Harris ready

New Miss Jamaica co-franchise holder looks ahead

Observer senior reporter

Sunday, April 21, 2019

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There is a new co-franchise holder for the Miss Jamaica World Pageant.

Actress, marketer and media personality Dahlia Harris has stepped into the position made vacant due to the passing of Aston Cooke earlier this year. She joins renowned entertainment personality Weston Haughton at the helm of Crown of Beauty Limited, the company formed by Cooke and Haughton in 2018 to oversee the local pageant which selects Jamaica's representative to Miss World.

Harris is no stranger to Crown of Beauty. She was part of the team assembled by Haughton and Cooke to orchestrate the event, so for her stepping forward to fill Cooke's shoes was not something she treated lightly, so she took time to think about what was being asked of her before making her final decision.

“I thought about it a little bit because for Aston and Weston this was their dream. I wanted to be sure that if I agreed I really, really was committed to making sure that it worked. So, I really had to look at what my schedule would be like, but at the end of the day it is something that I'm also passionate about, the development of women, so it wasn't easy, but now that I've made up my mind, I'm glad I did. Because I worked closely with Aston and Weston last year, I think one of the things I bring is continuity. So in terms of sponsorship, marketing, event management and the production element, those are the strengths I believe I have brought to the table since last year and will only intensify in my new role,” Harris told the Sunday Observer.

One of the initiatives Harris is spearheading in this new role is the establishment of a mentorship scheme involving past winners who have made contribution to communities and the nation.

“Beauty with a Purpose continues to be very important to us and one of the things we want to do this year is to launch the Miss Jamaica World Mentorship Programme. We believe that Jamaica has produced some very outstanding Miss Jamaica World contestants. When you think of a Terri-Karelle Reid, Lisa Hanna, Cindy Breakespeare, Sara Lawrence and I could go on. If you list all the winners and what they have achieved and how they have contributed, they truly represent Beauty with a Purpose. So we want to identify young women in their communities, whether it is their school community or the communities in which they live, who are already actively involved in projects. We want to make sure they are groomed early so by the time they get to the pageant they are prepared to not just wear a crown, but to make a difference to national life.”

Harris indicated that this initiative has already earned the stamp of approval from the head of the Miss World Organisation, Julia Morley, who is ready to contribute to this project in memory and honour of Aston Cooke.

Crown of Beauty took over the franchise from Spartan Health Club last year and reaped success on this first outing as the reigning queen, Khadijah Robinson, placed in the Top Five at Miss World and was crowned Queen of Beauty for the Caribbean. Spartan staged the pageant from 1978 until 2012. Between 2013 and 2016, Fusion Consultants, headed by former contestant Laura Butler, staged the pageant. Spartan assumed responsibility for the 2017 contest.

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