Tag Archives: British Guiana (Guyana)

GUYANA: History: Summarising the 1856 ‘Angel Gabriel’ Guyana Riots – By Nigel Westmaas

Artist’s impression of John Sayers Orr by Guyanese Errol Ross Brewster, 2022
Artist’s impression of John Sayers Orr by Guyanese Errol Ross Brewster, 2022

The so called ‘Angel Gabriel’ riots in British Guiana (Guyana) in 1856 has generally been passed over as another of many local riots in the colony. This in spite of the immensity of its size as a riot, its reception at a global level, its layered origins, and of course the international footprint and character of the riot’s main protagonist, John Sayers Orr, whose nom de guerre ‘angel Gabriel’ stuck as an attractive descriptive. But the radical footprint of Orr is no exaggeration. If he had lived in the present, Orr might have be deemed an intercontinental ‘ballistic’ missile.

There are only two known published articles on the 1856 riots in Guyana, namely VO Chan’s “The Riots of 1856 in British Guiana,”(1970)  and Mark Doyle’s  more updated, “The Angel Gabriel in the Tropics: British Guiana 1856” (2016). These and other assessments have focused both on Orr, his apparent aberrant interventions and hold on the masses, and the wider context and undercurrents and conditions prevailing in Guyana that allowed Orr to almost seamlessly intervene.            Continue reading

SHORT STORIES: Glimpses of a Childhood in British Guiana in the 1940s – By Geoff Burrowes

 By Geoff Burrowes

I was born in colonial British Guiana (now Guyana)  into a white, middle class, Anglican family in Kitty Village in 1942. I mention white because BG, as British Guiana was called, was a multicultural society and although our family didn’t discuss race it was easy to see that not everybody looked the same as we did!

       Middle class because we never missed a meal and had a maid, a cook and a gardener. Our food was plain but tasty and nourishing: breakfast was normally plantain porridge and cocoa, lunch was generally rice, meat or fish with sides of cassava, fried or green plantain and occasionally, ugh, ochro (slippery, slimy ochro). And we called lunch breakfast or brekfuss. Our maid Nanny Cleo and our cook, Ina Murray were unfailingly kind and along with our parents made sure we behaved properly. My mum and dad made sure that we treated them with respect and listened to them.          Continue reading

GUYANA: Logging History: MANAKA vs STAMPA back in the day – by Francis Quamina Farrier

 – by Francis Quamina Farrier

You could be one of about a hundred persons reading that headline, who would know exactly what this article will relate. In fact, you would be jumping for joy to realize that the sporting interactions of “MANAKA” and “STAMPA” of decades ago are remembered and written about, after all these years. You would also immediately know that this article will recall the glorious days of those two British owned and operated British Guiana timber concessions, which are located on the Essequibo River.

Both had a glorious era of Guianese and British Guiana history of logging. There were also the memorable occasions when sports teams from both locations engaged each other in exciting cricket and football encounters. It was a history which I personally experienced as a youngster, over seven decades ago.          Continue reading

SWEET DRINK: THE LEMONADE PEOPLE and other Community-based bottlers – By Vibert Cambridge

Stabroek News – By August 1, 2021

One is not certain about the first flavors of “sweet drink” to be bottled in British Guiana.  There is high probability that among the first was lemonade.  According to recipes available from the late 19th century, lemonade may have been the dominant early flavor as the syrup could be concocted locally.

According to Hamid Mohamed of the Verdun Soda Water Factory, “the lemonade formula was straight forward—lemon oil extract, white sugar, carbonated water, citric acid, and sodium benzoate.”  This may explain the proliferation of lemonade bottlers in British Guiana from the early 20th century until their virtual extinction during the 1970s.  Collectively, they are referred to as the “Lemonade People.”    Continue reading

Guyana childhood reminiscences: Nuts about planes – By Geoff Burrowes

Guyana childhood reminiscences: Nuts about planes

– By Geoff Burrowes

Art Williama – Grumman Goose

This is not in any way a history of flying in BG. It is merely childhood reminiscences cobbled together for your entertainment!

The roar of the twin Pratt and Whitney radial engines, as the Grumman Goose took off, came clearly into our house and I dropped everything and raced up to our second floor gallery. If I was in time, I could see, in the space between the Parsley’s house and the Willems’ home, the seaplane, banking to head south towards the Interior. If I waited the Goose, gaining height, flew into the clear air over over Durban Park and I had had my daily dose of excitement as it disappeared behind the bulk of the Fernandes’ house, across Brickdam.   Continue reading

Guyana- Fifty years later and we have dropped some good things – commentary

Fifty years later and we have dropped some good things

May 15, 2016 | By KNews | Filed Under Features / Columnists, My Column

Opinion - commentary -analysisThese past weeks I have been caught up with nostalgia. Like so many, I was here when Guyana became independent in 1966. I have seen the transformation that has occurred across the country. Last week I spoke about the Soesdyke/Linden Highway, but I did not even mention the Pegasus and the Bank of Guyana.

Fifty years ago where Pegasus now stands was a large pond. People fished there. After all, that was seafront property. Across the road was a playground; a bank stands there today.

There have been other changes. There was no Tucville or Guyhoc. There was no Festival City or South Ruimveldt. That area is testimony to the housing drive that has occurred over the years. Festival City was created to house the 1972 Carifesta delegation. Guyana had proposed the idea of a cultural festival for the region.    Continue reading

Rare British Guiana stamp sells for record $9.5M at NYC auction

Rare British Guiana stamp set for New York auction

An undated photo of The British Guiana The British Guiana stamp was owned by du Pont chemical empire heir John du Pont
June 17, 2014. –  BBC News/Demerara Waves

An exceedingly rare 19th Century postage stamp from a British colony in South America has sold for a record $9.5m (£5.6m) at auction in New York.

It took only two minutes for the British Guiana one-cent magenta stamp to be sold to an anonymous bidder, The stamp had been sold three times before, each time setting the auction record for a single stamp.  Continue reading

Book Review… Boogie Days – by Albert Cumberbatch

Book Review… Boogie Days by Albert Cumberbatch

Guyanese dance through time hits mark

Boogie DaysApril 7, 2013 | By KNews |  By Dr. Glenville Ashby

Guyanese native, Albert Cumberbatch, hoists readers on his literary wagon, traversing time in this nostalgic novel. The road is a not always smooth, but through the prism of Rudy, a twelve-year-old, trials never seem adversely impactful. Rudy is a typical teen – adventurous, resourceful with an enviable ability to adapt. Boogie Days wastes little time in sowing Rudy’s experiences in Mackenzie, a suburban mining town in the South American country of Guyana. It is removed culturally from the capital, Georgetown, where Rudy lived with his aunt Vannie before being taking away by his mother.

Cumberbatch captures the rich passage of teenage life, baiting the imagination of readers. A sojourn in Berbice for Rudy is culturally awakening. He learns of the Queh Queh, a traditional African dance performed at weddings, and is imbued with country living – natural, unpretentious and earthy. Boogie Days is poignantly spirited, colourful and whimsical.  Continue reading

Colonial Guyana stamp to auction for US$10-20 million

Colonial Guyana stamp to auction for US$10-20 million

The famous British Guiana stamp

The famous British Guiana stamp

Friday, 14 February 2014 14:35
New York, AFP — The world’s most famous postage stamp, the sole-surviving example of a one-cent magenta from British colonial Guyana, is going under the hammer in New York for $10 to $20 million.

Sotheby’s has valued the stamp, which was made under British rule in 1856 when a shipment of stamps from England was delayed, and will sell it on June 17.The “British Guiana One Cent Magenta” has broken a new record for the price of a single stamp the previous three times it was sold at auction since 1922 and has an incredible history.
 Bought most recently by convicted murderer and American multi-millionaire, John du Pont, it has not been seen in public since going on display at a stamp exhibition in Chicago in 1986.  Continue reading

Diplomatic Minutes in Making of South American History – by Odeen Ishmael

Diplomatic Minutes in Making of South American History – by Odeen Ishmael

Ishmael book“The Trail of Diplomacy” is Odeen Ishmael’s illuminating, educational and exciting reading – vital to understanding international diplomacy as a mover of history”.

Author Odeen Ishmael’s contribution to international diplomacy and South American history comes in the form of a book on the Guyana-Venezuela border issue that started in 1840. Guyana today is much less powerful than its neighbor Venezuela, but not at the time of the boundary dispute. Guyana was then British Guiana, a colonial territory of Great Britain.   Continue reading

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