Like mother, like daughter
Dominique Reid takes Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition 2021 titleTuesday, August 03, 2021
BY KEVIN JACKSON
THIRTY years ago Dominique Reid's mom, Karlene Kelly, represented Manchester in the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition. She eventually took the crown at the grand finals, becoming Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 1991.
Reid has mirrored that feat. On Sunday afternoon, inside the Little Theatre in Kingston, she was crowned Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2021.
“I'm feeling excited! The feeling is a bit surreal... Like, wow! I can't believe that I'm really the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2021,” Reid, 25, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
The dental surgeon, who wore the sash Miss Manchester, said she received encouragement from her mother who was supportive of her decision to pursue the crown.
“My mom has been very supportive during this pageant and the most important piece of advice she gave me is, “Grace under pressure”. She always reminded me that the road will get rocky but as a queen, whenever you're under pressure [you must] exude grace at all times. I constantly reminded myself to be graceful under pressure, especially during the competition,” said Reid.
She continued, “I entered this competition because, through my mom, I was exposed to it from a young age. As a little girl I remember admiring the girls and their poise and the beautiful gowns, and as I got older I realised it was so much more than just about beauty. I realised this was about who you are as a person, and it was an avenue for me to give back to Jamaica in a positive way and be a nation-builder for my parish.”
Reid walked away with a cash prize of $500,000 as well as four sectional prizes — Most Active in Community, Best Use of Social Media, Most Culturally Aware and Best Performance.
Miss Westmoreland Naskinskie Robinson, a 21-year-old final-year bachelor of science student at The University of the West Indies (The UWI), finished in second place. She also copped the sectional prize for Most Poised.
Miss St James Morganne Kellier, a 23-year-old final-year law student at The UWI, took third place. Tamoy Campbell, a 21-year-old law student who represented Kingston and St Andrew, and 21-year-old Kemoy Perry, a final-year law student also at The UWI, completed the top five.
Amanda Marsh, Miss St Ann, was awarded the prize for Most Congenial.
According to Reid, her passion for the pageant gave her the edge over her competitors.
“I think being myself and constantly being true to who I am [resulted in the victory]. I think people saw the passion I have for the competition, my drive to always do better and the passion for my project, and how much I wanted to make a change in Jamaica. I believe those gave me the edge,” she explained.
Reid resides in the town of Mandeville, Manchester. She is a past student of the Hampton School in Malvern. She also attended Belair High for sixth form and then matriculated to the St Augustine campus of The UWI (Trinidad) where she studied for a degree in dental surgery.
She started an initiative called Project Healthy Smiles Jamaica which she hopes will have a positive impact on the lives of children across the nation.
“I hope my project, Project Healthy Smiles Jamaica, will impact Jamaican children across the island and become something that can be executed even after my reign has come to an end,” she said.
Dr Reid added, “I am passionate about dental health and, working in public sector, I see that there is a general lack of dental knowledge among Jamaicans and really poor oral health practices – and I want to change that. I want Jamaicans to take oral health seriously because too often we have the view that “It's just teeth; it's not that serious”, but oral health goes hand in hand with overall health. I think the first step is educating people, which I've already started to do on my social media page @drdominiquereidja where I do weekly educational posts. But, this platform will help me take it a step further and reach persons right across the island.
“My aim is to educate children ages 3-12 and their parents about oral health. The second phase is to reinforce dental knowledge using culture by allowing students to come up with creative ways to promote oral health, and the third phase is providing free preventative dental care for at least 590 children for the 59th year of Independence. I definitely want to incorporate my other parish queens during my reign, as many hands make the work light. I want their help to help execute my project in their parishes and to promote our rich culture across Jamaica — especially to young people who seemed to have lost their cultural identity.”