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Miss World 1979

By Julio Rodríguez Matute

1979, YEAR THAT STARTED THE PRESENT WORLD.-

                The German historian Frank Bösch defines the year 1979, the International Year of the Child proclaimed by the UN, as the beginning of the current world, with the weakening of the logic of the cold war, the rise of neoliberalism and the entry of China into the world market. With Margaret Thatcher’s victory as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the first neoliberal experiment began and the first major challenge to the state of the European welfare. The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan, Vietnam occupies Cambodia ending the Pol Pot regime, while Uganda and Tanzania, and China and Vietnam go to war. On the other hand, the Shah of Iran is overthrown and exiled, beginning the Iranian Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Radicals take over the US Embassy in Tehran, with 90 hostages while the first European Parliament elections are held. The socialist Maurice Bishop takes power on the island of Grenada after a coup, the also socialist Sandinista Liberation Front overthrows Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua and the civil war begins in El Salvador. Emperor Bokassa I is also overthrown in the Central African Republic, ending the Empire. In Ireland, Earl Mountbatten, known for his support of the Variety Club of Great Britain and the Miss World contest, is killed by an IRA bomb. Earthquakes in Montenegro (Yugoslavia), Mexico City (which destroyed the Iberoamerican University) and in Manizales and Tumaco (Colombia) cause hundreds of victims. This last earthquake, of 8.2 Richter degrees, also affected Ecuador and produced a tsunami on the southern coast of Colombia. Hurricane David causes destruction and death in the Caribbean, especially in the Dominican Republic, followed by Hurricane Frederick that caused extensive damage not only in the Caribbean but also on the Alabama and Mississippi coasts. Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Kiribati (formerly known as the Gilbert Islands) become independent from the United Kingdom, the Federated States of Micronesia from the United States, and Venda (the third Bantustan of Apartheid) from South Africa. Greenland gains autonomy from Denmark and Rhodesia becomes the Republic of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia before the United Kingdom regains control of that country. An American Airlines plane crashes as it takes off from Chicago airport, making it the worst plane crash in US history (271 dead), while an Air New Zealand flight crashes in Antarctica with 257 fatalities. Curiously, a snowfall occurs in the Sahara Desert and smallpox is eradicated in the world. Mother Teresa of Calcutta wins the Nobel Peace Prize. The Sony launches the Walkman, a cassette music player, and Philips invented the Compact Disk, which would begin to be commercialized three years later.

                Maritza Sayalero becomes the first Venezuelan to obtain the title of Miss Universe in a pageant that was publicized by the fall of the Skylab and ended with the collapse of part of the stage in Perth, Australia. Meanwhile, in Japan, the Philippine Mimilanie Marquez takes the third Miss International crown for her country while the song “Hallellujah” by Milk and Honey wins for Israel the Eurovision Song Contest in their own home. The OTI Festival is held at the Theater of the Military Academy of Venezuela in Caracas with Eduardo Serrano and Carmen Victoria Pérez as hosts and the Argentinean Daniel Riolobos was the winner with the song “Cuenta Conmigo”. The broadcasts of Nickelodeon begin (the first children’s television channel), the first sports cable channel ESPN is founded and the first color broadcasts begin on Colombian television and unofficially on Venezuelan television. Disco Music causes a furor in the world, hip hop begins to be heard in the US and Michael Jackson achieves maximum popularity with his album “Off the Walls” after separating from the “Jackson Five”. Singer Angela Carrasco performed the song “Quererte a ti” and the Swedish group ABBA premiered the song “Chiquitita” in honor of the International Year of the Child. TV broadcasts of the series “Dukes of Hazzard”, the CBS novel “Knots Landing” begin and in Mexico the episode of “Vacations in Acapulco” of “El Chavo del Ocho”, the last one where Quico participated, was broadcast. In the cinema the films “Kramer vs Kramer” with Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep; Woody Allen’s “Manhattan”; “Moonraker” from the James Bond series, “Alien-the eighth passenger”, “Caligula” and the movie “The Muppets” are released. This year McDonald’s invents the famous “Happy Meal”. In 1979 Yukta Mookhey (Miss World 1999 from India), Mpule Kwelagobe (Miss Universe 1999 from Botswana), Panamanian Justine Pasek (Miss Universe 2002 after the dethroning of the Russian Oxana Fedorova), the former Venezuelan beauty queen Veruska Ramírez, the actress and ex-Mexican Miss Jacqueline Bracamontes and the Spanish singer David Bisbal were born, and the American actors John Wayne, Vivian Vance and the British Gracie Fields passed away.

Eric, Julia and Margaret Thatcher

MISS WORLD ON SALE.-

                After having been fired from Mecca and after finishing his job at the aforementioned company on December 31, 1978, Eric Morley was a candidate for the conservative party in the city of Dulwich, the same as Margaret Thatcher, in the May 1979 elections, obtaining 18,435 votes (42.7%, ten percent more for the party compared to the previous elections), but was defeated by the Labor Samuel Silkin only by 122 votes. In comparison, in 1974 Morley had obtained only 14,331 votes (32.6%), being also defeated by Silkin on that occasion. After losing the election, Morley commented: “Unlike Sam Silkin, I did not go to Dulwich College or Cambridge. I went to college from hard knocks, and last week I received my Ph.D.”

                But the bitter gulp of defeat was overcome when he learned that the Grand Metropolitan had decided to sell the “Miss World” contest and the American company BBS Productions Inc., which had acquired the rights to the local contest in the US the previous year, had proposed to purchase it. The contract stipulated that Morley would have first choice if he matched what was offered by the other buyer, so Eric spoke to his influential friends and got businessman Billy Butlin, who owned a chain of vacation camps, to partner with him on the purchase. This took place in November, while the annual beauty pageant was taking place in London.

NATIONAL COMPETITIONS.-

                By 1979, seventy-eight directors remained supporting the Miss World pageant thanks to the diligence of Julia Morley. Portugal, a country that has not held its national competition since 1974, was returning to the event, while other nations such as Indonesia, Liberia, Luxembourg and Seychelles canceled their national competitions and therefore their franchises, and the Turks and Caicos Islands stopped sending a representative, because they preferred to work with Miss Universe since this contest offered them airfare. On the other hand, South Africa had been totally excluded since the previous year and did not participate again until 1991. Silvana Suárez’s visit to the Caribbean island of Grenada had achieved the interest of that nation to participate again in Miss World after the victory of Jennifer Hosten in 1970. But the effort to run the “Miss Grenada” pageant was impeded by the coup d’etat and socialist revolution that occurred on the island on March 13, 1979, which overthrew the government of Prime Minister Eric Gairy. In the also Caribbean islands of Curaçao and Dominica, the national contest was not held that year, and there was no contest in Tunisia either, due to criticism of beauty events by the Muslim majority in that country; Meanwhile, in Nicaragua, the political situation experienced with the arrival of the Sandinista revolution prevented the country from being represented in London. Enzo Mirigliani of Miss Italy lost the rights of Miss World again in 1979 and the franchise was obtained by another organization from that country starting this year. Seventy-three countries elected their representatives and among them we have the following:

                – MISS COLOMBIA.- Held on November 12, 1978 in Cartagena among 18 candidates. The winner was Miss Santander, Ana Milena Parra, who went to Miss Universe, and Vice-Queen, Miss Bolívar, Rosaura Mercedes Rodríguez Covo, went to Miss World. The Princesses were María Elena Baena (Miss Quindío), María Patricia Fernández (Miss Cundinamarca) and Lucina Herrera (Miss Chocó).

                – MISS FRANCE.- The Nikko hotel in Paris was the venue for the “Miss France 1979” contest held on Thursday December 28, 1978 with 50 contestants. The winner was Miss Marseille, Sylvie Parera, who represented her country in both Miss Universe and Miss World. Miss Languedoc, Martine David was the first runner-up and Miss Reunion, Isabelle Jacquemart, the second. Isabelle went to Miss Universe 1979 on behalf of her island.

                – MISS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.- Vienna Elizabeth García was crowned “Miss Dominican Republic 1979” on Saturday April 28 at the La Fuente night club at the Jaragua hotel, earning the right to represent her country in Miss Universe in Australia. The first runner-up, Sabrina Brugal, went to Miss World and the second runner-up was Miss María Elena Núñez.

                – MISS HONDURAS.- Gina María Weidner arrived from Dallas, Texas to be crowned April 19 as Miss San Pedro Sula 1979 at the request of journalist Junior Zelaya. On May 12, Miss Honduras was elected at the Mayan Cinema of La Ceiba, with the introduction of today’s Honduran presidential candidate Salvador Nasrala who made his debut as a Master of Ceremonies, advised by Zelaya. The finalists were Lilian Anibeth Rivera (Miss La Ceiba), Ana Esther Vivas (Miss Atlántida), Ana Elizabeth Canelas (Miss Colón) and Irma Zulema Canales (Miss Choluteca). Gina represented the country in Miss Universe and Miss World.

                – MISS VENEZUELA.- On Thursday, May 17, the Miss Venezuela contest was held from the Great Hall of the Caracas Hilton hotel, being the first time it was broadcasted in colour. In the event, which had 16 participants, Miss Vargas Department, Maritza Sayalero, who would later become the first Venezuelan Miss Universe, was crowned. Miss Barinas, Tatiana Capote was chosen as the Miss World repree\sentative, and Miss Federal District, María Fernanda Ramírez, was voted to Miss International. However, the latter’s mother and brother angrily claimed Luis Teófilo Núñez and his wife, Antonieta Scannone, who were on the jury and the couple was physically assaulted by the Ramírez family. For this reason, Miss Federal District was disqualified and was replaced by Miss Portuguesa, Nina Kors (to Miss Young International). The other finalists were the sister of Miss Venezuela 1974, Miss Zulia, Nilza Moronta (to Miss International) and Miss Nueva Esparta, Nidya Centeno (to Miss Ámbar). The future actresses Jeannette Rodríguez and Marisela Buitrago also participated in the contest. The famous singer “Kiara” (Sabrina Gómez) was entered as Miss Lara but she withdrew before the finals.

                – MISS MEXICO.- In the National Auditorium of Mexico City, the final of the contest “Señorita Mexico 1979” was held on Sunday, May 27, an event in which the representative of Nayarit, Blanca Díaz Tejeda, was crowned the Mexican representative to Miss Universe. In second place was Miss Durango, Roselina Rosas, who went to Miss World. The finalists were completed by María Bernardette Medelín Avilés (Baja California Norte), Sonia González Rodríguez (Sinaloa) and Sara Pimentel Mendoza (Veracruz).

                – MISS HOLLAND.- On Monday, June 4, Eunice Bharatsingh was chosen as “Miss Holland 1979” at the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam, heading to Miss Universe. The finalists were Marlene Vermeulen (to Miss Europe), Nanny Nielen (to Miss World), Mary Kruyssen (to Miss International) and Hetty van Koningsbergen. After two years, the Miss Holland committee recovered all international licenses when Corine Rottschaefer (Miss World 1959) stopped organizing the pageant.

                – MISS SWITZERLAND- Barbara Mayer, a 21-year-old secretary from Marly, was crowned “Miss Switzerland 1979” in the early hours of Saturday June 9 in Zurich so she would represent her country in Miss World. The finalists were Gaby Bosshard, Birgit Krahl and Gabriela Mensch.

                – MISS BRAZIL.- On Saturday June 16, in the Presidente Médici Gimnasium of Brasilia, Martha Jussara da Costa of the state of Río Grande do Norte was crowned as the Brazilian representative to the Miss Universe pageant. In second place was Miss Goiás, Suzanne Ferreira de Andrade (to Miss International) and third Miss Sao Paulo, Léa Silvia Dall ’Acqua (to Miss World). The other two finalists were Elizabeth Alves Correa from Rio de Janeiro and Rejane Thomé from Minas Gerais. 24 contestants.

                – MISS BELGIUM.- Silvana Suárez, Miss World 1978, attended the election of “Miss Belgium 1979” which was held in Brussels in June and in which Christine Cailliau from the city of Liege was selected to represent the country in Miss Universe and Miss World of that same year and the Miss Europe contest of the following year. The finalists were Brigitte Billen and Dominique Van Eeckhoudt, who curiously won the Miss Belgium crown in 1980 and 1981.

                – MISS PERU.- At dawn on June 27, the crowning of “Miss Peru 1979” concluded at the Municipal Theater of Lima. The winner, heading to Miss Universe, was Jacqueline Brahm among 26 representatives from all over the country. Second place went to Magali Pérez-Godoy (to Miss World). The remaining finalists were Liliana Ethel Prato (to Miss Maja), Elí Cuculiza (to Miss Ámbar) and Cecilia Iversen (to the South American Reign of Beaches and Pools contest).

                – MISS COMMONWEALTH BAHAMAS.- It was held at the Le Cabaret Theater on Paradise Island on July 29. It was won by Deborah Major, who went to Miss World, while the finalists were Kimberly Denise Darville, Jessica Armbrister, Jennifer Marie Swain and Jackie Arnette.

                – MISS JAMAICA.- On Saturday, August 18, at the National Arena in Kingston, Debbie Campbell was crowned “Miss Jamaica 1979”, with the right to represent her country in Miss World. The finalists were Audie Cullston-Moore, Sandra Kong, Suzanne McKenzie, and Marlene Leon. 19 contestants participated.

                – MISS SPAIN.- The election of “Miss Spain 1979” took place on August 25 at the Gran Casino de Lloret de Mar, Catalonia. The winner was María Dolores Forner Toro, 19-year-old Miss Madrid, who went to Miss World and Miss Europe. The title of Miss National went to Yolanda Hoyos, Miss Asturias, who went to Miss International 1979 and Miss Universe 1980, while that of First Runner-up went to María Remedios Tena Durán, Miss Andalucía Oriental, who went to Miss Teenage Intercontinental 1979 and Miss Young International 1980.

                – MISS UNITED KINGDOM.- Carolyn Seaward, Miss England, who was second runner-up at the 1979 Miss Universe pageant, won the title of “Miss United Kingdom 1979” held at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool on Friday August 31, among 30 candidates. The finalists were Miss Scotland, Lorraine Davidson (Miss Universe semi-finalist) and Miss Stockport, Karen Loughlin.

                – MISS WORLD AMERICA.- The Reichhold Center for the Arts in Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands, was the venue for the second edition of the “Miss World America” contest, which had 50 entrants. The event was held on Saturday, September 15 and the winner was Miss Virginia, Carter Wilson and her finalists, Miss Kentucky, Robyn Kay Overby and Miss California, Ramona Henriette Rolle.

                – QUEST OF QUESTS.- It was held on Wednesday September 19 at the Albert Hall in Canberra, which was won by Jodie Day to represent the country in Miss World. The reigning Miss World Silvana Suárez, who arrived with Julia Morley the day before, was present and toured that country from September 20 to 29. The finalists were Debbie Newsome (to Miss International), Joanne Bacon (to Miss Young International) and Lorraine McGrady (to Miss Asia).

Puerto Rico

                – MISS WORLD PUERTO RICO.- It was held on Saturday October 13 at the Hotel Palace in Isla Verde, to the benefit of disabled children and adults on the island of Enchantment, with Daysi Marissette López of Trujillo Alto winning.

                – MISS ARGENTINA.- On Monday, October 15, 1979, the election of the Argentine representative to the Miss World pageant was held on channel 13. Among 22 candidates, the winner was Verónica Ivonne Gargani, 19 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall and the classic measurements 36-24-36. Veronica was a bachelor and a 1st year veterinary student at the University of Buenos Aires and worked as a professional model. Veronica had been in third place the previous year, behind the current Miss World. The finalists were María Aurora Torresi, Silvia Piedrabuena, Marisa Eugenia Mandelli (who passed out minutes after her sash was placed) and Rocío Teresa Castro. Silvana Suárez, Miss World 1978, did not attend to crown her successor for being on a trip to the Asian continent.

                – MISS SINGAPORE WORLD.- It was held on Wednesday October 17 at the Restaurant-Theater Neptuno among 24 candidates. The winner was Violet Lee, who had previously represented Singapore at Miss Young International and Miss Asia 1978. This time she received a prize of $ 3,000 and the trip to London with the 13-year-old Chua Boon Hunt, who had been amputated one leg and would receive an artificial one, sponsored by the Variety Club International thanks to the work of “Beauty with a Purpose”. The finalists turned out to be Annie Tan and Adda Pang. Present at the crowning ceremony were the 1978 Miss World, Silvana Suárez from Argentina and Julia Morley.

Julia Morley’s statements in Singapore

CANDIDATES

DID NOT COMPETE

ARRIVAL IN LONDON.-

                Although this year’s Miss World pageant would be held from November 4 to 17, Miss Australia was the first candidate to set foot on British soil on Thursday 1st. of November. Between the 4th and 5th, official arrival dates, almost all the other participants arrived. This year, the contestants returned to stay at the Britannia hotel and had a chaperone for every 5 girls. The first official activity of the contest was held on Tuesday, November 6 with a tour of the most representative tourist sites in the city, such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the River Thames sightseeing, the Zoo and the Trafalgar Square, very well guarded by security agents, who looked more like boxers with walkie-talkies. They also enjoyed a welcome dinner at a hotel in the capital and recorded images for the BBC that would serve as a prelude to the final night’s broadcast, as they were touring through the British capital. The following days they went shopping, attended the press, took photographs for the main newspapers and made the talent eliminations, an activity that, unfortunately, this year would not be shown on television. On Friday the 10th, as every year, the luncheon offered by the Variety Club of Great Britain was held at the Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane and was attended by all the participants wearing their national costumes and carrying with them the gifts that each brought from their countries of origin for the auction to benefit children’s charity works, being received this time by Philips Isaacs. Likewise, the physical absence of Lord Mountbatten, Earl of Burma, was regretted. He was killed by an IRA bomb while he was on his yacht in Irish waters at the end of August. By that time, Eric Morley had already given up the Presidency of the Variety Club International, an honor he has held for the past two years. In fact, Morley and his wife had taken a world tour in early 1979 visiting Variety’s various facilities in different countries before the May general election. In the evening, the beautiful candidates went to see the musical show “Chicago” in the West End.

FIRST FAVORITES:

                On Saturday, November 10, the contestants visited the Bugatti car exhibition at the Royal College of Art in London, witnessed the parade of the horse guards in Whitehall, attended the procession of the new Mayor of the city, Sir Peter Gadsden, which included 22 bands that participated in a two-mile ride, highlighting the use of natural resources as a theme, and in the afternoon, they received a group of children for the customary “Children´s Tea Party” at the Hotel Britannia, this year with the motto “Variety at Work” stamped on the t-shirts of each participant. That day, the press announced who were the first favorites of this edition of Miss World. Miss United Kingdom was at that time the 7-1 favorite to win the title while Miss Australia and Miss Brazil were joint co-favorites with 8-1. Miss United Kingdom was backed to win at William Hill´s agency with high odds of her to win the Miss World title on Thursday with 6-1, with Miss Bermuda and Miss Brazil just behind with 8-1. On Sunday the 11th, the 69 competitors who had been in London until then, attended the Press Presentation, which was held at the Piccadily Hotel, wearing white tights with sleeves and a belt as their uniform, and on the front they had printed the name of the country they represented with red letters. Bookmakers managed to beat Miss World security agents to get a good overview of the girls when the 69 participants appeared together for the media for the first time. The Mecca betting house had Miss UK ahead with 7-1, followed by Miss Sweden and Miss Germany with 10-1, then Miss Australia with 12-1 and Miss Bermuda with 14-1. Here is the table with the data of all the contestants:

COUNTRYNANE EDADOCCUPATION
ARGENTINA Verónica Ivonne Gargani 19 Model and student
ARUBA   Vianca Maria Magdalena Hoek 20 Croupier at casino
AUSTRALIA   Jodie Anne Day 18 Model
AUSTRIA   Karin Zorn 18 Model
BAHAMAS   Deborah Elizabeth Major 20 Student Teacher
BELGIUM   Christine Linda Bernadette Cailliau 23 Student of Languages and model
BERMUDA   Gina Ann Casandra Swainson 21 Student of Wine
BOLIVIA   Patricia Asbún Galarza 20 Architecture student
BRAZIL   Léa Sílvia Dall’Acqua 20 Student of Psychology and model
CANADA   Catherine Emily Mackintosh 23 Teacher and model
CAYMAN ISLANDS   Jennifer Pearl Jackson 21 Economist and works for the government
CHILE   Mariela Verónica Toledo Rojas 18 Advertsising student
COLOMBIA   Rosaura Mercedes Rodríguez Covo 17 Student
COSTA RICA   Marianela Brealey Mora 17 Student
CYPRUS   Eliana Djiaboura 24 Teacher
DENMARK   Lone Gladys Jörgensen 18 Model
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC   Sabrina Alejandra Brugal Tiln 18 Student
ECUADOR   Olga Lourdes Padilla Guevara 18 Student
EL SALVADOR   Judith Ivette Lopez Lagos 19 Dentistry student
FINLAND   Tuire Venla Sulotar Pentikäinen 23 Model and musician
FRANCE   Sylvie Hélène Marie Parera 18 Student and hostess
GERMANY   Andrea Hontschik 20 Model
GIBRALTAR   Audrey Lopez 21 Secretary
GREECE   Mika (Dimitra) Dimitropoulou 17 Student
GUAM   Anne-Marie Kay Franke 18 Student
GUATEMALA   Michele Marie Domínguez Santos 19 Business Administration student
HOLLAND   Nannetje “Nanny” Johanna Nielen 22 Model
HONDURAS   Gina Maria Weidner Cleaves 18 Student of chemical engineering
HONG KONG   Mary Ng Mei-Lai 21 Secretary
ICELAND   Sigrun Saetran 24 Designer
INDIA   Raina Winifred Mendonca 22 Model and universitarian
IRELAND   Maura McMenamim 21 Photographic model
ISLE OF MAN   Kathleen Mary Craig 17 Trainee beautician
ISRAEL   Dana Peler 19 Student
ITALY   Rossana Serratore 18 Model
JAMAICA   Debbie Rachelle Campbell 17 Law student
JAPAN   Motomi Hibino 19 Student
JERSEY   Treena Alison Foster 21 Sccientist in a Lab
KOREA   Hong Yeo-jin 21 Secretary
LEBANON   Jacqueline “Jacky” Riachi 19 Student of accounting
LESOTHO   Pauline Essie Kanedi 22 Accountant assistant
MALAYSIA   Shirley Bernaddine Chew 18 Wish to be a stewardess
MALTA   Elena Christine Abela 17 Model and actress
MAURITIUS   Maria Allard 24 Croupier
MEXICO   Roselina Rosas Torres 19 Student
NEW ZEALAND   Nicola Lesley Duckworth 17 Model
NIGERIA   Helen Prest 20 Law student
NORWAY   Jeanette Aarum 20 Model
PANAMA   Lorelay De la Ossa Chevalier 18 Student and model
PARAGUAY   Martha Maria Galli Romañach 19 Model
PERU   Lucia Magali Pérez-Godoy Quintanilla 18 Student
PHILIPPINES   Josefina Molon Francisco 18 Student of Administration
PORTUGAL   Ana Gonçalves Vieira 18 Model
PUERTO RICO   Daysi Marissette López 18 Student
WESTERN SAMOA   Danira Leilani Schwalger 19 Travel agent
SINGAPORE   Violet Lee 20 Professional model
SPAIN   Maria Dolores “Lola” Forner Toro 19 Model
SRI LANKA   Shamila Weerasooriya 17 Travel agent
SWAZILAND   Gladys Adelaide Carmichael 17 Student
SWEDEN   Ingrid Marie Säveby 19 Model
SWITZERLAND   Barbara Mayer 21 Model
TAHITI   Thilda Raina Fuller 24 Teacher
THAILAND   Tipar Suparbpun 22 Model
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO   Marlene Coggins 21 Advertising secretary
TURKEY   Sebnem Unal 18 Student
UNITED KINGDOM   Carolyn Ann Seaward 18 Model
UNITED STATES   Carter Wilson 23 Model
URUGUAY   Laura Rodriguez Delgado 21 Executive secretary and student of interior design
VENEZUELA   Tatiana Capote Abdel 18 Law Student
VIRGIN ISLANDS  (US) Jasmine Olivia Turner 17 Computer science student and assistant at an Art Gallery

               An aspiring canine psychologist and an aspiring finance minister were among the 70 beautiful young women who were seeking fame this year in the Miss World pageant. Although the nominal prize for the event was a check for £ 5,000, the corresponding publicity could throw a girl on the road to international acclaim. Miss Sweden, 19 years old and one of the favorites, wanted to become a canine psychologist and Miss Cayman Islands dreamed of being Finance Secretary of the Caribbean tax haven. Miss UK was aiming to become a top model and film actress. Meanwhile, the organizer of the contest, Julia Morley, said that she would not ask Miss World, Miss Silvana Suárez, 21, to pose in a bathing suit with the other contestants this year because “She is very fat” . In turn, Silvana said, “Even if she asked me to wear a swimsuit, I would not. I don’t do that kind of thing anymore. I’m still Miss World for another week and then I’ll be glad it’s over.”

                One of the chaperones prevented a journalist from interviewing Miss Lebanon, since he wanted to hold the meeting in Arabic instead of English or French. Since the chaperone could not understand the interview, she chose to decline it. On the other hand, Miss Honduras surprised when she said that in addition to her studies, she also had a pilot license. This year the African kingdom of Lesotho was debuting in the contest, and as mentioned above, Portugal was returning after a five-year absence. Miss Bermuda and Miss United Kingdom (representing England) had been first and second runner-ups respectively in the Miss Universe held in Perth, Australia, while Miss Germany was a semifinalist. The Englishwoman had also won the title of Miss Photogenic in that event. Other girls who competed with them in this same contest were Miss Austria, Miss Belgium, Miss Denmark, Miss El Salvador, Miss France, Miss Guatemala, Miss Honduras and Miss Mauritius. Also in Miss Universe, but from 1976, Miss Holland competed, and Miss Norway in the 1978 edition. Miss Chile was in Miss International 1978 where Miss Norway managed to be the first runner-up and the Dutch girl also participated in that same contest but in 1975, where she reached a position among the semifinalists. On the other hand, Miss Panama competed in the Miss Maja International 1979, where she was a semifinalist. Miss Singapore had participated in Miss Young International and in Miss Asia 1978.

                That night, the Christmas party was held in the Baronnial Hall of the Colonial House and where the most talented candidates presented a sample of their talents to the audience. Miss Trinidad enchanted everyone with her skills as a jazz singer, Miss Finland proved that she was an excellent pianist and Miss Tahiti wasted sensuality with her Tahitian dance. On the morning of Monday, November 12, the young women visited the House of Commons and Westminster Abbey. That same day, in the afternoon, the rehearsals of the finals began at the Royal Albert Hall and on Tuesday the 13th it was exclusively dedicated to rehearsing and also hairdressing sessions in the Leonard´s beauty salon on Grosvenor Street to be impeccable for the big night. According to the hairdresser, most of the girls had arrived at the salon with their hair in “terrible condition” but they gladly attended to them in groups of four. Meanwhile, Miss United Kingdom was recovering from a cold that had kept her in bed the day before. “The show must go on,” said the beauty, getting up to attend the rehearsal.

PROGRAM BOOK

ARRIVED LATE.-

                Miss Nigeria arrived in London at noon on Tuesday, November 13, delayed because she was taking exams at the University of Lagos. Initially, she was told that she would not be able to participate because the arrival deadline had been Sunday the 11th and therefore three more contestants had also been left out, who did not arrive in the British capital on time (Miss Papua New Guinea, Miss Saint Vincent and Miss Yugoslavia). “It was very late, definitely too late,” said Julia Morley. The Nigerian candidate entered the Britannia hotel just as a surprise champagne party was taking place, as Eric Morley was celebrating the acquisition of the Miss World contest from Mecca, thanks to his association with businessman Billy Butlin, who for tax reasons he had moved to Jersey (Butlin sadly passed away 7 months later at the age of 80) and with whom he had formed the JEM International company, which would run Miss World starting next year. In addition, Morley had been declared an honorary member of the Outward Bound Trust, which made donations of the proceeds from the Royal Albert Hall for charitable causes. Eric Morley was in such a good mood that he said, “Miss Nigeria has made it for 13 minutes” before taking her to the Royal Albert Hall to continue the rehearsals. However, since they had already practiced the parades, Miss Nigeria was placed last, behind Miss Venezuela and Miss Virgin Islands.

                The Dress Rehearsal was held on Wednesday the 14th, with the Royal Albert Hall full of Bingo winners from the different casinos and people from the Mecca staff, beginning at 7:20 at night, when Don Fox, the host of the evening, introduced Eric Morley to lead the trial. In addition, the recording of the Musical Opening with Sacha Distel and the Irving Davies Dancers was carried out. Distel had recorded the song “Miss World”, a song specially written for the event by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent, which was used for the opening number, while the contestants paraded on stage, in groups and in alphabetical order, dressed in their native costumes. The rehearsal was also attended by the renowned and biting British journalist, Esther Rantzen, who despite her seven months of pregnancy, would be the first female co-presenter in the history of the contest. After the recording of the opening and while the contestants changed into their evening dresses, Don Fox performed one of his songs to liven up the evening. The national directors were also introduced from their seats and those who were thanked for their effort for the success of the contest. For the first time in many years, viewers would be able to watch all the contestants in their evening gowns, a parade that was recorded next. As each girl paraded, her own voice with her name, age and occupation was heard in off, which each of them had prerecorded hours before. More than one was heard to say she was “hateteen yers odd” … Then Don Fox again introduced the 70 contestants who paraded individually in bathing suits, this time with comments from Sacha Distel. At the end, they all returned to the stage to announce the winners of the Miss Personality award (chosen by the same contestants) and Miss Photogenic (by the members of the press). These distinctions went to the representatives of Guam and Austria respectively.

               Once all on stage, the 70 contestants posed in groups of six to eight. The most applauded that night were the representatives of the United Kingdom, Bermuda, Brazil, Australia, Austria and Tahiti. Morley clarified that this time they would not be qualified by any jury in this rehearsal and that the entire physical evaluation would take place the night of the finals, this due to protests over the change in procedure that had been made the previous year. However, all the participants had been interviewed that week by a panel of judges made up and selected by the national directors themselves, representing the five continents, and these scores would be delivered to the celebrity judges of the final night so that the personality of each entrant was also taken into consideration.

THE MISS VENEZUELA SCANDAL.-

                When the last group of participants had to pose, one of Miss Venezuela’s breasts escaped from the tiny swimsuit she was wearing. As she walked toward the spotlight, she suddenly felt naked and a huge cheer came from the audience as the photographers crowded to find the best angle of the distressing situation. She, apparently, had not realized until Eric Morley ran to cover with his hands the mischievous “boobie” who was naked and shown on stage, not caring about the jealousy scene that could trigger that fact in the eyes of his wife Julia. Apparently Miss Venezuela, who was unlikely at 40-1 in the betting, was determined to draw attention in anyway so she decided to put on the most daring swimsuit she found, a flimsy blue one with a deep neckline and flower headdress on her head. After Morley tucked her breast into the restless 18-year-old’s small swimsuit, she smiled widely and winked at the crowding cameramen, becoming a crowd favorite that night. Miss Venezuela was selected to the Top 15 of the dress rehearsal and when she came out again, this time dressed in an elegant white evening dress, she was cheered by the crowd and she greeted everyone cheerfully. In view of her increasing popularity, Morley decided to name Miss Venezuela as Miss World in the rehearsal, who was crowned by Silvana Suárez, causing a hubbub of rejoicing among those present. Afterward, Mr. Morley, under his wife’s stern gaze, explained, “I had to use both hands to cover that thing quickly. But I gave the crowd what they wanted when we chose her as the winner.” Although the BBC had also recorded this segment, those images would be edited and would not air on the final night.

                By the way, the crown that was used this year was the same one that until that year was used in the Miss United Kingdom. The famous “blue crown” is the one that still serves as the iconic diadem of Miss World to this day. The world press reviewed the “accident” of the Venezuelan swimsuit and the press of that country even mentioned that Tatiana Capote, Miss Venezuela, had been disqualified after that incident, which was not true, something invented perhaps to justify her unplacement before the triumph that the country had obtained that year in Miss Universe. The truth was that the mishap of the swimsuit was considered an innocent accident and Miss Venezuela was allowed to compete alongside her other 69 mates on the night of the finals. On the other hand, there was some concern from the Morleys regarding the BBC’s broadcast of Miss World. On Monday 12, the Broadcasting Personnel Association had blocked the transmission of the NATIONWIDE program, due to a strike attempt, although members of the association had assured that there were no threats affecting the transmission of the contest. However, there were!

THE TWENTY-NINTH EDITION OF MISS WORLD.-

                The night of Thursday, November 15 finally arrived. Hours before the doors of the Albert Hall were opened to the public, the Broadcasting Association strike broke out, in which Sound Engineers demanded improvements to their working conditions. This undoubtedly affected the transmission of the contest, which had to be done without audio. Later, in the broadcast of the contest days later, Ray Moore’s comments were added in off. By the way, until this year the contest was broadcast through the BBC and Eric Morley had to find another television station that would host his event from 1980.

                At the close of betting, Miss United Kingdom was given as the virtual winner with a 3-1 probability. She was followed by Miss Bermuda with 7-1, then Miss Brazil with 10-1 and behind Miss Austria, Miss Australia, Miss Belgium and Miss Tahiti with 12-1, while Miss Germany was 14-1 and Miss France and Miss Holland with 16-1. Further back were Miss Canada, Miss Norway, Miss Spain, Miss Sweden and Miss USA with 20-1 while Miss Hong Kong, Miss New Zealand and Miss Venezuela shared 25-1. The press favorite was Miss United Kingdom, but Miss Bermuda, Miss Brazil, Miss Austria and Miss Tahiti were also mentioned with possibilities. Representatives of Puerto Rico and Spain were mentioned as dark horses. The candidates were asked who they thought would win. The votes went to Miss United Kingdom (14), followed by Miss Brazil (7), Miss Switzerland (6), Miss Bermuda (5) and Miss Canada (5). Others voted were Miss Australia (4), Miss Venezuela (4), Miss Tahiti (2), Miss Portugal (2), Miss USA (2), Miss India (1), Miss Colombia (1) and Miss Isle of Man (1), while 26 of the 70 contestants refrained from giving a name, saying they did not know who could win. Representatives of Cyprus, France, Panama, Spain and Tahiti favored Miss Bermuda.

                The show started at 8pm with a musical introduction by Phil Tate and the Miss World Orchestra, followed by a fanfare announcing the start of the event and the British National Anthem. Immediately, the dancers of Irving Davies performed the opening, while the candidates paraded in groups in evening gowns and Sacha Distel sang the theme “Miss World”. Several girls stumbled in this parade, including Miss Spain, Miss New Zealand, Miss Thailand and Miss Japan. Then Don Fox called Eric Morley on stage for the customary words of welcome and thanks after which, and as the candidates changed into their swimsuits, Fox performed a couple of songs before introducing the 70 contestants in their individual parade in bathing suits. In this presentation, Miss Venezuela wore a much more demure red swimsuit, but she wore her hair tied up, which undoubtedly hurt her chances. After the parade, the candidates appeared again in groups of six and eight, so that the judges evaluated them and determined who the semifinalists would be. While the votes were tabulated, Don Fox sang two more songs before proceeding to call the 15 semifinalists. They were:

                Miss AUSTRALIA (Jodie Anne Day, 18, from Brisbane); Miss AUSTRIA (Karin Zorn, 18, from Weiz); Miss BERMUDA (21-year-old Gina Ann Casandra Swainson, from St. George’s); Miss BRAZIL (Léa Sílvia Dall’Acqua, 20, from Campinas); Miss GERMANY (Andrea Hontschik, 21, from Berlin); Miss JAMAICA (17-year-old Debbie Rachelle Campbell – turning 18 on Monday, November 19 – from Kingston); Miss MALAYSIA (Shirley Bernaddine Chew, 18, from Kuala Lumpur); Miss MEXICO (Roselina Rosas Torres, 19, from Durango); Miss PANAMA (Lorelay De la Ossa Chevalier, 18 years old, from Panama City); Miss SPAIN (María Dolores “Lola” Forner Toro, 19, from Madrid); Miss SWITZERLAND (Barbara Mayer, 21, from Marly, Friborg); Miss TRINIDAD and TOBAGO (Marlene Coggins, 21, from San Fernando); Miss UK (Carolyn Ann Seaward, 18, of Yelverton, Devon); Miss UNITED STATES (Carter Wilson, 23, of Harrisonburg, Virginia); and Miss URUGUAY (Laura Rodríguez Delgado, 21, from Montevideo). After learning the identity of the 15 lucky ones, journalist Jan Leeming interviewed them one by one so that the judges could assess their personalities.

                While this was happening, at 9:25 p.m. the broadcast of the program began on BBC-1 for 65 uninterrupted minutes, with pre-recording being done the night before and, at approximately 9:50 p.m., it began the live broadcast, although without audio due to the strike by the sound engineers, with the introduction of the judges by Esther Rantzen. They were:

01- British photographer and Earl of Lichfield, Patrick Anson.

02- English actor Ian McShane.

03- Patti Boulaye, British singer of Nigerian origin.

04- English comedian Eric Morecambe.

05- Eric Morley, organizer of Miss World and Chairman of the Judges.

06- Miss World 1977, Mary Stavin of Sweden.

07- Michael Crawford, English actor.

08- Miss World 1956, Petra Schurmann from Germany.

09- Billy Butlin, British holiday camp businessman of South African descent.

JUDGES

               The 15 semifinalists were immediately presented in their individual swimsuit fashion show by Sacha Distel with comments by Esther Rantzen. As the girls changed into their evening gowns, a three-minute video was shown showing footage of the Variety Club International’s work around the world and the charity fundraising they did thanks to Miss World. Subsequently, Ray Moore introduced the 15 semifinalists in their individual parade in evening gowns with comments from Sacha Distel. After the parade, the semifinalists were lined up on stage, and Esther Rantzen immediately proceeded to call the last seven finalists. They were: Miss AUSTRALIA, Miss AUSTRIA, Miss BERMUDAS, Miss BRAZIL, Miss JAMAICA, Miss SWITZERLAND and Miss UNITED KINGDOM. The remaining girls then left the proscenium while Sacha Distel proceeded to interview each of the seven finalists individually, it was never known what the questions were and what the girls answered due to the lack of audio. They posed together again before heading backstage to await the results. While the judges ranked the finalists, Sacha Distel sang one of his songs and then proceeded to call Silvana Suárez, Miss World 1978, Julia Morley for the awards ceremony, and Eric Morley to announce the results in reverse order. This was as follows: Fifth, Miss SWITZERLAND, Barbara Mayer; fourth, Miss AUSTRALIA, Jodie Anne Day; in third place, Miss JAMAICA, Debbie Rachelle Campbell and in second position, Miss UNITED KINGDOM, Carolyn Ann Seaward. As usual, they all received their tiaras behind the scenes and Julia Morley presented their trophies in front of the audience. Backstage,Miss Austria, Miss Bermuda and Miss Brazil were waiting for the final announcement.

THE WINNER.-

                Then Eric Morley announced that the new MISS WORLD 1979 was … Miss BERMUDA !!. The brunette Gina Ann Casandra Swainson received her sash in the backstage (this year in blue) and went out to receive her silver cup from Julia Morley. After sitting on the throne, she was crowned by the outgoing Miss World, the Argentine Silvana Suárez while she was greeted with a fanfare by the trumpeters of the Coldstream Guards, to later receive her royal scepter and take her triumphal walk under the chords of the official march of Miss World, performed by the Phil Tate Orchestra. Gina, a wine merchant and student at the University of Wisconsin, whose hobbies were listening to music, cooking and riding motorcycles, with brown eyes and dark hair, 21 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and perfect body measurements (36-24-36) had been the first runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant held months before in the Australian city of Perth and here her undisputed beauty was reiterated.

                At the Coronation Ball, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, Gina received her £ 5,000 prize check. Of course, after signing her contract as Miss World, she would have the chance to earn £ 15,000 more for personal introductions during her year of reign. The finalists also received their checks for £ 2,000, £ 1,000, £ 500 and £ 250 respectively. Likewise, in this party, it was known that the sixth place went to Miss Brazil and the seventh to Miss Austria with a prize of £ 150 and £ 100 respectively. Each semifinalist also received a £ 50 prize.

                The next morning, Gina received the press at the Britannia Hotel while she ate breakfast and celebrated with champagne, before taking a photo shoot and preparing to travel to Jersey Island that same afternoon for a charity event to be held during the weekend and which had been organized by Billy Butlin. “I am very happy and honored. This is an honor for my country” said the brand new Miss World, who did not cry with emotion like her predecessors. “I was very tense before the competition,” she told reporters. “I wanted to win, but I didn’t think I had a chance.” She confessed that although at first she thought that the winner would be Miss Tahiti, who in the end failed to qualify, during the final night she thought that Miss United Kingdom, who was the great favorite of the audience, would win. She added that she studied Wine science because her family had a wine business in Bermuda but that now she wanted to stay and live in London and that the first thing she did after winning the title was to call her mother in Bermuda, who was in a hospital. “I’m sure this title will cheer her up a lot,” said the new world beauty sovereign. On Friday the 16th the farewell party was held for the rest of the competitors.

                Gina returned to Bermuda on December 10 to spend Christmas with her family. She was greeted with great honors at the airport by high-ranking politicians and then brought to meet the Mayor of St. George’s, who made her a “Person of Honor for Life,” the highest honor the city can bestow upon one of its residents. A caravan took her to Hamilton, where she was driven through the streets in a horse-drawn carriage to the delight of thousands of residents who lined up on the parade route. Her achievement aroused so much admiration that three Calypso songs were written about the woman whom British newspapers called “Belle From Bermuda”. The government declared that date as a holiday in her honor and named it “Gina Swainson’s Day”. In addition, they arranged the printing of numerous stamps relating to the triumph of the beautiful brunette. On May 8, 1980, Gina became the first Bermudian to appear on a Bermuda postage stamp since it began to be issued officially in 1865, a fact that also marked the first time that a person lived, and who was not a member of the Royal Family, appeared on a Bermuda stamp. The beauty returned to London in January to fulfill her obligations as Miss World and on May 16 she appeared on the program IN THE LIMELIGHT WITH LESLEY, where journalist Leslie Judd interviewed her in front of an audience of children. She relinquished her crown in November 1980 in London.

                The contest was broadcast to 37 countries around the world on a delayed basis despite the absence of audio. In the US, the contest was broadcast months later with comments from the American comedian George Burns. In the United Kingdom, the program reached the tenth position in the rating, with a share of 15.7 million. Meanwhile, Sacha Distel, quite upset by the broadcasting problems, said that he would never participate in a Miss World pageant again, while returning on a flight to his home in Paris. On the other hand, it was learned on December 6, that Eric Morley had become President of the brewing company “The Belhaven Brewery Company” in Scotland, which incidentally was experiencing serious economic problems and four failed presidents.

THE STRIKE.-

               The press reported that the dispute over the BBC rating was extended when the Miss World pageant and tennis coverage on BBC-2 were affected by a 24-hour strike by some 40 sound engineers working on external broadcasts. The BBC managed to put in some prerecorded sections of the competition and the results, but live sound from the Albert Hall was impossible. The outage was spreading so rapidly that BBC management and the Broadcasting Staff Association had agreed to go to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service on Friday to speak separately. Thursday’s strike was made official by ABS and the leadership had given its support to any other action. BBC Director of Personnel Michael Belt issued a staff directive on Thursday stating that anyone taking the strike would violate the contract. No suspensions had been issued the night before. The dispute involved claims for more than 1,000 rating adjustments. The BBC said the system was “on the verge of total collapse” and that it was trying to introduce a new system as soon as possible, but this would not be before the new year. The corporation said that until the new system was introduced, all work on new rating claims had been suspended. If it was pointed out that salary expectations “would not be lowered” under the new system, this would affect approximately 19,000 of the 37,000 BBC employees.

Miss World 1979 and Miss Peru

BIOGRAPHY OF GINA SWAINSON.-

               Gina Ann Casandra Swainson was born on September 25, 1958 in St.George´s, Bermuda. Her father Edward Raymond Swainson was a refrigeration technician and passed away in 2017 at the age of 88. He had three daughters (Gina, Donna, and Catherine) and a son (John, now deceased) with his first wife, an accountant named Winifred. He then remarried Rosalind, with whom he had three other children (Nefertari, Natelege and Michael). Gina’s grandfather was the first Cricket player in Bermuda. After completing her high school studies, Gina traveled to the USA where she studied for a year at the University of Wisconsin and shared with a friend named Winford Robinson. In March 1979, Gina was selected to represent her town in the Miss Bermuda contest in April, and in late June she traveled to Perth, Australia to represent the islands in the Miss Universe pageant. There she got the first runner-up possition being the only figuration of this British territory in the history of the contest. Subsequently, in November of that same year, she traveled to London for the Miss World contest, a title that she won in good standing on Thursday the 15th of the same month. She returned to Bermuda in December for the Christmas holidays and in January returned to London to continue her reign. She toured the United Kingdom and also traveled to Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada. After handing over the title in November 1980, little was heard of her. She married a restaurant Maitre named Peter Jovetic in the early 90’s, with whom she had a son, Alexander, born on June 20, 1992. In 1993, Gina opened her own business “Gina of Bermuda” in Hamilton selling a range of makeup. Later she moved to Britain with her family, moving away from public life. She works as a counselor for at-risk youth and currently lives in Leatherhead, Surrey.

               In 2019, and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her historic triumph, Bermuda’s only one in beauty pageants, the government proposed naming a street in her town of St. George’s with her name. Mrs. Swainson said she would be “extremely honored” if the “lovely idea” were created as a permanent reminder of her triumph. She added: “Winning the crown 40 years ago was a special moment in my life and I have always appreciated the love and support I received from all Bermudians. Thank you for remembering it.” Gina’s older sister Donna Swainson said Wellington Back Road should be renamed to mark the milestone. “They should name the street after her. They should call Wellington Hill, Gina Swainson Hill.” Donna said the area was a quiet, tight-knit neighborhood where “all Swainsons lived: uncles, grandparents, everyone.” She added that her sister’s victory in Miss World catapulted Bermuda to world attention and also put her neighborhood “on the map.”

FROM THE OTHER CONTESTANTS.-

                Miss Austria won the Miss Europe crown in 1980 in the Canary Islands. In the same contest, Miss Belgium was the first runner-up and Miss Spain, second, while Miss Germany was top 7. Miss France, Miss Denmark, Miss Greece and Miss Ireland also participated in this same event. Miss Tahiti, Miss Paraguay and Miss Ireland competed together in the Miss Universe 1980 pageant in Seoul, South Korea, where the Tahitian was a semifinalist. She also competed in Miss France 1980 and won the Miss France Overseas title. Miss France competed in Miss International 1980. Meanwhile, Miss Panama participated in Miss Latin America and Miss Dominican Republic in Miss Maja International, both in 1981. The candidate from the Virgin Islands represented her territory in Miss Universe in Panama in 1986 and Miss Tahiti in Mrs World of that same year and where she was a semifinalist. Miss Bolivia was a candidate for the Miss Pearl of the Pacific in 1979, while Miss Virgin Islands won in 1987 the title of “Queen of World Tourism” in Spain and in 1990 the “Miss Black USA” contest.

                Miss Venezuela was a leading soap opera actress in the 1980s and 1990s. Her last television appearance was in 2012 in the soap opera “Corazón Valiente”. She has a daughter named Taniusha and currently lives in the city of Miami, USA. Miss United Kingdom became a film actress. She appeared in the James Bond film “Octopussy” in 1983 and her last public appearance was in a BBC-2 documentary in 2012 called “Wonderland” in an episode called “I was once a beauty queen.” Miss Tahiti made a career in teaching (she was a teacher and later a daycare director). She led a political career, being elected to the Assembly of French Polynesia. Miss Jamaica is a lawyer and has her own company in Coral Gables, Florida. Miss Colombia is a recognized journalist and writer, she studied communication in the USA. Throughout her career she has received awards such as “Grandeza a la Mujer Latina”. Miss Holland became Mrs. Verwey and is National Director of several international competitions for BENELUX. Currently lives in Amstelveen. Miss France became a painter and writer, standing out in the publication of children’s stories.

                Miss Germany continued to work as a model. She committed suicide on February 19, 1993, suffering from severe depression. Miss Mexico became an entrepreneur and mother of a family, she still lives in her country. Miss Spain developed a discreet film career in her country in the 1980s and in the 90s she ventured into television. She has also participated in soap-operas, the last one on Televisa, Mexico in 2008. Miss Bolivia is an entrepreneur and lives in the US, but occasionally returns to her home country. Miss Dominican Republic was a model and presenter of a tourism program on Dominican TV. Miss Ireland married Paddy McKillen and lives with her children in Los Angeles, California. Miss Honduras married Robert Householder. She works as a teacher at Calvary Christian High School in Santa Ana, California and lives in Orange. Miss Paraguay is an independent Omnilife businesswoman and lives in Switzerland. Miss Nigeria is a lawyer and writer, has three daughters, and lives in Lagos with her second husband, Dr. Tosin Ajayi. Miss Puerto Rico is a housewife and lives in Miami. Miss Virgin Islands is a member of the Caribbean Heritage organization and Senior Vice President of UBS Wealth Management Americas, where she runs a pension advisory business focused on Caribbean pension plans. In addition, she offers comprehensive investment management and wealth planning solutions, as well as a wide range of specific offerings for wealthy individuals and families. She currently lives between Los Angeles, California and San Juan of Puerto Rico.

PRESS ARTICLES

PICTORIAL GALLERY

Thanks to Donald West, Daryl Schabinger, Neil Craig, Nanny Nielen, Jon Osborne, Junior Zelaya, Henrique Fontes, Mario Jérez, Norberto Colón, Edman Raúl Imagen, Sally-Ann Fawcett, Rafael Mirabal, Toni Hidalgo and Glamour Argentino.

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One response to “Miss World 1979”

  1. I love this page, specially because I grew up in the 70’s watching all these pageants. It’s nice to see some of the MW 79 delegates now and then. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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