New Internationalist

Goodbye to Guy

September 2009

Guy Stringer, director of Oxfam, chair of Devopress who initially published New Internationalist magazine in 1974.

Search our website for ‘Guy Stringer’ and you will find him sailing resolutely on a barge from Singapore to Cambodia. In 1979, Guy, then deputy director of Oxfam, was bringing 1,500 tons of rice seeds to stricken Cambodia, which had just been liberated by neighbouring Vietnam from the murderous Khmer Rouge. The British Foreign Office heartily disapproved of providing aid to communists. This was of little concern to Guy. For him, it was the right thing to do.

Even the most diligent search would not, however, until now, have revealed Guy’s critical connection with New Internationalist itself. In 1974 he became chair of Devopress, a company established jointly by Oxfam and Christian Aid to publish the New Internationalist magazine. At that point, media coverage of developing countries was scanty and the two organizations wanted a politically oriented magazine to fill the gap. Guy was an unlikely leader for such a radical enterprise. A businessman who had joined Oxfam in 1969, his main task then was fundraising – for which he would become one of Britain’s pioneering practitioners. However, Guy soon grasped the necessity not just of relieving poverty but attacking its root causes. The NI would be just one vehicle. Guy would also, through Oxfam Trading and other activities, help sow the seeds of what is now the Fair Trade movement.

Guy was not himself an analytical person. He worked more by instinct and a driven sense of right and wrong. He found the people who could do the work, and trusted them to get on with it, and was always a good friend when the going got tough. After a few years, he was able to give control of the NI to its founding editors and it became an independent publication. Guy, who later became director of Oxfam, died, aged 88, in July 2009.

This column was published in the September 2009 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on Goodbye to Guy

Leave your comment







 

  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Get our free fortnightly eNews

Multimedia

Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Currents

All Currents

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 425

New Internationalist Magazine issue 425
Issue 425

More articles from this issue

  • The case for real aid

    September 1, 2009

    Jonathan Glennie takes on both the aid optimists and the pessimists.

  • Sin Nombre

    September 1, 2009

    A road movie cum Western. Or, rather, it's a railroad movie and the 'West' - where innumerable migrants are headed on railroad wagons - is more accurately the 'North', the US.

  • Summing up...

    September 1, 2009

    Vanessa Baird draws a few conclusions.

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.

Subscribe