A life-changing experience
Miss Jamaica 1982 reflects on her reign 40 years later
Cornelia Parchment-Horn

IN September 1982 Cornelia Parchment was crowned Miss Jamaica World. Now married and residing in the United Kingdom, she recalled that being Miss Jamaica World was a life-changing experience for her.

“Before entering the pageant I had been living in Canada for many years, so being able to come back to live in Jamaica and participate in the pageant gave me a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with my home, family, and friends. The title Miss Jamaica provided me with the opportunity to work with underprivileged children and their families, both in Jamaica and internationally. This was the most meaningful part of being Miss Jamaica. It also allowed me the chance to travel the world, meeting and working with remarkable people. And, lastly, it helped me to develop the skills needed to take on the many challenges throughout life with confidence, poise, and assurance,” Parchment-Horn shared in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

She was a crowd favorite in the Miss Jamaica World pageant. The grand coronation was held at the National Arena, with Jaqueline Breakespeare, Sandra DaCosta, Camille Chen and Carolyn Greaves finishing in second, third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Parchment-Horn, who studied nursing at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Mona, explained her decision for entering the pageant.

“I initially entered the pageant as a vehicle to help me lose the weight that I had gained as a teenager and to develop healthier lifestyle choices. But as time went on the pageant became less of a place for me to work on my physical being and more as an opportunity to develop the skills needed to become a more confident, self-assured young woman beginning her life journey. My family and close friends were extremely supportive of my decision; they saw it as a positive decision and stood by me throughout the experience.”

She shared her takeaway from participating in the Miss Jamaica World pageant.

“One of the takeaways to winning Miss Jamaica would be that having the opportunity to participate on the world stage opened many doors — both on a local and an international level. It was up to me to walk through each door and experience and take advantage of all of the opportunities they offer, which I did. It’s a once in a lifetime experience so I wanted to make full use of the opportunities it presented! This would be the one piece of advice that I would pass on to anyone thinking of entering the pageant.”

She continued, “My reign as Miss Jamaica was a dream come true. Not only did I lose a substantial amount of weight and develop healthier lifestyle choices, both of which I’ve maintained to this day, but I actually won the pageant as well! Being crowned Miss Jamaica was like icing on the cake and I was very proud of my accomplishments! Some of the highlights of the year included participating in the Miss World in London and being able to travel the globe as an ambassador of Jamaica.”

Parchment-Horn spoke about life after her reign as Miss Jamaica 1982 came to an end.

“After Miss Jamaica I lived in different places and developed my career in different areas. I lived in Toronto, Canada, where I owned and managed a beauty spa, sold it, and then went to university where I received my BA with a major in journalism and minor in public relations. I did an internship at CNN in Atlanta and then got an opportunity to move back to Jamaica to work at Workers Bank in their PR and Marketing department. During my time in Jamaica I was also involved in the launch of the Jamaica Lottery Company as the sales and marketing director.

“While living in Jamaica, I met my husband. A couple of years later we moved to the UK where we lived for about 7 years and I continued my career in PR. I also received my degree in law during this time. His work then had us move to New York and Connecticut where we lived for 20 years. During our time in the US I had a successful career in real estate. In 2008, with the financial crash, I retired from real estate and began a career in business operations. I recently moved back to the UK where I’m currently working as the chief operations officer for a tech company.

She has been married for twenty seven years to Brian Horn, a native of Scotland whom she met in Jamaica in 1994 while he worked for Guinness in the United Kingdom.

Parchment-Horn’s family hails from Black River in St Elizabeth. She attended the Queens and Priory preparatory schools and then moved to the United Kingdom at age ten where she attended boarding school for a year. She then relocated to Montreal, Canada, and did her high school studies there.

With pageant season now in full swing she had some advice for girls wishing to enter beauty pageants.

“For me, entering a beauty pageant was more [than] about just beauty. It was also a chance to be part of a community and an opportunity to give back in whatever capacity I could. Entering a beauty pageant takes a lot of courage so whether you win or not, enjoy every moment and always keep in mind that beauty is not only on the outside — it also comes from within so let your personality shine through.”

Miss Jamaica World 1982, Cornelia Parchment following her coronation at the National Arena in Kingston.
Kevin Jackson

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy