New Book: CHILDREN of WATOOKA – A Story of British Guiana – By Steve Connolly

CHILDREN of  WATOOKA – A Story of British Guiana

Children of WatookaBy Steve Connolly

Step into an extraordinary and fascinating world … little known, but immensely remarkable and hollering for attention … formerly British Guiana, now Guyana. Learn about the country’s captivating history from before slavery/indenture through to modern times. Learn about some of its outstanding people both within/without the country.

Entwining history with people, the book is a ‘story of stories’. Over eighty-five people of five races have contributed to make fascinating reading. Five notable people have endorsed the content.

Follow the stories of Guyanese people, as well as of expatriates from Britain, Canada, Holland and the U.S., and, particularly those of the Canadian Connolly family, as the centre of the more general story focuses throughout the middle of the twentieth century in the village of Watooka nestled in the former rainforest area of Mackenzie, now known as Linden.  

The reader will also learn about the incredible and little known ties between Guyana and Canada and about the bauxite/aluminum industry. Working together, the two countries produced forty percent of the aluminum used by the Allies for airplane production to win WWII. Detailed drama stories of this, of torpedoed bauxite ships and of survivors prevail.

The unique and unsurpassed flora and fauna of the country are highlighted so as to entrance the reader.

Children of Watooka is published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Guyana’s independence.


Steve Connolly

Steve Connolly

STEVE CONNOLLY was born in 1943 in Mackenzie, British Guiana, to Canadian parents. His family left British Guiana when he was only four months of age when they subsequently lived in Arvida, Quebec, Canada, and then in Texas City, Texas, U.S.A. The family returned to British Guiana in 1950 for three years, and it is this period of time that the author fondly remembers and that gave him the impetus to write Children of Watooka.

The author enjoyed his teenage years at Kitimat, British Columbia, starting in 1954. He obtained his degree in advanced electrical engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1965 and since then obtained management training at several other universities.

Upon graduation, he worked almost five years for Computing Devices of Canada in Ottawa helping to design/develop anti-submarine warfare technology for Canadian destroyer ships. By 1982, he had risen to the V.P. level at the Bank of Montreal in Toronto, in the function of computer systems and operations. Later, he managed large informatics organizations in two ministries of the Federal government in Ottawa before his last work posting as Assistant Commissioner for Informatics with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

After forty years in the field of computer systems, he retired with his wife, Carolyn, at their farm in the Gatineau Hills of Quebec. They have two children, Todd and Julie, and five grandchildren.

  • ISBN: 978-1-910553-43-5
  • BINDING: Hardback
  • SIZE: 236mm x 156mm
  • PAGES: 344
  • PRICE: $40.00 / £18.99
  • ISBN: 978-1-910553-39-8
  • BINDING: Paperback
  • SIZE: 228mm x 152mm
  • PAGES: 344
  • PRICE: $30.00 / £14.99
  • PUBLICATION DATE: January 2016
  • Email:

Download: Marketing Flyer – Children of Watooka – By Steve Connolly

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 01/22/2016 at 12:38 am

    Thanks for the info. Sounds like a must-read.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/20/2016 at 2:47 pm

    An unsolicited review by V. Miller follows:

    A frank, funny, fantastically intelligent memoire is recommended in;
    Steve Connolly’s; Children of Watooka. A Story of British Guiana.

    In its pages you will again meet old friends, like Sam Hinds, Bobby Moore and
    Megan Cromwell. You will enjoy the transformative experiences of re-living your childhood in good old B.G.

    To get your copy, buy from: – for less than 15 pounds. Consider this as an investment in your living memory.
    or, Email:

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/25/2016 at 7:43 am

    Hi, all …

    Jennifer is one of the five endorsers of my book. This nice feedback, for which I am very grateful, helps to make my past hard work worthwhile and will allow those of you who have not yet seen the book to have, hopefully, a greater anticipation for it.

    Some of you, and many others, have been doing wonderful work to help promote the book … I am so grateful for that also. Thank you.

    Steve Connolly

    Hello Steve:

    Your lovely book arrived yesterday. Thank you very much for this valuable gift and for your kind reference. Needless to say, I am happy to know that our conversations over the past few years were helpful. You should be very proud of this very worthwhile contribution to the history and literature of Guyana.

    I hope this finds you and your family well. Perhaps we can meet one of these days when we visit the Ottawa area.

    Thanks again and kindest regards.

    Jennifer Hosten

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/08/2016 at 7:38 am


    A few weeks ago, one of my Facebook friends from Guyana asked if I remembered the “Lady-boats” and asked what were the names? I was at a total loss, until a carton with copies of the books “Children of Watooka” arrived and I perused my copy in anticipation. Voilà, there it is, in all her majesty, one of the Lady-boats – RMS Lady Hawkins – the Royal Mail Ship that was torpedoed by the German Navy in the Caribbean Sea and the tragic loss of the lives of guests returning to Canada from the wedding of the parents of the author in Georgetown, British Guiana.

    I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to purchase a copy of the book. Steve intends to provide every school child in Linden [Watooka/Mackenzie/Wismar] with a copy. Your purchase will assist in covering the costs.

  • demerwater  On 04/08/2016 at 10:04 am

    Mention of the “Lady Boats” took me back to nineteen fifty – something; when Canadian National Steamships ceased operating a schedule that included ‘British Guiana’.
    Sprostons was the local agent and Sprostons was a major employer in Albuoystown / La penitence area.
    And so, as the ‘Lady Nelson’ made a U-turn from La Penitence wharf to head out to the Atlantic, stentorian horns blaring all the way, men and women expressed their sentiments and we, children, wondered what it was all about.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/10/2016 at 9:11 am

    Some word-of-mouth promotions:

    Carmen Subryan is a well-known Guyana-born, professor/author in the U.S.A. She is a friend and she gets good mention in my book.

    Ned Blair is an outstanding leader in the Guyanese community in Toronto and is well known also in the northeastern U.S.A. He is doing an outstanding job to promote the book … has already bought 48 books from me and is almost sold out. Clyde Duncan is helping out in British Columbia where he is well known and has ordered 24 books.

    Steve Connelly – Author Children of Watooka

    I am absolutely fascinated by this book; it is a work of art, and the details are extraordinary. Do you have any more copies? Some folks are asking. Also, I put the flyer on Facebook and got some responses. I told them to check with the publisher.

    Carmen Subryan – Author of Black-Water Women, Black-Water People and Black-Water Children

    Glad you like the book. Coming from you, it’s heartwarming knowing you are a writer yourself with multiple publications.

    Be sure to keep in touch.

    Best regards,

    Ned Blair

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/16/2016 at 12:53 am

    I yanked a couple of words from the preface in the front of the book because I am having to answer questions about “what is it about?” — get a copy and read it, I say, it is about [British Guiana] Guyana ….

    Dick Evans – former CEO Aluminum Company of Canada in the preface stated [in part] that it is a collection of observations by a maturing man – a documentary in 3-bold parts:

    First, a lead-up to World War II and the grave reality of the war itself from the perspective of one of the Allies’ most critical supply outposts – Demerara, British Guiana, South America.

    Second, is the return of the author to his birthplace Watooka, Demerara and childhood experiences in a unique setting that would soon be transformed forever.

    Third, is a collection of observations at the changes engulfing his childhood home in British Guiana …. with hope, sympathy, tinges of sadness and ultimately acceptance.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/18/2016 at 9:04 am

    The author’s plan is to gift a copy of the book to every school child in Linden, so aside from being informed, purchasers of the books are contributing to an effort to show what Guyana’s sons and daughters can be:

    Hi Steve

    Congrats again on the publication of your extraordinary book “Children of Watooka”. Unlike Dexter Hutt, who, incidentally, was in the same class with my sister Shirley Barclay, I digested each chapter, absorbing the details with true amazement. The level of your research is mind boggling, and, as we communicated over the years, I wondered how you would arrange all that information. Well, you have done a masterful job; indeed, it seems as if you have left out nothing. I have been singing the praises of this book which should be read and treasured not only by Guyanese near, far, and wide, but also by others who do not know much about Guyana, especially its contribution to the war effort. (Even here in the U.S.A., many only associate the country with Jim Jones!)

    You have made Guyanese proud of their heritage, mostly because many do not usually consider the international implications of this little area in South America (not South Africa!! or Ghana!!). You, yourself, are a true Renaissance man, (I bet you have read every one of the thousands of books in your library), and your melding of history, literature, as well as the Arts throughout the book is especially amazing. Once again, congrats on your magnum opus.

    By the way, I, as well as several of my siblings, received Demba – [Demerara Bauxite-Alcan] or Ladies of Watooka scholarships to MHS – [Mackenzie High School]. Also, I put the book info on Facebook and got several inquiries, so I referred those interested to the publisher.

    Carmen Subryan
    Author of Black-Water Women, Black-Water People and Black-Water Children

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