This picture was taken out in February 1966 when Queen Elizabeth 11 visited Guyana then BG. It was only one month earlier in January 1966, that Mrs Lyla Kissoon lost her late husband, Alston KIssoon in a plane crash. Alston was on a business trip to India and on his return flight to BG via London, UK, the plane crashed into Mount Blanc, France, killing all the passengers aboard. About three years after Alston's death, Lyla re-married Hemraj Kissoon a close relative of her late husband. I think the Kissoons were originally from upper Corentyne.
Mrs Lyla Kissoon, is quite a business magnate and one of the few women in Guyana and the Caribbean to head one of the largest group of companies, the Kissoon Group, consisting of diversified industries. Their flagship store was the furniture giant, AH& L Kissoon Furniture at the junction of Robb and Camp St, Georgetown. Lyla, formerly a Sankar, also came from a business family as her late father, Amin Sankar, was a business magate who had a store on Water St, GT and owned a sugar estate in neighbouring Dutch Guiana. I think the Sankar family roots were also from the upper Corentyne. I believe our Arnold Lachana knows the Sankar family very well.
Like the Queen, Lyla who is now in her 80's, still leads an active lifestyle. She is at the helm of the Kissoon business empire and still finds time to be actively involved in charitable works. She has won numerous awards and plaques and is an epitome of a woman to emulate.
PS. The gentleman in the picture looks like Sir Ralph Gray, former Governor of BG but I am not too sure. When this picture was taken out in February 1966, Sir Richard Luyt had already replaced Sir Ralph Gray as governor of BG. Anyone has an idea who could this person be?
Sir Richard Luyt (pronounced "late") was an avid cricketer who tried to heal the racial tensions of BG by means of cricket matches played throughout the country. He himself played in these matches. I saw him at Uitvlugt where he despatched several short deliveries to the square leg boundary. By his detractors he was nicknamed "Sir Richard of the bat and ball." The governor was quite athletic-looking. This photo is certainly not that of Sir Richard Luyt.
We are all educated by Syd's impeccable memory and his encyclopaedic knowledge. Lyla Kissoon is indeed worthy of recognition. This website has done well by posting her photograph with our beautiful young queen. I am so pleased that age has not withered or custom staled the infinite variety of these two outstanding women.
Bravo Syd, bravo Rishi. The history of our country has not been without glamour and charm. Deep beneath this debonair exterior lies a beauty too deep for tears. We of rustic Guyana know it as it existed in the hearts of our parents and neighbours. It has been eulogized in the immortal words of Thomas Gray and recognized on this site by no less a literary giant than Paris Singh:
"Let not Ambition mock their useful toil
Their homely joys and destiny obscure
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor."
the kissoons were from bush lot, corentyne. hemraj kissoon, lyla's second husband, is the brother of alston, lyla's first husband.
Yes, Roop is quite correct.
The man could be Lyla's father . The Sankar brothers, Ahmad and Amin, were short, stout and light skinned. They were originally from Springlands now Corriverton.The late Mr. Salim Khan was married to their sister's daughter.
Mrs. Kissoon is quite an astute business woman. She inherited the family's genes in having a business acumen. The Sankar brother were racing enthusiasts like the Rahaman's from Corentyne.They owned race horses so it most likely that this photograph was taken at Durban Park.
Syd mentioned the plane crash in which Mr. Kissoon died. None of the bodies were recovered. One of India's foremost scientists also died in that crash, Dr. Homi J. Bhaba ,a graduate of Cambridge University.This brought about speculation of sabotage because this scienist was a world renowned. nuclear phycisist who started the Indian Nuclear Energy Programme. If you are interested, you can read about on Wikipedia, He was a pioneer and a contemporary of the Mahatma and Pandit Jawaharlall Nehru whom he convinced to start the Atomic Energy Program in India.
I knew Salim Khan very well because he was my esteemed colleague at CHS and also because I was a daily visitor to their home in "Portuguese Quarter." I also knew Salim's parents, Mr and Mrs Rahamatullah Khan of No 63 Village but I never knew of Mrs Salim Khan's parentage. I am delighted to be informed now. She was indeed of lighter hue and very pretty. Salim's daughter sometimes blogs on this website. It would be nice to hear from her.
Arnold has added to our knowledge of a prominent Corentyne family. He has also lifted us out of parochialism to international considerations with the "suspicious" plane crash in which a prominent Indian nuclear physicist died.
Thus does our website continue its laudable didactic function.
Arnold, I think you are correct. The man in the picture is Lyla's father, Amin Sankar. Your description of the person fits Amin Sankar whom I have seen in GT a few times. This picture was taken out at Durban Park as the Queen on her tour to Guyana in 1966 did pay a visit, being an ardent horse racing fan.
In the 1960's when I lived in Georgetown, Mr Amin Sankar was living closeby. We were at the junction of Main and Lamaha Streets and he used to live in that magnificent edifice at the corner of Lamaha and Main Streets. Occasionally, I used to walk past this home on my way to and from work at Customs House, on Main Street. The Sankar family members had other homes in GT.
The Sankars' brothers' store was located on Water Street going towards Kingston. They were importers, wholesalers and reatailers of dry goods, hardware, spare parts and agents for the Mercedez Benz motor car. Occasionally, either of the Sankar brothers would visit Customs House to pay import duties but most time was done by their trusted Customs broker. The same had applied to Alston and Kemraj Kissoon who were also major importers.
The Sankars' sister name was Batulan Khan( Salim Khan's mother in law). Salim had a sister, Baby and a nephew, Dean Khan who were my classmates at CHS.
The gentleman in the photo with Lyla and HM QE II is Mr. Amin Sankar. My father worked for him. I met him when I was a young lad, and now I am married to his eldest granddaughter. His son Rajah Sankar looks exactly like him
AH&L Kissoon is for Alston,Hemraj and Lyla.
Alston`s mother was a Chickerie and sister of my uncle Charles Naresh Chickerie of Wellington Park.
She was married to Backra Kissoon of No 60 village and they were four brothers.
Joseph,Alsto,Hemraj and Churchill.
They lived opposite to my sister`s in laws Bhagroo at no 60 village.
Sankar,the father in law,also had an estate at Mihcony and Shadeed Hussein was the manager.He was the guy that killed Dr Candisingh with the DESTO,PF29 for Shyra .
He also had the dealership for Austin Cambridge in Georgetown.
Lyla bought a sugar estate for her daughter,Dr Janet Kisson in Barbados.
We were always meet in Barbados when we had our time share there.
You've got it all wrong Narine ramsarran. The name of the guy involved in the death of Dr. Chandisingh was Shaheed Sankar, one of the Sankar brothers who managed Hope Estate. And, the lady's name was Shira not Shyra. The car was a DeSoto, not DESTO. Get your facts straight before publishing.
I apologize for the inaccuracies, Ms. Chandisingh. I think some of them may be typos.
Yasmin Chandisingh is correct.My uncle did manage Hope Estate and the car was a Desoto.It was of a red and white colour.My parents never had the Austin franchise but were the importers of Mercedes Benz,Datsun,and Volkswagen cars.They also owned Park Estate at Mahaicony ,Maida Estate ,and Waterloo Estate in Suriname.It was not my father who raced our horses but my mother.Furthermore it was my mother who created the wealth with her day starting at 3.00am and concluding at 8.00pm.My mother was the complete woman who was a wonderful mother ,a fantastic cook ,an enthusiastic gardener as was evidenced by our home in Main Street.She ran our home with precision,saw to our needs and encouraged all of us to do well at school.The person with Lyla is my late father.Sadly there are no photos of my Mom meeting the Queen but i have the most wonderful photos of my parents meeting Queen Juliana and Prince Berhnard of the Netherlands in Nickerie.Why there is so much silence on the major part my Mom played in creating the Sankar dynasty is a mystery to me.Perhaps the subscribers should read an article written by my late sister Betty when she took to task an article in the Stabroek News solely about my sister Lyla and which simply ignored our Mother.iI sincerely hope this helps to enlighten you
One more point of correction.Lyla's daughter in Barbados is named Anne not Janet and she does not own a sugar plantation.Please get your facts right.
One more point of correction..Sankar Bros in water street was owned by my father and mother and not by the two brothers.My uncle in Camp Street had nothing to do with the business in Water Street.If you choose to comment on the family please get your facts correct and do not write things based on assumption.You can always contact the family to ascertain the true picture.
This is for Yasmin Chandesingh. I remember you well. I remember the passing of Dr Chandesingh, your father.
I attended the Congregational school and all the students loved you dearly.
Please be advise unless you are a sankar or a kissoon please do not write about my family . please get your facts correct. A.H&L stand for ; Alston Hemnarine and Lyla KIssoon not Hemraj. . She is my Aunty and he was my uncle . Yesvthat is the picture of Grandpa Sankar.
As I have started a quest in trying to find my roots and creating a family tree I have stumbled upon your blog. I live in Suriname and am the great granddaughter of Mrs. Jaitoon who was the sister of Mrs. Batulan. I would really love for any of the above (or any other) family members to contact me. I not only feel excited about all of the information I could get, but also of getting to know the family. Ofcourse you can also contact me through my facebook page.
Dear family, I am also related to the Sankar family. My dad is a nepvew of mr Amin Sankar, son of Batulan Khan, my grandmother, and a cousin of Lyla. His name: Esau Khan. At the agethe age of appr. 12 years, his dear uncle Amin took care of him and so hè arrived and stayed at Waterloo Estate, Nickerie. So I met my uncles Radja and Feward in Amsterdam. I never met aunty Layla, But my dad told me about her. In Surinam I met aunty Naaza Ashim, also a cousin of my dad. I never met my grandmother in person, I only have an old picture of her. Esau Khan died in november 1990 at the age of 75.
Esau Rudolf Khan, sorry about your father’s passing.
Esau Rudolf Khan, I found a Esau Khan living in T on FB. I sent a private message. Not sure if that is you. Uncle Rajah passed away some years ago. His son Fuad is in Canada. Not sure which Uncle Fuad you are referring to. You should call Aunt Naza. She is always happy to speak with family and has a very clear memory.
Hello all, my name is Fuad (yes, another Fuad living in Canada ) Sankar. My father’s name was Mursalene Sankar, and his father’s name was Hashim Sankar from Corentyne. I recognize some of the names mentioned on this blog from my dad, when he would speak of him family. Unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to meet or get to know any family members from my dad’s side of the family. I would welcome any information any of you may have on my grandparents.
I would strongly recommend that if you are writing on this website for the first time that you take some time to introduce yourself fully- as Fuad as done. It will help us all to connect with you.
It was a long time ago that I taught at CHS, Fuad- 1958-1961. I remember some Sankars from the Corentyne: they were absolutely brilliant. They were probably relatives of your grandparents.
I hope that some of your contemporaries respond to you.
I think you can find more information here.
Lyla Kissoon greets HM QE II – The CHS-JCCSS alumni blog
I am Ray Chickrie and am a grandson of Batulan Deed. My grandfather , was Esau Khan and His wife Maryam. My mother, Zabieda Khan.
I am aware of Uncle Fewad and Yousuf who my mother grew up with at Waterloo Plantation, 78 Guyana and GT.
I met aunt Lyla a few times and she has always been kind. My mother was very close to “Daddy ” that’s what she called great uncle Amin,s children.
She knows all of this history and all the names and narrative I heard in some version.
Mother lives in Holland and I am in NY.
I did research and went back to find my great great great grandma, Goolonia, Amin Sankar grand mother: SS King Arthur 1878 and Sankinaul,( Amin mother) her daughter, who will later marry old SivShankar who was born in Guyana to Brahim parents from Azimgarh, SS Neva 1878.
Ray Chickrie here. Hello all, I am a great grandson of Batulan Sankar Khan, sister of Uncle who my mother calls “Daddy”. Am Familiar with all this information for Uncle Fuad and my mother grew up at the same Waterloo Plantation in Suriname.