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Jun 14, 2018

Queen of the Bay Pageant Taken Over by Former Queens

The Queen of the Bay pageant is a highlight in the September calendar as highly anticipated as the Carnival Road march. Deep in tradition, the pageant has been running for decades, but last year, the event became a spectacle during the crowning of the Queen of the Bay on the morning of September tenth. As the nation watched on television, two queens were crowned one by the outgoing queen and the other by the chair of the Queen of the Bay Committee. This year, organizers are hoping that all things will go back to normal.  DPM Patrick Faber called a press conference to the say that the Association of Past Queens has been entrusted with the pageant. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The pageant in recent times has been mired in controversy. The tenth of September festivities received a black eye following a very public embarrassment on stage at the coronation of the seventy-second Queen of the Bay; two queens were crowned. As co-chair of the national celebrations committee, Patrick Faber says that the intention is to assist with the future of the prestigious pageant.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Co-Chair, National Celebrations Committee

“Our intention is to ensure that the pageant is never again ran away with and that’s really what happened last year. And it was an approach made by the former queens to us to say we are very concerned about what has happened. Of course the prestige of the pageant is what they treasure and value and this is something that they have been a part of for many years and so they have approached us to say please, entrust us to do this. There is nobody more fitting to do this work and so we accepted that to be the case. And while we insist that it be a pageant because of its patriot and civic value to us, that it belong to the government and people of Belize, that there is no other entity more fitting to manage it than the Association of Former Queens.”

 

While Emma Boiton remains as head coordinator for the pageant, but with Queen of the Bay 1998 Shari Williams coming on board as co-coordinator. Several other past queens, including Falon Cain, Sherima Usher and others also form part of the committee. Williams says that a new structure will be put in place to maintain the integrity of the pageant.

 

Shari Williams

Shari Williams, Co-Coordinator, Queen of the Bay Committee

“It is very important we maintain the essence of the Queen of the Bay. One of the things we are definitely putting into place this year as the deputy prime minister mentioned, cabinet has had a discussion on it. And so they are looking at putting in the proper structure. And in their mind, they have entrusted us with safeguarding the pageant. And when I say us, I mean an association of queens—past queens from the 1970s in our committee. We have some thirty plus persons who have signed on to be a part of the association of queens, meaning that we will be trustees of that the queen of the bay is.”

 

Today, reigning national title holder Aaliyah Ysaguirre also finally collected her prizes for having captured the crown back in 2017. Aside from getting scholarship, a laptop, cash and other prizes, Williams the pageant is evolving and took the opportunity to invite young ladies to compete.

 

Shari Williams

“Our committee has been meeting in order to plan the seventy-third Queen of the Bay. But before we can start planning what the next pageant is, we need to look at the structure. And some of the things that came up in the discussion is that Miss Emma had a tendency to picking the judges the last week before the pageant simply because…you know how it goes with judges. So one of the things the committee has decided to do is formulate a structure of selecting judges. Definitely, one of the biggest things…no politicians absolutely as well at other persons—not just people who sponsors or so, but actually coming up with a proper structure of one judge coming from here; people who are knowledgeable of pageants, people who can decipher what the criterias are.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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