Belize’s first Governor-General to be honoured with state funeral

Belize: The Office of the Prime Minister of Belize informs the public that the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño has designated a period of mourning to commence today, January 18, 2021, to Wednesday, January 20, 2021, in honor of Dr. Dame Elmira Minita Gordon, GCMG, GCVO, Belize’s first governor-general.

As such, the Prime Minister has ordered all Belizean flags flown at half-mast for three days.

The Government of Belize has planned a state funeral for Dr. Dame Minita Gordon, who died on January 1, 2021, in Inglewood, California. The former head of state will be buried on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, at the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City. A series of events outlined below will precede the burial:

• January 18 – Arrival of the remains of Dr. Dame Minita Gordon at Philip Goldson International Airport

• January 19 – Cortège (Procession) and Lying in State of Dr. Dame Minita Gordon at the Government House, Belize House of Culture. The procession will begin in front of the Belize Bank Limited on Albert Street at 8:40 a.m.

• January 20 – Ecumenical Service at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist, Belize City. A procession will begin at the Swing Bridge base on North Front Street at 9:15 a.m. for the service at 10:00 a.m.
The Prime Minister also requests that churches across Belize mark this solemn occasion by tolling church bells at 9:30 a.m. on January 20 to signal the State Funeral Procession’s start.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all events are closed to the public. The public is invited to view live coverage of the three-day event via the Facebook page of the Government of Belize Press Office or via live television broadcasts from all major media houses.

Dr. Dame Minita Gordon served as Belize’s first Governor-General from 1981 to 1993. Notably, she is the first woman in the Commonwealth to assume the role.

PM urged people to follow all COVID-19 related guidelines.

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