STORIES OF OUR FAMILIES
To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.
The Mendes Family
Written in July 1988
by my father, Andrew Desmond Sheppard
(transcribed from personal family memorabilia)
The name Mendes reminds us of Alfred Mendes who became very rich from trading in the products of the coconut - copra and coconut oil. Alfred owned large estates of coconut-bearing land in Trinidad and Tobago, as wel as cocoa and coffee plantations. Apart from what was sold locally, Alfred Mendes exported large quantities of these agricultural products to the U.S.A. He also built Bacolet Hotel in Tobago, which was run by one of his sons Walter Mendes.
Another of his sons gained fame in the literary world and once drew universal acclaim for publishing a book named "Pitch Lake". He was Alfred Mendes Jnr. He lived in the U.K. and U.S.A. as well as in Trinidad. Alfred Jnr. was a controversial person with a high intellect. At one stage, he became Manager of the sea port of Port of Spain. He retired years ago and resides in Barbados.
Another branch of the Mendes family, that of Oswald Mendes, who married Amy Sheppard and had ten children, most of whom were in the commercial world. The family inherited two valuable properties in Port of Spain which housed the Port of Spain Gazette and the Trinidad Guardian newspapers. They were not able to enjoy the fruits of this inheritance because of legal constraints, but time and patience have allowed the Mendes family to now share in the real estate benefits.