In Belize’s history, Belize has had two Governor Generals, Dr. Dame Minita Gordon who was later followed by Sir Colville Young. The latter, His Excellency (HE) Sir Colville Young, served in this capacity from November 17, 1993 until 30 April 2021 when he officially left office. This followed a personal request from new Prime Minister Johnny Briceño that Sir Colville step down from the office he has held for almost thirty years. A short ceremony was held in honor of his years of service at the House of Culture in Belize City – also known as the Government House. The official farewell for his departure from the office of the Governor General was full of pomp and circumstance – lead by the Belize Defence Force Band and the Guard of Honor made up of B.D.F. soldiers, Coast Guards and Police officers, as well as representatives from the scouts and girl guides of Belize. Prime Minister Johnny Briceño, Leader of the Opposition Patrick Faber, Acting Chief Justice Michelle Arana, other government officials and members of the diplomatic corps were in attendance.
After the fanfare and arrival of a number of guests, those in attendance were shown a video highlighting some of the accomplishments of Sir Colville Young, including but not limited to his contributions to Belize’s music and arts and the Scouts Association of Belize.
The Governor General respectfully and diligently served Belize for more than 27 years, and accomplished quite the lot in that period. In his final address to the nation in that capacity, the Governor General quoted William Shakespeare, “”Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. That crown will now be passed to my successor. A lady of learning, of charm and of patriotism. I wish her well as I am sure all of you do. My years of retirement will perhaps not be as quiet as I wanted it to be, because already I have been getting notes from people here and there and everywhere that they will not allow me to go silently into the good night.”” He reflected back to 1993 when he was approached by the then Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel, and was offered the post of Governor General, representation of the British Crown in Belize. While he was initially hesitant, Sir Colville Young says that consultations with family and friends led his to the position which he would hold for almost three decades. While the job in which he “wore the crown” was a difficult task at hand, Sir Colville Young says that it was the people of Belize who made it far easier than he could have imagined. His gratitude to his family, friends, and all who were with him during his tenure could have been sensed in his voice.
A new Governor General has not yet been officially sworn in and the post is currently in the hands of Deputy Governor General Stuart Leslie but a Maya Indian woman Froyla Tzalam from south Belize has reportedly been nominated by the current Belize government to replace HE Sir Colville Young.
Sir Colville Norbert Young was appointed Governor General in 1993, taking office on 17 November of that year, and was knighted in 1994. Sir Colville was born on 20 November 1932 in Belize City. He studied at Belize’s St. Michael’s College (now part of Anglican Cathedral College (ACC) and not to be confused with the one established recently, and earned a B.A. in English from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica prior to his doctorate in linguistics from the University of York in England.