Farewell For A Head Of State
He assumed the post of Governor General in mid 1993 - and today 28 years later, Sir Colville Young stepped down. He's been Belize's Head of State for most of the country's 40 years of Independence - and today at the House of Culture he made a graceful exit - one with the usual fanfare, but also, some tenderness. Jules Vasquez reports.
By the Carib sea...that's where Governor Genial Sir Colville took his last stand at the dais for the Royal Salute.
For 28 years he has been the head of state to four different heads of government, Esquivel, Musa, Barrow and Briceno. And today at the age of 88, he's stepping aside.
Sir Colville Young, Governor General
"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. That crown will now be passed to my successor, a great choice by Prime Minister Johnny Briceno. 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 note from people here and there and everywhere that they will not allow me to go silent into the goodnight."
A true renaissance man, Sir Colville is a musician, educator, linguist, author, playwright and teacher - even, briefly, a politician.
Now he retires to his family. But even after walking with kings and a queen, he will be remembered not for acting like a monarch, but like an extra-ordinary man with a common touch:
Major Eric Neal
"He is just like a man, humble, compassionate individual who understands the importance of knowing people and where needs be providing those words of assurances for others. During my experience he never came off who was elitist, pompous, to say. He never allowed the role to fill his head."
So, what happens next? Well, for the time being, Cabinet Secretary Stuart Leslie has been named Acting Governor General. And, then, likely at the end of May, Froyla Tzalam will take up the post, becoming Belize's third Governor General.
Her appointment only awaits the Royal Commission from the Palace.