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Haynes Smith Ms. Caribbean Talented Teen Pageant Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Caption: Last year’s Haynes Smith Ms. Caribbean Talented Teen Queen Ms. Anya Seetahal of St. Kitts (centre) flanked by (right) St. Lucia’s Ms. Francine Mason and (left) Ms. Cherece Richards of Barbados.

The Haynes Smith Ms. Caribbean Talented Teen Pageant celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year when the pageant is held on December 30, 2019. In marking this milestone, the Haynes Smith Ms. Caribbean Talented Teen Pageant Committee promises that the show this year will be exceptional. “It’s unbelievable that we have reached this stage (of 40 years),” said Chairman of the Committee Lawson Archibald. “We work hard to host the show and we create that platform so that the young people can have a stage to show off their talent and that is why we keep having the show every year,” he added. 

Not many committees can boast of hosting any event for 40 years without fail. For Mr. Archibald, setting high standards is the key to their consistency. “We mark ourselves hard. Every time we have this show every year, we try to do better,” Mr. Archibald disclosed. “We look at our faults and we say let us improve on this area…every year we try to improve and make the patrons happier than the year before.” 

Meanwhile, preparation has already begun for the show, according to President of the Haynes Smith Ms. Caribbean Talented Teen organization and producer of the show, Antonio Maynard. He disclosed that some of the 10 contestants are already being registered and some of the artists for the entertainment lineup are already confirmed. “The actual production team of the show is confirmed already and we are working with an international choreographer to make sure production is well executed on the night of the show. So things are moving very fast, but smoothly in terms of the planning,” Mr. Maynard said. “Of course, the show will be held at the St. Kitts Marriott again for the third time. We will have a grand occasion in celebrating our 40th anniversary,” he added. 

For Mr. Maynard, the success of the Pageant is hinged upon the fact that over the years, the committee has built a solid reputation. “I think over the years we have built an institution. We have created and sustained many, many contacts and links throughout St. Kitts and throughout the Caribbean and in fact, throughout the international arena as well,” he said. “We have persons working with us who live in Canada, who live in the United States and some of these persons were past contestants. So we have built an institution and sometimes we go back to those same people for assistance in all kind of areas, whether its choreography, whether its sending trophies…That is what I believe that has sustained this event for a very long time—the relationships that we have created and maintained over the years. So it makes it easy for us to execute, because we just have to call on them,” the committee president and producer said. 

Another accomplishment of the Haynes Smith Ms. Caribbean Talented Teen Pageant is the interest it generates among schools and potential participants. 

According to Mr. Archibald, every year they receive requests from schools and persons throughout the Caribbean to participate in the pageant. “The schools are always calling us, even before they host the school show…they want to know if we are having Ms. Caribbean Pageant,” he disclosed. Mr. Maynard concurs. “It’s the young people who drive this demand. When the parents and the chaperones don’t want the young people to participate, the young people push themselves (to participate). We (the committee) do this as a contribution to the development of young people in general. That’s how we started with the Haynes Smith Youth Club…it has worked for me and it has worked for other members over the years. I know that my contribution has not gone unseen or unheard of. It adds value to my existence. We are proud of what we have achieved over 40 years,” Mr. Maynard surmised. 

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