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Dennery Reigns Supreme! Kurnisha Augustus Crowned Miss Independence 2018

Miss Independence 2018

Image of this year’s Miss Independence, Kurnisha Augustus, of Dennery. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
This year’s Miss Independence, Kurnisha Augustus, of Dennery. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
Kurnisha Augustus (Miss Dennery) captured the title of Miss Independence 2018 following a keenly contested competition held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) last evening.

Augustus’ main prize is a $15,000 scholarship from Monroe College. She also picked up the award for Best Talent.

The pageant featured five segments: Swimwear, Talent, Costume, Evening Wear, and Interview.

Nine contestants vied for the title. The other eight contestants were as follows:

• Bernell St. Rose – Miss Soufriere
• KaysiaVerneuil – Miss Laborie
• Alisha Wells – Miss Gros Islet
• Earlyca Frederick – Miss Choiseul
• Estherline Augustin – Miss Micoud North
• ShanicHippolyte – Miss Anse La Raye
• Kiana Nicholas – Miss Vieux Fort South
• Dariah Noel – Miss Castries

Image of the four top placers.
The four top placers.

The final point standings were as follows:

• Queen – 642 points — Kurnisha Augustus – Dennery
• First runner-up: 622 points — Earlyca Frederick – Choiseul
• Second runner-up: 610 points — Kiana Nicholas – Vieux Fort South
• Third runner-up: 609 points — KaysiaVerneuil, Miss Laborie

Other special awards were won by KaysiaVerneuil, Miss Laborie (Best Swimwear, Best Evening Wear), Earlyca Frederick,Miss Choiseul (Best Promotional Speech), and Estherline Augustin, Miss Micoud North (Miss Congeniality).

Now in its twelfth year, the pageant has been plagued by inadequate funding and poor crowd support. Founder/organizer of the annual pageant, Gregory Lorde, has over the years lamented the scant regard paid to the pageant by sponsors and the public at large.

Image of the nine contestants in their evening wear.
The nine contestants in their evening wear.

However, at last year’s pageant, Minister for Culture, Fortuna Belrose, gave her Ministry’s commitment towards improving the image of the pageant, as well as the much-needed financial support and publicity. Last Friday’s pageant was testimony to that commitment as many patrons expressed delight at its overall improvement. The crowd, too, was larger than it had been in years and so, too, the competitive spirit.

Image of Augustus performing during the talent segment of the pageant.
Augustus performing during the talent segment of the pageant.

Aside from Belrose, Acting Prime Minister Ezechiel Joseph, Commerce Minister Bradly Felix, First Lady Raquel Du Boulay-Chastanet, 2017 Carnival Queen Chancy Fontenelle, Minister for Infrastructure Stephenson King and his wife Rosella, Education Minister Dr. Gale Rigobert, and 2017 Miss Independence Queen of Queens Anya Edwin, were among the packed audience cheering the contestants on.

Held under the theme, “esprit du corps”, the pageant gave the contestants the opportunity to espouse the values and mantras that serve to develop and uplift Saint Lucian society.

Last Friday evening’s Miss Independence Pageant was a bold showcase of beauty, brains and talent by the nine contestants. Upon their shoulders were the weights of bringing the title home to their respective communities.

Here are some more highlights from the competition that many might remember for a very long time.

Stan Bishop began his career in journalism in March 2008 writing freelance for The VOICE newspaper for six weeks before being hired as a part-time journalist there when one of the company’s journalists was overseas on assignment.

Although he was initially told that the job would last only two weeks, he was able to demonstrate such high quality work that the company offered him a permanent job before that fortnight was over. Read full bio...

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