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 : http://www.laparkan.com/fogartys/fogartys/history.html)