Fri | Sep 17, 2021

Manchester Festival Queen looking to repeat mother’s success

Grand coronation set for Sunday

Published:Saturday | July 31, 2021 | 12:07 AMTamara Bailey /Gleaner Writer
Miss Manchester Festival Queen 2021, Dominique Reid (left), is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Karlene Kelly-Reid, Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 1991.
Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2019 Khamara Wright (left), is crowned by 2018 winner Ackera Gowie during the 2019 Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition held in August 2019.
1
2

Though her mother’s involvement in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Festival Queen Competition, for decades, may have influenced her decision to enter, Miss Manchester Festival Queen 2021, Dominique Reid, says her appreciation for what the platform stands for and her ability to impact individuals doing what she loves, are the greatest gain.

“…This competition is not just about pageantry; it is about who you are and your achievement. I still had to work hard in life. I had to do the work necessary. I had no advantage being exposed prior, I still had to put in the work,” Reid told The Gleaner.

The 25-year-old dental surgeon — who graduated at the top of her class from The University of the West Indies, St Augustine campus and has copped several awards and accolades for academic achievement — now works in the public healthcare system.” …Working with the Ministry of Health has been hectic, but it really opened my eyes to how bad the dental situation is. The fact is that a lot of people don’t know anything about dental health, and when they come in at a late age, 12, 13 or 14 years old, that’s their first visit — when the damage has already been done and there is not much that we can do.”

It is for that reason that Reid has embarked on a project to provide dental services to children. She said the initiative would focus on preventing dental disease through education and care for children ages three – 12 years.

“This project will be done in three phases. Phase one will be a dental-health education ‘Tooth’ tour in schools and children’s homes. The second phase is reinforcing what was taught and have the children share creatively in a song or other forms what they learnt. The third phase will be a dental fair where I will be doing preventative treatment … .”

She aims to impact 590 children in commemoration of the 59th year of Independence for Jamaica.

As she gets ready for the national competition, Reid said she is focused, though pressured by those who jokingly remind her that her mother took the national crown in 1991 and that Manchester is the second parish behind Kingston and St Andrew to take home the highest number of wins.

“There is a lot of pressure, but I am going there to do my best, and, hopefully, my best will be good enough.”

Her mother, Karlene Kelly-Reid, who admitted to learning that her daughter had finally signed up for the competition by her co-worker, said it is no surprise that she did not allow an opportunity for personal and professional development to miss her.

“… It’s been a family thing for us, every year without fail we have been at the festival queen competitions … . I was bitten in 1986 when I went to my first competition, and I said ‘I have to enter this’. This is what I was looking for as a great platform for Jamaican women … . Dominique has always been there, and I think it has been a natural progression. It’s a good feeling seeing her work so hard, planning her projects, and I think she is capable. The core of what the competition stands for is who she is.”

Kelly-Reid said, if her daughter wins the crown, it would be a history-making moment for a mother and daughter to take the crown and share a similar title.

“A lot of people think festival queen is nothing, but I believe it does so much for the young ladies. Even if they don’t win, I have seen them go on to do amazing things, impact lives and [build] the nation… .”

With Reid’s Healthy Smiles project set to transcend beyond her reign as queen, she is excited at the prospects of representing her country boldly and catering to the dental needs of the nation’s children.

The grand coronation of the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition will be held this Sunday at the Little Theatre in Kingston. It will begin at 3:30 p.m. and aired live on Television Jamaica and Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica and live-streamed on the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s website – www.jcdc.gov.jm, Facebook and YouTube pages.

This year’s contestants are Reid, Miss Manchester; Nakinskie Robinson, Miss Westmoreland; Danielle Miller, Miss Hanover; Shelice Anderson, Miss Trelawny; Kaydian Taylor, Miss St Elizabeth; Dennae Mills, Miss Clarendon; Tamoy Campbell, Miss Kingston and St Andrew; Kemoy Perry, Miss St Catherine; Ashagaye Kadijah Mullings, Miss St Thomas; Lamoya Robinson, Miss Portland; Claudia Campbell, Miss St Mary; Morganne Jada Kellier, Miss St James, and Amanda Marsh; Miss St Ann.

The reigning Queen is Khamara Wright of St Catherine.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com