Wed | Jun 23, 2021

My Favourite beauty Queen

Published:Monday | August 10, 2015 | 12:00 AMDave Rodney
Ava Joy Gill Miss Jamaica 1971
Cindy Breakspeare, in all her glory on the night of December 5, 1976.
Miss Jamaica World 1993, Lisa Hanna.
Miss Jamaica Beauty Queen Laurel Williams (Miss Jamaica 1967)
Yendi Phillpps
Terri-Karelle Reid

My Favourite Beauty Queen

Love them or hate them, beauty pageants have, for many years, become embedded in Jamaica's culture, and the passion for pageants has been fuelled in no small part by Jamaica's impressive success with pageants on the international stage, especially in the Miss World beauty contest where we've had three winners and countless runners-up.

Yesterday, as we crowned our Miss Jamaica World 2015 queen, we asked a number of pageant devotees locally and across the diaspora to look back over the years and name their favourite beauty queen.

Mickey Haughton-James, former pageant director, Kingston

This comment will probably get me in big trouble, but Cindy Breakespeare. In her 20's is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, in the flesh and on screen! She was never officially Miss Jamaica, but in August 1976 she won Miss Jamaica Body Beautiful, in September of the same year she won Miss Universe Bikini, and in November she was crowned Miss World. She was phenomenal, greatest face, greatest body.

Nicki Lodge, former Miss Jamaica UK and Miss Joffa, London

My choice is Laurel Williams, Miss Jamaica 1967, Laurel Williams was a very elegant and beautiful Miss Jamaica. What I especially liked is that she would take the time to meet the Miss Jamaicas who came after her and helped and encouraged them. Laurel is truly one of the best.

Leftside, dancehall artist and music producer, Kingston.

For me, it's Yendi Phillps, Miss Universe Jamaica 2010. After winning the competition, Yendi did a great job of maintaining the Miss Jamaica status. Her name is now a brand, and she will always be able to remind people that she was a classy, standout winner.

Grantley McIntyre, makeup artist NBC News, New York

My absolute favourite is Miss Wink, contestant #13, Laurel Williams. Why? Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! She was Miss Jamaica 1967 and, at the time, she was a product of all the races that made up Jamaica. That made her relevant, and she had a winning personality too.

Donette Chin-Loy Chang, business executive, Toronto.

My favourite Miss Jamaica is Carol Joan Crawford. She was crowned shortly after Jamaica got Independence. At the time, Carol embodied the hope, prosperity, and development that we all wanted for Jamaica. A gentler Jamaica then.

Bert Rose, event planner and dancer, Kingston.

For me, its a tie between two beauties, Carol Joan Crawford, Miss Jamaica 1963 and Joan McDonald, Miss Jamaica 1978. Carol was a shy dance student at Rowe's School of Dance in Kingston. She worked for Perry Henzell, and I was on a shoot for BH Paints where she was the chipboard girl. I knew then and there she was a winner, so I encouraged her to enter. Surprisingly, she showed up at the Olympia Hotel for eliminations and the rest is history.

With Joan, she was a stunner. I literally took her out of dance class, had her photographed in leotards and pushed her into the contest. Before she realised what was happening, she was already crowned Miss Jamaica 1978

Christine King, journalist, editor, and publisher, Kingston.

I would consider Cathy Levy to be my favourite Miss Jamaica. During her reign, I had developed a relationship with her and her family. Being a Miss Jamaica was not profiling for her. She took beauty with a purpose very seriously. Cathy was constantly helping the less fortunate in our society, and in the children's homes rendering assistance even on Christmas Day.

I admired her sense of being her brother's keeper. She also started what I would consider the first of its kind theatrical group - Little People. Many youngsters pay homage to her with their advancement in life from that grouping, especially in the performing arts.

Noel Mignott, marketing executive, New York

My favourite Miss Jamaica is Ava Joy Gill, Miss Jamaica 1971. She is full of beauty and charm, but her real beauty comes from within. Besides, with a leap of faith, she married me, is the mother of our two sons and with each passing year her beauty grows

I-Octane Reggae Artist, Kingston

My favorite Miss Jamaica of all time is Terri-Karelle Reid. In my opinion, her beauty seems to come from within. She was not only a natural beauty but was also smart, sincere and vivacious. She is the true embodiment of a beautiful Jamaican woman.

Saudicka Diaram, TV host and producer, Kingston.

My pick is Lisa Hanna because she exudes sophistication and class while operating and executing national duties. This is not typical of the stereotypical concept of a beauty queen.