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May 27, 2021

Froyla T’zalam Installed as Governor General

Today, a new chapter in Belizean history is being written as an indigenous woman takes on the role of Governor General.  Froyla T’zalam, an educator and Mopan Maya originally from San Antonio Village in Toledo, gave an inspiring speech during the event live streamed to Belizeans at home and abroad. News Five’s Duane Moody attended the ceremony in Belize City which somehow managed to seamlessly blend protocol, cultural dances and Mayan spirituality.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The official ceremony to pass on the proverbial baton as the Queen’s representative in the country took place at the refurbished House of Culture in Belize City. The appointment of Froyla T’zalam as the most senior diplomat comes on the heels of former Governor General Sir Colville Young demitting office at the end of April.


John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“Her Excellency designate, the Governor General of Belize, Miss Froyla T’zalam brings with her more than just twenty years of experience in our rich Maya history. She brings more than her masters in rural development and her anthropology degree. She brings more than the total of her work as an academic, her scholarly publications and decades of experience as a community organizer – all of which makes her fully qualified for her new role.”


Today’s official ceremony saw the Acting Chief Justice Michelle Arana, a Garifuna woman also of indigenous descent, stand side by side with T’zalam as the oath to office was proclaimed.  In attendance were government officials as well as close friends and family, including T’zalam’s husband, mother and siblings.

After the Belizean flag was handed over from acting GG Stuart Leslie to T’zalam, she was officially made the third Governor General of Belize. She was then saluted by the military. Simultaneously, T’zalam’s spiritual journey culminated with a traditional deer dance that was included in the official ceremonies today.

In her inaugural address to the nation, which was well received by the viewers on social media, the new Governor General acknowledged the accomplishments of her immediate predecessor.


Froyla T’zalam, Governor General

“Sir Colville Young and Lady Young for their unwavering commitment to Belize for nearly three decades of service. Their love of music created a legacy which has been recognised by so many. I want to thank the Prime Minister John Briceño and his cabinet for their trust in me to serve in this high office. I also want to thank the many Belizeans who have expressed their delight and support over social media and personal notes to my appointment.”


With passion and commitment to perform to the best of her ability; a humble T’zalam says that with this new platform, she intends to meet the people and be a champion not only for Maya people, but for all citizens of Belize.


Froyla T’zalam

Froyla T’zalam

“Although we were not financially wealthy, we had our values. My parents did not raise us to see ourselves as poor. We had food and shelter; I was surrounded by family with lots of rooms to run around as well as chores to teach me how to be responsible. These chores imbibe in me an appreciation for the benefits of hard work. While the installation of a Mopan woman as a Governor General can be seen as a symbolic milestone, it should not be seen as wilfully ignoring our colonial past. Rather, it is a new chapter in Belize’s evolution as a country for all and by all. I intend to carry out the constitutional role of this office with the required diligence. It is also my hope that time will permit me to carry out more than my constitutional duties. This is an institution with its own culture, however, like all institutions, it is inhabited by people. Since my appointment was announced, I have had many requests made of me. From building bridges and roads to amplifying the voices of the people. I intend to fully build metaphorical bridges in this country, uniting all of us in the rural areas and the towns. I will use my interest in strengthening local communities to build a nation that can overcome challenges.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


Ensign Melissa Jones has been selected as the new and first female aide de camp to the newly appointed Governor General of Belize, Her Excellency Froyla T’zalam. This is a proud moment for the Belize Coast Guard and we congratulate Ensign Melissa Jones on her success and her new appointment.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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