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Drama at Queen of the Bay Print E-mail
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Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:00

In perhaps one of the more surreal moments of this year’s September celebrations, the Queen of the Bay coronation took place. After the addresses, it was time for the crowning and in an unprecedented manner, Zenaida Moya, through Dr. Candice Pitts, led a proclamation of her own- declaring the Orange Walk delegate, Esmeralda Cal, as the Queen of the Bay. Immediately after, there was another declaration read by Neil Hall where Aaliyah Ysaguirre was also declared as the Queen of the Bay.

What followed was even worse: while the reigning queen removed her cape, crown, and scepter and recited the words of transition to pass on the title to the new queen- in the background, Zenaida Moya did the same on Cal. She had a scepter, a crown and a cape of her own which she placed on Cal.

The moments passed with jaw dropping effect, so much so that Moya had to be escorted off the stage by police officers- twice. As the spectacle ensued, the former coordinator for the Queen of the Bay pageant, Miss Emma Boiton, had a letter read to Moya where she unceremoniously fired her, “services were no longer required”. All this took place before dignitaries, such as the Governor General Sir Colville Young and Prime Minister Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow as well as on national television.

All the drama was the culmination of 5 days of uncertainty as to who the actual queen was. According to the judges, Aaliyah Ysaguirre, the Stann Creek delegate, had won at the pageant which was held on September 2, 2017. Five days later, the Orange Walk committee had challenged the win and asked for a re-audit of the scores. The revisiting of the scores entailed, according to Moya, the reviewing of the tape of the event after which Esmeralda Cal, the Orange Walk delegate was declared the true and rightful winner. Moya stated that there were points which were not deducted from Ysaguirre which ought to have been taken off and as a result with a new tabulation, Cal emerged the winner.

The entire ordeal created a period of uncertainty from Thursday September 7th up to the morning of the coronation as to who would have been the queen. In the interim, on September 9th, the Chairman of the September Celebrations, Hon. Patrick Faber requested a meeting with the Queen of the Bay Committee to reach a solution. There was great back and forth in that meeting where Moya held her position in the end however the decision was taken that Ysaguirre was the rightful queen and would be so crowned on the 10th. That led to the ensuing spectacle on the 10th morning where two queens were crowned. After it all, Aaliyah Ysaguirre prevailed as the 72nd Queen of the Bay.

Following the debacle, Moya took to national television as to why Cal was the rightful winner, but according to Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the National Celebration’s Committee, Hon. Patrick Faber, Moya was disrespectful and failed to give evidence as to why anyone other than Ysaguirre was to be crowned.

In relation to her firing by Emma Boiton, coordinator of the pageant before Moya, Moya said that given the position is one of volunteer work, she cannot be fired.