Section of Strand, New Amsterdam showing the Berbice Gazette Store, SW Wreford, Co.Ltd., and the NA Town Hall.
Thanks, Rishi. Brings back great memories of the good ole days in NA. I used to be enthralled by a unique, at least to me, and ingenious overhead cable system within the Wreford’s store of moving bills from the various departments to the cashier(s)… Anyone remembers that?
Wilfred, I am glad you remember the cable system. Many times I have thought about it but concluded I was just imagining things. Wreford’s was the only store in NA to have such a system. The first time I saw it in operation I was awed. I also remember seeing Mr CK Wreford in the store. He was a guy with a great sense of humor. The Wrefords had been in New Amsterdam since in the 1880’s, probably earlier. CK was great friends of the DeClercq’s, probably related. The business was nationalized in 1977 and became Guyana Wreford’s and later GNTC. CK Wreford passed away during this time and his heirs and successors were never compensated as per the terms of the nationalization agreement.
I remember that system of paying for goods at Wrefords also. The clerk write the bill , collect the money and put it in a cannister and put it in a tubelike piping system pattern and ‘vacuum’ it up the pipes to the office upstairs and your stamped receipt and change will return the same way back to the clerk and then you picked up your goods. There were 2 brothers I think and they lived at Ferry St by the CMC club.I remember Walter Khan and Hilbert Spence , Verbeke and Eddie working there. Herman Kunar worked with the Petroleum plant they had up the East Bank area. Wrefords and Sandbach Parker [next door] were indeed household names in Berbice and the owners were very much ‘Guyanized’ in that they were easy an friendly to talk with..I remember ole man Charles one of the brothers fondly,,,,
“Not compensated as agreed? The Govt of Guyana should be ashamed! Karma saw this!!!
Yes, I am the youngest child living in the Wrefords house hold. And yes the government took it all. But I do have wonderful memories of the store and everyone you spoke of above. If you have more picture could you please post them.
Nice to see comments about my dad WS Khan who stsrted from ss an Accounts Clerk to Accountant and then Managing Director until the government nationalized and replaced him. No pension.
Someone mentioned that I should take a look at this sight and I would be surprised of the Photo of 1909 of Strand. Yes, the Building where the men are standing, was once owned by Mr Mook-Sang and in 1960 my Father bought it for his business which became known as GOLD-MAN STEAM lAUNDRY and DRY CLEANERS.This piece of Property extended down to the Berbice River. Next to the Laundry is the Building and Business of Mr Carew. Opposite this Building was the Barry’s resident who also owned the Barry’s Work-shop a few blocks away,and to the right side of Pope Street lived the Carews’.I lived upstairs of this Laundry’s Building and have wonderful memories of New Amsterdam.Cherished memories.
My memory of Wrefords Store is joyful as I recalled it packed to the brim at Christmas-time with excited Shoppers spending their money. I have good memories of the friendly Khan’s Family of (Wrefords) of Hark-mans Lane I believe. They gave and hosted fun-filled house-parties at Christmas time.Mr Wilfred Daniels name of Lad Lane rings a bell.
What a wonderful period of time we all lived in New Amsterdam. The same Joy I lived at Strand I now enjoy, and more, as I live heartily abundantly in North America. Thanks New Amsterdam, this ole Town that fashioned and full-filled my unbelievable Dreams.
I say hello to all who visit this site, my fellow companions and Countrymen. We are all Family because of this dear Town of New Amsterdam who birthed us all and allowed us to play together……
Interesting article indeed, Wreford was one of the finest shopping stores in New Amsterdam, certainly remembered the container carrying the money on the overhead cable to the cashier at the other end, sits Miss Camron a wonderful woman as my thoughts ponder upon those early years. The Wreford’s were members of the Scottish community of Berbice, who made New Amsterdam their home. That history is somewhere hidden in the Scotts Church of the area. It is sad what the government of the time did to thriving local businesses in the region. Under the disguised of nationalization almost no agreements were ever honored.