The Grenada Revolution Online

Selwyn Strachan (1947-    )

Selwyn Strachan
Photo, Fedon Publishers

Selwyn 'Sello' Hollis Strachan was born in Woburn, 23 September 1947. As a boy, he went to Woburn Methodist School and graduated on to Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) until the third form when he left. He was a clerk in the business sector, working with accounts. Dominoes, disco dancing, tennis and playing pan with the 'Angel Harps' were some of his enjoyments before his incarceration at Richmond Hill Prisons in 1983.

Strachan unsuccessfully contested the General Elections in 1972 on the Grenada National Party (GNP) ticket against Eric Gairy for St. George's South constituency. He became a fluent and eloquent speaker.

In January 1973 at La Sagesse in St. David's, Selwyn Strachan, Teddy Victor and Kenrick Radix helped lead the large gathering protesting the locked gates to the beach at Lord Bronlow's estate.

Strachan, one of the founders of the New Jewel Movement (NJM), was one of the victims of Bloody Sunday, November 18, 1973.

He was again unsuccessful in his 1976 election run on the Peoples Alliance/New Jewel ticket vs Eric Gairy for St. George's South.

Circa 18 August 1976, Strachan went to Guyana to support the 19th Congress of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP). He lectured at the University of Toronto 25 February 1977 for members of the Canadian NJM support group. In 1979, he edited the newspaper 'New Jewel' with a circulation of 10,000.

Selwyn Strachan was one of 14 persons named to the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) on 16 March 1979. Later at a 25 March 1979 rally, Maurice Bishop appointed Strachan Minister of Communications and Works and Labour, with no Secretaries announced. At that time, according to Hughes, he was married but separated from his wife. They had one child.

Within the early PRG, as of July 1979, 'Breeze', as he was sometimes known, was Minister of Communications, Works and Labor. During this tenure, he addressed the 35th Session of the UN General Assembly in October 1980. Strachan was appointed Minister for National Mobilization in August 1981.

He traveled with Gloria Payne and David Fletcher, at the end of May, 1979, and returned to Grenada 7 July 1979. They traveled on an extensive tour of Far East, including stop-overs in London, Algeria, Libya, Lagos, Bombay, Peking, North Korea, Moscow, Helsinki and Stockholm. He visited North Korea, possibly India, in April 1982. In 1983 'Sel' returned from Cuban training course on religious affairs.

As a long-standing member of Central Committee of the NJM and the PRG, Strachan was a Politburo member where he was, according to Valenta, "in charge of ideology and agitprop," as Minister of National Mobilisation and Labour. He participated in the infamous 25 September 1983 Central Committee Meeting

Captured 29 October 1983 by US forces in Mt. Parnassus with the Coards, John Ventour, Liam James and Keith Roberts, Strachan was incarcerated at Richmond Hill Prisons.

During 1993, he attended St. Dominic's R.C. Church with Leon Cornwall and Richmond Hill Prison's Choir. Strachan spoke at the service. Besides singing in the choir, in 2000 Strachan gained a postgraduate diploma in English Commercial Law from the University of London. He teaches English in the Prison Education Program, and has done so for several years.

Selwyn Strachan was one of four prisoners interviewed in 1999 on GBN by Leslie Pierre and others. He was released from Richmond Hill Prisons 5 September 2009. See Grenada 17.

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