My Island Leguan Blog

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Remember Fogarty’s store? July 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Leguanite @ 5:17 pm
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Back in the day going to Georgetown and entering Fogarty’s or Bookers was a big experience for a little girl or boy. These stores were neat and clean and organized along North American lines not like the jambalaya, cook rice assortment and decor of local stores. It was here I saw my first “Father Christmas” – the big fat white man with a long white beard and shiny blue eyes.  The building was air conditioned and coming from Leguan I felt I had died and gone to heaven. Funny thing though most of the sales people, front desk clerks etc  were all beautiful fair-skinned people . Black people were kept in the back doing grunge work I suppose.   Things are different now. Let’s hope Guyana continue to move forward and I hope some real changes come about in this new election which I will have something to say about later.


History of Wm Fogarty Store, Georgetown, British Guiana
As a child growing up in Guyana (then British Guiana), you became familiar with the name of Wm Fogarty from your first step.  That applied to your parents and grandparents.  Fogarty’s Store was there at that time and will still be here for generations to come.

From time to time, have you wondered where the Fogarty’s Store came from?  Who established it?  What really is the relevance of Fogarty’s Store that was always present in your life, one that you will look forward to visiting and being assured of the best quality of goods and services?

Here is a peek into the history of Fogarty’s Store

In 1885, an Irishman, Mr. William Fogarty, visited Barbados for health reasons.  After a while, he set up a business there, which did not do well.  Sometime later, he came to British Guiana as it was then called.  Seeing that this country had possibilities of doing business, he then ventured to Ireland and bought merchandise which he started selling using a donkey cart.  At that time, he employed an old man to assist him in selling his goods.
Being a visionary and businessman with a flourishing business, he realized that it was time to get his own place to sell his merchandise.  He purchased a brick building at 21 Water Street, Georgetown, and later at 20 Water Street, where he set up his Wholesale Department Store.  In 1892, William Fogarty business started in the then British Guiana.  By 1906, the business was a demanding and flourishing one, so he expanded and purchased the Philharmonic Hall, where the first retail store was housed.
In 1911, Mr. Fogarty purchased the property at 34-37 Water Street, Georgetown.  William Fogarty Limited was then registered as a private Company in British Guiana.

On that black Friday of 23rd February, 1945, fire destroyed many businesses in Water Street, including the Fogarty’s Building; that did not deter Mr. Fogarty from rebuilding his business.  On October 19, 1950, the new building that is the present store reopened its doors to the public with 24 Departments.

In 1987, the Laparkan Group of Companies, a large Guyanese-owned and operated consortium, acquired William Fogarty Limited.

The William Fogarty’s Store now houses a number of Departments and provides a wide range of services including – Supermarket, Supermart, Pharmacy, Gift Shoppe, Cafeteria, Ready-Wear, Home Furnishing, Electronics/Home Appliances, Travel Agency, Office Supplies, Money Transfer Agency, Cambio and Consumer Lending.

At present, the William Fogarty’s Store operates three branches in the Berbice region at New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, and Corriverton.

When at Fogarty’s Store in Water Street, did it occur to you that your grandparents were at one time standing where you are? 
(taken from Laparkan web-site :


Are you ready to return to Guyana to do your part? July 11, 2011

Filed under: Creole,Essequibo — Leguanite @ 2:24 pm
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: Insights of a Peace Corps Worker in Guyana

I heard Professor Richard Allsopp say in his presentation

at the Vancouver Public Library a few years ago, ‘If I had to

teach today – I wouldn’t …’ or something to that effect. -clyde 

Welcome to the beautiful Essequibo Coast – my new home for the next two
years! I am super excited to be living in Region 2. The area is lush, clean,
and much more rural than where I have been training the past 7 weeks. It’s
so peaceful; the people are so nice and I feel really safe. One of the
setbacks of the trip was that I showed up and learned that the house I am
supposed to live in after training is already being rented out. There was
some miscommunication between the Peace Corps and the landlord/landlord’s
daughter. The Peace Corps talked to the landlord’s daughter instead of the
landlord and she was unaware that 2 men were renting it out for when they
come to stay on the Coast.  No worries though. I was able to find a house
just down the road, which is brand new and really cute. I wasn’t able to see
inside because they are still working on it, but I think it’s going to be
just fine. I’m excited to start furnishing it and decorating. I, of course,
am going to paint a mural inside. J

The school that I work at is called Riverstown Primary School and is
pictured above. I’m able to walk to the school each day, which is so nice. I
can save on travel money AND get some exercise. The walk to school is so
beautiful and I feel like it’s something out of a book/movie. I walk down
this country, dirt road lined with palm trees, to an old, wooden school
house in the middle of a rice field. The bottom level of the school houses
grades 1 – 3 and the top 4 – 6. There aren’t any walls separating the
classes, so it’s very loud, unstructured and unproductive. I will definitely
have my work cut out for me. I will be working alongside the Head Mistress
teaching grade 4. The head mistress wants me to focus mainly on literacy,
but is also very excited about my education in music. She gave me permission
to start a choir or any other music program I want. I know I will be able to
use music in a lot of my teaching as well. All of the teachers are extremely
nice and I felt very welcomed.

Some of the challenges of my area include transportation. There’s not much
of it after 6pm. In general, the minibuses and cars are much scarcer in
Region 2 than Region 3 (where we train) and after 6pm they are few and far
between. We have to be careful to plan around this to ensure we don’t get
stranded somewhere alone at night. Some of the current volunteers on the
Coast gave us phone numbers of taxi drivers they trust and use when they are
out later at night.

There are only two more weeks of training until we swear in as official
Peace Corps Volunteers. Woot woot! Our swearing in ceremony is in Georgetown
on April 13th, followed by the 50th Anniversary Party. We are all very
excited and anxious. Some of the women in our group, including myself, had
traditional Hindu Saris made for the ceremony. We went to Georgetown to pick
out our material and found a seamstress to take our measurements and sew the
dresses. We should be getting them shortly.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned!

Creolese word of the day:  slippers = flip flops/sandals.

As you see this can be a lot of fun. I encourage Guyanese and especially people from Leguan to return to the Island and help our people develop their fullest potential. Does someone has a business idea to create some oasis for people to go on retreats? I think that would be great. Think about it.