In his youth, Saunders attended Government High School in Nassau, Bahamas, later becoming Head Boy there. Having attended the Bahamas Teachers’ College, Saunders obtained a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Classics from the University of London in 1964. Saunders taught English at St Anne’s High School in Nassau from 1964 until 1968.
Saunders served as Vice-Principal of RM Bailey Senior High School from 1969 to 1970. In 1970, he joined a law firm as an articled clerk. Saunders was called to the Bahamas Bar in 1974 and later became a partner in the prestigious Bahamian law firm of McKinney, Bancroft and Hughes.
An actor, playwright, director and producer, Saunders assumed the position of Chairman of the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts from 1975 to 1998.
Saunders was the author of two notable Bahamian plays – Them and You Can Lead A Horse To Water – as well as the Nehemiah Quartet series.
In the Bahamas, Saunders founded the:
- National Youth Choir
- National Dance Company;
- National Children’s Choir; and
- modern Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts.
Saunders won a number of awards including:
- DANSAs for playwriting
- the Meta
- a special DANSA for Excellence in Theatre
- the Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen Award for contribution to Culture; and
- the Silver Jubilee Award for Culture.
In 2004, Saunders was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).
Saunders died in Jamaica on 25 November 2006, where, in his role as Chairman of the Bahamas’ National Commission on Cultural Development, he was assisting in discussions to plan the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.
- Mourners Bid Farewell
- Arthia Nixon, "Winston V. Saunders Repertory Season Takes Centre Stage", theBahamasWeekly.com, 9 January 2008.