
    ____________________________________

    BobW (Sheila, Getting to Georgetown from MacKenzie in the early days was quite an event that created lasting memories. Wish the cost of visiting Guyana weren’t so high.)

    Comment by Sheila Matthias — October 2, 2009 @ 7:05 pm | Reply

  127. As a drafing apprentice, I work with Mr Punch, as we called him. Cool guy and very easy to work with. I remember him mostly, flirting with the cleaning lady who was 1 ft taller than he was……lol

    Comment by Wazir Samsair — October 3, 2009 @ 7:42 am | Reply

  128. Wazir: Apprentice = still learning to use a ruler — Mr. Punch was 6.2, apparently the cleaning lady was Mother Sally. Thanks for the welcome, funny bone.

    Comment by Sheila Matthias — October 3, 2009 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

  129. THIS IS SURELY A PASSAGE OF TIME, BACK IN THE DAY, I STARTED AT WISMAR SCHOOL, WITH MR. NOBLE AS HEADMASTER, THEN MR. JAMES, HOWARD’S FATHER,THEN I LEFT FOR DEMBA TARDE SCHOOL, HAD A TIME OF MY LIFE THERE, DURING THAT TIME, WHEN WE FIRST GOT THERE, ONE COULD NOT HAVE GONE INTO WATOOKA WITH OUT A PASS…TO BE A ‘GOLF KADDIE’ WAS A PAIN IN THE ASS, BUT, MADE IT SOME DIDN’T, IT’S ALL LIFE EXPERIENCES OF WHICH WE GO THROUGH TO MAKE US STRONGER TO FACE THE WORLD WE NOW LIVE IN, VERY DISTANT FROM THE ONE WE CAME FROM, HAVING NOT FORGOTTEN, THAT’S WHAT’S IT’S ALL ABOUT.

    BUILDING AMELIA’S WARD, LOOKING AT THE SPASMODIC PROGRESS AND DEGENERATION OF OUR LOVED/BELOVED HOME IT’S WRENCHING, AGAIN IT’S WHAT WE CALL LIFE, WE HAVE TO FACE IT, IT’S NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE, IT’S US TO EDUCATE/REVIVE THAT SPIRIT OF CAMARADERIE/ONENESS OF WHERE WE’VE COME FROM AND WHERE WE NEED TO BE GOING, NOT FORGETTING WHERE WE CAME FROM….
    ________________________________________

    BobW (Aobrey, Excellent philosophy. Sounds like you’ve been away from the old home town. It would be interesting to see what we felt like on return.)

    Comment by AUBREY SIMON — October 4, 2009 @ 7:05 pm | Reply

  130. This is for Claude Ho. Did your father Benjamin Ho have two brothers named Godfrey and Edgar who lived in Antigua? I know that Godfrey came to Antigua in his early twenties. He had a few brothers back in Guyana, Benjamin, Sam, Kenneth……not sure of the other names. He also had a sister by the name of Doreen who married Sue-a-quan.

    I read that you were putting together a family tree and wondered if there was a connection anywhere.

    Best Regards,

    Bernard & Karen Ho (Antigua)

    Comment by Bernard & Karen Ho — October 5, 2009 @ 2:57 am | Reply

  131. …lol Sheila, Sheila. I swear he used to look up at her. And if I am lying, God will drop a bag of money at my front door. So pray for me.
    – Have a nice day and say hello to Mr Punch for me.

    Comment by Wazir Samsair — October 5, 2009 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  132. Your photos and log are simply wonderful! My brain is bursting with the childhood memories that are so sweet! I think I lived the pool at The Watooka House more than anyone…. we all had great fun; after school kicking off those shoes and riding our bikes down the middle of the road, popcorn at the Saturday matinee, Land Rover trips to Ituni, (yes the pool water was dark!), sleeping in hammocks under the stars at Rockstone, sliding down the sandhills, waterskiing with the piranha on both the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers, golf at the club and so much more. When we arrived home in the summers and Christmas from boarding school, well it was party time! Remember the silver painted Christmas trees! We lived a rich life in more ways than one. We should all be thankful for the memories of our childhoods in British Guinea.
    Our family, moved to Mackenzie in 1955 from Montreal (I was two) and left when the company was nationalized. My brothers Peter and Duncan were both born in Mackenzie, delivered by Dr. Roza. Mum and dad, Pat and Dennis loved being part of the Demba community, and kept in touch with friends throughout their lives, traveling often to places far away to meet up with others from the Demba family.

    Thanks Bob for all your work. It is a treasure found.
    ___________________________________

    BobW (Barb, It’s great to see you checking in. A bunch of people have been asking after you.)

    Comment by Barb Whitehead Gordon — October 5, 2009 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

    • Dear Barb,

      You mentioned silver-painted Christmas trees and it made me remember our own Silver Xmas tree – although now that I think of it, I think it was made with aluminium strips. I believe your family gave it to ours, when you left Guyana. We (David, Joyce & 3 children: Susan, Pauline Anne & John) kept that tree and brought it with us to Canada when we left Guyana in 1974. It was our Xmas Tree for all of the years that we lived as a family, in Montreal. I actually hated it as a teenager – always wanted it to be bigger and greener. Now I think of it, with nostalgia. Poor little Xmas Tree.
      Pauline Anne Kaye pakitwell@yahoo.ca

      Comment by Pauline Anne Kaye — June 25, 2011 @ 11:47 pm | Reply

    • Hi Barb

      I remember yout Mum and dad – sure they lived near us on Topira Crescent. Jan and Eric Anderson’s family.

      Som,e lovely memories!
      Ellie

      Comment by Ellie — August 31, 2011 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

  133. My stint at the Technical training complex was not only enjoyable but exhilarating. I see the names of some of the Apprentices and workmates here and hope they’re doing well. It’s painful to recall the happiness we enjoyed in the early to mid seventies and how we have regressed to the point where we have had to leave our home and use our skills to benefit some other country. It’s also unfortunate that our offsprings will not be enjoying the fruits of the labour that their forebears worked hard and prepared for them at their home

    Comment by REUBEN GARRETT — October 9, 2009 @ 10:06 am | Reply

  134. Email me on gweneadams@blueyonder.co.uk. Note the e between gwen and adams.
    _________________________

    BobW (Gwen, Email is in the mail)

    Comment by Gwendolyn Adams — October 13, 2009 @ 3:30 am | Reply

  135. Bonjour from Montreal Bob,

    You may or may not remember me but I remember your family and you and your gorgeous sisters from Watooka days. I was sent your blog by Art Love, a good friend of my parents, and although I belong to a slightly younger generation of kids,the memories flood back as I read the entries and view the wonderful pictures.
    Does anyone remember eating malaccas from the trees that grew near the swimming pool? I have never been able to retrace this fruit despite many return trips to the Caribbean. We all grew up in the pool of course. Does anyone else remember the Easter egg hunts hidden memorably in pineapples around the Golf Club House? Or, drinking Vimto with or without icecream as a float? A Pakistani friend of mine with which I can speak the peculiar language of a shared crosscontinent british colonial influenced childhood, showed up with a bottle just this weekend… (made to our mutual surprise in Saudi Arabia1)I learned to love to ride on a Easter ranch holiday in the Rupununi and have the scar on my leg from a bad stirrup sore to this day to remember it by. And caught my first fish, obviously a piranha, at Rockstone while sleeping in hammocks under a tin roof.
    We lived on Blue Mountain Road and had the Den Hartog boys and the Hibblens, as well as the Forshaws, among others, as neighbours. We arrived in 1963-64 and left upon nationalization in 1970 for Kitimat British Columbia. I had left for boarding school in Canada 2 years earlier.
    My brothers Francois is now a producer and director of photography based in Montreal while travelling the globe and Philippe has been based in Hamilton Ontario for the last 15 years or so. Were any of you at the Guyana Days reunion held outside of Montreal in September of 1988?
    I am particularly interested in connecting with anyone interested in doing so, who is living in Australia, as I am planning to be there in May 2010. My brothers have wilder memories of what they did for fun and are both adreline junkies to this day due to running around bauxite quarries,sliding down rock pits,and swinging from ropes over jungle ravines for fun, and I will pass this on to them without fail.
    Thanks so much Bob,
    Marie
    tremblaymcniven@gmail.com
    _____________________________

    BobW (Marie, email is in the mail)

    Comment by marie senecal-tremblay — October 13, 2009 @ 1:55 pm | Reply

  136. Hello there Bob,

    I am the daughter of Michael & Liz Paull. Who were living in Richmond Hill next to
    Colin & Pam Thwaites and The Howies. We first lived in Fairsrust and my father worked for Demba as Mining Engineer. My brother Stephen and Susan also went to school with me at Watooka. We were in Guyana from 1965-1970+. Really enjoyed it.

    My parents were very active in the Little Theatre. My mother did yoga at the Golf Club and father played Golf.

    My mother has seen this site and recognises a lot of the names here. Especially Eileen Malabre sister of Cathy. Also, Dorothy and Chabbie who they used to play snooker with at the club.

    We used to love going up to Rockstone fishing.

    I remember the family Mcallisters, lots of daughters.

    My parents knew your father well and your beautiful sisters.

    My stepfather Huib Vegter also lived in Riverside drive during this time and also visited Mackenzie in the 80’s.

    My father remarried a Guyanese.

    If anyone wants to get in touch with my parents, don’t hesitate to email me. npaull@hotmail.com

    My parents are also still in touch with Colin & Ivonne Chapman who now live in England.

    Thank you for sharing all your pictures, they are great.

    Nadia Paull-Freeman

    Comment by Nadia Paull (now Freeman) — October 14, 2009 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

    • Wow, Nadia! We lived in your house on Fairs Rust, after you moved. We have forever referred to it as the Paull’s house. I can remember you for going barefoot a lot. Your toes were very spread apart. I am Pauline Anne Kaye (sister of Susan & John). Rebecca Howie was in my class in Grade 2. Colin Thwaites ended up with a farm outside Montreal. I don’t know what became of him. Both my parents (David & Joyce) are now deceased.

      Comment by Pauline Anne Kaye — June 26, 2011 @ 12:02 am | Reply

      • I (formerly Pam Too-Chung) married Colin Thwaites and we lived very happily on a farm outside Montreal until he died. My son Christopher lives in England and works for Nissan. Colin’s two sons live in Canada, one is a Vetinarian, based in Northern BC and the other a mining engineer in Sudbury. His daughter, Paula lives in Australia. I still live outside Montreal, but no longer have a farm. I became a floral designer in Montreal for many years and now am happily retired.
        I do remember your parents and met your father once in Montreal after your mother had passed away. He was a lonely man. I hope you all are well and happy.

        Comment by Pam Webb Thwaites — November 20, 2014 @ 12:14 am

  137. Many memories came flooding back as I viewed these photos. Thanks,Bob, and Gerry King, for alerting my husband, Victor, (a former Guymine employee) and helping me make my ‘trip down memory lane’
    My dad, Winston Noble, was one of the few Guyanese senior management personnel in the 60’s and stayed in the Bauxite industry in Linden until his retirement in the 80’s. He passed away in 2007 and my mom,Doris, still lives in Fairs Rust. It was great to see postings from familiar names (Donna Shepherd, how are you girl?) I also remember the Hutts (Helen, where are you?)the Chans, the Mackenzies,the Cliffes. I passed the link to my brothers Nigel, Ronald and Patrick to enjoy.

    Shelley Moses

    Comment by Shelley Moses (nee Noble) — October 17, 2009 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  138. I have completely enjoyed this site simply because I grew up in Watooka on Riverside Drive! To see the places shown that I have not laid eyes on in such a long time has been brilliant. I also have recognised names of people who have posted replies, like the post just before this one by Shelly Moses who is the daughter of the late Winston Noble who I remember clearly. Thanks a bunch for this site……a total pleasure

    Comment by Ian Bobb — October 19, 2009 @ 6:16 am | Reply

  139. It sure was a pleasure reviewing the photos and the many posts. Sure brought back many memories. Recognised a few names. Remember sailing up to McKenzie (as a small boy of 10)on the R.H.Carr, moving around the town before departing to Kwakwani by ‘jeep’. Later worked in the Bauxite plant in the late 80’s early 90’s. The photos are a real gem. Thanks for sharing.
    Hubert (langahl@aim.com)

    Comment by Hubert Langaigne — October 20, 2009 @ 10:52 am | Reply

  140. When my mother fell seriously ill in 1944, my two brothers and I were sent to be with our Grenada-born father, who was the Manager of the John Fernandes timber grant at Christianburg. The living camp was about one mile west of the Demerara river, and we three used to walk to the Christianburg Scotts School every school day. When the Second World War ended in 1945, all the students attending schools in MacKenzie, Wismar and Christianburg, were invited to a attend a free show at the Cresent Cinema at MacKenzie. Over the years I have travelled to MacKenzie, Wismar and Christianburg, now sharing the combined name of Linden, many, many times. I have travelled to that community by all means – the RH Carr, launches, speedboats and by all types of vehicles after the highway was constructed. My first flight ever on an aircraft, was from Ruimveldt to MacKenzie on the Grummon Goose twin engine amphibian aicraft…pictured above. However, my most adventurous trip to Linden was a three-day solo hike from Georgetown in 1964…some four years before the commencement of the construction of the Soesdyke/Linden Highway. The photographs above are really a joy to view. Thanks for sharing them.
    ___________________________

    Bobw ( Francis, Your three-day solo hike from Georgetown is very impressive. I’ve never heard of anyone attempting such a trip. Sounds like you should write a biography of your experiences.)

    Comment by Francis Quamina Farrier — October 21, 2009 @ 8:30 pm | Reply

  141. This is aweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesome.

    Comment by Benfield Munroe — October 22, 2009 @ 9:50 am | Reply

  142. Such a sweet irony, isn’t it, to be looking back at your childhood with adult eyes, and to be able to see that childhood in pictures, and recognise that hey, it really was as beautiful as in my memories, and not just childhood innocence. WOW, what a sensation. I was fortunate to grow up in Riverside Drive in the 70’s and experience the tail end of that era, playing on the lawn behind the houses, learning to roller skate on the tennis court, learning to drive with the drivers of the ‘garage’ ( Joey Bowen, Alexander, et al ) riding all around behind the club (and getting chased by the ‘constab’) going to Saturday matinee, using my fayher’s chits at the club’s kitchen door, learning to play billiards at the very club, jumping on the engine and hopping a ride ‘down de road’ going to the farm with my father’s ID, and, most of all – going fishin, and hunting – remember packing the landrover on Friday afternoons , ice box, Jerry cans, canvas tarps, cast net, seine, outboard on top the rover, etc etc. (what wouldn’t I give today for a lou lou or a lukanani, and to think that back in those days, we gave away the excess catch to the neighbours. remember my father building a ‘wabinee’. Is it me, or did labba taste whole lot better that beef?
    This site has vindicated me, is a way of speaking, for years, I have tried to explain to my wife the lifestyle of Watooka, and for her, it’s like a script from a tired 60’s movie – She doesn’t really believe the life without money part (going to the cinema and club with a chit, going to the Farm with a Guybau ID, going to Surapana club and signing) – so thanks a million, really, for the memories and nostalgia

    Comment by Duaine — October 24, 2009 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  143. Hi Bernard and Karen Ho.
    It seems that the Ho name has certainly travelled well from Guyana. My dad was Lawrence(Laurie Ho) and Uncle Sam lived in MACKENZIE when my brothers and myself were little. When I was small I remember Uncle Ben who became a vicar and I think was married to Dolly. He was also one of the only Ho family who learnt to speak some Chinese. My mum, Ruby, was also a Sue-A-Quan and one of her sisters, Auntie Pearl, was married to Walter Chee-A-Tow. For Claude Ho and John Cush, my e-mail is niggelho@hotmail.com Robert(Bobby) knows more about the family tree than me. Later on in the 1980’s, Kenneth, Sam and my dad Lawrence lived out their days in Georgetown.

    Comment by Nigel Ho — October 28, 2009 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  144. Hi Folks,
    Looking at the photo of the Barber Shop in Mackenzie brought back memories of having my hair cut there. I must have been about 5 years old. Stephen Edwards mentioned his dad’s taxi service which was very near the Crescent Cinema; when dad rode the company’s bantam BSA 125cc motor bike we always used Edwards taxis to get the family around. The market photo is as I remembered it when I attended the Mackenzie school which was next to the market. The school was fenced off from the market but there was a large hole in the fence and I used to nip through the hole to buy some Indian snacks and have a glass of ‘mawby’ drink. When dad bought his first car he had the bottom of it sprayed with Aluminum paint which stopped the bauxite mud eating away the metal. I remember cars which hadn’t been cleaned properly, eaten away in months. The photo titled Bauxite Plant shows our old house in the bottom right hand corner. There is the Mackenzie Hospital , DR. Roza house and our house is the one behind it. You can also see the old ‘stone’ house/bank boys house which was the first place we lived in when dad was promoted to ‘local’ staff. Dexter Hutt lived there after was moved. I used to swim in the river near to the place where the bridge was constructed on the Mackenzie bank. It was near the old laundry and where my uncle, Walter Chee-A-Tow lived and we used to launch his speed boats. There was Dick and our cousins having great times on the ‘beach’!!!!

    Comment by Nigel Ho — November 1, 2009 @ 4:57 am | Reply

  145. I made an error on my last post RE: the Nobles. Mr Noble is fine, its his wife that has sadly passed away…I can remember her….she taught me at Watooka Day School in the 70’s

    Comment by Ian Bobb — November 1, 2009 @ 10:48 am | Reply

    • Are you any relaive to Richard Bobb, who used to give piano lessons?

      Comment by Pauline Anne Kaye — June 26, 2011 @ 12:08 am | Reply

  146. For Claude Ho

    Hi Claude. I know that you are in contact with Lennox (Chubby). Have you been able to find out from whom Bernard and Karen Ho are descended (Uncle Godfrey or Edgar)? I met Uncle Godfrey once in 1955 when we had a cruise on board the SS West Indies when Dad had his first “long” leave and stopped off in Antigua, on theway the Jamaica. I don’t remember much about the family (I was 9 at the time). They may have been living in St John. You should have got the details I sent Chubby some time ago. When Marjorie was alive she had quite a lot of photos and a fledgling Yip family tree – I saw it years ago. BTW Chubby has my email address.

    Comment by Robert Ho — November 2, 2009 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

  147. For Bernard and Karen Ho

    Hi – Are you descended from Godfrey Ho? I did not know that Edgar had lived in Antigua. Claude should have the Ho family tree I sent via my brother, Lennox. (CHubby) My Dad was Lawrence Ho who was one of Godfrey’s younger brothers. If you let me have your email address (via Bob Wong) I can send you the details which I have. I’ll ask Bob to let you have my email address.

    Comment by Robert Ho — November 2, 2009 @ 6:28 pm | Reply

  148. thanks for posting the pictures,they took me to places that i long forgot,may God always bless,hello paul lewis,benfield munroe,edmund lewis,leary bonnett,pauline burrowes,i long to see you guys,i wish all from linden a long and healthy life,peace

    Comment by lanroy nelson — November 4, 2009 @ 3:09 am | Reply

  149. Correction To Ian Bobb’s posting:

    Ian – I don’t know who you are but you have made several errors in your posting regarding the Nobles. Gwen Noble has passed away (former teacher at Watooka Day) Her husband, Neville, is still alive. My dad, Winston (who is Neville’s cousin) has passed away as I stated in my posting – but my Mom,Doris, is still alive.

    Shelley Moses (nee Noble)

    Comment by Shelley Moses (nee Noble) — November 7, 2009 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

    • Hello Shelly,
      I cant remember you but I knew your father well. Neville was my daughter’s Godfather
      I will like to reconnect with him.

      Comment by Emanuel Heyliger — July 14, 2011 @ 2:53 am | Reply

  150. Mr. Wong thank you for allowing me to enjoy memories of my early years. Butch and Shacko thanks to each of you for sharing. It’s beautiful to read comments from people whose names bring back so many memories of Mackenzie, Mackenzie School and Mackenzie High School; for those of you and you’ll know who you are, remember Miss Cuff’s fuatration as she said “Form One what’s wrong with you”. To see Gomez Movie House, the Recreation Hall, Mr Dennis’ barbershop,the market and the YMCA and for all the many hours spent in the park (seemed like it had only belong to us, the guys from Wismar & Manni Strees areas), make it seem like yesterday.
    Imagaging it was RH Carr that was the beginning of our individual journeys.

    Burnell Bowling.

    Comment by Burnell Bowling — November 8, 2009 @ 9:02 pm | Reply

  151. Hello Mr. Wong,
    I have no idea who you are, but you may know who I am. If you don’t, that’s ok. But, I’d just like to say Thank You for taking me down this nostalgic and amazing trip of my childhood hometown. My name is Peter Drakes. My father, the late Carlos Vincent Drakes, who passed away in November 1971 of cancer, worked (I believe) in the Demba accounting office. That is why I said earlier that you may know who I am by way of my late father. He was only in his late 40’s when he passed away. He was married to my mother, Philippa Drakes. I have 4 siblings, Pamela, Lauren, Glenn and Anne. We lived at 275 Oronoque Drive (opposite the Assemblies of God Church). I was only 9 when he died, but recalled him getting a 25 Years Service Award from Demba (a very nice Clock that my Mom still has). So, doing the math you would be able to figure out if you knew him or of him. We moved to Canada in 1978, and, even though I have not had the pleasure of returning “home”, my siblings have, and I am always eager to learn how things are in Linden.
    I remember going to Watooka on a Saturday to the cinema, then to the pool for a swim. I would love to relive those glorious days with my friends and school mates. Just before I left Linden a new highway/road was build behind the bauxite plant. It ran between the Industrial Area and the Constabulary compound, all the way to Watooka.
    Thank you once again for providing all the pictures. If you have more please post.

    Sincerely,
    Peter Drakes

    Comment by Peter Drakes — November 9, 2009 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

    • Mr. Drakes

      My name is Ian Francois. My dad was a good friend of yours. We lived at 409 Oronoque Drive. You should also recall the Hamiltons.

      Great memories

      Comment by Stephen Ian Francois — July 22, 2013 @ 10:48 am | Reply

  152. Hi Shelly, First of all thanks to MR Wong for bring back old memories of MacKenzie. 1958 – 1969 i was the owner of Lam’s Photo Studdo in Wismar St.and Arvida Rd. Shelly,i knew your dad well, he taught me in grade 5 at St Aidens. He was an ousatnding teacher,friend and master of ceremony at my wedding, last time i saw him was in 1994 when my wife and i took him out for dinner.I also knew your mom who use to live just a few houses from where i lived in Christianburg. Sorry to hear about the death of your dad. Take care and please give my regards to your mom Mrs. Doris Noble.

    Lynton Lam
    lynton1941@yahoo,ca

    Comment by Lynton Lam — November 10, 2009 @ 6:48 pm | Reply

  153. Nostalgic indeed. I had the privelige of living in, Watooka from 1965-1970. I attended the Mackenzie High School. Some of my classmates were Cheryl Blair, Myrna Mohamed, Gillian Persaud, Paula Parris, Fay Rodney, David Yaw, John Melville, Bonita Hunter, Rolston Carryl, Errol Sue, William Chow, Charles Davidson, Horace Benjamin, Ovid Walton. I lived with my uncle, James H. Park who was an electrical engineer attached to Demba. We lived at 140, Riverside Drive. The residents on that block at the time were the HO’S, Dr.C.F.Roza, J.A.M. Proctor and the Parks. A contingent of British soldiers posted to Mackenzie during the unrest in the 60’s occupied the other 2 houses, one of which was later owned by the Giles. I do remember the days of the ‘chit’ signing. You signed for everything in Watooka….the fresh vegetables brought from the farm on Thursdays to a little building across the road from Watooka Day School, the hot-dogs, burgers and Wall’s ice-cream from Watooka Club, the bread from Mackenzie Hotel, to attend the Watooka Cinema on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday nights.Saturday morning matinee was for the children. That was free. I did enjoy the Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Monday Morning, and going with my cousins, Vanessa, Andrew and Bryan Park to “Trick or Treats’ on Halloween Night.I remember the Egg Nog Party held on Boxing Day, when all ‘Staff’ would gather at Watooka Club for the Christmas get-together. From there , everyone present would then proceed to the first house which was the Parks, for another session and this would continue house to house until all the houses in Watooka ,Noitgedacht, and Richmond were visited. I have memories of the Grumman amphibian plane hitting the water just in front of our house, before stopping at the ‘landing’ at the Mackenzie Hotel, and the Polaris launch, the Kara Kara speedboat and the luxury yacht Dorabecee taking off from the Club landing.
    Thank you guys. Keep sending more pics

    Comment by Desiree Joseph-Brutus — November 15, 2009 @ 5:35 am | Reply

  154. Two of my buddies in Georgetown in the late ’60s – Nandini Beharry and Donna nee Vieira whose father had an estate – have disappeared. I do hope they will leave me a message if they ever check into this site. Thanks!
    Pat

    Comment by Pat Cusack nee Hunte — November 19, 2009 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

  155. Browsing through the pictures I saw an aerial view of McKenzie/Wismar/Christianburg.
    Can anyone tell me when that picture was taken? We were looking at it and thought it might have been taken after the race riots sometime between 1963 and 1966. I was in high school at the time and remember a lot of buildings in Wismar burnt down, which would explain the burnt out buildings shown in the picture. Am I correct? What year was that?
    Thanks again for the memories.

    Comment by Charles Langevine — November 24, 2009 @ 10:08 am | Reply

    • Hi Lange, how is mom, dad, brothers and sister. roy (jackie lewis husban, she was in nursing school with your sister)

      Comment by roy mcintosh — July 9, 2011 @ 2:35 am | Reply

  156. Bob,

    You’re doing a great job telling the story of an irreplaceable place, and a great experience.

    John den Hartog’s post, and the story of that rope swing his dad made, over the deep ravine behind their house, reminds me of a morning I’ve been telling my kids about for years. John–here’s what I remember:

    I think Mr. den Hartog had built a platform for us kids to swing from. We were inspired by all the old Tarzan movies we saw at Saturday morning matinees. You took a deep breath, and held on for dear life as you swung high over the treetops, far out and all the way back (hopefully). The vines we used early on tended to snap, so Mr. den Hartog somehow attached a rope, with a knot for holding on, from the tallest tree. One morning just John and I were there, waiting for other kids to show up. John had taken a swing, and either fell, or didn’t make it all the way back. Suddenly he was dropping through space to the treetops below. Broke his fall at the top of a tree, and agile as a monkey, hung on to the branch with his legs. His weight caused the tree to crash down. He held on, appearing to sit on the branch, as the tree thundered down into the underbrush, macaws screeched, and finally he disappeared into the bush. There was a thud, then silence. “John”, I squeaked, “are you okay?” “Yeah”, came the answer, and a few minutes later John appeared, bleeding here and there as he climbed back up the hill.

    These adventures were part of our everyday lives. Then I moved to Canada, where kids watched TV and ice-skated for entertainment. How dull. The early experiences provided by an isolated expatriate town in the middle of the bush, slightly north of the equator, put something of the pioneer into all of us, I think, along with a feeling of not quite being at home anywhere except places where it’s really hot, and steel bands play calypso.

    If only we could reproduce the hamburgers served at the club, with fresh relish, eaten with pool water dripping onto the rolls, and a glass of limeade.

    Lois Milley Lehman

    Comment by Lois Milley Lehman — November 27, 2009 @ 1:48 pm | Reply

  157. Further to my previous comment about two lost friends. I had a phone call from Nandini’s brother, Indi, to say that sadly she had died. I wonder whatever happened to Donna nee Vieira.
    Pat

    Comment by Pat Cusack nee Hunte — April 9, 2010 @ 1:52 am | Reply

    • p.s. I also found Donna Foley, nee Vieira and we had a chat. Turns out she’s now living about an hour’s drive from me. I found her through a Mount St. Benedict(Trinidad) website and a connection now in Spain, back to Georgetown and to her brother in Ontario! I should have been a detective in my previous life.

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — August 2, 2010 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

  158. it was intersting to see these pictures after 50 years.I still taste the hamburgers at Watooka

    Comment by Bill Hibbeln — May 31, 2010 @ 8:25 pm | Reply

    • The best hamburgers I have ever tasted! I will never forget them. And the lime juice – the best lime juice I have ever tasted. I can’t duplicate it at all

      Comment by Jane Macdonald — May 1, 2011 @ 7:51 am | Reply

  159. get this Dog: have you any idea how many Home Town Boys and Girls, from Linden and other Parts of Guyana are out of Guyana. and yet proud to be a Guyanese.

    Comment by Dennis Fraser — June 8, 2010 @ 3:08 am | Reply

  160. As an original from Mack City One word “Awesome”

    Comment by Richard Hooper — June 10, 2010 @ 11:23 pm | Reply

  161. These pictures brought back an incredible rush of memories. Thanks

    Comment by Cyrilene Wright — June 13, 2010 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  162. Lovely memories, I am trying to get in touch with Deanna because she had once sent my sister (Alicia Spencer)a copy of our family tree which has been misplaced but we need it urgently since there was nearly a marriage of two cousins. Most of the older folks are dying out so the family history is getting vaguer and vaguer

    Comment by Spencer Lynn — June 23, 2010 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

  163. Hi Bob,
    I didn’t realise that you had started this blog as well as the watookacoffeeshop. It’s great to see all the response you have had and to recognise so many names from my childhood, Dexter Hutt, the Ho boys (I remeber going to their house and eating chow mein) the Labordes lived next door to us and of course Barbie, Eileen and Julian. I met Bill Yearwood when we had the reunion last October at Linda and Jim’s place in B.C.
    I don’t know if I mentioned it to you, but Dad (he was on the Watooka Club committee) told me at the time they switched from signed chits to tickets that some of the parents were concerned that the spending by us kids was getting a little out of control! I guess we were eating just a few too many of those delicious hamburgers and sundaes. I remember Princess very well as she had baby sat us a few times but I’ll save that story for my blog.
    Keep up the good work.

    Margot

    Comment by Margot Roza — July 13, 2010 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

  164. Thanks for the amazing journey down memory lane. I left McKenzie when I was 14 yrs old in 1972. I initially went to Watooka Day school then McKenzie High.
    My father ( Chetram Singh) was in charge of the Hospital and Hotel. My Brother ( Robin Singh) also went to MHS. I am familiar with the Hutt family and a few others
    mentioned in the blog. I now reside in Toronto.
    I spend many of my after school hours at the Watooka club and pool….. great pictures
    Keep up the great work

    Nar

    Comment by Narendra Singh — August 7, 2010 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

    • Hi Nar,
      I think you or your brother may know me.I was in MHS with a Singh and I’m sure it is a Narenda.We used to call him Singhaman. As I recall he joined us at MHS in the later forms(for GCE).Remember him liking his cigaretts and having moustache and beard in high school.Some of my classmates were Howard Brittlebank,Terrence Bryan,Ian Taylor,Michael Younge,Maureen Parris,Ingrid Cliffe,Allison D’Aguiar and Gail Christopher.One of our favorite teachers was Mr.John Small.I hope you or your brother is the right person I’m speaking with.

      Comment by Walter Gravesande — March 1, 2012 @ 11:46 am | Reply

  165. Thank you so much for all the info.about mackenzie and Linden, i was back when i was in my 12years old please keep in contact

    Comment by samuel allicock — August 9, 2010 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

  166. I never tire of reading all the blogs! Such good memories. Again, thanks for this, Bob!

    Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — August 11, 2010 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  167. Bob,
    If I may be so casual. What a great site! So many people that I remember as a kid and so many experiences described just as I rmemeber them. Living in Guyana was a blast and something that forever changed me and my brother. Life in Canada is great. But our childhood,was exceptional, no tv, running around barefoot. trips to the jungle. driving land rovers, chasing monkees and wild cows within the confines of Mackenzie’s fenced in jungle, prodding sleeping anaconda. Kite flying at the airport. How can Giligan’s Island, and Captain Kangeroo compete? Nothing beat being a privilege kid in Guyana.
    Thanks for a great return to my childhood.

    Philippe.

    Comment by Phil Senecal-Tremblay — September 10, 2010 @ 2:40 am | Reply

  168. I met Pat Hunte (Cusack) through this website. I also have lovely memories of my time there. Lived in Ituni (behind God’s back as they say) but to me, when my father moved to Mackenzie, it was a lovely time for the innocence of being an innocent teen. I saw racial problems through my own mother. It did not deter me from making friends with anybody. I remember Dickie Laborde – police superintendents son, his sisters Phillapa and can’t remember the name of the other one, but I have pics – loved Dick Chee-a-tow, Stuart Wishart, the “royal bank guys) and just had wonderful teen summers. Heather Bromow was my frient, Judy Cass, Joan Murphy and countless others – all helped make it a really nice life. My dad’s name was George Macdonald – I’m Jane Macdonald

    Comment by Jane Macdonald — October 11, 2010 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  169. Found this pages just surfing the web brought back memories i grew up in fair’s rust went to watooka day school.tho i was not around in 66 but it was neat looking at the older pics

    Comment by Marcia Cave Rowe — November 15, 2010 @ 4:54 am | Reply

  170. Notify me about updates.

    Comment by Roger De Freitas — November 28, 2010 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  171. Hello Bob,

    Thanks for the memories. My Father – Ralph Prince wrote for the Demba Digest for many years and we lived over in Nooigedacht (?) Oval not too far from Watooka I seem to remember.

    I am trying to capture my memories (by way of writing) of several places where I lived, and of course did exactly what most of us did…googled “Watooka – MacKenzie Guyana”…and Voila !!

    Thanks for the memories and GREAT pictures. I am sure there are several here that remember my Mom & Dad – my Mom Eula Prince taught at the All Age School which I attended before going to the High School. Remember the name Ituni well Jane.

    Thanks again for the memories.

    Glenda M. Prince

    Comment by Glenda Prince — January 3, 2011 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

  172. i lived and worked at the bauxite plant and alumina power plant from 1964 to 1972. my wife jacuqeline lewis is a graduate from the nursing school and her brother colin lewis a graduate from the trade school. wow this has been a nostaglic journey. i am sadden to hear of the passing of some of our friends. mackenzie as i knew it in the 60’s and linden when i left in the 70’s will forever live in my memory. those were the best days of my life. i have visited the homeland on several occasions, but only return once to the mining town. i am looking forward to spending the fall of my life somewear at the place i will always call home. i have been very successful in north america, my offsprings have also been successful too. but my life will not be complete until i return to smell the morning air, the moonlight and watching the common people hustling to and from as i did back in the day. my days in the union, with huntley, morris hoppy, awami, johnson among others, promoting events at the constab, with morris frank and parkenson, titi chichi and monty, and batersfield. organising for ASCRIA…..where are all those guys gone, never seen or heard from them since i left. pass on my email before it is too late. let us continue the conversation. god bless.

    Comment by roy mcintosh — February 8, 2011 @ 1:57 am | Reply

    • Hello My Friend,
      How are you. I remember you from the good old days.You met me at JFK in 1977.I need to connect with you.
      Emanuel Heyliger

      Comment by Emanuel Heyliger — July 8, 2011 @ 6:01 pm | Reply

  173. I am trying to contact Linda and Jim McTurk about a family member. Does anyone know how I can contact them. We are related.

    Comment by Shelley Lacroix — May 26, 2011 @ 1:34 pm | Reply

  174. The pictures are great and bring back lots of memories. I am Dmitri Allicock and lives in Florida. My family dates back to the 1750 and prior, in the area.My Great grand father David Allicock is buried on the banks of Cackatara creek, that is in front of the old Ration Store ,in 1910. The entire areas of Watooka, Mackenzie,Speightland and beyond are the gravesites of my family. My ancesters includes Allicock, Mansfield, Hill, Paterson, DeNewerkerk, Van Lange, Bremner, Van Cooten and others.Long before The Mackenzie as we know it exist, the drama of the earlier settlers lives played out.The area have an extensive history prior to bauxite development.

    Comment by Dmitri Allicock — June 4, 2011 @ 12:07 am | Reply

  175. Hi Shelley,
    I don’t know if it’s the same person you are searching for but I found, on the internet, a James (Jim) McTurk who is a Retired Engineer and worked at DEMBA/GUYBAU between 1969-1976. He and his family migrated to British Columbia, Canada. His e-mail address is mcturks@gmail.com
    There is a Diane McTurk, maybe she is related to you,living in Guyana. She owns a Ranch and Tourist Resort at Karanambo, Rupununi, Guyana. The Resort’s website is
    http://www.ceibanaturetours.com
    Peter Halder

    Comment by Peter Halder — June 4, 2011 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

  176. Hi:
    I very much enjoyed the photos and the history. What a wonderful idea. I live in thus and I am looking for information on My Uncle who died in a drowning acccident around 1972 or 1973. He was famous in Georgetown for his diving skills. His name was Jerry Gomes and his death was announced over the radio and was in the newspapers and yet, now in 2011 I cannot find any information on him. He had a sister named Brigette. If anyone reading this can offer any help I would really appriciate it.

    Comment by R. Gomes — July 18, 2011 @ 8:13 pm | Reply

    • Hi: It’s R. Gomes again. I forgot to write that Jerry Gomes had two other sisters named Alma and Agnes who immigrated to the US (sometime in the 50’s) and a brother named Ivan who died in September 1966. Ivan was a fisherman and often worked on trawlers out of French Guiana. Ivan had two children Rita and Peter and 4 step-children, Lennox Ramsahoye, lloyd Ramsahoye (deceased), Frank Ramsahoye and Michael Ramsahoye. Agnes was married to Joseph Gouveia the brother to the “voice of Guyana” and the sister to Patricia Gouveia who married Jerry Carvalho (immigrated to the US). Both Jerry Gomes and Ivan Gomes were Gonsalves Gomes and their mother was Hermina Gonsalves (I think she was from Berbice). I think Jerry and his siblings father was Guillaume Gomes (or Guilherme = Portuguese for William). Jerry’s niece (Ivan’s daughter)Rita Gomes attended BHS sometime from 1968-1974. Any information or any help in how to find death and birth and other registrar information or people who knew the family would be appreciated. Thanks for this web-site and to all those who post information.

      Comment by R. Gomes — July 18, 2011 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

    • Hello Mr R Gomes, I just found your article about relatives in Guyana. All the names you mentioned are familiar. I know a Jacqueline Gonsalves who is from Guyana and lives in Ontario Canada (Pickering or Ajax). My grand father was Claudio and was the Godfather to Jacqueline Gonsalves when in Trinidad. I believe Jacqueline has a sister Patricia and 2 cousins in Houston Texas .

      Claudio Carvalho apparently was born in Guyana around 1883, moved to Trinidad around 1905 and lived in San Fernando, died in Trinidad 1966. Claudio had close friends with Gomes in San Fernando.

      I would like to learn more and chat with you.

      Andrew Carvalho

      Comment by Andrew Carvalho — July 5, 2014 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  177. Everyone was guaranty employment with Demba and few were turned away. Thousands flocked from the islands of the Caribbean to the area lured by employment, free housing and the likes. A fact that the some Caribbean islands need to be reminded of as Guyanese and Linden immigrants are mistreated and turned away from Islands like Barbados, Trinidad and others. A large section of our welcomed neighbors in Silvertown were from the many island of the Caribbean like Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, Antigua, Nevis, St Kitts and others. Some of my High School teachers were from Jamaica, Barbados, Nevis, and Trinidad to name some.

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — August 7, 2011 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  178. Before Bauxite dominated, The historical record shows that Robert Frederick Allicock lived on the eastern shore of the Demerara River and owned Noitgedacht or plantation Retrieve an area of 4901 Rhynland acre . John Allicock had owned Plantation Wismar {401 acres} after John Somersall. Harrower and Donvin owned Nerva Sawmill. Christian Fenette owned Christianburg prior to John Dagleish Paterson. Old England was owned by John Payne Blount and Three Friends by Sir John Spencer. Blount and Brotherson had owned Ayaqua. Most of these plantations became Timber Estates

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — August 7, 2011 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

  179. Before bauxite dominated. They early plantations of the area grew sugar, tobacco, citrus and many other items that fetched a high price back in Europe. Cotton was grown at one time at Wismar. Timber would however rise to supreme over time. The Balata plantation of Christian Fenette that existed where the Christianburg cemetery now occupies, was part of the Rubber trade before 1800. John Dagleish Paterson purchased of this piece of land along with others in the late 1700’s. At one point, it was said that Paterson had owned over 100,000 acres which stretched all the way to the mighty Essequibo River.
    His timber business that was started at the turn of that century would prove to be the impetus that would consolidate the area from plantations to that of a small Community. This tiny community would grow to the second largest town in Guyana. Just a little that these very inspiring pictures make me think of. God bless.

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — August 7, 2011 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

  180. Doctor Roza the chief medical officer of this hospital was probable the single most representative facts to reflect on the healthiness time for the Bauxite Industry. His exemplary service included difficult surgeries, Medical practitioner, and obstetrician at times. He delivered Guyana’s high commissioner to India. He ran the Mackenzie hospital for decades.
    Most of the former and some of my generation were seen at one time or the other by Doctor Roza and so many owe their lives to his superb skills and kind heart.Dr. Roza saved the life of my uncle Vivian Allicock when his abdomen was pierce accidently by a cutlass in the 1920s. He correctly diagnosed and saved the life of my younger brother Yuri, when his appendix had ruptured in 1968. Dr. Roza founded and opened the current Charles Roza School of Nursing where all the Mackenzie Hospital Nurses are trained. One of the most outstanding act and supreme compassion of Dr. Roza was the case of a little baby girl found abandoned in an ants nest on Wismar hill in 1961. He cared for this unfortunate and badly bitten baby in the hospital until she was fully better. He legally adopted this beautiful baby and raised her as his very own.

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — August 7, 2011 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

    • Hello Dimitri,

      Pat Hunte mentioned that you had asked about the medal Dad received for services during the 1963 General Strike. It was the OBE. Dad unfortunately passed away in 1992. Most of the famiy have been in England since 1971. Debbie the youngest who you mention above is living in Nova Scotia. When I was in India in 1974 I met Mr. Jagdeo the High Commissioner who as you mentioned was delivered by Dad.
      Margot Roza

      Comment by meroza — December 22, 2011 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

  181. hi bob

    my name is sandra davies now monks i dont know if anybody remembers me it has been a long time. This site has brought back many fantastic memories I was in mackenzie from 1963-1968 I was friends with Barb Whitehead/Linda Quinn/Kim Bogatto. My parents were Jim and Joyce Davies both sadly have passed away. Thank you for bringing back wonderful childhood memories.

    Sandra

    Comment by Sandra Davies (Monks) — August 23, 2011 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  182. Hi

    Its sandra davies again if anybody would like to contact me my e-mail address is
    monksjim@hotmail.com

    Sandra

    Comment by Sandra Davies (Monks) — August 23, 2011 @ 9:50 am | Reply

  183. Hi all. My name is Deborah (Debbie) Fraser-Baldwin and I was born in Linden — lived in Fairs Rust. Recognize lots of names on this site…Dick Chee-A-Tow is my dad’s friend and sister’s godfather…heard all my life about Dr. Roza from my parents – Maurice and Isla Fraser and grand parents – Mortimer and Muriel Jordan and Joe and Vida Long. My mom was a secretary at Demba and my dad worked for the Trust on Arvida Road. My siblings (Michael and Allison) and I attended Multi and MHS. I love, love, love the memories your articles bring back. I too remember Watooka Club and pool (albiet this was around 73…I remember climbing the mango tree with Ronald, Brother and Dilip Bhagwandass. I remember being punished for swiming in the river behind the clubhouse…i remember the chits, burgers and limeade. I will forever cherish growing up swimming in the river, climing what we thought was a “mountain” in the kara-kara mines, eating fatpork, riding the train cars, riding the great big catepillar machines — Truggie Lorimer let us ride when no-one was looking (still can’t believe I did that). Would love to connect with friends from Watooka, Fairs Rust, Richmond Hill and (I still can’t spell this one — the dutch area). Clifton McDonald was our headmaster at MHS. Thanks so much for the memories.

    Comment by Debbie (Fraser) Baldwin — September 14, 2011 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

    • Hi Debbie:

      I am trying to get in touch with your aunts Pam and Donna. I am a cousin from Guyana. Know your Dad and grandparents – Cousin Joe and Cousin Baby. My e-mail is marva.christian@gmail.com

      Comment by Marva Seaforth Christian — February 6, 2012 @ 4:31 am | Reply

  184. THE INITIAL BIRTH PLACE OF THE ALLICOCKS OF DEMERARA : DE PLAATS VAN DE GEBOORTE VAN ALLICOCKS DEMERARA }
    Once upon a time over two hundred years ago. The story of the eastern and western banks of the upper Demerara River began that will lead to the nostalgic memories that so many have as they reflect on this wonderful site.

    The plantation of Robert Frederick Allicock was said to be 4,901 Rhynland acres. That was the old measurement used in British and Dutch Guiana of that time period. One Rhynland acre is equivalent to 1.05 international acres or 4.260 square meters. The land owned by this family was 5,146.05 international acres or 8.040 square miles. This is exactly the area between Arakwa creek and Three Friends or Maria Elizabeth which are located on the eastern bank of the Demerara River.
    This plantation owned by Robert Frederick Allicock was referred to in the Historical Records as Plantation Noitgedacht and Retrieve. The small area called Noitgedacht and Retrieve today might have named mainly out of symbolical representation of the area’s former name.
    Both of these Communities sits away from the river and has no river front access which was paramount in the early settlements. Henry Bolingbroke whose memoirs of the Demerara cover the period 1799-1806, give this description of the scene on the banks of the river at that time “ Every plantation has a wharf or landing place opposite the dwelling house, and a canal or trench, with sluices…”
    John Payne Blount and Brotherson had owned Arakwa to the north or down river and John Spencer owning Three Friends to the south or up river. This was on the eastern shores of the Demerara River. No other plantation owner is listed owning any lands in this area of that time period.
    On the Western bank of the river the estates had numerous owners including John Mansfield who had owned Old England in his will of August 1857. Most of Paterson’s 20,000 acres were on the Western bank of the River with the exception being Amelias Ward on the eastern bank.
    The question on where Robert Frederick Allicock lived with his family strongly points to the area between Surapana to the south of Watooka and no further than Speightland to the north.
    The general area known as Mackenzie today is made up of a piece of prized land that is the largest area of natural open flat land along the entire 215 miles length of the Demerara River valley. This natural feature is created by the many creeks converging in this area. The powerful Cara- Cara creek empties north of Speightland and due to its size and strong current had created this large flood plain.
    The Cakatara Creek to the south, which is located in the front of the bauxite Plant, is an actual tributary of the Cara -Cara. Before the Cakatara Creek was partially filled in, it was possible to paddle a boat from Cakatara to Cara-Cara Creek and encircling the whole of Mackenzie in the 1930s.
    Some smaller creeks along the Mackenzie shores were also filled in when the bauxite plant and housing areas were built.
    The Watooka creek and Surapana creeks to the south also add to the flood plain that makes up the area. The back or inland areas of Mackenzie still retains some of its original low swampy lands towards the approaching hills and near the former Cara-Cara mines.
    Robert Frederick Allicock would have chosen this site for its necessary proximity to the Demerara River and accessible large span of fertile land. The River was the natural highway and the means of travel and trade through the dense primeval forest of Demerara.
    The other choices would have been the narrower Demerara River valley and hills. The houses of his estate would have been close to the river and similar to the location of the better known Paterson’s home and estate.
    The settlement that preceded Mackenzie grew up around Robert Frederick Allicock’s home and out buildings in a manner very similar to that of Paterson at Christianburg. Most the children and grandchildren of Robert Frederick Allicock lived in this same area. Some did move up river like his granddaughter Mary Allicock who lived at Akyma, located 6 miles upriver and grandson George Allicock who owned and lived at Sebacabra further upriver. Another grandson Garvan Allicock died in Georgetown.
    Robert Frederick Allicock’s second son John Allicock and his wife Catherine DeNeiuenkerk lived at Watooka in 1820s. Nancy Allicock, the last child had owned an area South of Noitgedacht.
    The gravesites for Robert Frederick Allicock and all his children would have been in their family plot next to their home like the Paterson’s family plot which still exists though just a shell of what it was. This was the traditional manner in which all the early settlers were interned. It was only with the coming of church buildings later that church plots were used by those that did not have family plots. The Christianburg Scots Church of 1898 and The Seven Days Adventist Church of 1897 at Botaba were two of the earliest churches in the area. There was an earlier Scots Church building prior to the one of 1898 that was located at the same Christianburg area.
    The Demerara Bauxite Company chose to build the Bauxite Plant, housing development and later Alumina Plant in this same area that attracted Robert Frederick Allicock and probably for similar reasons. No where along the river does such a large area of flat land exist. Demba would bulldoze all the early gravesites and all traces of this family historical presence.
    Today nothing remains of any settlement from Cara- Cara to Surapana Creek natural boundary lines. Most of the graves and traces were buried as this flood plain was built up. The remnants of Cakatara creek only exist at the point where it empties into the Demerara. Both Watooka and Surapana Creeks also had only been diverted and reduced as the community developed.
    The only known gravesite of this original family is that of last daughter Nancy Allicock. Nancy was buried alongside her second husband John Spencer at Maria Elizabeth on the Western Bank of the River. This area was marked by a clump of cookerites but is now lost to the jungle of Demerara.
    God bless.

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — September 16, 2011 @ 3:44 pm | Reply

    • Dmitri – I found this historical account of your family very interesting indeed. When I came to the part about “Demba bulldozing the early gravesites and all traces of this family (sic)
      historical presence” I was disturbed. On checking with an expert I was told the following which might be of some comfort to you – or not. It helped me to understand what happened at that time.
      “The comment about Demba plowing over the graves is no surprise and is or was a fait accompli all over Guyana, because of the poverty of the majority of persons in the rural areas where folks simply buried their dead in the family plot and could not even afford to put up a marker. For example, in our family plot in Berbice, several family members including my father (1938), were simply buried behind our homes. No-one knows the exact location and today there are fruit trees and other bushes or even ricefields on what used to be burial sites, especially in rural Guyana. Nowadays each village has a specific burial ground run by the village authorities. The fact that Demba might have installed the township or other facilities over unmarked grave sites is therefore par for the course.
      By the way, when my family lived and worked for Demba in Georgetown, a woman we knew simply as “Allicock” lived underneath our house and helped my mother with the household chores. She was part of the family as was the case with so many who were lucky enough to know such women then.
      Your Christian name is Russian. How come?
      Regards,
      Pat

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — September 23, 2011 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

      • All of the posts have been interesting readings. It was good of you to try to comfort Dimitri, but as an Allicock descendant who lived next to the Alumina Plant, I can tell you that my grandmother Arabella Stoll Allicock and my first aunt who died as a baby had gravestones. As a child, I was afraid to go near to the creek that abutted our land because of those gravestones. (Remember we were taught to fear death at that time). Indeed, the company did bulldoze those stones as they did the ones on the Christianburg side of the Demerara River near the Court House.

        Comment by Carmen Barclay Subryan — January 16, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

      • About “Demba” bulldozing headstones. Who was driving the bulldozers?

        Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — January 17, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

  185. Hi Pat, Thanks for your kindness and concern on the bulldozing of the gravesites. My only passion here is for family and their heritage. Demba had many ills,Notwitstanding Demba and Bauxite gave life to upper Demerara and Guyana. The Allicock’s lawsuit of 1956 attempted to recover damages for Demba illegally building and mining on Allicocks land as probably underscored the biggest ills of Demba.
    My name was given to me by my wonderful dad. He completed 47 years with the Bauxite Co. The Russian flavor is correct and was mainly due to the Russian famous space program that dominated that period of time.
    Here is a feel for the area 100 years prior.

    John Dagleish Paterson died in October 1842 leaving 12 children and two mothers. David Paterson, one of John Dagleish Paterson’s children was my four times great grandfather.
    The Paterson’s children who did not return to Scotland to live had families in Guyana but the Paterson name appears to have been lost through marriages. The Outridge, Binning and Fiedtkou families are all Paterson descendants along with dozens of others.
    This is a part of an article that I wrote in the Stabroek news and The Kaieteur News on the lost by fire of Paterson home and former Magistrate court in April 2011.
    The Paterson home and Sawmill symbolic structures represented the foundation of the town of Linden. The Paterson Home and large sawmill was powered by the famous 1824 waterwheel that still stands frozen in time. John Dagleish Paterson, John Payne Blount and John Spencer, known as the three friends, were invited into the area by the community’s earlier settler Robert Frederick Allicock.
    It is unlikely that the three friends came to Guyana together as the historical record appears to show. The housing center around the saw mill was called “Red Camp” since the roofs of the cottages were painted red.
    This was Linden in its infancy. Most of the MacKenzie shore was cleared for Demba’s Bauxite Development in the early 1900 which included land from Surapana to Speightland. The Demerara Bauxite company will later also clear most of the Western shore from Silvertown to a limited area at Christianburg.
    The Paterson home became a guest house after purchased by the British Guiana Government in 1894 and later served as the Christianburg Magistrate Court. The Court House and the remains of the saw mill in front of it stood a tall witness to everyone that lived in the area for two centuries. Before the Linden Soesdyke Highway opening in 1968, all travel into the area was by means of the Demerara River. The court house greeted all visitors as they entered and left the area. The memories of the Steamer R.H Carr passing by were very symbolic to travelers to and from Georgetown.

    However, that was recent history. In Henry Kirke’s book 25 Years in British Guiana published in 1898, he wrote of his time as a Judge in Guyana and his many trips up the Demerara River. According to Kirke, “Christianburg, about 70 miles from Georgetown, was the residence of a Scottish family named Paterson. The house was one of the largest and best built in the colony. A large Sawmill is near the house worked by waterpower, and behind stretched the red shingle roof cottages of the employees. The landing place was marked by a flagstaff and flanked by two Old Dutch cannons…” He went on to describe the inside of the home and the dignified old widow, who was the living proof of the healthiness of the river for persons of temperate habits. Kirke was speaking of the period around the 1870s
    The time line would have shown that the house was built under Dutch rule and witnessed the treaty of Amiens. It was not until 1812 that Stabroek, the Capital of Guyana, was named Georgetown. This sawmill was the largest employer in the area. Prepared lumbar, shingles and other wood products were made by this sawmill that function for almost one hundred years. Green heart lumber was exported. Many of the historical homes of Georgetown were built with lumber from this sawmill.
    John Dagleish Paterson referred to as Scottish army major, naval officer and engineer, was also credited with a series of other endeavors including the building of the Eve Leary Police Barracks, co owner of Union Coffee House with Malcolm Campbell until his death in 1808. He was recorded selling Timber Plantation Susanna Rust 1807 on the East Bank Demerary by the Demerary Gazette.
    Red camp was a small village unlike the other scattered settlements around. All the early 1800s administration buildings and decisions for the area were done from the Christianburg area thus the level of importance this the saw mill attracted. It was only with the coming of the Wismar /Rockstone Railway and Bauxite that Christianburg would slide from that prestige.
    Christianburg is the only remaining part of Linden that remained relatively untouched and capable of having the few prized historical remnants of the time before Bauxite ruled.
    The Paterson Sawmill would be soon followed by another major development in the area. The Wismar/Rockstone Railway was important by itself to be singled out in this way.
    Best regards, Dmitri

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — September 24, 2011 @ 9:24 am | Reply

    • Thank you for this history of McKenzie. I refuse to call the name “LINDEN”, I will always remember the community as McKenzie. This was the name given and I loved it. I migrated to this area in the late ’50’s early “60’s” as far as I can remember. I came from Hopetown, West Coast Berbice. My father was a Kiln Operator. His name was Christian Joseph. I lived in “Old Kara-Kara” before moving to “Crabwood Street” then to “Greeheart Street” and finally settled in “Kara-Kara” the new one. Anyhow you can reach me at josephg@brooklynda.org, Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Thank you very much for this history lesson.

      Comment by Joseph, Geraldine — January 25, 2013 @ 8:39 pm | Reply

  186. Hi Pat, The Allicock you mentioned I do not know but she is my family. All Allicocks are related and came from the same source.
    Here is a little more history and also about the very important gravesites.

    Today the only remnant of the early settlers that is clearly visible is the remains of the 1824 Water Wheel of the Sawmill that John Dagleish Paterson owned. The Paterson family plot lies in front of the fresh ruins of the fire that destroyed the Paterson home in April of 2011. It was said that during the mining of Bauxite at Plumba in the late 1960s, the excavation of overburden at times came close to the Demerara River. It was observed that old graves sites were dug up and discarded with total disregard for the dead and history.
    Some well built lead coffins were a part of the mix that was crudely reburied in the mountains of over burden that is now the landscape of the former Plumba mines.
    The erosion of the Demerara River in the 1950s also unearthed some of the early graves sites in that particular area also. Historical Lead Coffins once hanged on the eroded river banks near Arakwa creek. Old Dutch iron cooking utensils and other artifacts were exposed on the eroded banks of the creek and river in this area. Most of these are now resting in the murky bottom of the Demerara River.
    The construction of the Alumina Plant in 1956 also saw this tragedy of unearthing remains of the early people of the area. The whole area of Speightland was cleared and leveled.
    Entire family plots were bulldozed, dug up and plowed into the new foundation leaving no traces and only a fading memory behind.
    The price of development and precious Bauxite was paid by this Allicock’s family in the lost of their ancestral land and treasured gravesites. The Allicocks in Guyana and around the world owes their existence to these early family members that were buried there.
    Before the 1943 Christianburg Cemetery most family members were interned in their family plots next to their homes. The graves of most of our ancestors, their families and hundreds of slaves are scattered on both shores of upper Demerara. Most of them carries no grave markers and are lost to the advancing
    jungle and time.
    God Bless…

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — September 24, 2011 @ 9:55 am | Reply

  187. My name is Narendra Singh( Nar). I lived in Watooka from 69-73, and attended Mckenzie High( 1st-3rd form)
    before leaving for Canada. My father is Chetram Singh, who was the administartor of the hospital and Hotel.
    I read the posts with great interest and nostalgia.I am familiar with some of the names posted.
    I am looking for any old friends, like Michael Cole.

    Comment by Narendra Singh — September 24, 2011 @ 1:56 pm | Reply

  188. Hi Pat, I was looking back at some of the prior communication. Linda Fiedtkou that you worked with in the general office in my cousin. Both of my parents grandparents were two Fiedtkou sisters { Christina and Mary}from the 1800s. My mother knew Linda. I have compiled a Fiedtkou family tree and takes it back to the original Dutchman. Last year, I spent one day at Friendship upper Demerara River with my dear uncle John Fiedtkou and wife Ruth Fleming originally from Botabo. Uncle John died a few months later, 5 month shy of 100 years old. Aunt Ruth is 97 years old and going strong. She is also an Allicock and Fiedtkou mixed along with Fleming. Aunt Ruth is the very rare and only Great granddaughter of the original Robert Frederick Allicock alive. Her generation have passed on so many years ago. She is here today due to the miracle of the last child of each proir generation having a last child later in life.
    One of my closest associate here in Florida is my father’s first Cousin 87 year old John Van Lange.{ he still works} There are very few of the older generation
    remaining to talk with about history. Most of the early inhabitants of upper
    Demerara share the rich association and a complicated web of interrelated family tree. I was able to published the first Allicock’s family tree and continues to
    improve on it.
    Best Regards, Dmitri

    it daily. I plan to work on the others also.

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — September 26, 2011 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

    • Dear Dmitri,
      Thanks for sharing this interesting history with me – and others who tune in. Very best wishes,
      Pat

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — September 27, 2011 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

    • Hello Dmitri –
      I wonder if the Linda Fiedtkou you refer to is the same who is part of the DeRyck – Couchman family I research. The Linda I know of, was born at Retraite in 1921, to Cecelia Couchman and her husband, Herbert Fiedtkou. Cecelia and Herbert married at Malali, where Cecelia’s parents, George Couchman and Sarah Hall (Amerindian), lived and had a wood grant. Herbert was born in Jan 1890 at Hyanari, Demerara. Herbert and Cecelia had the following children: Linda, 1921 born at Retraite; Sarah, 1923 at MacKenzie, and Albert, born 1930 at Malali.
      Linda died in Mission, British Columbia, in 2007 at the age of 86. Could this Linda be the same person you are referring to?
      I’d love to hear from you. I have a website – the Guyana/British Guiana Genealogical Society and can be contacted at: guyanagen@gmail.com

      Comment by Sharon Anderson — December 31, 2011 @ 5:57 am | Reply

      • Hi Sharon,
        I just found your note and will contact you. Linda Fiedtkou was known to my parents. I am in contact with several Fiedtkou and Couchman families in the U.S, Canada and the Carribean. I am working on a Fiedtkou family tree.
        Dmitri

        Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — January 11, 2012 @ 10:22 am

    • Dmitri,

      Ruth Fiedtkou (nee Flemming)is my Great Aunt. She is the sister of my Grandfather Peter Flemming formerly of Butuba. My mother is Vashti Persaud (nee Flemming) a/k Alma, eldest daughter of Peter & Thelma Flemming (nee Bremner)

      Grateful if you can advise how I can access the family tree. My email address is raoserper@yahoo.com

      Kind regards,

      Raoul Persaud

      Comment by Raoul Persaud — March 18, 2012 @ 12:17 am | Reply

  189. I came upon this site by accident. It really brought back lots of memories.

    Comment by Keith Camacho — October 22, 2011 @ 12:08 am | Reply

  190. Bonjour Bob, My brother, Francois Senécal-Tremblay, jr., just sent me this link to your site. What wonderful photos. Do you know if anyone has ever published a book on Watooka Days in the time of Demba? It is amazing to me how powerful and evocative those times to so many of us. I am compiling a photo album that only an Alcan kid would appreciate a picture of every house we ever lived in growing up, that is no small challenge! So, I am very interested in anyone who might have photos of the Blue Mountain Hill residential area of MacKenzie which I understand no longer exists. Our neighbours were the Hibblens and the memorable den Hartog boys!
    Congrats on a beautifully done labour of love,
    Marie Senécal-Tremblay (now Tremblay McNiven) from Montréal.

    Comment by Marie Senécal-Tremblay — October 26, 2011 @ 3:00 am | Reply

    • Bonjour Marie!
      You wondered about a book. Steve Connolly is in the process of doing just this. I’m not sure when it will be published.
      My best to your parents.
      Pat

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — October 26, 2011 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

      • Bonjour Pat,
        A pleasure to hear from you. I am very interested in knowning more about the book in progress. my email at gmail.com is tremblaymcniven@gmail.com – please keep me posted or pass my email on to him. will pass on your regards to my parents absolutely.

        Do you or does anyone remember the name of the general store in Mackenzie?.
        One of the reasons why growing up in Guyana was such an evocative experience I think was the absence of television and thus the fact that our childhoods were spent reading. I grew up on a steady diet of british children’s literature bought at that drygoods store. Enyd Blyton books and others, in rocking chairs on our porch overlooking the jungle on Blue Mountain Road. My brothers had an impressive collection of over 300 comics. It really was a golden Commonwealth childhood.
        Marie

        Comment by marie senécal-tremblay — October 27, 2011 @ 8:58 am

  191. Hi Marie – The general store was Choo-Kang’s. There’s an old photo of it somewhere in the Guyana Then and Now site. It was a very special place indeed! I inherited one of those Chinese chests from my parents when my Dad died and Mom moved north and was given a small one for my 21st which I celebrated at 110 Riverside Drive. The large chest still has it’s cedar smell.
    I’m not sure which years Steve is covering in his book. In any event, his e-mail is stevec@picanoc.ca. He is aware of this site as well.
    Too bad today’s children don’t have what we did and what a base of international relations!
    Salut.
    Pat

    Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — October 27, 2011 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  192. Just came across your very interesting articles on the Internet today. Lived in Watooka from summer of 1942 until Christmas of 1943. My father was an engineer and ran the farm which supplied milk, meat, vegatables etc to the camp. He was there from 1941-1946. We were back in Canada, (Winnipeg), as my mother was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 1943. My uncle, Vance Echols was the mine manager during the period we were in British Guiniea.
    Will dig around in family archives — I’m sure I have some photos etc of Watooka, Mckenzie etc
    Tom Acheson

    Comment by Tom Acheson — November 16, 2011 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

    • Wow, what great pics, I was born in Mackenzie in 1953, I am a Sinke (Ralph, Molly, Ralph Jr., Gail and Roy (also born in Mackenzie 52), the Echols’ were always very dear to us all, both in BG and in California.
      Mud head,
      Rick

      Comment by Rick Sinke — November 27, 2012 @ 12:28 am | Reply

    • DOES ANYONE REMEMBER MY PARENTS, HENRIK AND DIDI REUSCH ? IN FAMILY PHOTOS I HAVE A PICTURE CALLED ‘MRS ECHOLS, FROM BG IN THE 40’S. I AM LOOKING TO EXPAND MY KNOWLEDGE.

      Comment by astri reusch — December 2, 2014 @ 9:03 pm | Reply

  193. Hi, I grew up in B.G. and my sister was born there. We lived first within walking distance to the school and then later, next door to the Wongs on the hill. My mother was a teacher at the school in Mckenzie. I was so happy to find your website. Thank you so much for setting it up! I will put together our pictures and send them along. PS: I was interested to hear about your home-made spears and your games in the woods as I still have a scar on my thigh where you speared me! Remember Easter egg hunts along the river bank? flying kites at the old airport? The market in Wismar where I once saw a prisoner kept in a cage waiting to go to Georgetown? The family with the monkeys who occasionally escaped and wreaked havoc? Alain Duchene? The Ostroff twins? Brian Bagatto?My best friend Jennifer Wong: Where are you now?

    Annette Dupuis (now Anna) and Mary Dupuis and parents, Joe and Gladys Dupuis, both now deceased. They would have loved this website!

    Comment by Anna Dupuis Zuckerman — November 16, 2011 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

    • Hello Annette. I have been wondering if anyone was in contact with you. Do you remember me, Margot Roza? I was in your class at school and have a class picture taken with your mother teaching us. I’m sorry to hear that your parents are no longer alive. Dad, Dr. Roza died in many years ago, Mum is still alive and living in England as are both my brothers and my sister Carole. Debbie the youngest is in Nova Scotia. I look rward to seeing some of your pictures.

      Comment by meroza — December 22, 2011 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  194. Hi I was born in McKenzie hospital in 1961 and moved to Richmond Hill and lived at 82 Montgomery Oval. I attended Watooka Day School and then the Multi School (too long to type). Anyway I remember Marie and Phillipe Tremblay (pretty sure we called him Phillip however. I remember Linda Wong being married to Jim Mcturk and they lived behind us on Blue Mtn Rd. I thought she was beautiful! However I don’t remember you Bob but your adventures were memorable!. I recall playing in the jungle too , hide and seek and following the trails. I remember Halloween and trick or treating and our principal(cant recall her name) giving us grapefruit instead of candy! And of course I can’t forget going to the matinee on Saturdays and using the chits on the other night and yes even those delish burgers , Easter egg hunts(i got very few eggs!) those bully boys who were taller of course found most of them. Yes I remember that malacca tree some of the sweetest fruit. I found it in Costa Rica also and a Trini friend is familiar with it. Oh I can go on & on !! Would love to chat with anyone who remembers me. From a large family siblings Sydney, Jeanette, Jennifer, Jacqueline and Suresh. Now living in Central Florida since 1984. Shout out to Yonette & Orin Lewis, The Kranenburgs. Jimmy you and I were in same class. Remember Michael Cole playing soccer and Peter Whitehead playing baseball. My brother caddied and my Mum and her friend Cicely London (wife of Clarence London) played badminton. He just recently passed away on November 19th 2011. She lives in Costa Rica and her daughters Ayesha and Yolanda live in the USA also. Anyway Bob will try to find photos to post of McKenzie. I guess we were privileged but in our childhood we were blissfully ignorant!! To all my fellow Guyanese hello & God Bless!

    Comment by Joycelyn Baichulall — November 27, 2011 @ 4:48 am | Reply

    • Sad news about Clarence London’s passing. Sincere condolences to Cicely and the girls. He kept in touch with me all through the years and I will miss his knowledge and wisdom. A true gentleman. Goodbye dear friend and rest in peace. I do hope his family reads these blogs.
      Pat Hunte-Cusack
      Ontario, Canada

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — November 30, 2011 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

      • Hi, thank you so much for remembering my dad, Clarence London. He is missed so much. I left Guyana when I was nine years old, but still remember the first time I jumped in the pool. My mother almost fainted! I couldn’t swim, but thought the entire experience and immediately began to ‘doggie paddle.’ Today, I’m an excellent swimmer!

        Comment by Ayesha London — January 27, 2012 @ 5:28 am

  195. Hi Pat and everyone,

    Thanks again for your replies to my post. Re the general store I remember a drygoods store that was full of imported goods. It had a british or english sounding name rather than Choo-Kangs? Also I now realize, based on comments posted, that our house was in Richmond Hill on Blue Mountain Road and I wonder if anyone has any photos aerial or otherwise of that particular part of town.
    Does anyone remember the Forshaws? I was best friends with Leslie in Watooka Day School and I was there from Grade 2 to Grade 7 between 1963 and 1970 roughly.
    Was anyone in Watooka Grade School at that time on this blog? Do you remember Miss MacLean and the spelling bees and the name of a young pretty teacher that always her hair in a ponytail down one side?
    Are there others who remember the pantomine shows we put on – I remember being in a memorable Peter and the Wolf, something elaborate to do with traffic rules and violations on the school ground paved area and taking ballet classes and putting on a show in Arabian costumes in the theatre where we would go to watch movies. best to all,
    Marie Senécal-Tremblay
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Comment by Marie Senécal-Tremblay — December 1, 2011 @ 3:45 pm | Reply

    • Marie – I’ve given Steve Connolly your e-mail address per his request – he said he couldn’t find it … about the dry goods stores – could it be you are thinking about the two in Georgetown – Fogarty’s and Bookers? The only stores in Mackenzie/Wismar I remember are Choo-Kang’s and Bata.
      Salut.
      Pat

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — December 1, 2011 @ 7:34 pm | Reply

    • Marie, I do have several photos of Richmond Hill and you will be in for a surprise!. I reluctantly view them sometimes but the jungle has encroached rapidly , there apparently are no paved roads and the houses are derelict. My siblings visited there in 2009 and said the whole area is in a sad state. I haven’t returned since 1992. But will send photos later. Spoke with my sister Jeanette and she said you were in her class. Right now Christmas shopping! But so exciting to recap and recall !

      Comment by joycelyn baichulall — December 8, 2011 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

  196. Salut Pat – Thanks for your comments. I just received a great long email from Steve and have replied, very happy to hear about the book project!
    Re the stores I must be thinking of Bata as it was in Mackenzie but Fogarty’s in Georgetown also rings a bell.
    A Pakistani friend brought me some Vimto syrup for Thanksgiving, now made in Saudi Arabia of all places.
    All best,
    Marie

    Comment by Marie Senécal-Tremblay — December 4, 2011 @ 8:39 pm | Reply

    • Me again. Were you thinking of Sprostons which was across from the post office or maybe J P Santos which was at the waters edge past the bookstore ? Bata was a shoe store near the RBC. I dont remember Achoos.

      Comment by joycelyn baichulall — December 8, 2011 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  197. I’ll have to google Vimto syrup to get educated!
    Pat

    Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — December 5, 2011 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

  198. The now defunct Crescent Cinema in the picture provided much needed entertainment for the Community. Here is list of the movies at in April 1961 taken from Demba’s Digest.
    Sat 1st, Sun.2nd and Monday 3rd at 5.15 and 8.30pm
    “Home from the hill” starring Robert Mitchum and Eleanor Parker plus added attraction
    Tues 4th at 5.00 and 830pm
    “Young Jesse James” Starring Ray Stricklyn, Willard Parker and Merry Anders
    “Until they sail” starring Jean Simmons, Joan Fontaine, Paul Newman and Piper Laurie,
    Mon 3rd at 9.00am
    “Treasure of the Golden Candor” and “Ride Vaquero”…. Sunday 9th and Mon 10th at 5.00 and 830pm “Last Train from Gun Hill” starring Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn and also “Career” starring Dean Martin, Anthony Franciosa, Shirley Maclaine and Carolyn James…..
    There are no Cinemas in upper Demerara in 2011 and only a few remains opened in Guyana.

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — December 8, 2011 @ 10:07 am | Reply

  199. The picture of Mackenzie Market shows my father’s first cousin “Alvin Allicock.” He is the handsome young man with blue shirt and white pants in the center of the photo looking rather interestingly at one of the stalls and probably thinking about a beer.
    Alvin Allicock was married to Rita Fiedtkou and had children Zefrine, Evelyn, Richard, Lesley, Sheila and Nancy. He had an prior son named Titus before this marriage. Alvin Allicock passed away in 2000 and is interred in Delaware USA.

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — December 8, 2011 @ 10:53 am | Reply

  200. Hi Marie,
    this is Jeanette who was in your class at Watooka day school

    Comment by Jeanette Jardine(Baichulall) — December 8, 2011 @ 5:01 pm | Reply

  201. Hi This is Jeanette baichulall, I live in canada now in Oshawa, would love to contact anyone from my past

    Comment by Jeanette Jardine(Baichulall) — December 8, 2011 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  202. Hi Jeanette, Great to hear from you. I am going to ransack my mother’s photo albums and post some key pictures on this when I figure out how. There were some amazing artificial Christmas trees in our house that would be timely to post!
    Do you remember Leslie Forshaw and others in our class and the names of the teachers?
    I am in exams at moment but will pick this up once the holidays are upon us. Please email me directly if you prefer at tremblaymcniven@gmail.com.
    Happy Holidays.

    Comment by marie senécal-tremblay — December 8, 2011 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

  203. Hi Marie,
    I am so happy to find you, wow thats because of my sister Joycelyn, she called me about this site I will post some old photos of Richmond hill, looks really shabby now, we were there in 2009 Feb, Linden looks like ghost town, here is my e-mail address at home.Will chat soon lots to catch up on.

    jeanette.jardine@yahoo.ca

    Jeanette

    Comment by Jeanette Jardine(Baichulall) — December 8, 2011 @ 6:03 pm | Reply

  204. Hi Jocelyn, Isn’t technology great sometimes– Yes!! it was Sproston’s!! Thanks so much for bringing back that long lost name to the forefront of my mind! I used to read Enid Blyton books by the cartload and grew up dreaming of going to british girls boarding school where people when on picnics with ginger beer and tinned meat! We used to sit on rocking chairs overlooking the ravine on Blue Mountain Road reading my brothers and I drinking Vimto ice cream floats (sort of a fizzy blackcurranty soft drink – very Commonwealth and still findable in England)

    Comment by marie senécal-tremblay — December 9, 2011 @ 5:39 am | Reply

  205. The now defunct Crescent Cinema in the picture of the Mackenzie Town Square provided much needed entertainment for the Community. Here is list of the movies at in April 1961 taken from Demba’s Digest.
    Sat 1st, Sun.2nd and Monday 3rd at 5.15 and 8.30pm
    “Home from the hill” starring Robert Mitchum and Eleanor Parker plus added attraction
    Tues 4th at 5.00 and 830pm
    “Young Jesse James” Starring Ray Stricklyn, Willard Parker and Merry Anders
    “Until they sail” starring Jean Simmons, Joan Fontaine, Paul Newman and Piper Laurie,
    Mon 3rd at 9.00am
    “Treasure of the Golden Candor” and “Ride Vaquero”…. Sunday 9th and Mon 10th at 5.00 and 830pm “Last Train from Gun Hill” starring Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn and also “Career” starring Dean Martin, Anthony Franciosa, Shirley Maclaine and Carolyn James…..
    There are no Cinemas in upper Demerara in 2011 and only a few remains opened in Guyana.

    Comment by DMITRI ALLICOCK — December 14, 2011 @ 12:31 am | Reply

  206. What a beautiful pictures here..my name Is Ronald George Wong (Ronny) my greatgrandmother was Ida Wong her mother was Martha Lo so moy and her husband was well I am not sure something Wong…Martha remarried to Maurits Jessurun. I am seaching my roots from Guyana. Mabe someone can help …blessings thank you.
    Ronny

    Comment by Ronny Jessurun Wong — December 28, 2011 @ 3:01 am | Reply

  207. I have left a previous post regarding the whereabouts of Michael Cole. We were very good friends, but I
    have unfortunately lost touch since I left McKenzie in 1973. I lived in Watooka at which time my father( Chetram Singh) was
    the administrator of the hospital and hotel. When I left at that time we were classmates at McKenzie High,
    just finishing third form.

    Comment by Narendra (Nar0 Singh — January 1, 2012 @ 4:10 pm | Reply

    • I believe Michael and his mother now live in England though I don’t know where. He was at my uncle Dave Wilkie’s 80th birthday (at least 9 years ago) in Wales.

      Comment by meroza — January 1, 2012 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

    • I used to be in touch with Olga Cole, she lived in northern England, in Dragonville. I had visited her there many years ago, with my son Christopher Too-Chung. I have heard since that she has died. She was so proud of her three boys. Pam (Too-Chung/Thwaites/Webb)pamwebb333@yahoo.ca

      Comment by Pam Webb Thwaites — December 23, 2013 @ 12:32 am | Reply

  208. I just stumbled across this site. Wow; how cool to see all the old places There are even a few names I recognise. I went to school at Watooka Day. We left in 1967. I am presently in BC, Canada. I would love to connect with anyone else who was there at that time.

    Comment by John Gale — January 25, 2012 @ 12:32 am | Reply

    • Hello John –
      Reading the entries on the BG site & saw yours – are you by any chance the younger brother of Charles (Charlie) Gale who lived in Watooka in the late 50’s? We were neighbors in 1957-58 and went to Watooka Day school together.
      I seem to remember his sister was Diane and his father’s name was Gerry – all originally from Arvida, PQ.
      Please let me know.
      David Atkinson
      DavidAtkinson@comcast.net

      Comment by David Atkinson — March 10, 2012 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

  209. I am also impressed with this site. Like many of us who stumbled on it, there are lots of memories to recall. I spent most of my late teenage years working in Mackenzie at the Bauxite & Alumina Labs. I fondly remembered the RH Car, we as none residence of Mackenzie, packed it every weekend heading for Georgetown, and dispersed to different areas of Guyana, only to be back on Sunday afternoon heading back to Mackenzie. Then the Mackenzie Highway was being built. I got many traffic tickets on that highway before it was officially open, trying to get to Georgetown with my Red Honda 90cc motor bike. I had fun times with my co-workers, Ian Lorrimer, Cyril Bernard, Brentnol Evans, Gordon Williams, Seighmourn Parkinson, Patrick Muss, to name a few.
    I lived in Canada and the USA since I left Guyana in 1977. I went back to Mackenzie in 2011 then year when my brother (Flavio Camacho) died. My first impression of Mackenzie now (2011) was deep sadness and disappointment. Remember the Hustle and Bustle of Arviada Rd., the smoke filled stacks of the Bauxite and Alumina plants, they are no more. Everything is quiet, the once shiny Alumina Plant is now rusted and in ruins. Remember also, the market square, this has changed, lots of vendors peddling their goods.
    Anyways, I will like to hear from anyone who has been around Mackenzie in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
    Thanks for the web site
    /keith camacho

    Comment by Keith Camacho — January 25, 2012 @ 4:38 pm | Reply

  210. Hi, I’m Alex (Al) Murchie and I was on staff with the Demerara Bauxite Company at McKenzie, now Linden, from 1958 to 1961, working at the position of Assistant Superintendent of maintenance in the mill. I enjoyed my work there like no other job that I had. I practiced managing in the Deming style and it was not really accepted by my staff counterparts. This style was an employee centred one where the employees shared in running things.Even though there were successful examples of the method i.e. Lincoln Electric Company in the US at the time, there seemed to be a colonial attitude existing that favored an overlord approach especially with racist connotations. I was often criticized for having Friday morning meetings with my men for the purpose of raising questions about current problems and fishboning routes to resolution of same. I was often advised that I should have all the answers and that I should dictate the answers.
    Fortunately for myself my crew almost always had the right solutions and carried them out with little difficulty. I never had to give out pink slips and/or fire anyone. I had excellent foremen, one of whom was a chap named Green (in Guyana we used surnames and not often knew the first names. I chose to use the staff recreation very little, but preferred to go into town after hours to play ping pong, or basketball. The basketball league was started with my urging. Brown and Thompson were young men that played at the game. I enjoyed watching cricket and knew a player called Nedd.
    At the urging of Mr Thomas who was in charge of local education I delivered a course on philosophy which was well attended and my major achievement was to convince the class that the local patois had as much dignity as an Oxford accent. My family at the time consisted of three children and a wife. My spouse’s name was Grace and the kids were Mary Jo, William James, and Betty Jean. Carolyn Jane and Alexander David came along after leaving Guyana. Mary Jo learned to swim at the Staff Centre and Jim got wet but didn’t take to water as much.
    My wife (spouse) was not as understanding to people of humbler beginnings and so she let go many good housekeepers with little justification. Her attitude eventually caused her to decide to leave with the kids over petty theft of underwear. I didn’t know at the time that it would be part of my reasoning to have a divorce
    I loved and still love all my children so I submitted my resignation and left what I considered to be one of the best places in the world. I had previously worked for Alcan in Jamaica and had established a marvelous rapport with workers there. My general foreman there was Bert Livingstone and he was a gem. Hope he’s still alive.
    I hope I haven’t offended any of the staff that I worked with at the time. I only disagreed with the method of management and I thought and still think that the client centred kind of therapy associated with managing that I used was and is still the only way. It takes out the politics and discrimination that currently the world is suffering from. Perhaps an Arab Spring will give birth to new ways of getting along with our brothers and sisters in the world.
    I would particularly like to hear from anyone who remembers the time when we were there and to hear how they have gone forward in the world.
    My e-mail is mcdonald29@nvloisp.com. I enjoy skyping my friends, so give me a shout and we’ll have a hoot. By the way I also live in Wiarton Willy’s space in Wiarton Ontario on the Niagara escarpment cliff. Drop over sometime.

    Comment by Al Murchie — January 29, 2012 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

  211. I am so late to this party!

    My late dad, George Taylor, would have enjoyed Guyana Then And Now. Wish that I had discovered this site before writing several chapters of PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance. Its fantastic photos would have been very helpful in greasing the gears of a memory well past its prime. And, the candid comments on this blog would have made reflecting on 50s/60s Wismar/Christianburg/Mackenzie of my youth much easier. Fortunately, my brain is none the worst from that challenge – as far as I know. I share your pride in “dem days”!

    Better late than never,
    Conrad (Raddy)

    Comment by Conrad Taylor — February 12, 2012 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  212. What great memories of Linden… the pixes and many stories. I am Shad Prashad, one of the RBC bank boys (’70 – ’72), the manager was Douglas Freits and some of the boys included, Khamis Mayadin (wish I could get his contact), Stephen Rodrigues, Arnold Yhip, Jimmy Lorimer, to name a few. The RBC Bank House (The BQ) in Fairs Rust was legendary for the parties. We were fortunate to enjoy the comforts of Watooka, the club etc, while at the same time really enjoyed the ‘village’ including The Crimson Bat. The frequent 10cents boat ride to Wismar to vist Leslie Sue Tang at the rum shop/grocery store. Leslie I would like your contact info pls.
    I still cant forget the very frequent ‘taxi’ rides from GT to Linden on Saturday nights in Toyota Corollas with 8-9 people!!! 4 in the front seat!!!
    Fondly remember making many trips in my Mini Moke to parties in Ituni… what a ride!! I am still friends with Ronald (Ramsey) Hunt, Robert Stephenson. The ‘chinken-in-the-rough’ was the best in the restaurant across from the Bank (next door to the Singer store). To Nar Singh, I am married to Micheal Cole’s cousin, she contacted Mike and gave him the blog address, maybe soon you will be in contact… he remembers you as one of his best friends. He lives in the UK and is in the RAF. BTW, you may remember me as your cousin Sewh Prashad.
    I left Linden for Canada in 1972 and live in Orleans/Ottawa since ’79.

    Cheers.. Shad

    Comment by G. Shad Prashad — February 16, 2012 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

  213. Shad

    Great to hear from you. I am excited that you were able to make contact with Michael Cole. We also left in 1972 for Canada. I currently live and work in Toronto though
    I travel to Guyana often to do some volunteer work at the Georgetown Hospital. I will also be doing some work at the new Linden Hospital to develop their pediatric and NICU program.
    In the early 70’s my father ( Chetram Singh) was the administrator of the hospital.For those of you who are interested I have three web sites. The first is to identify doctors of
    Guyanese origin around the world( http://www.guyanadoctor.com). I started a residency program in Guyana to train pediatricians for the country( http://www.guyanapediatrics.com).
    I also started a charity to support the program(www.guyanahelpthekids.com). I am always looking for like minded people to help.
    Please give Michael my e-mail ( ncsingh@rogers.com).
    Cheers
    Nar( Narendra Singh)

    Comment by Narendra (Nar0 Singh — February 17, 2012 @ 3:19 am | Reply

  214. Hi,

    I have just read your comments of your time in Guyana and that you also mentioned your having contact with Michael Cole. I have previously tried to find a contact address for him. We lived in Guyana, up Richmond Hill, Mackenzie in 1970-72 and Michael and Orin Lewis were playmates. It was an adventurous time to be there as a youngster. We seemed to have alot of freedom in what was pretty much ‘wild’ conditions. I had nightmares about the snakes for a good few years afterwards. It would be great to exchange a few words with someone from that time and if you are able to forward a contact for Michael or Orin that would be great. I was known as Deborah Dixon then and my sister was Janene. We returned to England after my Father finished his contract there and have been here ever since. All comments that I have read about Guyana shows what a huge impact it has had on anyone who was privelidged enough to experience being there, albeit for a relatively short time.

    Kind regards,
    Deborah

    Comment by debs01 — February 17, 2012 @ 10:12 am | Reply

  215. Deborah, if you send me your email contact I will gladly pass it to Michael, my wife and I are in frequent contact with him. Shad

    Comment by G. Shad Prashad — February 17, 2012 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

  216. Hi Shad,

    Thank you for such a quick reply. Without having had contact with anybody from Guyana and time spent there, it has been quite exciting reading about peoples experiences then and since that time and also, quite sad to hear what Guyana is like now but appreciate that not much stays as it was.

    My email address is bishuk1@aol.com and it would be great if you would pass that on to Michael and many thanks for doing so.

    Kind regards,
    Deborah

    Comment by debs01 — February 17, 2012 @ 8:00 pm | Reply

  217. Hi Walter:

    Yep, I remember you both myself and Nar attended MHS, I do remember all the boys and Gals you referred to, are you in touch with any of them??

    Regards

    Robin

    Comment by robin singh — March 1, 2012 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

    • Rabendra…that’s the name.Mister moustache,beard and cigarette’s…in high school.De man loved his cricket but was still a rebel.How are you dude.Yes I’m in touch with a lot of the guys/gals.I see quite a few of them almost every year. Clairene Bazilio,Maureen Parris,Howie Brittlebank,Ian Taylor(now a priest)and many more from time to time.Where do you live now and what else is new?
      …email at wallyg0401@gmail.com

      Comment by Wally Gravesande — March 1, 2012 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  218. I was born in the UK but brought up In Georgetown, until i was nine then left for school in England. My father is Captain Bill Cook and was the traffic manager at Sprostons. He was in charge of all the the shipping movement, navigation etc on the Demerara River. Many of you write of fond memories of going on the R.H Carr, he was also in charge of that as well. He was sadden to see what happend to the Carr. My parents left Guyana in the early 70s when my father transferred to Montreal .

    My dad who is in is early 90s,had a stroke in 2011, remembers some names that have written on this site. He remebers Pat Cusack nee Hunte and he and Pat’s mum Marie exchange Christmas Cards.

    I try to keep up on news on Guyana via the internet.

    Comment by Chris Cook — March 4, 2012 @ 11:16 pm | Reply

    • Hi Chris – how nice to hear from you! Please give your dad our very best wishes. My mother, Louie, enjoys hearing from him
      every Christmas. He’s one of the best in my humble opinion.
      Pat

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — March 5, 2012 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

  219. Hello Pat,
    Thank you for the kind words about my fahter. I remember your mum saying you and Joan Fraser were going to go down many years ago together. Did you go? Do you remember the Mc Cartins (sp) Eva, Suzanne and Len? Len died few years ago. They lived in Georgetown I spoke to Mrs Mc Cartin at Christmas on the Phone she said they were wanting to go back for a visit but things did not look too good down there so did not go.

    Comment by Chris Cook — March 9, 2012 @ 11:35 pm | Reply

    • Hi Chris – I don’t remember planning a trip with Joan … haven’t been back since I left in 1967. Can’t say I remember Eva and Suzanne, only Len. Did he not work in shipping in Bermuda or Montreal? Can’t say I place them in Georgetown. Wish I had my mother’s memory!
      Take care,
      Pat

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — March 10, 2012 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  220. My mother too is from Old Kara Kara, Mackenzie. Her name is Bhagwandei Ramcharitar (Daphne). Everyone from Mackenzie know her as Daphne. Her Father nickname is “Chat” and real name is Sookdeo Ramcharitar. He worked at the Demba Bauxite Plant too at the washer pan site. Her two sisters names are Lillian and Sewji. One of her brother’s name is Patrick Ramcharitar and lives in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. Biil, Rama and Tethree are her cousins. My mother too told us some wonderful stories of her adventureous upbringing in Mackenzie. Sadly, my mother passed away in Brantford, Ontario, Canada on the 31st. July, 2008. I would like to go spend some time in Mackenzie(Linden) in the near future when ever I go to Guyana. Guyana will always live within me.
    Thanks for everthing!
    Vishnu Ramnarine
    Originally from Prospect, East Bank Demerara, Guyana.
    Now Living in Hamilton, Ontario,Canada

    Comment by Vishnu Ramnarine — March 26, 2012 @ 3:06 am | Reply

  221. Hi Vishnu,
    I’m also from Linden(Rainbow City).I know both “Uncle Chat” and your uncle “Pat”.Myself and your uncle both worked for the old Ontario Hydro Power Plant at the Nanticoke.As a matter of fact your uncle is my father’s godson.I remember your grand-father very well.

    Wally Gravesande

    Comment by Wally — March 26, 2012 @ 12:26 pm | Reply

  222. “An example of the British colonial tradition was that there was no money. To pay for an item or service you wrote a “chit” (Signed your name on the bill as you would do in a modern hotel dining room if you were a guest). Of course you could only write a chit if you were known as a staff employee or family there of. As an adult looking back on Watooka it seems the “chit” system was a way of enforcing a class system. No one was prevented from entering Watooka but all they could do was look, as they were excluded from the chit system. As a youth it was just a very civilized way to live.” Hmmm. Guyana’s Jim Crow in action. Can’t help but wonder what were the courses and consequences of your integration into other societies after your departure from (ahem) Utopia…

    Comment by Dee — April 1, 2012 @ 4:47 am | Reply

    • Who are you and who are you quoting? And who is Jim Crow anyway? What a load of old rubbish.

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — April 2, 2012 @ 11:52 am | Reply

      • Well said Pat on No.222. The ‘chit’ system was administered by my dad, Laurie Ho. As accountant, he made sure that all ‘chits’ were paid each month. I left Watooka 1966 when I went to school in England. From 1959 to 1966 I went to Lodge School in Barbados with my brothers.

        Prior to the late 1950’s the only road and way into Watooka was over the Watooka Bridge. There was always a policeman stationed on the Mackenzie side of the bridge and it was his job to ‘vet’ people going into Watooka. When the road that ‘by passed’ the bridge was built around the early 1960’s, every Good Friday, a rope was placed across the road so anyone entering Watooka had to stop.

        My dad was one of the first local Guyanese was was promoted to ‘Local Staff’. In those early days local staff were housed Mackenzie side of the Watooka Bridge. There was the Proctors, Hutts and the Ho family. There were other local families but I now forgot their names. My brothers and myself all went to the local school in Cocatara( sorry about the spelling) when Mr Edwards was headmaster. Later we went to school in G’town the Barbados etc. It’s sad when I see current photos of Watooka and Mackenzie.

        Comment by Nigel Ho — July 1, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  223. this is really nice

    Comment by margaret ann Gravesande — July 23, 2012 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

  224. Myths, Legends, Folktales and Fables of Guyana « Guyanese Online
    guyaneseonline.wordpress.com/…/myths-legends-folktales-and-fables…1 day ago – Myths, Legends, Folktales and Fables of Guyana By Dmitri Allicock for the Guyaneseonline blog The practices of Myths, legends, folktales and …

    Comment by Dmitri allicock — October 16, 2012 @ 2:50 am | Reply

  225. Great read and photos. I was born in Georgetown 1973 and lived in McKenzie til 8/9 yes old. My father was there from the 60s on.

    Comment by Peter Lam — November 5, 2012 @ 4:59 am | Reply

    • Hi Peter are you related to Joan Lam? {Lam Photo Studio} She is my friend

      Comment by Dmitri Allicock — November 11, 2012 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  226. Sorry re: the headmaster when I went to Mackenzie school 1957ish was Mr Thomas not Mr Edwards. I see from the Google map of Watooka/Mackenzie that my old house, next to Dr. Roza’s house and all the houses in the square have been knocked down and the square seems part of the hospital area.

    Comment by Nigel Ho — December 1, 2012 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  227. I have a few pictures of Mackenzie and Watooka from the mid 60’s. Is there a way to upload them on here?

    Comment by Spencer Kanen — December 3, 2012 @ 12:25 am | Reply

    • Spencer – Maybe the administrator of this site will help you.
      Sorry I can’t.
      Pat

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — December 6, 2012 @ 7:09 pm | Reply

  228. Dear Nigel,
    I don’t have your e-mail address, so this will have to do.
    Last month I spent 10 days in Guyana. We visited “Linden”
    for one day and didn’t have time to do much. We passed by
    the hospital twice. It seems to take up a lot of space near
    the bauxite plant. I think Dr. Roza’s house is still standing
    and another that I think Laborde’s lived in. Much of the place
    is in terrible shape. We passed a very large building somewhere
    along the way that had a huge banner across the front of it all
    in Chinese. How in God’s name are the Guyanese meant to
    read it? Hang on to the good memories folks. That’s pretty
    much all that’s left.
    Take care,
    Pat

    Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — December 6, 2012 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

    • Hi Pat,
      I last visited Watooka in 1998 when Bob, Terry and myself went back for Laurie Ho’s (dad’s) funeral. At that time my old house was still standing, next to Dr. Roza’s house but I was so saddened by the state of Watooka and Linden. Shame that ALL banners can’t be written so everyone can read them but at least I will always remember the happy times growing up there. Mr Sam Hinds actually paid his respects at the church and there were many ‘old’ Demba people there. Best wishes for 2013 to everyone.
      niggelho@hotmail.com.

      Comment by Nigel Ho — February 2, 2013 @ 9:09 am | Reply

      • Hi Nigel,
        Had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hinds during our trip in October. I was working on Main Street for Demba when he was awarded the scholarship and he told us that all of his papers at Linden were destroyed during the riots last year on account of the proposed change in electricity rates. Hope you have a good year too. Where are you now?
        Pat

        Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — February 2, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

    • Hi Pat,
      I’m in England living in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. E-mail me on niggelho@hotmail.com and we can have a chat.

      Comment by Nigel Ho — February 3, 2013 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

      • I was in Linden (Mackenzie) with Pat Cusack (after 50 years) in October 2012- it was so sad to see the state of the place – at least her old house was still there – in a state of disrepair, but still standing. My old house was gone – an empty lot – with garbage. I had such good memories of Mackenzie, and they were certainly shot down! Going through the “town” was such an experience! And Georgetown was also an awful experience. We went on an eco tour, and the interior was wonderful. It was was something I had wanted to do for years – to recapture old memories – I would never go back to Mackenzie or Georgetown again, but would go on the eco tour.

        Comment by Jane Macdonald — February 12, 2013 @ 1:29 am

  229. I got the link to this page from someone on my FB, and, though, I am not from MacKenzie and I have never visited the place, I did enjoy the pictures and comments posted. I do believe Guyana was in a better state under foreign rule and the pictures posted here are proof of that to me.

    Comment by Jennifer — January 16, 2013 @ 2:49 am | Reply

  230. I was born in the McKenzie hospital but I am actually from West Watooka. Anyone old enough to remember father Stanton, the local doctor in Wismar? Or the Norris family who lived close to the bridge across the Demerara river?

    Comment by Mae Rader — January 29, 2013 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

    • Hi Mae, I do remember Father Stanton and the Norris family. I used to play cricket with on of the children

      Comment by Dmitri Allicock — June 15, 2013 @ 9:08 am | Reply

  231. I am trying to locate a friend named Lawrence Lewis that worked with the Bauxite Co in Linden.

    Keith
    New York

    Comment by KEITH BERNARD — February 19, 2013 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

  232. 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 @ 9:06 am | Reply

  233. Hi Dmitri, finally someone with knowledge of my neighbourhood. Hope you are well.
    I last saw father Stanton three days before he passed away. He was the godfather of my mother and she also worked with him as an assistant for many years. I moved to Suriname a few years after the troubles in Wismar, but would regularly visit Wismar on holiday and stay with the Norris family. I miss the place, but I reckon that it is not as before.
    My uncle owned a river crossing business close to Christianburgh. It was called Dutchie. He was from Suriname originally.
    By the way, Mae Rader is a play of words on the word Demerara..

    Comment by Mae Rader — June 15, 2013 @ 9:25 am | Reply

    • Hi Mae, I didn’t see your comments until today. I remembered both father Stanton and Dutchie. I use to play cricket with one of the Norris boy at the ruins of the nearby Saw Mill in Silvertown. Nice to hear from you and sorry for the late reply.
      The very best regards,
      Dmitri

      Comment by Dmitri Allicock — August 9, 2013 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  234. The majestic Ité Palm of Guyana is a native palm of Guyana, commonly found growing nearby its vast waterways of rivers, creeks and wetlands.
    Palms have been important to humans throughout much of history and are among the best known and most extensively cultivated plant families. Palms are valued as an important food source and provide valuable ingredients in many household products. In many historical cultures, palms were symbols for such ideas as victory, peace, and fertility. In Assyrian religion, the palm is one of the trees identified as the Sacred Tree connecting heaven, represented by the crown of the tree, and earth, the base of the trunk. Today, palms exotic and captivating appearance remain a popular symbol for the tropics and vacations.
    Read more: http://guyaneseonline.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/the-versatile-ite-palm-of-guyana-by-dmitri-allicock/

    Comment by Dmitri Allicock — August 9, 2013 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

  235. This was forwarded to me by a friend the pictures and comments brought back lots of memories I lived in then Mackenzie from 1957 through 1962 my father was the Customs Officer we lived right on the river behind Choo Kang. I was back in Linden 1973 through 1975 working at RBC

    Comment by Philip Bourne — November 10, 2013 @ 12:03 am | Reply

  236. I lived in Fairsrust and Richmond Hill in 1965-1972, my parents Mike & Liz Paull worked for Bauxite Mines in Mckenzie. I went to Watooka School too with my sister and brother. Our names Nadia, Susan and Stephen Paull. Our neighbours were ‘The Thwaites’ and ‘The Howies’. We knew the Mccallisters. Tuchongs etc. Lots of memories.

    Comment by Nadia Freeman-Paull — November 11, 2013 @ 6:11 am | Reply

    • my name is Damian any body know Maureen Gomes, she is in here early 70th
      Pamela/ Janet Aladdin have been trying to contact here for years
      she moved to Canada and they lost contact

      Comment by damian. harper — December 23, 2013 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  237. This is a wonderful website and am passing it on to other ex-Demba people. I lived in Mackenzie from 1966-1972, having moved with my husband from Georgetown. My husband Trevor was one of the first Guyanese recruited to work for the company by Evan Evan-Wong. I have happy memories of good times spent without TV. We played golf, swam, entertained, went on bush trips, organised the cinema, acted in plays and Pantomines and generally had a good time. I remember well Pat & Dennis Whitehead, the Wongs, the Paulls, Kranenburgs, Sandersons, Bachmans, Senegal-Tremblays. The smell of the gardenias in the gardens and doing the wedding for Linda Evan Wong with lovely lotus lilies gathered from a local pond.

    Comment by Pam Webb Thwaites — December 23, 2013 @ 12:39 am | Reply

  238. Hi Pam,

    How are you?

    You knew my father Mike Paull, my mother Liz and stepmother Leila. We lived next door to the family
    The Thwaites and knew you and your family too. How are you? I am sure my father would love to know that I have written to you. My Dad is in Staffordshire, UK and mum in Holland. My email address is npaull@hotmail.com. Would love to know where the rest of The Thwaites are.
    Thank you, Nadia Freeman

    Comment by Nadia Freeman-Paull — December 24, 2013 @ 2:20 am | Reply

  239. Hi Pam, Merry Christmas from Marie Senecal-Tremblay- Would love to chat after the holidays! (tremblaymcniven@gmail.com)

    Comment by Marie senecal-tremblay — December 24, 2013 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

  240. Hi and thank you for the photos. What wonderful memories of Watooka. I went to the old Watooka School (mid-70s) and lived in Richmond Hill. My old school friends (that I remember) was Roger Bovil, Nicole France, and Mark Harris. I remember taking swimming lessons at the Watooka pool. My dad, Reverend Eustace Marshall, worked for the bauxite company. My mom is Marjorie (Jacqueline), sister Holly (Lois), brother Andrew Marshall, and little sister Ruthann Marshall. Figured I would let you all know in case someone knows my family. Leaving Guyana was the best thing for us. Canada has given us so much, however, I still miss home. Thanks again for the memories.

    Peter Marshall

    Comment by Peter Marshall — February 16, 2014 @ 1:02 am | Reply

  241. Hi Peter,
    I remember your father quite well. He preached at the Christian Brethren Church. He taught Hebrew and Greek to a whole lot of young men including my self. I remember him living in Dacama Circle, before moving to Watooka. He was in charge of Purchasing, and he brought Emile with him.
    Because of your Dad, many young men left Guyana to study for the Ministry. He was a model of a Christian and Minister. I respected him a lot. My father pastored the Pilgrim Holiness Church in Christianburg, and I went to MHS with Remington Williams. Ms. Maureen Robinson was in charge of ISCF. Give my regards to Him.

    Comment by Emanuel a Heyliger — February 17, 2014 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

    • Hi Mr. Heyliger, it is so nice to hear from you. I actually first read your message a few weeks ago. Thanks for your kind words about my dad. He has dementia at 83 years of age, and sadly is in his last stages. My mom was very happy to read your words about dad. She wanted me to tell you that Remington Williams, who resides in Toronto, Canada, visits them a couple of times each year. I can certainly put you in touch with Mr. Williams if you wish. Mom does not remember your father, but remembers a Rev. Miller from Pilgrim Holiness Church.

      If you’d like to contact Mr. Williams, please contact me at marshallpeter1@hotmail.com. Nice hearing from you Mr. Heyliger.

      Regards,

      Peter

      Comment by Peter Marshall — November 21, 2015 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

  242. My late father survived a plane crash in the Demerara River British Guyana many years ago. I really wish to find out more information about it and the other passengers. I would appreciate it vbery much if may be someone reading this could guide me better. Many thanks.

    Comment by Anna Grima — May 8, 2014 @ 12:01 am | Reply

    • Hello Anna,
      This may refer to the overturning of a Grumman Goose near the BG Airways ramp on the river in Georgetown.The date would be around the
      second half of the 1960s. Demba people were included in the pax list and there were fatalities.If this fits your information,then I may be able to
      fill in some of the gaps.If you wish to proceed further,then I suggest that you post your email address here and I will communicate with you directly.

      Comment by Colin Chapman — May 8, 2015 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  243. Thanks! I enjoyed this very, very much. Loved the pictures. Found this site by accident. Was born in Speightland (former site of McKenzie H.S.) Grew up in old Cara Cara. Left Guyana in 1971. Would like to here from anyone who may remember me. My name is Martin Newton. Address is martinluther@dejazzd.com

    Comment by Martin Newton — June 9, 2014 @ 5:46 am | Reply

    • Hi Mr Newton, we’re from Gyana. My mom’s maiden name is Newton, and her cousin is Walter Newton who lived in Wismar. I wonder if we are related? Her name (mom) is Marjorie Jackelin Marshall. Although she is a Newton, she went by surname Reich, which is her fathers name.

      Comment by Peter Marshall — November 21, 2015 @ 7:06 pm | Reply

  244. Hello everyone, my name is Andrea and I am hoping someone can help me. I am looking for one Michael Davidson also known as Junior from West Watooka, if anybody knows him, my email is: andrea80gy@yahoo.com. I would like to say thank you in advance.

    Comment by Andrea — November 30, 2014 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  245. I am looking for the Mccallisters who lived in Richmond Hill. We used to know the family and we were there 1965-1975. My parents Liz and Mike Paull.

    Comment by Nadia Freeman-Paull — May 8, 2015 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  246. I don’t think we’re referring to the same incident. The plane crash in which my father was involved happened on 4th December, 1964. One of the passengers travelling with him was an Indian chief justice by the name of Tek Chand (not sure about the spelling). All the passengers survived.

    Comment by Anna — May 8, 2015 @ 9:44 pm | Reply

  247. There is nothing like remembering where it all begin, I am so proud going back in time the way it use to be wishing those days would never end.As a son of the soil, pictures are worth a thousand words.I am living the dream of my childhood, can’t get enough of these pictures. MacKenzie in the day’s of Demba, where grew up attended Demba Trade School.

    Comment by winston Johnson — February 10, 2016 @ 5:02 am | Reply

  248. Wow! What an interesting sight! We my family & I lived in McKenzie between 1969 & 1972 some of the names are from our stay! We lived in Montgomery Oval Thwaites stand out so vividly as when Pam went home I was left with Ringo the White Alsation ! Claubin Nelson from the local drug store helped me with treatment to operate on Ringo when he had maggots in a cut! The names George & Dianah Newton Goble & Shareen Singh Derek Fung & Bruce Mcwatt plus the Coles who who had Ringo after we left!
    Never will I forget the incredible wild life ! The huge variety of the most beautiful birds, the Butterflys of magnificent colour & size & of course the large variety of snakes! Each morning we we would have in our wash room a shed skin! I must state @ this point a little daunting.on coming back to the UK found the deathly silence of the night so very differ cult to get use to! Mine & my children Deborah & Janene Dixon will have memories of beauty & awe of Guyana,it was a charismic place & one I would not have missed!
    Janet Page nee Dixon

    Comment by Janet Page — February 27, 2016 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

  249. I’m looking for records of my Portugese ancestors from Guyana. My grandfather was Claudio Carvalho born 10 th October 1883. Do you know of any documents that we can research to find my Guyanese ancestors?

    Comment by Andrew — March 16, 2016 @ 10:25 am | Reply

  250. Hi: I am trying to get some info on both Evan Wong & Vince Chung to clarify an ongoing discussion w/ former bauxite industry cadres (most of whom are QC alums). When I worked in GED in the early ’90 I came across what I assumed was the last Org Chart of DEMBA. Among the top local engineers listed were Evan Wong (EW), Vince Chung (VC – of whom I had never heard anything), & Willmott Chan (WC). I am told that after Evan Wong left Gt he initially went to Hong Kong, but eventually ended up in Canada w/ Alcan. Is that true? Also, what role did VC play while working with DEMBA. WC had advised that he died a while back in Canada. There was also a name Templeton. Was he a Guyanese?

    Regards!

    Dion

    Comment by Dion Allicock — April 7, 2016 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

    • After Demba, Evan Wong went to Hawaii eventually settling in the USA.

      Comment by Pirai — April 7, 2016 @ 11:02 pm | Reply

      • Bob Wong is Evan Wong’s son who might care to comment here. Bob started this website. I think I’m correct in saying that Evan lives in Toronto, or? But not in U.S. See also Steve Connolly’s book “Children of Watooka – A Story of British Guiana” (E&OE) just published in time for Guyana’s 50th anniversary of independence.

        Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — April 8, 2016 @ 2:20 pm

  251. My apology, I meant Hawaii.

    Comment by Dion Allicock — April 8, 2016 @ 3:17 am | Reply

  252. Dear Bob,
    What a fascinating glimpse into bygone experiences of life in Watooka, where on our return in the early 70s, my late mother had worked as a lived in housemaid (with us in the downstairs apartment) to a Canadian couple by the name of Pratt – they had 2 children; I can’t remember the name of the boy but I believe the girl was called Allison.

    My adult memory conscience of that time living in Watooka was that there was still what I can only describe as a practice of apartheid – natives were expected to have a ‘pass’ to be in the area.
    My dad’s white-helmet management status meant we got to shop at the ‘store’ for strange stuff such as Heinz salad cream, must be one of the most gross things I ever tasted as a child – I remember mummy adding mango achar and wiri-wiri pepper to make it into a more palatable sauce. Daddy’s overtime chits from Demba/Guybua would be exchange for chicken or pork lo-mein at a Chinese takeaway/restaurant opposite a school and the Mackenzie market.

    I have lived most of my life in the UK but myself and 2 other siblings were born in Mackenzie hospital in the late 50s and early 60s and we lived in our own lovely house built in Silver Town by my late parents. Unfortunately, when we were still very young – I was 4 yrs old, my parents split-up and we left with our mother not to return until the early 70s.

    Interestingly, I am currently trying to record my early memoirs for my grandchildren and I would like to share with your good self and other contributors to this site a request, in the hope that someone may be able to provide some further information on how those of us who lived on Wismar bank was able to access the McKenzie hospital in the 1950s before the bridge was erected to link the two.
    I have written an almost-novel of stories created from some vivid early childhood memories e.g. the 1st time I felt my breath stopped when the red plastic screw cap on the Colgate toothpaste tube got lodged in my throat. I was saved by my aunt Joyce who turned me head over heels and with my face down gave be an almighty slap on my back, dislodging the cap. It was on a day of a birthday party and the scent I distinctly recalled was that of peanuts roasting in the oven in the kitchen in Silvertown.
    Other examples

    Memory of the 1st time I experienced proper constipation after gorging myself on sidiums, a small dark purple soft fruit – size of a cherry, with hundreds of tiny stony seeds similar to guavas. Again it was Aunt Joyce who rescued me with her home-made enema. I was visiting her and Uncle David, the last memory I have of them together. They had the upper flat in a house at the end of a street opposite a Chinese salt-goods store that was on Wismar Road nearer to Christianburg. At this salt-goods store, I first saw a weighing scale and an abacus.

    And the first time I experienced the humid pungent-linger smell symbolic of salt-goods stores. A cocktail that permeates of salt-beef and pig-tail, salt-fish, molasses, rice, salt-butter, salt-soap, kerosene oil and old burlap but none could overpower the hot smell of the basket of mangoes that were kept on the counter. I knew it was mango-smell but I can’t remember the first time I experienced the aroma of mangoes. Some things you just know don’t require a memory.

    My family chart is missing our Amerindian grandmother, Catherine Henry McBean – so am currently investigating her Amerindian family and Amerindian language. I would really appreciate any information.

    When I revisited home in 2000 New Years day, the sidium tree was gone and the salt-goods store too, the smells were replaced by that of dereliction competing with the fried fish and fired chicken seasoned in thick-leaf thyme being cooked by a noisy club and restaurant.

    Many thanks to all
    Dawn McBean

    Comment by Dawn McBean — May 15, 2016 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

    • Hi, are you related to Tony McBean? We were classmates at McKenzie Primary maybe up to 4th Std, i.e., 1975.

      Comment by Dion — May 22, 2016 @ 10:26 pm | Reply

  253. Hi Dawn: Are you one of the McBeans who lived next door to the Barclays at 158 Silver Town? We shared a common fence. I, too, have many memories which I wrote about in my novels Black Water Women, Black Water People,and Black Water Children. Check me out on Facebook.

    Comment by Carmen Barclay Subryan — May 19, 2016 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  254. Hi, would anyone know about a light plane crash in the Demerara river British Guyana which happened on 4 December 1964? I would appreciate it if anyone with any information would contact me. Many thanks

    Comment by Anna Grima — May 19, 2016 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

  255. Does anybody have any clues or information about a light plane crash in the Demerara river on 04 December, 1964 involving my father Dr. Joseph Cassar Galea, an Indian Judge by the name of Tech Chand (Shand) and some others?

    Comment by Anna Grima — August 8, 2016 @ 10:07 am | Reply

  256. Really interesting site — really hoping to find a way to reach Jennifer Diane Evan Wong. Thanks for any suggestions that you may have.

    Comment by Anne Tayler — December 15, 2016 @ 5:28 am | Reply

  257. Very interesting site, I was living in Wismar/Mackenzie in those days, it just bring back so much memories. By the way, anyone know the whereabouts of Mr. Tallmadge, I think he was the employment office of the bauxite company, any information will be greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Colvin Jonas — December 24, 2016 @ 2:05 pm | Reply

  258. THE POLARIS ON THE RIVER
    An image of Upper Demerara seems so near
    It looks like yesterday but it’s over 50 years
    Like the breath of a whisper or a deep sigh
    I can feel the river and the Polaris going by

    I can hear the boat coming into view
    Passing Mackenzie under the skies of blue
    From the shore I see herons flapping
    The boat passing and the water lapping

    In the distance I can hear the horn blow
    The fortunes of the bauxite king, aglow
    The Polaris on the calm river moving along
    A golden time of a Demerara bauxite song

    I see the Captain dressed in elegant white
    A Watooka Child in his care shining bright
    And from the western shore I wave to and fro
    A salute to the lovely Polaris as I watch her go.

    Comment by Dmitri Allicock — March 8, 2017 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

    • Lovely lyrics to go with song. Thanks for posting. Haven’t heard BoneyM in years!

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — March 17, 2017 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

  259. KAREN BLAIS . I am so thrilled to have found this. I have such fond memories growing up there. I went to school across the street from the bauxite company. My dad was LARRY BLAIS . We lived there several times. I remember I had a teacher named MR> OTTO
    DEBBIE ALLISON AND MICHEAL FRASER were our neighbours. The DASSES lived across the street. I remember ANN DASS
    Would love to know if anyone remembers me or my family. Many good years at the club house of swimming.

    Comment by karen — March 23, 2017 @ 12:13 am | Reply

    • Hi Karen, I do remember you. I also lived in Fairs Rust. I remember your house as one of the few with air conditioning so it was always nice to visit you.

      Comment by Alethea Blackman — March 23, 2017 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

    • Hello Karen. This is Debbie “Fraser” Baldwin and I am so glad to finally find you. How is your brother Mark? My God we had some great times in Fairs Rust…Watooka swimming pool, the gorge, etc. Michael and I live in Richmond, VA and Allison lives in Brooklyn, NY. Please email me…pzlepiece2@gmail.com — I’ would love to hear from you. I’ll keep checking back. Take care.

      Comment by Debbie "Fraser" Baldwin — March 29, 2017 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

      • Hi debbie was your dad the big boss at Demba inb the 60’s? I was talking to my dad about Mackenzie the other day and the Fraser name came up but he couldn’t remember how many Fraser children there were although he definitely remembered one girl! My parents were Robin and Elizabeth Mallinson and I was one of 4 boys, Peter, James, David and myself Andrew!

        Comment by Andrew Mallinson — March 31, 2017 @ 3:33 pm

  260. KAREN BLAIS here again. I also wanted to add we knew CAROL AND LORNE QUINN very well!!

    Comment by karen — March 23, 2017 @ 12:14 am | Reply

    • In reply to Andrew’s question about the name Fraser. I can easily answer that. The Manager’s name was Norm Fraser and he and his wife Betty, had one daughter, Joan, who is now a Canadian senator. The name Blais rings a bell and of course we knew Carol and Lorne Quinn. I left Georgetown for Montreal in 1967. My father, Theo, an accountant, died in Barbados where he was born-young at 65 in 1986, and my mother, Louie, died in St. Catharines, Ontario two years ago, aged 96. I am now 73, so I must have my Mum’s genes. I am now living in the country near to Port Colborne, Ontario. First husband, a Hungarian, died in 2002 and I remarried a widower nine years ago. I have two siblings, Helen in Hamburg, Germany, and Alan in Connecticut. Best wishes all.

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — April 1, 2017 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

      • Hi Pat thanks for filling in the gaps. My mother has Altsheimers and one of the very few things I can talk about to her is of our time in Mackenzie! Amazing that Joan went on to be a Canadian senator! Hope all well with you A
        Andrew

        Comment by Andrew Mallinson — April 2, 2017 @ 5:46 pm

      • Andrew – sorry to hear about your mother’s condition. Kindly remember me to them. Was your father chief accountant at Demba after mine? Dad went on to work in the Georgetown office and was very happy there until they left for Tobago before the company was nationalized.

        Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — April 2, 2017 @ 8:44 pm

      • Hi Pat I will remember you to my parents; and yes, my father must have been chief accountant after your dad!
        so strange making these connections after all these years! so many people who were there seemed to ahve such fond memories of life there!
        Best wishes Andrew

        Comment by Andrew Mallinson — April 2, 2017 @ 10:11 pm

  261. Thats too funny. YES we had air-conditioning. What work did your parents do there Alethea. Are you close to my age? I was born in 1963

    Comment by karen — March 23, 2017 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

  262. Hi again. I was born in 1965 so yes we are pretty close in age. My dad worked for the Bauxite industry. His name is Jim Blackman. The only job title I can remember he had in the 1970s was Production Co-ordinator. My mum was a ‘stay at home mum’. When did you leave Guyana?

    Comment by Alethea Blackman — March 24, 2017 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  263. I jJUST emailed you debbie!!

    Comment by karen — March 30, 2017 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

  264. David what year were you born!!!
    I’m. Sure I remember you
    We got a kitten from you

    Comment by Karen — March 31, 2017 @ 5:50 pm | Reply

  265. Hi Karen my name is andrew; david is my younger brother. I was born in 1963 and we left Guyana in 1967/68…so I was small!
    my email is racmallinson@hotmail.com

    Comment by Andrew Mallinson — March 31, 2017 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

    • Hi Andrew my dad was not the Fraser your dad remembers. My Dad never really worked for Demba–he worked for The Trust which was on Arvida Road near the bank (Guyana Bank).

      Comment by Debbie "Fraser" Baldwin — March 31, 2017 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

  266. Hi Andrew! well it must be another david. I also was born in 1963. But we moved there when I was around 8 or 9
    SO wonderful though to connect with people who lived there. its like such a awesome memory in my childhood.. probably my best memories. so does anyone remember the teacher MR OTTO. For some reason he was a huge impact join my life in a positive way!Maybe some one has pictures or knowledge of how he is if he’s still alive?

    Comment by karen — April 1, 2017 @ 3:44 am | Reply

    • HI Karen you are right; so many great memories! where is home for you now?

      Comment by Andrew Mallinson — April 2, 2017 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  267. I live in Alberta Canada. Are you on Facebook? I have connected there with some of my awesome neighbours from Guyana.. 🙂
    karen Blais Moger

    CAROL AND LORNE QUINN LIVE ABOUT 1 HOUR from me!! that was a shock. after all these years. carole and Lorn were extremely close friends with my mom and dad.

    Comment by karen — April 2, 2017 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

    • Karen – it is such a small world. I met Carol and Lorne at a Demba reunion many years ago now, in Orangeville, Ontario and Tom Wilson was also there with his second wife Maureen. I often what became of Laraine or Lorraine – his first wife with whom he had a daughter – I wonder if she is in touch with the Quinns, since I think they were Mackenzie friends. I don’t know of course if Tom is tuned into this site, so I apologize in advance if he takes offense at this question. Lorraine was a friend of mine too. (I like bringing people together.)

      Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — April 2, 2017 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

      • That should be of course: I often wonder what became of …

        Comment by Pat Hunte-Cusack — April 2, 2017 @ 8:56 pm

  268. does anyone know what happened to the NARELLS I’m not sure if thats the right spelling. They daughter I hung out with a lot who wore a prosthetic leg
    I also remember a girl who stuck out in my mind all these years. She was a bully in my class .her name was MARLENE

    Comment by karen — April 2, 2017 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  269. Hi Pat & Andrew – I find both your names to be very familiar but I’m not quite sure. When were you there? I lived in Mackenzie in 57-58 and was in grade 7 at the Watooka school – Miss Macdonald was my teacher in a very small class of maybe 6 or 8 pupils. I do remember an Alan Hunt – we played together several times – would that be your brother Pat? I am 71 now & was 12 then in 57-58.
    Have very fond memories of the Demba Club pool & the annual Christmas party for us kids – as well as Saturday morning kids’ movies at the cinema & then having lemonade & popcorn at some kind lady’s home nearby
    – AND also learning how to play snooker at the Sprostons Club !
    My father was Rowley Atkinson (worked for Sprostons) & my mother’s name was Kath – we lived on River Road next door to the Ballard, Wong & Gale families.
    Let me know,
    David Atkinson
    Naples, FL

    Comment by David Atkinson — April 2, 2017 @ 10:05 pm | Reply

    • Hi David
      we were there from 1960 to 1966 so don’t think it could have been me! Sorry!
      Andrew

      Comment by Andrew Mallinson — April 4, 2017 @ 11:01 am | Reply

  270. I wish I knew How to post pictures on here. My dad was LARRY BLAIS and mom was LORNA BLAIS Dad was a civil engineer.
    Mom is the only one left now and she has extreme alzeimers and dementia. She does still smile when I talk about Guayana.
    I haven’t been in contact with CAROL AND LORNE recently since mom got so ill. But I do have pictures of them here at our home for my moms birthday 4 years ago.
    They used to drive to BC and see mom and dad in Vernon every year. But I moved mom here when dad passed away.
    MOM and Dad had a lot of get together parties at our home.

    Does anyone remember (wrong spelling I’m sure) CORZGANOUSKIs.???

    Comment by karen — April 3, 2017 @ 5:34 am | Reply


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