A fire raged throughout Roderick’s Convenience Store in the early morning hours of Aug. 15, 2017 leaving only the remains of an ice machine at the store’s entrance still standing.
Sources say the fire started shortly after 1 a.m. that morning. The Marsh Harbour Volunteer Fire Department was notified of the fire, while efforts were made to rescue a young female residing in a home at the back of the store.
Well-known businessman Roderick Strachan, and his wife Marie Strachan, along with family members, neighbours and onlookers were in disbelief as the flames enveloped the store.
The fire also partially damaged the Strachans’ daughter – Virginia Roberts’ business Shuvez’s Hair & Beauty Supply Store before the flames were finally brought under control. However, Virginia was more fortunate than her parents to at least salvage some of her beauty supplies.
Mr. and Mrs. Strachan lost everything.
Comments poured in for the Strachan family via social media over the loss of the business, and speculation ran rampant that perhaps there was a serial arsonist on the loose with the recent loss of another relative’s business WilDav’s Bar owned by William “Tony” Davis.
However, Mr. Strachan dismissed the speculations stating that the cause of the fire was traced to batteries that were left charging at the store. He reasoned that the batteries possibly overcharged causing them to explode and starting the fire. Unfortunately, the store was not insured.
Nevertheless, the old adages hold true: “You can’t keep a good man down,” and “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
The way forward for the Strachans reveal their future plans to utilize a space in the M & R Foodstore Building to reopen the business until the store is rebuilt. Plans are to open the store in September.
Roderick’s Convenience Store has been a staple of the community for more than 20 years providing grocery items, household items and assorted clothing for the family.
Many residents commented that the store was a blessing to their families, a landmark and historical site, a buffer between the other stores on the island, and that it was one of the few remaining stores where you could credit items or lack the necessary funds and still be able to walk out of the store with the item in hand.
Customers could also rely on the store to be open daily until 11 p.m. even on holidays and always having what they were looking for. The store also provided jobs for many of the children living in the community who packed bags for tips. The Strachans are also known for their generosity having donated to and supported many fundraising initiatives.
One longtime friend wrote online that: “Anyone who met Roderick would know within the first minute, he is a special man with a loving caring giving spirit. It’s his time to receive. Let’s see who all remembers!”