Hog Island, not Hogg Island
It is obvious that someone in your editorial department is convinced that the name of the largest island in Guyana is ‘Hog’ Island and not ‘Hogg’ Island.
In one of your comments section, a reader attempted to correct the spelling only to be told emphatically by the moderator, “No, it’s Hog Island.”
As a young boy, I visited this island many times and I have always known it to be ‘Hogg’ Island. I could not locate any sources from Guyana with reference to the correct spelling or how and for whom the island was named, however a quick search on the internet proves that indeed it is Hogg Island and that the island is in fact named after Quintin Hogg.
Quintin Hogg (1845-1903), was an English philanthropist and is the founder of the institution now known as the University of Westminster.
He also worked in the commodities trade market and was largely responsible for the modernization of the Demerara sugar production at the turn of the last century.
Mr Hogg was also an accomplished sportsman and played in 31 football matched for Wanderers FC and twice represented Scotland against England.
While in Demerara, he represented the colony in two first class cricket matches.
Now, if anyone out there knows of a book of historical facts like these on streets, town, villages, islands, etc, in Guyana, please let me know how I may obtain a copy.
Mohamed Z. Rahaman
Hog Island was not named after Quintin Hogg. Its original Dutch name was Varken Eiland, which means Hog Island. It was so named for the obvious reason that it was home to numerous wild hogs, and when the British took over the Dutch colonies here they retained the name in English translation.
It is still the correct name for the island, although increasingly Guyanese are prone to mis-spell it. The current Gazeteer, the official reference book for the spelling of all Guyana’s place names, records it as “Hog Island.” Copies of the Gazeteer of Guyana are available from the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission.