By Horace Mills, BVI News Online Staff
The Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee (VIFFC) has declared that all six females participating in the Miss BVI pageant this year are qualified to do so, adding that the contestants are not perturbed by what some may view as controversy within the leadership of the Miss BVI Pageant Committee.
Some persons with intimate knowledge of local pageantry have complained to BVI News Online that at least two of the contestants are not qualified to participate in the Miss BVI pageant set for August 6.
Xavyrna Samuels, vice chair of the VIFFC which is linked to the Miss BVI Pageant Committee, admitted that some contestants were not born in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
But she was quick to make it clear that those persons have been long-standing residents of the territory, and so they are eligible to participate in the pageant, with the blessings of the VIFFC.
“I think we have one or two persons that weren’t born here. But they are qualified to run in the show, and have been approved by the [Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs] Committee based on the fact that they have been long-standing residents and have gone through the entire school system here,” Samuels explained.
“The contract [for the contestants that] I have inherited does not say you have to be born here to compete. There is a section in it that says the Committee, which is the Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee, can approve somebody who is a long-standing resident of the BVI to be qualified as a contestant for the show.”
“So if, we have contestants in the show that weren’t born here, it would be that they are long-standing residents – have been here for more than 10 or 15 years,” added Samuels.
She further told BVI News Online that the contestants are in high spirits, and they are gearing up for the swimwear competition to be held on July 15 at Peter Island Resort.
Not bothered by controversy
This month, Janette Brin resigned as chairperson of the Miss BVI Pageant Committee, citing differences with members of the committee.
Asked if that controversy has affected participants in the Miss BVI competition, Samuels replied: “No, it hasn’t [impacted them]. The girls are quite aware of what their intentions are in terms of running. They are there to become Miss BVI.”
“They are advised not to get caught up in things that are happening in the leadership aspect, and to just go ahead with their preparations as normal. So I don’t think it has affected them; everything seems to be progressing fine,” added the VIFFC vice chair.
The Miss BVI contestants this year are: Contestant #1 Genesis Richards, #2 Ayana Phillip, #3 Tecora Morgan, #4 Helina Hewlett, #5 Lean Francis, and #6 Khephra Sylvester.
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