Stella – from rags to riches
July 23, 2004
Stella – from rags to riches

Stella James, last Saturday night’s “Set for Life” winner, faced one of the toughest hurdles in her life four years ago when her New Grounds house was demolished. She and her family were kicked out on the street.
James told SEARCHLIGHT she had built a wooden and wall structured house on lands belonging to one of her brothers. “He took me to court and won the case.{{more}} Then he break the house down before I got chance to move it.”
The last four years were difficult, the James family admitted.
James and her boyfriend Telurth Cruickshank started a new life at Diamond by repairing an old one-bedroom house.
As the family thrived on what they accumulated from their low-income jobs, Cruickshank lost his job as a watchman. Stella on the other hand still makes her living cleaning the road.
“But I always wanted somewhere to go,” said Stella.
Of the property she won in the “Set for Life” draw, Stella said, “I ask the Lottery to sell back the house for me.”
She explained that she has a daughter in Form Five at the North Union Secondary School and another in Form Four at the St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua and did not want them to change schools.
“We have plans of building up here,” said James expressing the desire to build a home at Diamond.
“Our plan is to further our children’s education,” Cruickshank said.
“I always encourage them to have a proper education and take care of themselves. Don’t make any man brutalize them,” the father of three of Stella’s seven daughters said.
“I never buy a doll baby for them. I always bought books,” said Cruickshank.
As the National Lotteries Authority celebrates its twentieth anniversary so, too, are Stella and Telurth.