Garfene Grandison, Gleaner Writer
As our country celebrates its 50th year of Independence, and we watch with heightened anticipation as our Olympians give their all in London, we cannot help but feel patriotic and proud of our little Jamaica. This is no different for Miss World 1976, Cindy Breakspeare.
Breakspeare tells Flair she still remembers how it felt to claim the crown for her country. She explained that watching the Olympians collect their medals on the podium takes her back to the night she won first place for her country in the Miss World pageant. "I will go to my grave feeling that it was one of the best things that have happened to me in my life," she told Flair as she reminisced about that unforgettable night.
Even though she represented Jamaica in the Miss World pageant, she did not compete in the local Miss Jamaica World Pageant, because at the time there was none. Breakspeare was originally a Miss Jamaica Body Beautiful winner and was expected to compete in the Miss Universe Bikini body building competition. She was, however, referred for the Miss World pageant as it was widely believed that she would do well.
She decided to enter the pageant at the age of 21 for the opportunity to represent her country while travelling the world and getting paid. The local beauty recalled earning more than any other Miss World up until that time. "I told them at the Miss World office to just work me. Anywhere they want me to go - I'll go," the local beauty recalled about her tenure as Miss World.
The 57-year-old is currently working as an interior designer. She confessed to still being a fitness enthusiast, going to the gym as often as possible. But that might be because she has to keep up with her three grandchildren with a fourth expected in October. The supportive mother recently returned from watching her son perform in London for the Jamaica 50 celebrations at the O2 arena.
She also has her hands full as the country celebrates another milestone. Breakspeare chaired the recent Miss Jamaica Festival Queen competition which was a huge success. The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission board member was also involved in the song competition which has afforded her the honour of serving her country in the cultural arena. "I just want Jamaica to prosper," she told Flair.
As one of Jamaica's most beloved beauty queens and also one of our three Miss Worlds, Breakspeare expressed her appreciation for the support she has received from her fellow Jamaicans and considers it a privilege that the affections of so many have been directed towards her.