Last year’s contestant, Kenisha Thom-Selvon, yesterday bemoaned the absence from the competion of a TT representative and appealed to government and corporate sponsors for assistance. Saying that the competition “helps to elevate and uplift our women” Thom-Selvon who last year made it among the top ten finalists, said that this country was not without class and beauty to compete internationally. “Our contestants usually do well,” she said.
In March, Culture and Community Development Minister, Joan Yuille-Williams, referring to the lack of a delegate this year, had commented: “We are going to try and rectify that.” Peter Elias, Director of TT Miss Universe Pageant, maintained: “We will not be attending Miss Universe as it was way impossibly too late.”
Elias said that other Miss Universe representatives were already in Mexico where this year’s competition is to be held, preparing for the May 28 event.. Elias had initially announced that TT was not going to be represented due to the lack of funding.
Saying that he had not received “one cent” from anyone, Elias said: “This is a full-time project which requires financial support in order to adequately prepare delegates and maintain our level of success.” He added that he had written to over a hundred companies and government agencies for sponsorship.
In 1977, Penny Commissiong-Chow was the first TT delegate to be crowned Miss Universe and in 1998, Wendy Fitzwilliam continued to make TT proud when she was crowned queen.