JIS News

Medical student, Maricka Shaw, topped the field of seven contestants vying for the 2022 Hanover Festival Queen title, to walk away with the crown during Saturday’s coronation at Rusea’s High School in Lucea.

She will represent Hanover in the national leg of the competition, which is organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).

Among Ms. Shaw’s prizes were $90,000 courtesy of Orange Bay Health Centre, Reggae Paradise and the JCDC; a JCDC trophy; a weekend for two courtesy of Grand Palladium Resort; and a gift basket courtesy of Fontana Pharmacy.

The 21-year-old, who was sponsored by Seaview Pharmacy, was an early standout in the parish competition.

As such, it came as no surprise to many when she landed the title and the lion’s share of sectional prizes

The talented future medical doctor won the awards for Most Congenial, Most Active in the Community, Most Culturally Aware, and Most Popular on Social Media.

In the Most Congenial category, Ms. Shaw received a trophy sponsored by Massy Distribution and $10,000 courtesy of Jango Show Store.

She won a trophy courtesy of Lasco Financial for being adjudged Most Active in the Community and $10,000 courtesy of Councillor of the Riverside Division in Hanover, Darren Barnes.

The Queen collected another trophy sponsored by Lasco Financial for being adjudged Most Culturally Aware and an additional $10,000 from Councillor Barnes.

She was awarded a plaque for being Most Popular on Social Media, courtesy of Excelsior.

The first and second runners-up respectively were 21-year-old Radio Producer, Celine Richardson, who was sponsored by Miss Tano Trucking Services, and 19-year-old teacher’s assistant, Briana Johnson, who won the prize for Best Performer.

Ms. Shaw, who spoke with journalists, had high praises for the other contestants, describing them as “queens”, adding that “we have built a friendship that I am certain will last forever.”

She indicated that participating in the competition did not affect her studies, as she practices effective time management.

Ms. Shaw pointed out that while she was excited and a little nervous about representing Hanover in the national competition, “through Christ I can do all things.”

The newly minted queen said was looking to embark on a mission to “teach other young ladies that you can be confident in who you are and to never set any limits [on yourself], because the only limits there are in life are those that you set for yourself.”

She said with the local competition now concluded, she was looking to commence work on her parish project which will focus on mental health awareness.

“In today’s society, many persons neglect this aspect of our health, especially our young people; and, in subtle ways, it has been affecting our lives, our communities and Jamaica. Therefore, this project will entail educating our public, forming support groups in our communities, as well as giving guidance [about] how to cope [with] or treat any mental illnesses that you are experiencing,” Ms. Shaw stated.

This year’s National Festival Queen Competition is being held under the theme – ‘Reigniting the Power of the Jamaican Woman’.

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