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Letter of the Day | Outrageous decision in St Thomas Festival Queen event

Published:Tuesday | May 9, 2017 | 12:00 AM


I write this letter with great concern. On Saturday, May 6, 2017, I attended the Miss St Thomas Festival Queen coronation show at Colonel's Cove in Morant Bay, and I must say I was most disappointed with the result.

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport must be recognised for continuing the staging of this event, which is vital to our country's cultural integrity amid bombardment by influx of foreign influences.

My discontent lies not with the placement, as I was not a judge, but I believe some of the decisions made on the night were questionable.

For the Most Community Involved sectional prize, my jaws dropped when I realised who copped the award, because I was brought up in a home which taught that one should give unto Caesar what is due unto Caesar.

There was a contestant who is a volunteer with the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network; one who has contributed to numerous topical issues in the editorials; co-hosted an event denouncing violence against women, as well as staging a prayer symposium in Morant Bay; adopted the Lyssons public beach through NEPA's Adopt-A-Beach Programme; coordinated empowerment sessions where she taught youngsters to write their rÈsumÈs, among other things.

She sought sponsorship and assisted the football team in her community with goal posts; advocates for employment and educational opportunities for her peers; sits on community boards parishwide; and launched an initiative where she mobilised a group that visits adjoining communities, listens to their issues, and advocates on their behalf. This list is not exhaustive.

It was, therefore, disappointing to see that an individual whose community service likely did not match up was awarded in that area. I am prompted to question the basis of this decision.

I believe the competition is having challenges with attracting contestants to enter in the first place, and if this culture is to ever be changed, the competition has to start by doing right by the people who compete.

I am aware that they say the judge's decision is final, but too many people are upset over what is deemed an injustice. In the interest of transparency, I am calling on the commission to make public the profiles of the two contestants.