Ray Smith as he was popularly called, was born at “Ashford” on 16th October 1930 in St. Paul’s, St. George – the 2nd son of Mr & Mrs Sydney H. Smith.
He began his early education at the St. George’s Intermediate School under headmaster John F. Nurse Esq., then to the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) under headmasters Mr. G.C. Grant M.A. from Trinidad, then Guyanese Dr. Wilfred Rankin and Barbadian Mr. Rawle Jorden. M.A.
As if destined to pursue a career in engineering, Ray first entered the world of work as a trainee at the then Public Health Engineering Unit. In 1951 he migrated to Canada to pursue studies in his chosen field of broadcast engineering at the Radio College of Canada in Toronto, then to the Sir George Williams University, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
On his return to the Caribbean he participated in the establishment of the broadcasting services during the formation of the aborted West Indian Federation (1958-62) which later was subsumed into CARICOM. Nearer home he gave 18 years service in Grenada to the Windward Islands Broadcasting Service (WIBS) as its Chief Engineer; at WIBS Ray also acted as Manager/Programme Director in the 1960s.
In 1970 he was one of the Founders of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union(CBU) and became its first president. In 1972 he participated in the formation of the Caribbean News Agency (CANA). In 1980 Consultant to Broadcasting Engineer to the Caribbean and UNESCO and Leader of Government Negotiating Team in joint venture company with GRENTEL and Cable and Wireless, and consultant to the Satellite Planning for the Western Hemisphere Communications.
In 1984, during the tenure of the Sir Nicolas Braithwaite Interim Administration, after the collapse of the 1979-83 revolution, Ray was Minister for Health; he also served on the Board of Directors of Hubbards, Sailing and yachting. Ray was also a prominent member of the Anglican community and played an active role in the St. George’s Anglican Church.
In 1994 Ray was one of the founding members of the Willie Redhead Foundation – a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) for the “Conservation and Renewal of the National Heritage of Grenada” and served as a director from 1994-2012, when his insights into local and regional affairs proved invaluable in the ideological formation of the foundation.
In 2000, for outstanding contribution to National and Regional development, her Britannic Majesty- Elizabeth II was pleased to award the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – Civil Division (OBE) to Raymond Anthony Smith of Belmont, St. George, Grenada.
Ray was married to the late Angella Phillip of St. Marks, who was at sometime (the) Honorary Counsel of Switzerland to Grenada; they had two sons and three grand children who live in Canada.
The Willie Redhead Foundation join with fellow Grenadians, his family, his devoted caregivers, and the wider Caribbean and International Community in mourning the loss of an outstanding Grenadian and Caribbean personality.
May his soul rest in everlasting peace – (Requim in Pacem)
A WILLIE REDHEAD FOUNDATION Presentation. (P.S – Please include tWRF Logo)
16th April 2020.