Belize’s first Governor General Doctor Dame Elmira Minita Gordon died New Year’s Day in Inglewood, California at the age of ninety. Doctor Dame Minita Gordon served as Governor General from 1981 to 1993 and was the first woman in the Commonwealth to assume the role. A condolence message from Prime Minister John Briceño says, “Dame Elmira Minita Gordon, you were a blazer of trails as our first Governor-General of Independent Belize and the first-ever woman Governor-General of a Commonwealth realm. Your life has been a story of exemplary service to your people and we know you will Rise in Glory!” Also sending condolences was Governor General Sir Colville Young who succeeded her as Belize’s titular head of state.
Young says that Dame Minita was a lady of great talent and charm who served her nation with patriotic dedication and wisdom, earning everyone’s praise and gratitude. Gordon was an accomplished Belizean, having served as a trained teacher at the Belize Teachers’ College and former Education Officer with the Ministry of Education. She would later go on to become Belize’s first trained psychologist. In our archives, we found one of Gordon’s final appearances and speech. She addressed a room filled with women police officers.
Dame Minita Gordon, Former Governor General
“Women police constables act as social workers, diplomats, law enforcement officer while maintaining the community respect and confidence. After being an education for some thirty five years and being a Belizean woman with continued active interest in women’s education I am fully aware that a good education for women provides the highest quality in the development of any nation. For the more opportunities women are given to improve their education the freer they are to become themselves, to contribute to society in areas of decision making policies.”