Introduction – By Dmitri Allicock

 Introduction – By Dmitri Allicock

Dmitri-1

 Picture of my family- Left to right, Yuri, Joycelyn, Myself, Brenda, Andrei, Jennifer, Kenrick and my mother Enez

 Every man is an omnibus in which his ancestors ride.” Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) American author and poet

I was born in the bauxite town of Mackenzie, Upper Demerara, the area now called Linden and Guyana’s second largest town

I don’t seem to recall a moment in my life that was devoid of family influences. Coming from great parents with strong traditional family values, both worked tirelessly and rose to every occasion while raising a family of seven children. 

Despite losing the only two grandparents whom I was privileged to meet briefly as a child, family, history and the natural wonders of Guyana were central in our household. Both Mom and Dad talked relentlessly and were always trying to understand them just a little better.

As a child, travelling in an outboard engine boat up or down the Demerara River, I remember being shown the numerous abandoned homesteads of remembered relatives. Only a few stringy coconut or mango trees told the tale of the long-ago story as the engulfing tropical jungle corrected nature. The boat would be really quiet after a conversation of the graves of relatives that lay lost beneath the dense canopy of trees and weeds.

My early schooling followed the path of my entire family, first Mackenzie Primary School then Mackenzie High where my mother, Enez Allicock and all six of my siblings had the privileged of attending

Dmitri-2

My wife Evadney, son- Shane and I crossing the Demerara in the ferry boat 2010

Over 30 years have now gone by since I migrated to the U.S, but life’s uncertain journey has not changed my deep affinity for Guyana and heritage. In 2010, I was able to make a trip to Guyana with my wife, and two sons, Sam and Shane. It had been 18 long years since I had visited home and the changes were overwhelming.

My dear father, Stanley Allicock, is now gone and Mom now lives mainly at the family home, but most significant was seeing 16-year-old Sam and 6-year-old Shane, who were walking in the footsteps of my youth and disappearing history. I felt it was most pertinent that I should write my thoughts down on paper, and not let them to be merely foot prints in the sand or lost in the fog of history.

Home is indeed a place in your heart and houses those thoughts which really matters; it is that warm feeling of peace, relaxation, cultural commonality and identification, friendship, family, history, dishes, fruits, childhood memories and the amazing natural wonders of Guyana. Also a taste of soursop ice scream, a delicious cashew, maybe a glass of sorrel drink, a pinetart followed by a scary jumbee or an ole higue story at night then off to bed to be awaken early by a colorful fowl cock. It is the essence of our being and those precious thoughts that forever lives within.

http://guyanathenandnow.wordpress.com/early-days-in-british-guiana/

Comments

  • deokie  On September 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I was wondering when you would have started this bus rolling Dmitri – you are one proud being – your entire family and your heritage – and of course you can articulate English so well that it all seems to come alive and so beautiful. Your writings are truly a reflection of the gem you are. Thanks once more for sharing this excellent piece of writing. I love this line, “I should write my thoughts down on paper,and not let them to be merely foot prints in the sand or lost in the fog of history” — very touching indeed!”.

  • Deen  On October 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Dmitri, my friend, you have a beautiful family. I’m sure everyone in the family is proud of you and grateful for the prideful role you are playing in preserving the family history and legacy.
    You are to be commended for your excellent documentation of Guyana’s history, culture, wildlife, industry and ecosystem. I certainly appreciate your many articles, some of which arouse a lot of nostalgia,
    Thanks so much for sharing your interesting stories and your informative articles on topics that are meaningful to all Guyanese. Above all, thanks for sharing your literary talent and journalistic excellence. Please continue writing and share more,
    Deen

  • Celena Thomas  On October 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Dmitri, am so Proud of you and family, just remembering you a young boy running around Silvertown playing with the other kids, your Dad and mom were always pleasant. Am very impressed with your documentation of our Country, I always say if you don’t know where you are from, you can Never know where you are going.Your Christmas article makes me get home sick right now, it is exactly how we prepare and celebrated that time of year.
    Please continue your writing am sure it will remind me of stories I might have forgotten.
    Again much Good luck, Please give your mom my Regards.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On October 21, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thank you so much Deokie, Deen and Celena. Bless you for such wonderful words of inspiration.
    Celena Thomas and family lived just a few houses up the street from my home in Silvertown. We shared great memories of playing in their back yard and enjoying fruits from the trees. Her dear grandmother- Mother Thomas’s adjoining lot with her handsomely painted white cottage home was adorned by a garden crotons, palm, poinsettias, bougainvilleas and blue bouquets of hydrangea racemes petals hanging over the paling fence. Her brother, Jimbo, was one of the toughest that I ever knew. Jimbo could handle just about any extreme, from falling out of a tree, a blow from a cricket ball, and he always came up smiling-just laughed it off. Jimbo and my kid brother browsed every yard in the neighborhood, gutter or trench- exploring and enjoying the full meaning of childhood.

  • Stella Otto Beard  On February 7, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Mr. Allicock, I would like to purchase your book “Last Train Home” if you can please let me know where I can purchase same. I am from Guyana, (daughter of Cecelia Camacho and Antonio Joseph Pestano) and I now live in Jacksonville, Florida. My father worked for the rail roads in Guyana, who since passed away in 1965. His first daughter was married to Luie D’Aguar and since passed away also. I am also looking for books on the history of the trains in Guyana and that time of the history of Guyana. Would appreciate any and all assistance. I have seen some of your articles on Guyanieseonline and I am very impressed with your knowledge. My best wishes on your writing, even though I don’t think you need my wishes, since you have done such wonderful work.
    Thanks again for helping to bring back such wonderful memories.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On February 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Pleasant morning to you Stella, my niece’s father is a Pestano also and might be related. “Last Train Home” is actually a ‘poem’ of the railway of the Bauxite Company in Upper Demerara. I too enjoy the stories of Guyana’s railways and did an article on the 1897 Wismar to Rockstone Railway. I will attach the link for you. Many of my articles are of Guyana’s history and are housed on this site of which you are welcome to scroll through. Thanks for your comment and stay in touch.
    Click on Link: http://guyanathenandnow.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/the-demerara-essequibo-railway-der/

  • Wendy Quinn  On April 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Dear Dmitri I have contacted you before on the British Guiana then and now website and just found this one. I have been trying to trace family from Guyana and have had limited success so far. I have tried the National Archives there, St. Philips Church, the Guyana Consulate there, the consulate here in the States and the American consulate which gave me a list of lawyers in Guyana of whom I tried contacting two of as well as various other websites for Guyana with no responses as of yet except for some information from you and Mr. Halder. My great grandmother Katherine Sarah Wihelmina Hancock was married in St. Philips Anglican Church on June 29, 1877 to John William Ralphs by a Rv’d Wells. I know this from a newspaper article sent to me by The person who does the British Colonists list website. My grandmother Harriet Norine Ralphs was born on November 4, 1880 to them and she also had a brother Reginald Hancock Ralphs born in 1881 I think. He married a Mathilde Fernandez in 1906 at Sacred Heart Church in Georgetown. I have found that line of family but they do not have any information on Katherine and John Ralphs. I have also found the family of Katherine’s sister Jessie Hancock who married Edward Augustus Hubbard there but they also have no information. I would love to find out more information so that I can trace our family back in time. My grandmother spoke so fondly of her country and it’s people and it’s beauty and I would love to share that heritage with my children and grandchildren. I would be so grateful if you could give me some ideas on how to do this. Many thanks for your time Wendy

  • Dmitri Allicock  On May 2, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Wendy, It is great to hear from you and to see you researching your heritage.It is indeed the quiet soul of our being and I do encourage you to never give up. I have no further suggestion except making contact with relatives to compare notes, Family heritage is like pieces of a jig-saw puzzle with missing pieces- some of those pieces may still around in family’s album, books, ads and information coming from the time period you are looking at. I will keep you in mind when I research and write about Guyana’s past and would be in touch if I am lucky. All the best to you

  • Wendy Quinn  On May 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you Dmitri I so appreciate your reply. Wish there was a way to access records in Guyana somehow. i will keep trying best to you and yours. Wendy

  • Dmitri Allicock  On May 19, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Thanks Wendy, don’t give up and stay in touch

  • Carol Allman  On December 11, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Dmitri what beautiful people you all are. . Wonderful family values instilled in every one of you which you in turn shared with Sam and Shane. I lived in Forshaw st Queenstown but would have loved to experience riding on a ferry and doing all the fun things that were not done in town. Never was I so interested in going to visit Guyana like I am now. Thanks to all your beautiful posts, although it’s not going to be the same there are somethings I know I’ll enjoy…You are a remarkable and brilliant man and God will continue to bless you and family in a special way. Really glad you are my friend…. love light and respect to you always. .

  • Dmitri Allicock  On December 11, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Bless you Carol!

  • Lue-A-King  On January 9, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Mr. Allicock, I was looking for the lyrics for the Guyanese Folksong: O beautiful Guyana, and can’t seem to find it anywhere not even on the MCYS site. Do you have any directions for me.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On January 10, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Hello Lue-A King- O BEAUTIFUL GUYANA

    Valerie Rodway

    O beautiful Guyana

    O my lovely native land

    More dear to me than all the world

    Thy sea-washed, sun-kissed strand

    Or down upon the borders

    Looking out upon the deep

    The great Atlantic

    Blown into a fury, or asleep.

    At morn, at noon – or better

    In the crimson sunset’s glow

    I love thee, Oh I love thee.

  • Dai Jaimangal  On July 1, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Love the story of your journey. Beautifully illustrated.

  • Bella de clou  On September 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Dmitri,
    It is with joy and sadness I am reading your journey back home
    My husband who is a relation to you, he went back home in
    1975 after leaving Guyana 25yrs ago. He visited Christiansburg, looking for relatives and friends.We took a
    Paddling boat and paddle up the river called Old England. As I look at the piece of land i realized how beautiful it is, the house stood their old but erected, lovely green trees hanging
    Waving it branches as if to say Welcome.Even though I am from the Essequibo Pomeroon region where beauty is every where, and preserving nature is important I had to admit Linden is unique. The river is black like coffee, sand spread in some areas like a warm blanket in the sun, After meeting some
    Of his families, followed by lots of hugs and kisses.We went to look where is mother is resting peacefully,. His thoughts took
    Him back to 1955 where he kissed his mother good bye, and say farewell to his siblings, he never saw his mother again.
    As sadness overwelm him I was touched by his emotion, seeing a grown man cried.He felt better, and was ready to go and find bullet wood street where he was raised. My husband was very eager to tell me about his boyhood days, playing games, trying to walk barefeet, ,sufferd an injury to his big toe
    Swear never to walk barefeet again.It is with joy I shared one of many memories of my husband, and sadness we cannot continue to create more memories.ln memory of
    William (Cleave) De Clou
    Dec/11/1933
    Aug/13/2013

  • Dmitri Allicock  On September 11, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks Bella, My grandfather’s sister, Lillian DeClou nee Allicock, was cousin Cleave’s mother as you know. I attended her funeral in 1965 as a young child and remembers it like yesterday. The tides of Demerara softly flows where love and family roots grows, the journey of their lives, the tales that they told are carried in the hearts of their love ones and are treasures to behold. RIP Cousin Cleave and blessings to you Bella.

  • Bella de clou  On September 14, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Dmitri,
    I am overwhelmed, just the thought of you replying to my thoughts, I am filled with joy and happiness. My greatest
    Wish is to reconnect with you once again, and that wish is fullfilled.i thank you for the many stories of the Allicock families
    The poems seems so real especially the one about the train.
    I love trains, as a child I had a toy train that I love very much.
    You writing is so smooth and soothing, like a river that glides
    Along the river banks, smelling the sweet fragrance of the
    Wild flowers among the tall green trees, like butterflies dancing in the rain. Birds chrips, then the sun began to fade away into sunset, the moon began to appear dancing among the clouds. You are blessed, you are talented, you are loved
    You are an inspiration, you inspire me, , you heal me through
    Writing, your thoughts touch my heart and heal my soul…
    God bless you, I am looking forward to read your stories and poems,,,, thank you
    Bella de clou

  • aliette  On July 3, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I enjoy your poems

  • Mike Kelly  On August 23, 2016 at 4:25 am

    Hi Dmitri i was in Mckenzie in 1959 onboard a Norwegian ship called Essex. She broke her stern lines and went sideways across the river , i wonder if there are any pictures of her from that time when it happened in any old newspapers. Hope you can help.. Mike,

  • Dmitri Allicock  On August 23, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    So sorry Mike, I don’t recall seeing any pictures of the event but I will keep looking and will contact you should I come across anything.
    It was probably was recorded in the DEMBA Digest- I will check around. It is great to be in touch with you.
    My best regards.

  • Julien_lelivrescolaire  On November 29, 2016 at 4:55 am

    Dear Mr Allcock,

    I am working for a small independent French publisher called Lelivrescolaire.fr Editions, launched a little over seven years ago and publishing printed and digital middle-school textbooks.

    These textbooks are written by our community, composed of secondary-school teachers. Our process, inspired by Wikipedia, is collaborative and access to our digital content is completely free.

    Currently we are in the process of creating a 3th grade English textbook and I would like your permission to include an extract of the following poem:
    Green Land of home .

    If permission granted we will naturally provide credits and source. Please do keep in mind that the material will be used solely for educational purposes, as it will be included in a English textbook.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me by email.

    Sincerely,

    Julien

  • Dmitri Allicock  On November 29, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Julien,
    You are welcome to any of my poems. It is a honor to be able to assist or inspire a child. Thank you and let me know if there is anything else that I could do for you. I tried emailing you but the email didn’t work.
    Sincerely yours
    Dmitri

  • Julien_lelivrescolaire  On December 5, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Dear Dmitri,

    that’s weird the email does not work. Julien.seznec@lelivrescolaire.fr is the one you got?

    Anyway, we are very pleased to hear your approval. Your poetry is valuable learning materials for the kids :).

    Best,
    Julien

  • Angus Paterson  On July 22, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Hi Dimitri my great great was William Paterson from Dumfries Scotland. I have a family tree that has the Demerara Paterson s mentioned I will take a photo next time I am at the family home.

    Kind regards

    Angus William Paterson
    South Africa

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