Phyllis Shand Allfrey 1


Dominican Phyllis Shand Allfrey, 1907-1986, poet, journalist, editor, novelist and politician, was the only woman to hold  a Cabinet post-Minister of Labour and Social Affairs – in the Grantley Adams’ led Federal Government of the West Indies,1958-1962. Ms Shand held the ministerial office in the face of much heckling from some of her ministerial colleagues, who believed the woman belonged in the kitchen.
Before going to Port-of -Spain, site of the federal government,  Ms Shand published The Orchid House in 1953, a novel that has won the status of ‘Caribbean classic’.
Shand, founder of the Dominica Labour Party in 1955, died in 1986.

Effect of Tropical Storm Erika on Dominica. People look at sink holes in the road next to the capitals main market
(c) ABC News


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One thought on “Phyllis Shand Allfrey

  • merepamphleteer

    Thanks for the great service of remembrance for all too often the contributions of women have all been silenced in Caribbean historiography. Indeed Phyllis Shand Allfrey’s import must always be celebrated as she helped clear a path for others to follow. It’s interesting too that her work is being highlighted next to the work of another Caribbean female scholar, Dr. Grenade,
    whose “The Grenada Revolution: Reflections and Lessons” is a must read in helping to ‘refashion futures.’

    Kudos to BDM for providing us with the push to re-discover and re-construct a true people’s history of the