William Fogarty, an Irishman, started business in British Guiana in 1892 on a donkey cart. The donkey cart business thrived so well he employed a man to be his assistant. Later he bought a building and set up his first store. His store on Water Street was destroyed by fire on Friday, February 23, 1945 (Black Friday). Photograph shows the store which was re-built on Water Street. In 1963 the store was completely looted by the riotous mobs of Georgetown bent on plunder and pillage. When I was in Sixth Form I lived on Ketley & Drysdale Streets, Charlestown. Along Drysdale were two Portuguese girls ( Donna and Tessa) and their mom living in what I like to call a “Demerara cottage.” Their mom worked at Fogarty’s and had been working there for at least 20 years. Women employees wore a pleasant and impressive Shamrock green uniform. It was a great place to work. The ownership of Fogarty’s had passed on to the O’Dowd family since around 1920. The O’Dowd family treated employees as part of the family. There were many employees who had been with Fogarty’s 40 years or longer. At one time there was a grandfather, father, son working at Fogarty’s. Fogarty’s employees were generally happy and provided excellent customer service. It was always a pleasure shopping at “Fogarty’s Your Friendly Store.” The good old days.

Rishi Singh