Tag Archives: Radio Demerara

Chapter 5: Immigrants – And then there was TV! – By Geoff Burrowes

– By Geoff Burrowes – Short Stories

Shortly after moving into our new apartment in Toronto Canada, Norma’s Dad changed our lives.

In Guyana at that time there was no TV. We got our news and entertainment from the radio or boombox! The radio stations, ZFY, which became Radio Demerara and the new startup GBS were state of the art, professionally run radio stations that gave Georgetown news, soap operas, a wide range of music and opinions from erudite, knowledgeable people. Olga Lopes Seale, Rafiq Khan, Ulric Gouveia, Cliff Leeming and the Ovaltinees, Randolf Proffit, Claude Vieira, Vic Insanally, Hugh Cholmondely, Ron Robinson, Vivian Lee and Lenny Hares of “Crabfoot and Lightning” fame were some of the names I can remember now.    Continue reading

Guyana: Don’t Mess with Christmas and Independence – by Francis Quamina Farrier + 2 Videos /Photos

– by Francis Quamina Farrier

Folks stop me all the time to share some of the things which bother them as citizens of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana, asking me to write about whatever the issue is. John’s issue was about two special days on the Guyanese calendar – Christmas and Independence. Since we are now in the Festive Season I was not surprised that he wanted to bare his soul about some of what bothered him regards this particular year-end Holiday.

“Too commercialized”, he blurted out, regards the Pre-Christmas commercial activities as one of those “Music Carts” went by blasting “All I want for Christmas is You” by Maria Carey. Incidentally, after twenty five years, that very popular Christmas song has finally reached Number One on the charts this year, 2019. Deep inside, I thought to myself that the commercial activities at the end of the year which includes the Christmas Holidays, are all part of the culture of many countries around the world, including our own Beautiful Guyana.        Continue reading



Broadcasting House, Georgetown, British Guiana 1964

Caribbean radio has a long, illustrious history. In the days before television, videos and the like, radio was the people’s main source of news and entertainment. Guyana had its first radio station, ZFY on the air as early as 1935, even before the CBC in Canada in 1936, and not long after the BBC in England, 1922.

ZFY was accompanied by stations VB3BG and VP3MR, followed by Radio Demerara in the 1940s and BGBS in the 1950s. Incidentally, ZFY, which was located by the Main Post Office in Georgetown, burned to the ground in the great fire of February 1945, the week when I was born.  Continue reading

Veteran broadcaster Rafiq Khan passes away – updated

Veteran broadcaster Rafiq Khan passes away

Rafiq Khan

Rafiq Khan

Guyanese broadcaster Rafiq Khan passed away in Kingston, Jamaica on October 10. He was 82.

Khan was highly regarded in the field of broadcasting and played a significant role in what was considered a golden period of radio in Guyana. He was a former Programme Director of Radio Demerara (1956) which was later merged into the state broadcaster.

Later, he became Management Consultant to the Rediffusion Group of Broadcasting Systems in the Caribbean. After resigning from the Company in 1978, he served regional communication organizations in various positions.  Continue reading

A Guyanese Christmas – by Ron Cheong

A Guyanese Christmas

 By Ron Cheong

Old GT Xmas

No one wanted the season to come and go without marking some meaningful change in their life, however small that change might be.  They didn’t want the season to come and go, leaving them as it had found them.  And this frame of mind was reflected in the sense of expectancy as Christmas approached that year and carols from Radio Demerara filled the air.

Wit hardly a break in between, I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas came on after Bill Rogers’ Jimmy Black Pudding and Souse, and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. And even though most of those listening had neither seen nor expected to see a white Christmas that did nothing to dampen the enjoyment.

Read article:  A Guyanese Christmas – By Ron Cheong

History of Radio in British Guiana

This entry was inserted on March 29, 2010. Some new readers may not have seen it so we have re-blogged it. It will surely bring back memories.

Guyanese Online


The Ovaltine Show was a show for the little people. In this picture, the real stars are in the front row. Can you identify them?

Behind them – left to right – are Rafiq Khan (Program Director), M. R. Lam (Agent for Ovaltine), Unidentified Person,  Olga Lopes-Seale (Announcer) and E. R. Burrowes (Quiz Master).


Radio broadcasts were started in Guyana (then British Guiana) in the 1920s by a number of enthusiasts. In 1926, just 4 years after the British Broadcasting Company (later the British Broadcasting Corporation) started regular broadcasting in Britain, there was a small wired service that relayed broadcasts, especially from the BBC’s Daventry transmitter, over the Georgetown telephone system. From 1927, however, experimental short wave broadcasts (on 47 meters and later on 43.86 meters) were introduced for two hours a week. This lasted until 1931 when economic considerations brought the effort…

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Vivian Lee passes at the age of 93

Vivian Lee passes at the age of 93

By Cyril Bryan – Guyanese Online

Isabelle and Vivian Lee with the late Olga Lopes-Seale taken in Barbados in July 2010 (pix by Guyanese Online)

Vivian Lee, one of the pioneers of early broadcasting and entertainment in the 1950s at Radio Demerara, and who ran a successful advertising and music business in Guyana up to the late 1970’s, passed on August 16 at the age of 93.

Vivian and his wife Isabelle resided in Vancouver, British Columbia, since 1985 after spending seven years in France. In Vancouver he was one of the founders of the Guyanese Cultural Association of BC in 1986, after a visit there by then President Desmond Hoyte brought out the Guyanese in British Columbia Canada, and started the process.    Continue reading

US wants independent Guyana broadcast authority ; disagrees with self-censorship

US wants independent Guyana broadcast authority ; disagrees with self-censorship  May 2, 2012 – Demerara Waves

The United States on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day- Thursday- welcomed Guyana’s move to end the decades-old government monopoly on radio broadcasting but called on government to ensure a fair system in granting radio station licenses.

“Going forward, it is vital that this process comes under the purview of an impartial and transparent national broadcast authority,” American Ambassador to Guyana, Brendt Hardt Wednesday night told a media reception at his residence in honour of World Press Freedom Day.

Those present included journalists, state and private media managers, opposition politicians, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and President Donald Ramotar.  Continue reading

An Interview with “Auntie Olga”

An Interview with “Auntie Olga”

This is an interview with  the late Olga Lopes-Seale (“Auntie Olga”) that was recorded in 1990 by the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados. Olga Lopes she was born on December 26, 1919, and passed on February 4,2011 at the age of 92.

In this interview “Auntie Olga” talks about her early life in Guyana; her early entry to broadcasting as an entertainer in Berbice; her broadcasting experiences and work in Guyana; her move to Barbados, the birthplace of her late husband; her entry into broadcasting at the Redifusion radio studios in Barbados; her charitable work which started in Guyana and continued in Barbados and her experiences while living in Guyana and Barbados.

We hope that you enjoy listening to her story!…..

Many thanks to Peter Halder for making us aware of this video.
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