Time to host Miss World

Time to host Miss World

Haughton-James cites potential tourism boost

Observer senior reporter

Sunday, December 15, 2019

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Use Toni-Ann Singh's win at Miss World as fuel for Jamaica to host the Miss World pageant.

That is the sentiment of former franchise holder for Miss Jamaica World and managing director of Spartan Health Club, Mickey Haughton-James.

He was ecstatic when the Jamaica Observer caught up with him yesterday, just moments after Singh's coronation at the 69th Miss World held at the ExCeL in London.

“She performed tremendously. I can't tell you how happy I am for Toni-Ann to be crowned Jamaica's fourth Miss World. It seems as if Julia [Morley] was just happy to announce Jamaica's name. This win is also a testament to our local judging panel, as they clearly chose the right girl. She is not only beautiful inside and out, but she is also talented, and her performances on the show shows that she has a brilliant future ahead of her,” said Haughton-James.

“It is clear that the pageant is more than just about physical beauty, and Toni-Ann out-performed the others at every stage. In her interviews she showed that she was present and could think on her feet. She displayed her personality and even amidst strong showings by Miss India, Miss France and Miss Nigeria, she held her own.”

Haughton-James held the local franchise for nearly 40 years and under his stewardship two Jamaican beauties were crowned Miss World — Cindy Breakspeare in 1976 and Lisa Hanna in 1993.

Over the years while the local leg of the pageant was still under his watch, Haughton-James had advocated for the powers that be to push to have Miss World staged here. He has renewed the call, noting that this would provide a boost for the country's economy and tourism sector.

“The fact that Miss World 2019 is Miss Jamaica makes it an ideal opportunity for the country to host the Miss World pageant; we should push hard in that direction. There is a strong emphasis on the tourism sector — the potential exposure from a broadcast like this is not something we could pay for. So, I encourage those in the positions of power to look in this direction,” he noted.

Haughton-James has also had some experience as a judge at the international contest , as he was invited to sit on the panel for the 2013 pageant which was held in Bali, Indonesia.

In addition to the two Miss World titles, the young ladies chosen under Haughton-James' watch represented themselves and the country well at Miss World and earned the nation the reputation as a strong contender for the annual title.

Among his noteworthy national representatives to Miss World are Debbie Campbell who finished second in 1979; Michelle Harris, top 15 in 1980, Sandra Cunningham, third place in 1981; Cathi Levy, fourth place 1983; Allison Barnett, fifth 1985; Erica Aquart, top 10 1990; Sandra Foster, fourth in 1991 and Christine Straw fifth in 1998.

A number of Haughton-James' entrants also copped the title of Miss World Queen of Beauty for the Caribbean. That list includes Michell Moodie (1997); Desiree Depass (1999); Jade Fulford (2003); Sara Lawrence (2006); and Deanna Robins (2012).

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