Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Footprints: Margaret Amiel - Beauty queen passes peacefully

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Margaret Amiel

Beauty queen passes peacefully

Margaret Pamella Dunbar was born November 3, 1948 in St Andrew, Jamaica.

She was the first of five children from the marriage of David 'Bud' Dunbar and Olive Dunbar.

When she was six years old Margaret moved with her family to the United Kingdom (UK), where she won a UK Caribbean beauty pageant in 1968. Her first marriage produced three children - Fidel, Leila, and Karl Dhana.

In 1974, the Dhanas returned to their Jamaican roots and settled at Coral Gardens, Montego Bay, St James.

"Margaret focused on keeping her children in a nurturing, structured, environment, providing them with a solid education that would benefit them later in life," Fidel said.

In Montego Bay, Margaret established a business called 'Lady Godiva Gift Shop'. It thrived as a result of Margaret's charisma, attention to detail, and strong work ethics. By 1980, the business evolved into an in-bond store selling duty-free jewellery, crystals, electronics and other high-end products.

Yet, when her first marriage ended in 1983, Margaret migrated to South Florida, where she met and married another Jamaican, Dennis Amiel, who fathered a daughter, Carolyn.

"The success of all the children in their careers and personal lives is due to the foundation she laid and deep moral values she ingrained in them," Fidel said of his multi-skilled mother who loved sports, games, music, dancing, pets, cooking, decorating, floral arrangements and gardening.

"She was a phenomenal cook and homemaker. She made a wicked scotch bonnet pepper jelly sauce and her Jamaican rum punch was always the first to be finished at parties ... . It wasn't uncommon when attending a formal function for her to kick off her shoes and dance bare feet, just because the 'music sweet her'," he recalled.

However, in March 2015, Margaret Pamella Amiel, also called Pam, learnt that she had breast cancer.

"She put on her boxing gloves and readied herself for the fight," her son Fidel told Footprints. "And fight she did with a lot of help from her daughters-in-law Avril and Leisa," Fidel said. "Sadly, Margaret Amiel passed away peacefully on November 16, 2015 in West Palm Beach, Florida."

Fidel added: "Pam was an optimist even until the end of her life. Her positive attitude was contagious to all who came in contact with her."

- Paul H. Williams