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Sep 12, 2017

Controversy Boils Over; 2 Queens of the Bay Crowned Simultaneously

The official Tenth of September celebration was reduced to a mockery of the prestigious Queen of the Bay. It all played out on live television from the Memorial Park where for the first time in history two queens were crowned. Aliyah Ysaguirre of Stann Creek was announced as the winner on pageant night and crowned on Sunday. But first runner-up Esmeralda Cal of Orange Walk laid claim to the title and crowned based on a re-calculation of the scores to take into account infractions committed on the night of the pageant. The September Celebrations Commission got into the act on Saturday evening, effectively overturning the National Queen of the Bay Committee’s decision following an aborted meeting. The result was an embarrassing farce on Sunday morning. Dignitaries such as Governor General Sir Colville Young and Prime Minister Dean Barrow looked on, as did the rest of the nation both present and on live television, as two queens were proclaimed and crowned, to the consternation of the hearts of the Bay. News Five’s Aaron Humes starts coverage of this spectacle with the following story.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

An annual feature of the Tenth of September ceremony, the coronation of the Queen of the Bay usually goes without issue and brings a splash of color to the official proceedings. But on this Tenth day, controversy reigned as the decision of the Queen of the Bay Committee to recognize Esmeralda Cal of Orange Walk as Queen was overruled in favor of already declared winner Aaliyah Ysaguirre. First, there was the traditional proclamation read by Candice Pitts – with an unexpected ending.

 

Candice Pitts

Dr. Candice Pitts, Member, National Queen of the Bay Committee

“Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye: whereas the reigning Queen of the Bay, Cristalyn Castillo, the Graceful, having decided to relinquish her throne and lay down the crown and scepter of the Bay on the second day of September at the Birds’ Isle; with the advice and counsel of the judges: Frank Tench; Rashida Hoy; Alma Gonzalez; Sharon Frazer; Ed Williams; Clayton Grinage; Luwani Daniels; Marie-Louise Murray; Sharlett Perriott; Oyinkro Akpobodor; who being persons of excellent taste, sound minds and with keen knowledge of womanly beauty, charm, poise and intelligence, did choose and name her successor, Ms. Esmeralda Cal, the Charming, to the joy of the people of the Bay; now do we, by common consent, declare, pronounce and proclaim, Esmeralda Cal, Queen of the Bay, to be crowned in the presence of all [here] gathered.”

 

But as the boos rained down, mistress of ceremonies Shari Williams stepped in and delivered a twist straight out of Hollywood, with Neil Hall as straight man.

 

Shari Williams, Mistress of Ceremonies

“Now point of order, ladies and gentlemen: we have a new proclamation to be read by Mister Neil Hall.”

 

Neil Hall

Neil Hall, Communications Officer, NICH

“Hear ye, hear ye: whereas the reigning Queen of the Bay, Cristalyn Castillo, the Graceful, having decided to relinquish her throne and lay down the crown and scepter of the Bay on the twenty-seventh day of August, 2017, at the Birds’ Isle; with the advice and counsel of the judges who being persons of excellent taste, sound minds and with keen knowledge of womanly beauty, charm, poise and intelligence, did choose and name as her successor, Aliyah Ysaguirre… (Applause), the Charming, to the joy of the people of the Bay; now do we, by common counsel, declare, pronounce and proclaim, Aaliyah Ysaguirre, Queen of the Bay, to be crowned in the presence of all here gathered. Given at the court of the Queen, this tenth day of September, 2017.”

 

Esmeralda Cal

Shari Williams

“Thank you Mr. Neil Hall and that is how you present a proclamation.”

 

Hall did get the date wrong – it was September second, not August twenty-seventh. But that paled to what happened next. Her Graciousness Cristalyn Castillo and Ysaguirre performed their crowning front and center of the Memorial Park stage. In the background, a grim-faced Zenaida Moya performed her own ceremony with Cal. But on this day Ysaguirre would get the happy ending, complete with the vanquishing of the evil benefactor.

 

Cristalyn Castillo, 71st Queen of the Bay

“With this crown, I crown you Queen of the Bay! (Cheers and Applause)”

 

Aaliyah Ysaguirre

Aaliyah Ysaguirre, 72nd Queen of the Bay

“Thank you.”

 

Shari Williams

“I’m being asked for the Police Department to kindly remove Zenaida Moya from the stage… (Applause) Miss Zenaida Moya, can you kindly exit the stage.”

 

Aaliyah Ysaguirre

“I, Aaliyah Ysaguirre, accept this crown, robe and sash, and I will wear it with pride and dignity. (Applause)”

 

Shari Williams

“Miss Emma Boiton sent a special request: she wants to wish everyone a happy September Celebrations. She asked me to thank Miss Zenaida Moya for her services, and to let her know that her services as chairperson of the Committee will no longer be needed. (Cheers and Applause)”

 

Truth be told, the new Queen was one of the few on the stage with both. Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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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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3 Responses for “Controversy Boils Over; 2 Queens of the Bay Crowned Simultaneously”

  1. Jorge says:

    I really don’t know why so much scandalousness with these queens. The importance of the gathering was about the 10th itself and not about irrelevant queens. In the future, they should crown their queens somewhere else and not during the important ceremony. the embarrasment was well deserved. I don’t care about the queens.

  2. carlos says:

    I thought that this only happened at Succotz Independence celebration a few years ago where the elected queen was left out and another queen was crowned. But guess what, the queen elect went up the stage and removed the crown from the head of the already crowned queen on that date. This was drama and everybody enjoyed the show. This shows the poor organization of such committee and it shows that the authorities should get competent people to be in these committees.

  3. Belizean pride says:

    Now point of order, to me who we are leaving behind the pic is Shari Williams on dissing Dr.Pitts on stage with her “Thank you Mr. Neil Hall and that is how you present a proclamation.” To me as an audience watching it was very disrespectful to do on stage. Why couldn’t she just kept does words and let Mr. Hall do his thing with out her saying what she says. Mein to me she also was very out of order. As a hostess she need some ethics to be learned on her behalf.
    This was very low unprofessional acting of such people who we look unto and disgrace our celebration. Seemed to me she wasn’t happy with Zenaida either from the beginning. Which should something was going to happen.

    but IT IS, WHAT IT IS. jejeje

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