Miss Heritage pageant expected to be bigger, better – Organizers
September 11, 2015
Miss Heritage pageant expected to be bigger, better – Organizers

The biennial National Secondary Schools Miss Heritage Pageant is expected to be bigger and better this year – thanks to EC $65,000 in sponsorship that was presented to the National Heritage Committee earlier this week.{{more}}

Coordinator of the committee LaToya Deroche-John told SEARCHLIGHT that this year’s sponsorship has been the most it has received since the show’s inception in 2009. However, she explained that the total overall cost of producing the show still has not been met.

Deroche-John explained that the committee is still short of $10,000 for the staging of the show, and went on to say that to produce the show on the night the committee would incur expenses of up to $51,000.

Despite this, she assured the public that on the night of the show, attendees can expect great performances from not only the contestants, but also from the various surprise guest acts.

“The theme lends itself to great ambassadorial speeches… these girls are very talented,” Deroche-John boasted.

She also mentioned that the National Heritage Committee has been working tirelessly to ensure that Vincentians get a great show come October 31 at the Victoria Park.

This year’s official sponsor launch took place at Scotiabank on Monday, September 7, and saw addresses from super platinum sponsor Scotiabank and platinum sponsor Ju-C – which has recently come on board.

Fitzaudy Wright, manager at Scotiabank (the pageant’s longest sponsor), once again pledged his institution’s support for the national heritage pageant and other heritage activities by donating $35,000.

Wright recalled that during his first few weeks as manager, members of the National Heritage Committee visited his office to rekindle the partnership they had established with the bank in the previous year.

“We recognize that culture is a very intrinsic part and valid to our society, irrespective of where it finds itself on the human development index. It is our intent to make it apparent to everyone, if not making it part of our developmental outcomes,” Wright stated.

He further stated that our cultural resources can be converted into economic wealth by promoting “the very unique cultural identity, traditions and cultural services,” which then can be channelled into generating jobs, and enhance other revenues.

The bank manager explained that the financial institution’s sponsorship “will be providing a catalyst for a package of activities that will spark new life into our independence celebration.

“Scotiabank believes that in partnering with the National Heritage Organization, it is facilitating the conversion of cultural assets into more tangible ones that will promote activities and traditional knowledge developed by Vincentians over the years,” he declared.

Wright pledged to continue to support the National Heritage Committee in future.

Platinum sponsor Ju-C presented Michelle Beache, deputy headmistress of the St Vincent Girls’ High School (this year’s host school), with a donation of EC $20,000 to be used toward the pageant and related activities.

Marketing manager of Eastern Caribbean Bottlers Inc (ECBI) Rachel Haslam noted that with the Eastern Caribbean Group of Companies (ECBI parent company) being a name synonymous with excellence, it wanted to align itself with the premier secondary school in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

With its flagship beverage brand Ju-C celebrating its first anniversary in October, Haslam noted that ECGC could not think of a better way of celebrating than by supporting the National Miss Heritage Pageant.

The Girls’ High School Parent Teacher Association also made a donation of $10,000 towards the staging of the pageant.

Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture Cecil McKie toasted the delegates and encouraged them to do their best in the upcoming pageant.

The event saw performances by the WINFRESH South East Steel Orchestra and David ‘Darkie’ Williams.

This year’s Scotiabank National Secondary Schools’ Miss Heritage Pageant 2015 will take place under the theme ‘Our Colloquial Legacy: Parlay Palang in Vincy Twang’.

For the first time in its history, the pageant will see a representative from the Grenadines.

The contestants are: Jakida Olliviere, Bequia Community High; Gabricia Yorke, Bishop’s College; Ulrica Gaymes, Central Leeward Secondary School; Azinza Browne, Dr JP Eustace Secondary School; Terrece John, Intermediate High School; Julia Lewis, St Clair Dacon Secondary School; Rondine Browne, St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown; Jo-Ann Andrews, St Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua; and Keneshia Llewellyn, St Vincent Girls’ High School. (CM)