WIOC Clarifies Ownership and Operation of Friars Hill Service Station


The West Indies Oil Company Limited (WIOC) wishes to provide clarity on the return of the operation of its service station located on Friars Hill Road.  

The Friars Hill Service Station property is and has always been owned by WIOC. Mr. Lawrence Gonsalves has been the Managing Operator of WIOC’s service station for approximately 44 years. 

The business arrangement was governed by a service station operational agreement which allows either party to give 60 days notice of its intention to terminate. On October 31, 2022, WIOC gave Mr. Gonsalves 8 months’ notice of the termination of the Service Station Operational Agreement. 

In April of 2023, Mr. Gonsalves requested an extension of time to operate the service station, and WIOC granted an extension until August 31, 2023. 

Mr. Gonsalves, through his attorneys, requested the following payments as a condition of him returning the operations of the service station to WIOC:  

  • A goodwill payment of approximately EC$1.5 million.
  • Severance to Mr. Gonsalves’ employees at an estimated total of EC$372,000.

WIOC has a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders and cannot justify making any of the aforementioned payments to any Managing Operator.  

Managing Operators have the benefit of the use of WIOC’s property and equipment while retaining all the profits from the operation during the contractual period. 

Severance payments are entirely the responsibility of the employer who, at no time, was the West Indies Oil Company, but solely Mr. Gonsalves. 

WIOC always maintains that it has acted in a professional manner and in keeping with the terms of the service station operational agreement which exists with Mr. Gonsalves. 

Effective September 1, 2023, WIOC plans to take over the operations of the service station and will shortly thereafter carry out renovations and upgrades to the said station.  

The station will operate under the new name “WIOC Friars Hill Service Station”.  

WIOC also rejects any claim that it will be handing over ownership/operations of the service station to a third party. 

WIOC will own and operate its service station located on Friars Hill Road. 

WIOC looks forward to continuing to serve its customers. 









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  1. And once again Real News exposed its very good journalistic professional ethics. And they have no shame nor carry any liability for making their false claims.
    So once again is Gaston Browne vindicated. But who cares, they will continue to with reporting their lies and all we can do is set the record straight with facts. And people like Brixtonian have no problem with the constant spreading of these lies. In fact, he rushes to comment on them.

  2. Just so WIOC put Larry’s personal financial business out in the public? You think that is right? They trying to embarrass the man publicly to get him out? What ah set of jackasses in WIOC. But Gaston is their boss so, like Father, like son. Don’t expect any better.

    • @ Not so common, u clearly cannot interpret and the name fits you well. WIOC is clearly trying to be transparent to simply avoid miscommunication! Sounds like Larry is being greedy. From my interpretation, it sounds like a lease agreement so how on earth can he ask for severance pay for his employees and a goodwill payment?? …. unbelievable!

    • Larry, unfortunately, put his own business in the public domain by refusing to honour the terms of his contract . The days of Moody Stuart have long gone. We don’t have to eat widdy-widdy bush for this one!

  3. The way this website is run reminds me of Fergie Derrick in the early days of The Observer. He would print any rumor he heard, and he would go to the person the rumor is all about and offer them to rebut it in the very same newspaper. His vision was that his paper would be used by both sides of the political divide. But the Labour Party politicians did not go for that. Therefore, you only had the rumors the UPP put out there in his paper and he closed the article by saying that so and so was contacted for a respond but declined.

  4. All me no a dat Minister family and friends a go finally get FREE GAS without any accountability. Just send your baby mother or girlfriend down a WIOC gas station and the thing sort out. Just Wait ……. they just couldn’t wait to tek way the place.

    Government a go compete with other fuel providers and knock dem out a business just now. Welcome da new Government Gas Station ….. tek dat …. dem na need are U no mo

  5. The troublemakers are shown again. They so greedy for power that they don’t care about damage. As a wioc shareholder, must ask that you keep doing what’s best for all stakeholders. Include mobile payment systems so persons buying fuel can easily use their cc to pay. Work on implementing ecash. Wishing Larry and his wife a good retirement.

    • @Tenman
      Your response lacks depth. All the things you mentioned are very easy to install. Why didn’t your offer your expertise. Labour people like you are always spinning and trying to deceive people.

      • Didn’t Rubis try this in the past and the present government threw a tantrum? I even thought Bernard Percival was to go to court? Aren’t the circumstances the same? Somebody please clarify.

      • @saying yet no one locally is doing it. I have seen it in slu and I am told also skn. Help me though where in that comment was I being deceitful ? Just seems your lack of trust speaks .ore about you than me

  6. According to the PR statement, Mr. Gonsalves and WIOC had a legally binding contract and with all things in life everything must come to an end.

    I personally found the staff of that particular service station to be the most professional for the past four decades, some of Antigua’s business professionals of today were introduced to the field of work at that establishment. I hope the standard which was set by Mr. Gonslaves will be maintained as some of WIOC’s younger employees require a trough due to their bestial and unprofessional attitudes, forty-years-old and younger and cannot even begin to articulate the language of their oppressor.

    I cannot speak to what transpired behind the scenes during Mr. Gonsalves’ tenure, nor can I assume anything, but after operating for such a long period it will be difficult for anyone to come to terms with handing over the keys to the rightful owner.

  7. I am a little puzzled though as to why West Indies Oil would want to take over day to day operations of the service station and get into the retail market given that they are already in the wholesale market as one of the only two wholesalers. Larry and his wife has done a remarkable job of running the business and I often give them credit for the cleanliness, efficiency and courtesy that has become a hallmark of the service station. I regret that this is happening as the Friars Hill Service Station was patronized by many customers not only those living on the northern end of Antigua. I do hope that WIOC would reconsider their move and allow Larry to continue his operational excellence.

  8. It’s their service station so they can do what they please. The question though is the motive behind ending Mr. Gonsalves tenure. We know the government and people connected to the government own shares in WIOC and the board members include mostly government ministers and labour supporters. We will wait and see who ultimately ends up with the service station as only certain people in Antigua must make money.

  9. When Lester Bird was carrying on with his shenanigans, the upper class, the privileged class and the high-color class did not speak out. they were getting theirs, so let the lower class deal with their problems. Lester towards the end of his final term as PM started to dive into these same people’s pockets to help prop up the failing economy.

    They moaned and they groaned and could not wait to get rid of him.

    Fast forward 20 years.

    Can anybody see a repeat of this episode?

    I like Larry and I think they are doing him a bad deed. However, if this is what it is going to take to get the upper crust to revolt and rebel against Gaston Browne’s greed and tyranny, well, so be it.

    Poor black people will just buy popcorn and coke and watch the conflict.

  10. What is the real reason for not renewing the lease?Why would WIOC want to operate a Gas Station? If this man has been meeting all of the details of the lease.Then there should be no reasons to end that lease agreement. So WIOC give us the truthful reasons.Sqeezing the balls of a little man.Isn’t WIOC as it stands now making a killing on the backs of the people of Antigua and Barbuda.WE THE PEOPLE OF ANTIGUA,SHOULD BUY OUR GAS AND OTHER PETROLEUM PRODUCTS ELSEWHERE.LET US BOYCOTT THAT DAMN GAS STATION.

  11. The wife can go home and look at ppl her colour now…since she clearly has an issue with ppl of a darker hue…..speaking from experience

  12. It looks like it’s better to be on the outside looking in than on the inside looking on, because judging from most of the comments, it would appear that everytime someone does something that some people don’t like, ten fingers just point to GB. Everything happens in Antigua is GB fault, or his family is likely to benefit from it. I guess you all are looking into your crystal ball.

    • Ah, may I remind you @ Julian Lewis that Gassssston Browne 🥸 is the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda … had you forgotten?

      There you go, Brixtonian looking into his crystal ball 😁

  13. With all that said, I pray the employees of the service station are compensated, that’s all my concern is with. It’s not right to leave them hanging with empty hands.

  14. Where was this explanation all along? Something stinks here and I’m sure the Pupet Master has made a few calls to activate the puppets.
    Is it not to the benefit of the economy to encourage private businesses? So many have crumbled,why bury another one? Does this business not employ several who are contributing to the statuary boards?
    The idiot who controls our finances knows nothing about finance and is probably somewhere in the back manipulation things in his favor inspite of his claim otherwise.
    Indeed, why does WIOC need to have a gas station? Do they have any others? Why now. Our country is so inundated with lies,deception, traitors, gold-diggers and a corrupt, self-enriching government, I will reserve my conclusion until all is out in the open. We shall see.

  15. You think the people forgot Porkston Browne’s lies? Remember when she said Pointe FM was not her radio station back then? What is Pointe FM refered to as now? Porkston Browne’s radio station.

    She is now playing down that her daughter, also named her has no interest in WIOC. Just another lie in the making. In the future you will see Porkston Browne’s daughter owning it.

    If and when that happens, which it will, I will have no respect for Gregory Georges and especially for forcing out Larry Gonsalves. The reason I go there is because of both him and his wife.

    Your Porkson Browne thanks all her ass kissers and slaves on this forum. Keep on voting her in.

  16. WIOC CEO your father must be turning in his grave at the ridiculous lies and measures taken by you to please your master. Your father would not be proud of you lawless manipulative dispossession of companies and people which you have put out of business! God will punish you and your master

  17. So he changed his mind since eyes are open and watching. To let things look good the puppet master made a call and tell them to say that WIOC will me managing and operating the service station. So they will not pull back but WIOC must go through to let it look good. Larry told me recently I was one of his special customers. I cherished those words. When I was a young and upcoming business operator he looked out for me . Thanks Larry- always grateful. God bless you sir. Who God bless no man can destroy….

  18. The business manager and staff need a change they have no manners and customer service bad experience with them and never went back there.

  19. Julian Lewis
    Obviously you are better off on the inside. It does take a crystal ball by those who are on the outside or for you to judge being an insider.
    Those who are on the inside like you seem to be; are generally are pleased with the nepotism and cronism and find nothing wrong for you are a benificiaries of the system. Its human, its cultural, its political but it pervasive in Antigua and Barbuda. So people point fingers
    The Operatoring contract says 60 days notice; and that is what Gonsalves is being held too. Inspite of the terms of the contract, having operated the for 44 years one would hope that an independantly run for West Indies Oil Company Limited (WIOC).
    On the other hand, given Mr. Gonsalves request; it suggest he he was breaking even and cannot even coven severence. That might not be the case. Gonsalves may simply feel that with such short notice after his long tenure he needs a break up payment.
    Irrigardless of their legal rights, WIOC should have given a longer eviction notice, which begs me to believe there is something else a foot.
    These type of things do not take place, without GB being informed and approval

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