Winifred C. Strachan
Former Leader of the Oppositionn, Grenada
Winifred Strachan was a Grenadian educator and politician and former Leader of the Opposition.
Early ife and education
Known to many as “Tanty Winnie,” Winifred Strachan rose from humble beginnings and despite many challenges including that of being a woman, she emerged as one of the most successful women in Grenada.
Born in St. Andrew's Parish in Grenada, Winifred Strachan first attended the Junior Primary School there before graduating to the Senior School. She then took up a temporary job at the Senior School due a shortage of teachers. Satisfied with her performance, the school auhorities successfully recommended her for a scholarship to the two-year Intending Teacher's Training Course at the St. George's Covenant Secondary School.
Returning to St. Andrew's Senior Primary School, Ms. Strachan gave 10 years of service before undertaking two years of training at Erdiston Teachers' College in Barbados, graduating in 1961.
Returning to Grenada, Ms. Strachan was posted as Head of the Home Economics Section of the Birch Grove Roman Catholic Primary School, a position she left in 1964 to study at Bath College of Bristol University in the United Kingdom.
Securing the Certificate of Education and qualifying in Home Economics at Bath, Ms. Strachan returned to Grenada in 1967, teaching at the Birch Grove School for a short period beofre being transferred as a tutor to Government's domestic Arts Institute in St. George's. From this position, she was transferred and promoted to the Ministry of Education where she was made Supervisor of Home Economics and School Feeding.
In the mid-1970s, Ms Strachan was appointed to the panel established by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council of Education Ministers to prepare the Home Ecomics syllabus for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
Ms. Strachan will also Vice President of the Caribbean Association of Home Economics and the founder and first President of the Grenada Home Economics Teachers Association.
Strachan's retirement marked her entry into the political field when she unsuccessfully contested the 1984 general election on the Grenada United Labor Party (GULP) ticket for St. Andrew South West Constituency, losing to Ben Jones of the New National Party (NNP).
She returned in 1990 to win the St. Andrew South East Constituency Seat as a member of the GULP, defeating incumbent Pauline Andrew of The National Party (TNP). The GULP placed second at the poles and the party chose Ms. Strachan to assume the role as the leader of the Opposition, the first woman to hold the post. Despite being later expelled from the GULP by its leader Eric Gairy, Ms. Strachan contined as Leader of the Opposition from April 1990 to June 1995.
She was a highly spiritual woman who devoted most of her life to the Methodist Denomination where she was a Lay Reader.
Honours aand awards
Ms. Strachan received a special award for her service to the country in 1999 during International Women’s Day Commemoration from the Division of Gender and Family Affairs and the Grenada National Organization of Women (GNOW).
Ms. Strachan died in March 2007.