Tag Archives: British Guiana

BOOK: Rosaliene Bacchus Releases Debut Novel: Under the Tamarind Tree

 Cover Art by Guyanese-Canadian Artist, Joan Bryan-Muss

Rosaliene Bacchus Releases Debut Novel: Under the Tamarind Tree

Los Angeles, California, August 12, 2019—Caribbean novelist, Rosaliene Bacchus, born in Guyana, launches her debut novel, Under the Tamarind Tree, a family saga set in then British Guiana during the tumultuous years leading up to independence from Great Britain in 1966. The novel is the mixed fruit of the author’s struggle with abandonment and her concern for persistent, divisive, racist politics in her native land.          Continue reading

Indian Guyanese have much to celebrate on May 5 – By Dr. Devanand Bhagwan

Dear Editor: – May 5, (Indian) Arrival Day is special to me.

As an Indian Guyanese, I reflect on those Indians taking that bold step to leave Hindustan (India) behind and cross the kala pani (black water) into the unknown future. Folks were promised a just reward for indentured servitude, and they were willing to take a chance. They never knew of the slave-like conditions that were awaiting them, but they were a resilient lot.

The Indians endured much hardship. Most of them were sick and many died on the way to British Guiana during the months it took them to reach the promised land. Caste-ism, a societal bane then, as it is now, virtually disappeared because of the dynamics within the ship. Folks from all religions and castes became a virtual family. This jehaji (shipmates) familial feeling was so strong that they could have a marriage that involved jehajis!      Continue reading

The Arrival of East Indians in the Caribbean – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

The Arrival of East Indians in the Caribbean – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine


If you took a plane from JFK Airport to Calcutta the chances are you will be tired by the time you get there. On May 5th 1838 the history of the Caribbean changed dramatically as 396 East Indians landed on the shores of British Guiana.

This was no joyride and there was no time for niceties. The journey from Calcutta to British Guiana was fraught with hardships, and like the slave ships of an earlier era there were deaths on the way. The two ships that landed were the Whitby and the Hesperus. Their cargo was to usher in a new form of slavery that changed the complexion of the colony.

READ MORE: The Arrival of East Indians in the Caribbean

MORE INFORMATION AT THIS LINK: http://www.guyana.org/features/guyanastory/chapter50.html

A history of Buxton Village on the East Coast Demerara. Guyana

A history of Buxton Village on the East Coast Demerara. Guyana

By: Murphy Browne  ©  April 19-2018

In April 1840 Buxton Village was established on the East Coast, Demerara, British Guiana by 128 Africans who had been freed from chattel slavery on August 1st, 1838. The Africans pooled their money and bought a 500-acre plantation, New Orange Nassau from its owner James Archibald Holmes, for $50,000. They named the village Buxton in honour of abolitionist Thomas Fowell Buxton. Buxton was the second village established by Africans in British Guiana. Victoria Village, also on the East Coast of Demerara was purchased in November 1839, by a group of 83 formerly enslaved Africans.     Continue reading

The Search for Oil in Guyana: Past and Present – By Nigel Westmaas

The Search for Oil in Guyana: Past and Present

Nigel Westmaas | Stabroek News – 

But for the name “British Guiana” the title in the image above could have been written in 2016.

Yet, this eerily contemporary statement actually came from a Daily Chronicle editorial published on November 18, 1930, some 86 years ago. The editorial called on British Guianese to be “oil minded” as “the first stepping stone to progress along the lines of oil development…” adding that “there is a fair prospect of the colony developing a lucrative oil industry…”   Continue reading

David Anthony Martins: International Singing Star! – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

David Anthony Martins: International Singing Star! – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Dave Martins

He will tell you that his last name is Martins; people usually leave out the last letter. Martins is a Portuguese name; Dave’s forebears took the boat from Madeira. The stormy seas ended in British Guiana and the Empire has produced a musician that has become an international icon.

Dave Martins and the Trade Winds have etched their names in the folklore of the Caribbean. The Trade Winds is 51 years old and is going strong. Over the years, Dave has given us his wit, vision, and a unique ability to capture the feelings and mood of the people.     Continue reading

The Demerara Window – the Colonial Air Conditioner – By Murtland Haley

The Demerara Window – the Colonial Air Conditioner – By Murtland Haley

‘Red House”. High Street. Kingston. Georgetown

Before Independence in 1966, Guyana, then British Guiana was a colony of Britain. Berbice, Essequibo and Demerara were controlled and occupied by the Dutch, Spanish and French before being ceded to the British in 1814.


In 1831, Essequibo-Demerara and Berbice were combined as one colony, British Guiana. Based on the occupation and colonisation of Guiana by these European nations, much of the initial architectural designs would have been influenced by European style and culture. The buildings bearing these qualities which have survived until today can be described as historic.

Therefore, Guyana’s architectural legacy would be a combination of architectural styles from these colonisers. However, since Britain was the last to leave, Victorian architecture dominated. These styles would have been altered somewhat to accommodate the climatic conditions specific to Guyana.   Continue reading

Lady Sara Lou Carter : July 4, 1923 – December 16, 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016  – http://www.guyanagraphic.com
Sara-Lou Carter on the cover of Hue MagazineSara-Lou Carter on the cover of Jet Magazine
Sara-Lou Carter on the cover of Jet MagazineSara-Lou Carter in 2003
 On Friday, December 16, 2016, Lady Sara Lou Carter of Bethesda, Maryland, died peacefully at the age of 93.

Carter was born in Wilkesboro, North Carolina on July 4, 1923, to James and Esther Harris. After graduating from Bennett College in North Carolina, she taught for a year before moving to New York, where she became a high fashion model breaking many racial barriers and paving the way for women of color that walked the runway after her.    Continue reading

Book: Q&A with Sharon Mass “The Sugar Planter’s Daughter”

Q&A with Sharon Mass “The Sugar Planter’s Daughter”

Today is my turn on the Blog Tour for “The Sugar Planter’s Daughter” by Sharon Maas. I am delighted to welcome Sharon here and thrilled that she has agreed to answer some questions about her writing and the novel. So, no more from me – over to Sharon!

The Sugar Plamterès daughterHello Sharon! Thanks so much for joining me! You clearly have a good knowledge of the country in which you set your novel. Could you tell me a little bit about your background and travels?

I grew up in the capital of British Guiana, as it was then called, Georgetown. Back then Georgetown was known as The Garden City, one of the most beautiful cities in the Caribbean. The atmosphere, for a child, was mellow, friendly; we had a lot of freedom, and my memories are full of fruit trees, beautiful gardens, fun at school, friends, uncles and aunts, trips to the beach or to the creeks in the Interior. This was MY British Guiana, though; I grew up in a middle-class family so I am privileged. There was of course the dark underbelly of colonialism.    Continue reading

“Jubilee Main Street, Georgetown” – by Francis Quamina Farrier + photos

“Jubilee Main Street, Georgetown” – by Francis Quamina Farrier

 Francis Quamina Farrier

Francis Quamina Farrier

Back in the 1970s, when on a visit to Guyana, the late President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania in East Africa, while addressing a gathering at a Welcome Reception in the Promenade Gardens in Georgetown, said that he planned to visit Main Street. That statement by the visiting president drew loud laughter from the gathering. The Honoured Guest responded with some anxiety, “It looks like I will have to go there in a hurry.” The laughter was even louder. Where-upon, someone whispered to President Nyerere the real reason why there was that uproar of laughter.

Back in those ‘innocent’ years of Guyana, there was the popular “Cambridge Hotel” on Main Street, in Georgetown, which had a very sordid and well-known reputation of being a high-class brothel. Those present at that august gathering, were allowing their naughty minds to imagine the Tanzanian President, desiring to be a client.   Continue reading

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