Jamaica News: Patron of the National Festival Queen Competition, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, says she is confident that the 13 finalists in this year’s Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) contest will be among the country’s future leaders.
Addressing the contestants during Tuesday’s (July 31) Festival Queen Breakfast at the Jamaica House Banquet Hall, Mrs. Holness noted that the finalists are “bright, articulate and well-rounded in terms of your knowledge of Jamaica and your own creativity and talent”.
“I am absolutely comfortable and confident that in this very room are seated the next generation of Jamaica’s leaders. I am absolutely proud to be the Patron of an event which brings together such a distinguished group of women,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Holness is encouraging the finalists to use the opportunities afforded them, by virtue of winning their parish titles, as springboards to propel themselves towards achieving greater success.
She emphasised that the parish crown “is not a destination but a stepping stone for greater things to come,” adding that “each daily experience must form part of the groundwork for the next day’s achievements”.
Mrs. Holness also encouraged them to engage in outreach activities in their respective parishes that will empower other women, in particular, through mentorship and other initiatives.
She urged them to bear in mind that whatever the outcome of the coronation, slated for Emancipation Day, Wednesday, August 1, “all of you are already winners”.
For her part, Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, thanked Mrs. Holness for hosting the breakfast, and reminded the finalists that they, in their capacities as parish queens, are all cultural activists.
She said whatever the competition’s outcome, each finalist would still be excellent cultural representatives and leaders, “because you would have done your best… and (made) us all very proud”.
“So, when the contest is over, you still have a responsibility… to continue to be leaders in your parishes and to be leaders nationally,” Miss Grange added.
In his remarks, JCDC Executive Director, Orville Hill, said the experience gained by this year’s queens “is not one that you leave at the doorstep; it stays with you as you go through your experiences in life”.
“Your experience has just started. As you go back into your respective communities, you (will be) representing your parish; the JCDC; the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and, in fact, Jamaica,” he added.
Miss Manchester, Stacy Ann Nelson, who responded on behalf of the contestants, gave their undertaking to be exemplary ambassadors.
The reigning queen is Dainalyn Swaby, who represented St. Elizabeth.
Source: JIS News