Dame Elmira Minita Gordon, GCMG, GCVO. Born on December 30, 1930, in Belize City Dame Minita Gordon has the distinction of being Belize’s first Governor–General from its independence to 1993, being the first woman in a Commonwealth realm to assume that position. She was educated in Belize City at St. John’s Girl’s School and St. Mary’s Primary School, before attending the Government Teacher’s Training College. Her teaching career began as an Anglican school teacher including missionary work throughout Belize, extending from 1946-1958. During the years 1959-1969 Dame Minita lectured at the Belize Teacher’s Training College, after which she became an Education Officer. She furthered her academic achievements by correspondence course from the College of Preceptors, Oxford, England. Dame Minita then went on to attend the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham in England, the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, then pursuing a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology followed by a Ph.D course in Applied Psychology at the University of Toronto, Canada. She became Belize’s first Psychologist in 1980. She has been a member of the Girl Guides since 1946, becoming District Commissioner for the Belize district in 1970.
- In 1981 became the first Belizean to receive a Certificate of Inclusion in the International Who’s Who of Intellectuals.
- Justice of the Peace in 1974.
- In 1975 awarded the Certificate of Honour and Life Membership of the British Red Cross.
- Conferred with an honorary degree from the University of Victoria, Canada, in 1984.
- Member of the National Library Service Board until 1976.
- Member of St. Hilda’s College Board of Governors.
- Deputy Chairperson of the Domestic Wages Council.
- Member of the Y.W.C.A.
- Member of the Educational Psychology Programme Planning Committee, University of Toronto 1977-1978.
- Member Leather Craft Club, Toronto 1978-1980.
Source: Belize National Library Service
Photo Courtesy: Belize.com