By Angel Nuñez
Almost thirty years ago, (Were you born already?) the very young town of San Pedro was honored and graced with the visit of Miss World 1986. She was a lovely Caribbean woman, Giselle Laronde.
Giselle Jeanne-Marie Laronde-West, born October 24, 1963 is a Trinidadian model and beauty queen who won the Miss World 1986 contest, representing Trinidad and Tobago. Walking away with the title Miss World 1986, Giselle Laronde West became the first woman from Trinidad and Tobago to be victorious in the Miss World pageant, at the age of just 23 years. She became the second woman from that nation to win an international beauty pageant, after Janelle Commission Miss Universe 1977 . The pageant was held in London, United Kingdom.
Miss World 1986 Giselle Jeanne Marie Laronde West
Miss World 1986 visited San Pedro Town just two years after San Pedro became a town. She was greeted at the San Pedro airstrip by Mayor Pedro “Pete” Salazar. Miss San Pedro at the time was lovely Miss Flor Marin, but Giselle was actually greeted by Miss San Pedro Mini Squires, Miss San Pedro 1985.
Of course there was a program of events that lasted only a few hours for the Trinidadian Beauty Ambassador. It included dances by San Pedro’s sensation, The Sunshine Dancers. Of course Mr. Allan Forman, who was another ambassador for San Pedro had to be there to welcome her, to give her a tour, to tell her of our history and to host her at Coral Beach Hotel and Restaurant where the Forman Girls were already in the prime of their culinary arts.
Miss San Pedro 1986 Flor Marin & Miss San Pedro 1985 Mini Squires
Miss World 1986 Giselle Jeanne Marie Laronde West & Mr. Allan Forman
Miss World 1986 was given a parade around the town for the public to meet and greet her. Then she was given a tour of Ambergris Caye and a swim in our Caribbean waters. Hol Chan was not yet established, but she got to feel and enjoy the Isla Bonita experience and hospitality.
Now this was definitely an experience that aroused the interest of our own San Pedrana beauties. And believe it or not, shortly thereafter, an enchanting caye girl was chosen in Belize to represent our county at the Miss World Beauty Pageant in 1989. She was enchanting Martha Badillo of Barrier Reef Drive, San Pedro Town and she had recently graduated from San Pedro High School. She too went to London for this remarkable experience.
Miss World Belize 1989, Martha Badillo, Miss San Pedro 1989, Martha Sabido
& Mayor Pete Salazar (far right) along with councilors
Miss World 1986 Giselle Jeanne-Marie Laronde-West with San Pedro's Dance Group, The Sunshine Dancers
Miss World 1986, Giselle Jeanne-Marie Laronde-West was given a tour of Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Today through Twenty Five Years Ago says “kudos” to all ladies who have the courage to offer themselves for our local pageants and kudos to the organizers who take the initiative to send these girls for international exposure and to expose our country and island as well. When we select a Miss San Pedro, we should keep the international scenario in the picture.
25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today Online Newspaper -Jose Luis Zapata Photography –Lala’s Store -Pampered Paws -San Pedro BTB Office -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush, A & R
Contact the Author at: [email protected]