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
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.
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.
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.