Women in History: Early Successful Guyanese Women of Chinese Descent

Martha nee Fung Kee Fung was one of the earliest female business owners in Guyana (1800s). She became a landed proprietor who owned many businesses including a rice mill. She bought two abandoned sugar estates Waller’s Delight and Ruimzight at Windsor Forest which she rented to tenants to plant rice. Martha Street in Windsor Forrest is named for her. Sarah Lam-a-Poo born in 1870, was the grandmother of Errol “Ping” Gillette, Guyana’s first Ombudsman after independence.  She went into business as a … read more

Women in History: Dame Sybil Phoenix – First Black Female Recipient of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Dame Sybil Theodora Phoenix DBE, MBE (born Sybil Marshall, 21 June 1927) is a British community worker. She was born in British Guiana (Guyana), and grew up in Georgetown. She and her fiancé Joe Phoenix moved to England in 1956, and married in June of that year.  In 1973 she became the first black woman to receive an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth II.  Dame Phoenix initially refused to accept the honor unless the … read more

Women in History: Claudette Izel (Masdammer) Humprey – First Female Olympian from Guyana

Claudette Izel Humprey (nee Masdammer)  is the First Female Olympian from British Guiana (Guyana).  Born on March 30th, 1936,  Claudette atttended the St. Georges Anglican School and subsequently entered the Tutorial High School on an athletic scholarship. Her athletic ability was recognized by the Castello Brothers, founders of Tutorial High school, during the annual public schools’ sports meeting.  On account of her sprinting prowess, Claudette represented British Guiana at the 1956 Olympic Summer Games held in Melbourne, Australia while still … read more