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United We Rise

Front Pages 31 Aug, 2023 Follow News

United We Rise

The stage is set, the crown is ready and the new Queen will start her reign come Saturday night after a rigorous decision making process and a pageant theme of United We Rise.  Five young ladies, one night, and one crown will determine who will be the 2023 Miss Cayman Islands Universe and go on to compete in El Salvador for the Miss Universe pageant in November and who will carry the mantra of United Against Bullying for the next 12 months.  The theme this year was chosen to highlight solidarity and unity and while one can achieve this solo, together it can be maximized to an astounding level. 

Pageantry itself has been around a long time and the Miss Cayman Islands pageant has existed since 1932 when the lovely Miss Gleeda Coe won the first competition ever.  The Cayman Islands also began competing internationally in 1972 when Miss Harriet Lott won the title of Miss Cayman Islands and represented the country at Miss Caribbean Tourism in Santo Domingo as well as Miss Caribbean in Venezuela.  Our first representative to go the Miss World pageant was in 1977 when our then queen Patricia Jackson (Patino) represented us.  By 1980 the Miss Universe franchise was then purchased by the aforementioned former Miss Cayman Islands, Harriet Lott and we had our first ever Miss Universe representative, Delia (Devon) Watler, who also brought home the Miss Congeniality title that year.  We had this honor again in 1982 when Maureen Theresa Lewis (Pitcairn) also brought home the Miss Congeniality title.  In other words, pageantry existed in the Cayman Islands for 91 years and continues to be strong however in this season that the world is in, it is important to understand the changes that this discipline now focuses on and that is mentorship and ushering in our leaders of tomorrow and standing strong as united we shall always rise. 

Each year there is a platform that the Miss Universe Cayman Islands supports throughout the contestant journey and for the year that the new queen will reign.  This year is United Against Bullying.  The Foundation was established to raise awareness and educate the Cayman Islands about bullying and develop solutions to help support and protect those impacted in order to prevent and stop bullying behavior. The aim is to challenge the Cayman community to EDUCATE, SUPPORT, PREVENT and UNITE against bullying to create and sustain an anti-bullying culture in the Cayman Islands. Being kind to one another is paramount and to bully someone for any reason at all, is just plain wrong, on all levels! Miss Universe (the international body) has adopted the latest hashtag of #kindness for such purpose of, when in doubt, just be kind!  Along with the platform, the theme was an easy to come to concept. 

Come Saturday night one will witness all of the hard works of the sport as 5 young ladies showcase, not only their physical beauty, but their mental strength and intellectual prowess.  The pageant has been life changing for all of the young ladies involved and has helped to strengthen their resolve and belief about their place in society.  The carmaraderie and friendship that has been forged is also a testament of the direction in which pageantry is or needs to continue to go. The Miss Universe Cayman Islands is less about being a beauty pageant and more about having national representatives that will uphold qualities that will secure our foundation as a country, whilst being kind to one another.

These young ladies are smart, they are fierce and they are fabulous and they are our own so being a part of the support system that ushers them through to take their place in society is a must.  All in all it seems that Pageantry is here to stay and on Saturday, September 2nd at the Westin Resort, one queen will be crowned, but five Queens are destined to be leaders in our community and united we will continue to rise. 

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