Upholsterer: Winifred Watson

Upholstery is traditionally seen as a man’s work, but single mother of five Winifred Watson who lives in Stanley-town, West Bank Demerara, does it along with some amount of joinery to provide for her family.

Winifred started to repair chair sets after her husband, a joiner, dared her to take up the challenge over 20 years ago. She set about opening the chairs, piece by piece, carefully looking at the way they were built and how best to repair the damaged sections. Winnie, as she is fondly called, told this newspaper that she was surprised to find that, “No matter that the chair might be looking beautiful on the outside; it does not necessarily mean that it was a perfect job. Often, when the beautiful fabric or cloth is removed, one is stunned by the presence of the material that makes up the outfit.”

Nevertheless, she began to learn, day by day, how the chairs were made. She reviewed the various styles of the chairs that were entrusted to her, and assured this newspaper that no customer ever left her workshop disappointed. Winnie also recalled the days spent working alongside her now estranged husband in their workshop; he would repair the structures of the chairs while she sewed the material to cover them with on her machine. When he left the home, she was suddenly faced with providing for her three sons and two daughters alone.

Winifred Watson and her 19-year-old son Stephen sticking a cake to celebrate her 50th birthday.

However, despite the hardships of single parenthood, Winnie persevered and today with her son Stephen taking on his father’s role, she cleverly manipulates the raw cloth into designs that embellish the beauty of the chairs. Sometimes she also replaces damaged or rotten boards in the chairs and broken springs.

The woman said she worked while her children attended school and was pleased to point out that her daughters have achieved much success in the medical field while Stephen continues to work alongside her. She is also now a grandmother of two. According to Winnie, sometimes people come from as far as Canals Polder and even from the West Bank, East Bank and Georgetown to place their orders.

Winnie recently celebrated her 50th birthday and feels a sense of satisfaction serving the people of her community.

These children enjoyed being pushed home by a cousin

Riverstown

Riverstown, a village on the Essequibo Coast, is pressed between Pomona and Airy Hall. Once you cross the railway-like bridge over a black water creek, you’re in Riverstown, where there are more than 700 residents.

lucasjuly14

Mobile money: a technological fad or serious economic business?

No one knows Imagine talking to a friend on the phone while thousands of dollars are pressed to your ears and no one knows it. 

default placeholder

Development imperatives for the extractive forest sub-sector

Regrettable underperformance Readers would have no doubt readily gleaned from the subject matter which was addressed in last Sunday’s column, whether it was a boon for Guyana or a regrettable loss as I had represented it, for a country of its size, vulnerability, and poverty, which was also exceptionally well endowed with forest resources, to be seemingly boastful of its historically comparative low deforestation rate.

IanonSunday

Despair

Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz survivor, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died recently at the age of 87. His book, Night, is one of the most unsparing accounts ever written of the horror man inflicts on his fellow man.

default placeholder

Nothing to do with cricket

Patrons of the current T20 matches in the CPL, whether at the stadiums or via television, are witnessing a non-stop array of diversions – carnival outfits; steelband music; scantily clad dancers; one-handed catches by spectators; individual mask contests; etc – that mostly begin before the first ball has been bowled and often continue long after. 

default placeholder

Politics and the ethnic census

The National Population and Housing Census was conducted in 2012. Published in 2014, it showed a decrease in the population from 751,223 in 2002 to 746,955 in 2012.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.



Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: