A 35-year old teacher Kate Lewis has been announced as the New National Party’s caretaker for St Andrew’s North East, the constituency of the retiring MP and General Secretary Roland Bhola.
Lewis was announced among the list of the final five caretakers following an executive meeting of the party Monday.
All the others named were widely expected – Party Leader and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell for St George North West; Oliver Joseph for St David, Clarice Modeste for St Mark and Anthony Boatswain for St Patrick West.
The announcement of the engagement of Lewis, means the work of the NNP in all four St Andrew’s constituencies is being headed by a woman.
It is possible that seven of the 15 candidates — a record number — could all be women.
“It is a huge responsibility, but I know I am up to the challenge,” Lewis said Tuesday about her appointment.
Lewis who lives in Paradise, St Andrew’s, has been a teacher for 17 years – first at the Holy Innocents School, then the St Andrew’s Primary School and up until recently the St Joseph’s Convent, St Andrew’s.
At the Convent, Lewis has also been a volunteer teacher for the Junior Achievement Programme for the last decade, helping students win six Company of the Year titles.
She also led Grenadian students in worldwide competitions in Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico and Jamaica.
She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting with first class honors from the University of the West Indies, and associate degrees in Social Sciences and Teacher Education.
Lewis said she believes politics is a noble endeavour that is the vehicle for making life better for all people.
“It’s not an easy road you know, getting into politics. But I intend to give my all in service to the people and so I expect to earn their trust and respect and get their full cooperation as we work closely together to help improve the lives of the people in our constituency,” she said.
“We are excited that Kate has come forward to lead the work of the party in North East St Andrew’s. We could not have appointed a better person. She is coming in with new energies and a new vision to build on the work we have started,” MP Bhola said.
“We are in absolutely good hands. This is really great,” he added.
Lewis is the second youthful woman to have come to the fore to help lead the work of the party, following the young lawyer Kindra Mathruine-Stewart in Carriacou.
“I think the next generation of Grenadian leadership is beginning to come forward,” Bhola, who will be the national campaign manager, said.
Minister Bhola added: “We are about continuity and renewal at the same time, and it clearly shows in the list of 15 caretakers we have put forward. Grenada can be truly excited. We are!”
Although no date has been announced for the next general election, Prime Minister Mitchell has stated that it will be soon.
The NNP has been boasting of retaining all 15 seats to Parliament as it did in the 1999 and 2013 polls.
Prime Minister Mitchell has stated that the election will result in the political death of Congress Leader, Sen. Nazim Burke who lost his St. George North-east seat in the last poll to Tobias Clement.