Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
Simone Burke winner of the Miss Earth Jamaica 2008 at the Knutsford Court Hotel, last Sunday. - Colin Hamilton/Freelance photographer
Simone Burke will represent Jamaica, in Manila on November 9, in the third largest global pageant, as the first Miss Earth Jamaica following her crowning at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew, on Sunday.
After a brief introduction, Ms Burke was invited onto the stage. Shortly after, the smiling but speechless Burke was sashed and crowned 'Miss Earth Jamaica', by Jo-Anne Archbald, a representative from the Ministry of Information and Culture, to the flashing of lights from a significant number of cameras.
Criteria for selection
The criteria for the selection of the queen were not given (despite attempts to ascertain them) except that Ms Burke, a former Immaculate Conception High School head girl, was chosen from a number of applicants after pre-screening and interviews and that next year, a committee will be formed to choose the new Miss Earth Jamaica.
The Posh Entertainment Production's one hour programme, preceded by cocktails, started promptly at 7:30 p.m., and was hosted by broadcaster and singer Andrew Lawrence. Lawrence was also one of two performers on the show.
In his melodious voice he filled the small Blue Mountain Suite with John Denver's Annie's Song, Jeffrey Osbourne's The Greatest Love Affair and after the crowning of the Queen he serenaded her with Eric Clapton's Change the World.
Also, providing entertainment was Tanice Morrison with Michael Jackson's Heal the World and her original, For You Mother, in this case mother is in reference to 'mother earth'.
While the organisers can be complimented on their attempt to help save the environment by participating in yet another 'beauties for a cause' pageant, it is recommended that next year's selection process is transparent and well publicised. After all, the queen will be representing Jamaica. Is that asking too much?
Established in 2001 and organised by Carousel Productions, the Miss Earth pageant, which is ranked third behind Miss World and Miss Universe promotes the event to address issues concerning the environment.