Claudia Gardner, Assignment Coordinator
The Grand Palladium Resort and Spa in Lucea hosted the United Nation International Pageant last Saturday before a mixed audience.
Twelve contestants competed, and they were judged on their interview skills, sportswear, fashion and evening gowns and how photogenic they were.
At the end of the evening, Angeline Goh of Singapore captured the title Miss Elite UN International; Carla Gonzales of the United States took the Mrs United Nation International; and Canadian Victoria Saunders copped the Miss United Nation International.
Jessica Turner of Great Britain and Monique Erasmus of South Africa won the Teen United Nation International and Miss United Nation International titles respectively.
According to executive director of the pageant, Jessica Thompson-Clarke, the competition started 10 years ago. She said the decision not to have a swimsuit element to the competition was deliberate, as its main focus was on women who volunteered for worthy causes within their respective communities and countries.
"We wanted to have a pageant that wasn't based on what their (contestants) bodies look like in a bathing suit. Because most of these women who compete in pageants are people who do volunteer work and we are not asked to wear a bathing suit when we volunteer, so why should we be asked to be judged in one?" she quipped.
"We make 45 per cent of their score based solely on their interview, and their interview is based solely on their volunteer work. So they are asked a lot of questions about what they do in their community, and what would they do there if they should win," she added.
The Elite United Nation International aspect of the competition caters to women over 50, while the Mrs United Nation International targets women 21 to 49 who are legally married for at least one year to a naturally born genetic male as of the start date of the pageant event."
Thompson-Clarke said the pageant, which has been held in Jamaica every year since inception, currently has directors in South Africa, Singapore, England and the United States, and Canada.
"I feel that someone who has a crown and a sash has more voice than someone who just comes along and says 'I want to volunteer'. So if they are given a crown and sash and something to say 'I am Miss United Nation International, I would like to represent your charity or help you' then they are more apt to say yes, and let them come along and help them out," she added.