Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Writer
Seven lovely young ladies will be vying for the coveted St Catherine Co-operative Credit Union Ms St Catherine Festival Queen title on May 22.
The contestants were introduced to a small but enthusiastic audience at the Rodney's Memorial ground in Spanish Town last month.
They are Lotoya Forde (Miss Colbeck Castle), Priscilla Copeland (Miss Phillipo Baptist), Shanika Reid (Miss Flat Bridge), Tasheka Newman (Miss Sligoville), Chantalla Griffiths (Miss Bushy Park Acqueduct), Terry-Ann Virtue (Miss Two Sisters Cave), and Sophia Bryan (Miss Old Courthouse).
In his speech, mayor of Spanish Town, Dr Andrew Wheatley, told the contestants they were part of the future development of St Catherine as Jamaica's mecca of culture tourism.
"We in the local planning authority are aware of the rich cultural legacy in the parish and so you have the opportunity to help with the branding of these special places," Dr Wheatley said.
He said that the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission has helped to constantly keep the social and cultural heritage of the country alive, and the competition was just one of the methods of doing so.
All the contestants expressed a very high level of confidence in their ability to bring the national title back to St Catherine.
Miss St Catherine 2010, Keneisha Allen, is the youngest councillor in Jamaica. She serves the Spanish Town division.