General / Weekend News

Two crowns, one queen!

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

Two women were crowned Queen of the Bay (QOB) today at the launch of the September Celebrations, but only Ms Dangriga, Aaliyah Ysaguirre will be recognized as the official queen.

During the coronation of Ms Ysaguirre this morning at the Memorial Park, National QOB Committee Chair, Zenaida Moya, went on stage with a separate crown, scepter and sash to pronounce Orange Walk Queen, Esmeralda Cal, Queen of the Bay at the same time outgoing QOB Christalyn Castillo was doing the official handing over to Ysaguirre.

The Mistress of Ceremonies, Shari Williams eventually had to ask the police to escort Moya off the stage, and Ms Orange Walk went with her. Following the display, carried on live television, Ms Emma Boiton, original coordinator of the QOB Committee, issued a letter announcing that Moya had been dismissed immediately from her post as Committee Chair.

Boiton also directed Moya to hand over all material relevant to the post of Committee Chair, and to direct any questions about her termination in writing to the Chairman of the National Celebrations Committee no later than seven days after her termination.

Days before Ysaguirre was to be crowned, the QOB National Committee issued a release stating that Cal would be crowned, after the judges re-assess the scores “across the board.” The release and an accompanying social media campaign, explained that Ysaguirre had made several errors during her presentations and the judges did not penalize her appropriately for it.

The Stann Creek District QOB Committee, along with the Belmopan Committee, 15 past queens and the outgoing QOB, all issued statements stating their disapproval with the decision to replace Ysaguirre with Cal. After Minister of Culture and Chair of the National Celebrations Committee, Patrick Faber met with all parties, the National Committee issued a release saying that Ysaguirre would be crowned.

Moya fired back with another release emphasizing that Cal would be crowned, only hours before the coronation. At the ceremony, Dr. Candice Pitts, who was scheduled to read the proclamation of the crowning of a new queen, proclaimed that Cal would be crowned, to the ire of the attendees at the event.

The National September Celebrations Committee then had a separate proclamation read, and Ysaguirre received the official crown and designation as Queen of the Bay. The Queen of the Bay Orange Walk Facebook page posted shortly after that Cal would be crowned in Orange Walk this afternoon.

Unconfirmed reports were that following her termination, Moya took the float that the official QOB was to ride on, and the September Celebrations Committee had to provide a backup float.

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