Rayside Construction Company:Why Did This Respected Black Owned Business Fail?


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It was reported in the media last week that Senator Bynoe of “proppa pork” fame has commissioned a book which is scheduled to be released later this year and will examine the role government has played in the demise of several black businesses over the years. BU looks forward to the book launch because despite the boast of a wonderful educational system many of our black owned businesses are failing because the second generation of family appears to be more attracted to the Board rooms of BS&T and the like.

BU thought that we would focus on one such black owned business which has fallen from its pinnacle. We all remember in the 70s and 80s there were some very competitive battles between Rayside Construction and “COW” Construction. Do you remember that time when COW was not awarded a government contract which went to Rayside and he took the government to court[because of Don Blackman’s comment) and won? Those were the halcyon days when the black owned construction company headed by Keith Rayside stood tall and was a symbol of success which Barbadians felt proud to talk about. As a predominantly black nation we felt a sense of pride derived from when there was construction work to be had there was Rayside Construction Company to stop COW from getting it all. We felt as black people we were making strides.

The once mighty company in 2005 became so burdened with debt that it had to be acquired by CLICO, a private Trinidadian conglomerate.

What many Barbadians are asking is where did it all go wrong for Keith Rayside?


Published on: 11/12/05.
by ROXANNE GIBBS Executive Editor

CLICO HOLDINGS came to the rescue of about 300 striking (weekly-paid) workers at Rayside Construction Ltd yesterday, when it instructed the Barbados National Bank “to pay the workers”. The order came hours after CLICO Holdings signed a deal making it the company’smajority shareholder.

Just hours before the signing, work at the construction company in Green Hill, St Michael, came to a sudden stop after most of the workers walked off the job to protest non-payment of wages. “The situation bad,” said 47-year-old Lance Springer. Springer, who has worked for the company for over 17 years, said it wasn’t the first time he had gone to the bank and not been paid.

“This is not the first time this thing happening. I am not satisfied with the way they handling it at all,” Springer said. A source close to the company confirmed the deal was signed at about 2 p.m. yesterday, giving Clico Holdings “controlling shares”. “The deal is sealed,” said the source, “the workers will be taken care of.” Last week Friday the WEEKEND NATION reported that CLICO was the top bidder in a “buy-out” of Rayside. A day later the company responded that “Rayside is not in turmoil or not for sale”.

“The company is restructuring, which we believe is in the best interest of our workers, customers and suppliers. “We wish to assure the public that we will continue to be highly competitive, while offering impeccable service and the highest quality products,” the statement said. Keith Rayside Snr, the company’s founder who still heads the management team, told workers they would be paid by today.

But sources said last night that after the CLICO directive to the bank, several workers received their money. Efforts by the SATURDAY SUN to get further comment from Rayside manager Roger Gill were unsuccessful. Chief executive officer Marquita Rayside also declined to comment. President of CLICO Holdings, Leroy Parris, who is overseas, could not be reached.

Rayside, a leading road construction and quarrying company, started operations in Mason Hall Street, The City, in the 1940s before moving to Malvern Lodge, Green Hill, St Michael. The company has been responsible for major road projects, including Highway 2A and the Bridgetown Road Safety Improvement Project, which involved roads at Black Rock, Belleville, the Garrison and Roebuck Street. The company also completed a major project at Six Roads, St Philip.

(Assistance from Summi Hazlewood.)

When BU tried to answer the question it provided an interesting little story. It appears that the final nail in the coffin of Rayside Construction might have been hammered because of his affliction for making withdrawals from the hairy bank! Ever since his association to Marquita Butcher he has been seeing red, red and more red. Marquita Butcher whose reputation as a socialite given a marriage to ACME’s Frank Butcher and the jet setting Amor Mottley et al is up there on the social meter. The story is so mind boggling that it makes a sane person wonder how an intelligent business man would have succumbed to the foolishness which ultimately has led to the demise of his sixty something year old company.

It was not unusual for Barbadians to see all of the Butcher family – the sisters, the son and others driving around the Mercedes or the Jeep or taking trips overseas, all paid for by the company no doubt. An interesting side story is that during the period when Keith Rayside was smitten by Marquita’s love he alienated his blood family who had worked with him over the years to help build the company. So what happened next to this once successful black owned company? The original premise on which we built our investigation is that the extravagant lifestyle killed the company but amazingly we stumbled on the fact that there appears to be a side story which finally led to the demise of Rayside Construction.

It is no secret that Marquita and Beverly Arthur the former wife of Prime Minister Arthur were very close friends. It appears that when Beverly Arthur moved out of the Owen Arthur’s residence she found safe haven at the Rayside , Warrens household. When Arthur found out he was livid and for those who don’t know, PM Arthur had always had an affinity for old man Rayside because that’s the man who gave him a job when he was “scrunting” after he returned from Jamaica. We can all speculate that Rayside’s financial success in the good years might have been linked to reciprocity at play; we shall say no more. To make a long story very short, Rayside Construction after haemorrhaging under the Butcher tenure quickly died when Beverly Arthur went to live with her “beloved” Marquita Butcher.

The moral of this long story is that a successful black company was compromised and finally brought to its knees, not because of problems with the bank, but because of the old man’s desire for the love of a young woman old enough to be his daughter. Marquita was many years his junior, the disagreement with Prime Minister Arthur because he allowed his house to be a shelter for the “First Lady” was a big reason why it all when downhill for Rayside. Perhaps when Senator Bynoe’s book is released it will make mention of the role the female sex and sex have played in the demise of many black businesses. It is interesting to note that COW has divorced his first love of many years to marry into the HESS fortune_another young female!

What do they say again?

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Rayside Construction Company:Why Did This Respected Black Owned Business Fail?

24 thoughts on “Rayside Construction Company:Why Did This Respected Black Owned Business Fail?

  1. Pingback: The Failure of Rayside Construction Limited, Barbados - A Tale Of Sex, Money and Politics « Barbados Free Press

  2. Most black businesses fail because they are not properly run, period.

    Look at Pizza Man Doc. The food is awful, the surroundings are dirty and the the service is poor. They survive by offering cheap pizza to poor bajans who know no better, However, people always aspire upwards and those who can afford to pay a bit more will eat elsewhere.

  3. Willie lynch, if he ever existed, had it right. We seek to destroy rather than build we seek to redecule rather than support, we seek to slander when we could say praise ..too bad too bad. I bet my life, A NIGA made those slanderous cowardly statements a person who has contributed nothing this world but shi.. a person who has done nothing for anyone in their life an empty sad person whose legacy will be 000000 seek a life, seek meaning to life, seek wisdom not emptiness, you do yourself or your race any good..

  4. What is the connection between Beverley and Marqueta since it appears that Mr. Rayside is quite old?

    Politicians nowadays seem to be vampires and scrubbers yet there is no relationship. Strangely, they tell me that Mary who had a little lamb is now a muscle-man!!

  5. Well we can never know for a fact Martsie but we do hear all the rumours here at BU!


    Your comment is very touching. Are you close to the parties we touched on? Can you tell us where we were harsh in our comments?

  6. Harsh is too good a word to describe ignorance. U have taken a good concept and used it for personnal vendettas .. like everything u touch u turn to mush. Lift urself up rather than try to condemn others u r such a willie lynch legacy… keep hope alive

  7. This person seems so familiar to all of us. This is that person that seeks out scandal to pull down his fellow country man. Clearly this “BU” paper has no other purpose but to publish nonsensebecause they are apparently bored in their life….go kill ya self if your so bored as to make up these obviously personal statements. David if it is you, had better becareful with your name and the internet.. Might find yourself in trouble.

  8. i want to know if rayside wife and beverly were lesbians? SOME BODY please help me and has any clits been bitten.

  9. What is a “hairy” Bank~purported to be that delightful treasure which is guarded by normal men and guarded by MOST women 🙂

  10. kindly leave beverly out of all your nasty talk. Long mouth wutless leave my panties on desk in office Julie can never walk in her shoes

  11. Pingback: Black Barbadian Businesses: How Will They Fare Against Rising Competition In The Emerging Market? « Barbados Underground - bringing the news to the people

  12. My condolences go out to the wife and children of Mr Keith Rayside SNR on his passing. Mr Rayside was a pioneer in the road works industry in Barbados in which he started from humble beginnings out of his small depot surrounding Murphy’s pasture in Mason Hall street to the construction empire in Green Hill which employed several workmen.. Having had a hand as a result in the physical transformation of the landscape of Barbados, it is inconceivable that up to the time of his death despite his valuable contribution to country, Mr Rayside has never been awarded. i would hope that government would see fit to honour Mr Rayside by having any new major highway in Barbados name after him. May he rest in peace.

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  14. Who will pay this settlement?

    Rayside awarded $990 000

    By Maria Bradshaw


    Marquita Rayside, the widow of construction magnate, Keith Rayside, has been awarded close to $1 million in damages by the High Court for being constructively dismissed 14 years ago, from the company her husband built.

    The court awarded Rayside, the former Chief Executive Officer of Rayside Construction Limited (RCL), a total of $990 000 representing her monthly salary of $21 500, $650 entertainment and $600 travel for 44 months, the remainder of the time of her contract as CEO, before she was “constructively dismissed” by Leroy Parris, then Chairman of CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Limited, which had purchased a majority shareholding in Rayside Construction, in 2006.

    Back in 2005, two years into her contract as CEO of the then 50-year-old company, Rayside received a letter from Terrence Thornhill, president of CLICO which said among other things: “Since assuming the management and conduct of the affairs of [RCL] we have notified you that your present employment as CEO of RCL cannot continue.”

    In handing down the judgement on June 11, Justice Sonia Richards found that RCL did not satisfy the court, on a balance of probabilities, that it was justified in dismissing Rayside.

    She noted that the alternative position of Senior Accounts Officer, that was offered to her by the new management, represented a considerable demotion in status and the financial and other perks of the office of CEO. In addition, the court also found that RCL did not prove its claim that Rayside, who worked at the company since 1999 in various positions did not have the experience or qualifications to be CEO of the company.

    Breach of contract

    “This constituted an anticipatory and fundamental breach of the contract of employment. And the claimant was entitled to leave RCL and claim damages for constructive dismissal. The court having found that the Claimant’s dismissal was not justified, it follows that she is entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal.”

    In its defence, RCL alleged that Rayside’s dismissal was justified because she had authorized a number of payments totalling $518 560.39 by RCL that undermined its finances. The company pleaded that this sum should [be] set off against anything the Court found to be due to her.

    The judge also apologised for the length of time it took to conclude the case which was filed in 2006.

    Justice Richards explained: “This case was filed in 2006, and passed through the hands of various judges before being assigned to this court. It was ten years before the trial began in 2016, and concluded in March of 2017. The decision is delivered today after a three year hiatus.”

    She reminded that the Caribbean Court of Justice, had consistently urged the Barbados judiciary to issue judgements expeditiously.

    She added: “More recently, Parliament instituted a six-month time frame for judgements to be delivered.

    The failure to observe the six-month deadline exposes a judge to the possibility of disciplinary action.”

    Backlog of cases

    In terms of the much complained about backlog of cases, the judge noted: “This backlog was built up over a number of years of continuous trials; and frequently with four out of five working days dedicated to trials which included interlocutory applications and cost hearings. While this backlog accrued, the head of the judiciary, counsel and the Barbados Bar Association were at all times aware of the precarious position of this Court. No significant off bench time was ever offered as the backlog continued to escalate. Add to this mix the fact that this Court was without the services of a dedicated judicial assistant between June 2019 and May 2020.”

    In apologising to the parties involved in this case, Justice Richards stated: “The court appreciates the frustration of parties and their counsel who

    continue to await outstanding judgements from this court. I hereby tender my sincere apologies for any contribution this court made to the delays in this matter.”

    Rayside was represented by Sir Elliott Mottley Q.C., while Rayside Construction Ltd was represented by Leslie Haynes, Q.C.

    When contacted yesterday, Rayside 67, said: “I am very happy with my judgement. This whole thing affected my kids more than anyone else. My kids know that I am a very honest, hardworking person and I always told them I have faith in God. All the dirty comments that people made about me that didn’t even know me. I had to have faith to deal with this. It was hard.”

    Source: Nation

    • In terms of the much complained about backlog of cases, the judge noted: “This backlog was built up over a number of years of continuous trials; and frequently with four out of five working days dedicated to trials which included interlocutory applications and cost hearings. While this backlog accrued, the head of the judiciary, counsel and the Barbados Bar Association were at all times aware of the precarious position of this Court. No significant off bench time was ever offered as the backlog continued to escalate. Add to this mix the fact that this Court was without the services of a dedicated judicial assistant between June 2019 and May 2020.

  15. @ David August 2, 2020 7:57 AM

    Whoever took over the assets of CLICO!

    Whichever financial institution is in receipt or the beneficiary of that $3.3 million should be the first piracy port of call.

    Whatever happened to the money the Central Bank was holding on deposit for Greenverbs?

    You will soon see if Court Judgements have relevance in Bim in order to put paid to Hal Austin’s harangue that Barbados is a “failed state”.

    According to precedence poor little Margaret the Pearl would be in receipt of a pauper’s burial before that compensation payout is forthcoming.

    BTW, wouldn’t you agree that the Thorn(y)hill fella is the most elusively lucky man in Barbados; the financial brains behind the Italian-type Clico jobs?

    He has to be dubbed the scarlet pimpernel of white collar crime in Bulbados.

    Teflon Terence is the ‘go-to’ man when planning an inside heist of large financial takings.

    “The worst form of injustice is pretended justice.”— Plato

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