Princess Margaret

My father, Christopher Lam, was many things in his 83 years of life; a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a salesman, a manager; his life contained much I do not know, and much I have forgotten.  Among the things that he did, he was once something of a photographer.  And there was one image which he was proud of, because of some uniqueness to it.

The year was 1958, my dad would have been 21 years old when Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, visited British Guiana as part of the Royal Tour of the West Indies.  A controversial figure, her visit was anticipated by her royal subjects, and the streets were flooded with people everywhere she went.

There were/are many photos of her visit, as expected of a royal visit, and many were published in the press and printed as souvenirs; my father also printed copies of one of his to sell as souvenirs.  My dad was quite proud of his, not just because it was a good photograph, but because, in his words and opinion, it was unique.  From every country and every tour that Princess Margaret did, even from images seen in the English press, whenever she was photographed, she would greet the crowds with a wave of her gloved hand.  In my dad’s photograph, she was gloveless.  It seems a small thing, but my dad says it was a big deal.  I’m sure there were other photos of her waving gloveless, but dad says he never saw one, and neither have I.

Princess Margaret - British Guiana by Christopher Lam
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon © Christopher George Lam, 1958

I decided to snap a photo of his, to share with you, as something of a photographer myself, I share in his joy regarding the photograph, and share it with you to see.  I regret not doing this earlier, my dad died three weeks ago, having lived a full life, having loved and been loved, and leaving behind many memories, and children and grandchildren to remember him.


The Red House

Many years ago I missed the photo-walk that Nikhil, Naseem and André took around Georgetown.  They had termed it the Georgetown Safari, and they covered much of Georgetown over two days.  I have always meant to try to cover as much of historical Georgetown as I could, but never seem to get a good start on it.

I was on my way to work, and driving past the Red House when I noticed the sky beyond it and thought this was as good an opportunity as any to take the photo I wanted of this building, the point of view is not unusual, there are dozens from this vantage point, but I like to think I did the scene some justice.

It is a single exposure, but I did some tone-mapping to draw out some detail from the scene, and I cloned out a short piece of electrical wire that sneaked into the frame in the upper corner.


Canon 60D  |  Sigma 10-20mm  |  14mm, 1/125s, f/5  |  Nik HDR Efex Pro

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images from around Georgetown, Guyana.


I always figured that the building got it’s name because it was red, but never knew that it was because it was covered with Red Wallaba Shingles.  It dates back to the days of Colonial Rule, and records indicate that the “Colony of British Guiana” acquired it in 1925, from then until 1953 it served as the place of residence for many Colonial Secretaries.

During his stint as Premier of British Guiana, from 1961 to 1964, Dr. Cheddi Jagan also used it as his Official Residence.  Under subsequent leaders, it was utilized for various government offices.  In 1999, two years after Dr. Cheddi Jagan’s death, while serving as the fourth President of Guyana, the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre was established in the building (a purpose it still serves to this day)

It is apparently also referred to as Kamana Court, a name I had not heard until today, and for which I can find no more information