Misses World on stamps
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - November 28, 2003 - 12:00am
Here’s a reminder to beauty-watchers: The pre-pageant of the 2003 Miss World contest being held in China will be telecast tomorrow night, Nov. 29, starting at 8 o’clock on Star TV (Channel 25 on SkyCable). The grand finals will be on Dec. 6 (Saturday), also covered "live" by the same channel starting at 9 p.m. The Philippine bet is Mafae Yunon who’s competing with 106 other candidates from the same number of countries.

"That makes the Miss World contest the biggest international beauty contest," said Celso Caparas, Funfare’s other "beauty expert" who filed the following report on Misses World featured on stamps (which Caparas ordered while he was working in Saudi Arabia all the way from the Channel Islands, Trinidad & Tobago and the USA):

Philately is the study and collection of postal stamps and of postal stationeries. It comes from two Greek words, philos (meaning loving) and atelos (meaning free of tax, or paid). Stamp collecting is one of the most popular collecting hobbies in the world and has been called as "the hobby of kings and the king of hobbies."

Great Britain issued the first stamps on May 6, 1840 to prepay postage on letters. These were a one-penny stamp, known as the Penny Black, and a two-pence stamp.

Regarded by their government and countrymen as national heroines, icons and treasures, four Miss World title-holders were accorded the rare distinction of being honored on stamps by their respective countries.

Carole Joan Crawford of Jamaica, Miss World 1963, was the 13th title-holder and the first winner from the Caribbean Isles. Then a 20-year-old model and secretarial help of her businessman-father, Carole Joan, who only stands 5’3" tall is the shortest among the Miss World crown-keepers. To look taller, she donned a specially-designed swimsuit at the pageant finals. Carole said about her victory: "Becoming Miss World took away my shyness and made me self-possessed."

The three stamps were issued on Feb. 14, 1964. The souvenir sheet was issued on May 25, 1964 that was sold for four shillings. Both were printed through photogravure process, designed and printed by De La Rue. Size of stamps: 30 x 40 mm Perforation: 13 Size of souvenir sheet: 151 x 102 mm.

Jennifer Hosten of Grenada, Miss World 1970, was the first black to be crowned as Miss World and the first ever at any major international pageant.

Then 22, olive-skinned Jennifer bested 57 other contestants including our very own Minerva Manalo Cagatao who was one of the semi-finalists. She completed her education in London, studied broadcasting with the BBC, and worked for its Caribbean service before becoming a flight attendant.

The 1970 pageant was marred by a string of protests and demonstrations. There were also loud accusations of rigging in the final results because of the presence of Sir Eric Gairy, Prime Minister of Grenada, in the judging panel. To disprove the allegations, Eric Morley put the judging panel’s ballot cards on view.

With her regal bearing and quiet dignity, Jennifer Hosten had served as an excellent Miss World despite the controversy that had surrounded her victory. She holds the record of being the only contestant from Grenada who managed to land in the semis and eventually win the title.

The six stamps, printed through lithography process, and souvenir sheet, printed on silk, were issued on June 1, 1971. They were re-issued in March 1972 overprinted with INTERPEX 1972 in conjunction with the International Postal Exhibition 1972 held in New York, USA. Size of stamps: 38 x 51 mm Perforation: 13.5 Size of souvenir sheet: 92 x 80 mm.

Gina Ann Cassandra Swainson of Bermuda, Miss World 1979, was the third Caribbean beauty to win the coveted title, beating out 68 other delegates. She also represented her country in the Miss Universe 1979 held earlier that year where she placed first runner-up to Maritza Sayalero Fernandez of Venezuela, a living proof that she’s really destined to be an international beauty queen.

The four stamps were issued on May 8, 1980, printed through lithography process by Questa and designed by Walsall. Size of stamps: 32 x 49 mm Perforation: 14.

Giselle Jeanne-Marie Laronde, then a 23-year-old credit union employee from Trinidad & Tobago, was crowned as Miss World 1986 and Queen of Americas. She was hardly noticed during the preliminaries but made a remarkable impression on the judges at the finals. She topped a field of 77 contestants including our delegate, Sherry Rose Byrne who emerged as a semi-finalist and Queen of Asia.

Giselle is happily married to Heathcliff West who works with Air Canada and is the proud mother of two boys, nine-year-old Kye and four-year-old Kristof. She’s the present National Director of Miss Trinidad & Tobago-World Pageant and a Corporate Sales Manager at the Trinidad Hilton Hotel.

The four stamps, printed through lithography process by Walsall and designed by D. Miller, were issued on July 27, 1987. Size: 29 x 43 mm Perforation: 14.

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph)

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with