Caricature: Marion Strange of the Rotary Club of Grantham Kesteven

Caricature of Marion Strange, by Terry Shelbourne.
Caricature of Marion Strange, by Terry Shelbourne.
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Marion Strange is used to being the only woman in male dominated environments.

In 1975, she became the first female teacher at the then all-boys Magnus Grammar School in Newark, and indeed remembers being told by the headmaster that he had never even interviewed a woman.

Marion then came to Grantham to take up the post of English teacher at Walton Girls’ High School, where she worked for 14 years.

During this time she started the school’s involvement with the Rotary’s Youth Speaks competition, as she saw the benefits of encouraging public speaking amongst her pupils. This also began her connection to the Rotary Club of Grantham and Kesteven, and once again Marion found herself the only woman amongst its members.

Moreover, in 2011 she became the first female president of the club, and is particularly proud of setting up the Children of Courage awards which now annually recognise young people in the area who have achieved remarkable accomplishments. Marion had the idea of launching the youth awards in Grantham after learning of them being held by American rotary clubs.

She is also involved in the Rotary Club’s Trade Aid scheme which sees tools sent to builders, carpenters and others trying to rebuild areas following disasters, the shoebox appeal sending items to Eastern European families, and many other charity projects organised by the group. W

hen she is not busy with all these, Marion is part of the Choral Society, having always enjoyed singing. She is married to Dave, a fellow Rotarian, and they have a daughter, son, and two granddaughters.