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Richard Edmonds Luyt
(8 November 1915 - 12 February 1994)
Sir Richard Edmonds Luyt, DCM
Former Governor-General of Guyana

Sir Richard Edmonds Luyt, (8 November 1915 – 12 February 1994) was the colonial Governor of British Guiana in 1964-66.

Early life and education

Sir Richard Edmonds Luyt was born (8 November 1915 ) and educated in Cape Town, South Africa.


He installed Forbes Burnham of the People's National Congress (PNC) as premier of a coalition government with a small business-oriented conservative party in 1964; however, the People's Progressive Party (PPP) came first in the election. Deadly riots ensued when the PPP was not allowed to form the government. Upon independence in May 1966, Sir Richard was sworn in as Governor-General of Guyana, a position which he held until December the same year.


Sir Richard returned there in 1967 as principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town, a post which he held until 1980. Because of his actions in British Guiana, his appointment was initially opposed by the student body but he soon won them over. During this period, at the height of the apartheid years in South Africa, academic freedom was under threat and Sir Richard was in the forefront of South African vice-chancellors who fought to protect these freedoms. He also vigorously objected against banning orders and detention without trial of students and staff who protested against apartheid.

Personal life

Sir Richard was an excellent cricketer and rugby player. He obtained a Rugby Blue at the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar and played in three first-class cricket matches for Oxford University Cricket Club.

Honours and awards

During World War II Sir Richard fought against the Italians in Ethiopia and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.


Sir Richard died on 12 February 1994, aged 78.


Click to enlarge
Sir Richard Luyt [last Governor of British Guiana], Premier Burnham & Lady Luyt awaiting HM The Queen's arrival in British Guiana, February 1966. (Photo compliments John Marwood)
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Sir Richard Luyt [last Governor of British Guiana] on the arrival of HM Queen Elizabeth II & HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, February 1966. (Photo compliments John Marwood)
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The Duke of Kent being introduced to Premier Forbes Burnham at the airport by Sir Richard Luyt, Guyana's first Governor General.
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Official welcome for the Duke of Kent 22 May 1966 (Stabroek News file photo)
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Richard Edmonds Luyt
Occupation Statesman
Date of Birth 8 November 1915
Place of Birth Capetown, South Africa
Date of Death 12 February 1994 (aged 78)
Notable Accomplishments
Governor of Guyana: 7 March 1964–26 May 1966
Governor-General of Guyana: 26 May 1966 – 16 December 1966
Country profile Guyana
Governors-General of Guyana

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