jamAFTER a 36-year lien on the Miss Jamaica World beauty pageant, Spartan Health Club has announced it will not renew its contract with United Kingdom-based organisers of the international competition. In a message on his Facebook page, Mickey Haughton-James — managing director of the St Andrew-based Spartan Health Club — said he has already informed the Miss World organisation that he would not be renewing the franchise.

He said he was offered to select Jamaica’s 2013 representative.

“Spartan Health Club would not be accepting the franchise for the 2013 Miss World Contest,” the message read.

“Spartan has held the national franchise for Miss World since 1976 when its first representative, Cindy Breakspeare, won the prestigious title becoming the second Jamaican after Carole Crawford (1963) to win the Miss World crown. Lisa Hanna, the current minister of youth and culture, became the third Jamaican to win the coveted title in 1993,” Haughton-James’s post continued.
Responding to the Jamaica Observer’s queries for the reason behind his decision, Haughton-James said he had “no further comments at this time”.

His Facebook posting, however, hinted at a possible lack of support and sponsorship.
“My hope is the Government and corporate Jamaica will give the new franchise holder the support the pageant needs to be successful. Dancehall, Jamaica Carnival and the beverage-sponsored summer parties are an important part of our culture. However, Miss Jamaica World provides a needed balance,” said Haughton-James.

In response to Haughton-James’s post, Erica Aquart — Miss Jamaica World 1990 — expressed thanks to him.

“[This is] very sad news but I must say that the new Miss Jamaica World franchise holder will have very big shoes to fill. I am truly honoured to have been one of your Miss Jamaica Worlds,” she posted.

Bernadette McKinley, second runner-up from the 1978 pageant, also used social media to respond to Haughton-James’s decision.
“You have opened the doors of opportunities for so many young women in Jamaica through the Miss Jamaica World Contest. I hope whomever takes up the franchise will continue to provide the love and guidance you have given us through the years.”

Haughton-James’ used the opportunity to commend the Miss World organisation for its work over the years, describing their association as “long and rewarding”.

IMPRESSIVE TRACK RECORD

In addition to two winners, Jamaican representatives have fared well at Miss World during Spartan’s tenure. They include Debbie Campbell (third place, 1979), Sandra Cunningham (third place 1981), Cathi Levy (fourth place, 1983), Alison Barnett (fifth place, 1985), Erica Aquart (sixth place, 1990), Sandra Foster (fourth place, 1991), Christine Straw (top 10, 1998), Jade Fulford (top 10 2003), Sara Lawrence (top six 2006) and Deanna Robins (6th place, 2012).

Michell Moodie (1997) and Desiree DePass (1999) won the Miss World Caribbean Queen of Beauty titles.


Read more: Jamaican Observer